African American Builders of Topeka: Chef Sean Hall
“Proof is in the Puddin’.” —Chef Sean Hall
MY STORY I always loved to cook. I remember getting recipes from my Grandmother and watching my mother in the kitchen as a young boy. Unlike my father, a hardworking man, I suffered from entitlement and I was never fond of working hard. Until later in life, I wouldn’t understand the reward of my labors and the satisfaction of a hard day’s work. I was caught up in fast money. By the time I would wise up, I had wasted the majority of my life— in and out of jail, two failed marriages and bankrupt. Sin had a major stronghold on my life. I was at a point in 2013 where I had lost all hope and will to live. Fortunately, I was introduced to the Lord, not by chance, but by all the things I had done in my life up to this point.
I worked on the Las Vegas strip as an Executive Chef, ran a culinary school for 15 plus years and trained more than 10,000 students in my career. I had 3 homes, the newest cars, boats and all the toys. Then I lost everything, divorced my wife, separated from my children and suffered from major depression. I had eaten myself to 500 plus pounds and was on the brink of self-destruction. I sat facing a bottle of pills after being incarcerated. My oldest daughter’s face popped in my head. Like everything else, I failed at taking my life. I asked God that if He could pull me through this, I would serve Him the rest of my life. I felt a calm and a peace like never before. I knew in my heart that God heard me.
Food now has become a passion not to cook for stars or presidents and dignitaries but to feed His flock to provide for those that sometimes cannot provide for themselves.