Part-time chef Odies Turner’s private dining service quickly gained a following in July 2020, and the College of Charleston graduate is continuing to add clients to the Pablo’s Kitchen fold, delivering Southern home-style cooking at family gatherings, corporate events, weddings and more.
“It’s exciting to me to see how much it has grown in so little time,” said Turner, adding that Pablo’s Kitchen earned between $15,000-$20,000 in sales in its first month. “The key to anyone’s heart is their stomach, and just being able to satisfy that with doing something I enjoy has been my favorite.”
Those looking to book Turner for brunch, lunch or dinner can simply head to his website, where he lists a sample menu featuring main dishes, sides, appetizers, desserts and more.
According to Turner, who graduated with computer and political science degrees and works full-time in Boeing’s information technology department, Pablo’s Kitchen started with an idea to share recipes on social media.
“When I first started, I only planned to have a social media presence where I would show people how to do different recipes,” Turner said. “Before COVID, I always loved to cook, and I would just post my nice dishes on my story, Instagram and Facebook. People are sitting at home — they want to see food and different ideas. If you post something that looks nice, a lot of people are going to interact.”
After seeing his posts, Turner’s fraternity brother called him up to see if he would cater a private dinner, posting a rave review complete with pictures following the meal. Shortly after, another group asked him to cater their brunch.
“That’s what really kicked off everything, too, because I’m big on presentation,” Turner said. “From there, everyone started to book me to do different events.”
Since opening, Turner has provided meals at local middle schools, catered small weddings and cooked for families and couples looking to spend more time at home due to the pandemic. On Valentine’s Day, he sold out of his three-course special catering package for couples.
According to the Florida-born chef, the name “Pablo’s Kitchen” comes from a moniker dating back to his college days.
“People used to call me Pablo because I would throw parties,” he said. “It just stuck to me, and I made it my handle on Instagram.”
Lately, that Instagram feed is filled with meals influenced by his mom and godparents, who owned a Hollywood, S.C.-based catering business called Brown’s Catering Company. Look for options like honey garlic Sriracha wings, balsamic brown sugar lamb chops, macaroni and cheese with king crab legs and more.
“Even if I am not preparing a meal for someone and they aren’t able to taste what I am cooking, my content allows my future and current clients to use their imagination to think just how amazing Pablo’s Kitchen dishes are,” he said.
Working a full time job and owning a growing private catering business might seem daunting for some, but Turner said it’s working.
“Pablo’s Kitchen is something I do part time along with my work at the Boeing Company, so encouraging myself to continue to put out content and promote Pablo’s Kitchen can be a challenge after a day’s work,” he said. “Overall though, I believe I have been able to balance both and continue to be my best self.”
For more information or to book your next private event, visit pablocooks.com.