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Former NFL Athlete Derrell Smith Talks Life as a Chef and New Series ‘Mad Good Food’

 Derrell Smith, who stars in the new Tastemade series Mad Good Food, shows viewers the value of not only cooking for those you love but also cooking for yourself. Smith has appeared in many viral Tastemade videos in the past and proved he had what it takes to star in his own show. He was also Tastemade’s first fellow — the fellowship program was birthed following the Black Lives Matter movement, and invites black creators to oversee Tastemade’s IG programming.

Now a year into the pandemic, many people are experiencing cooking fatigue, especially those who live alone, and Smith wants to combat that with Mad Good Food. Each week, he’ll create a meal he would normally make for friends & family, and then he’ll break that meal down into two distinct meals for one, using the components of the original dish. Viewers will be able to treat themselves to quality dinners for one, instead of eating the same leftovers for days on end. 

While in the NFL, Smith had a career-ending neck injury and decided to make the best of his misfortune by using it as an opportunity to pursue his true passion: food. In his show, he applies the lessons he learned on the field to the kitchen and finds comfort in cooking after his injury. His series also showcases recipes for easy, nutritious, and affordable meals that give you the energy to tackle the day ahead (and that can be used to turn into various other dishes Mad Good Food-style), as well as his expert commentary on food trends as a former professional athlete and chef. 

I had the chance to sit down with Smith to talk about the inspiration behind his transition into the kitchen and the vibe of his new series. You can find our conversation in full below and be sure to tune in when Mad Good Food premieres Thursday, April 8 on Tastemade.

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