Chef Creole: How a Kid From Little Haiti Built a Seafood Empire
But Sejour's brash character and murky past never reveal themselves on air. When he's in front of the camera, he channels Emeril Lagasse. He's sunny, lighthearted, and seemingly very different from the brazen guy he really is. Though he deems the venture a success, in 2009, after a dispute with his production company, he gave it up.
billwisserphoto.com The sign at Chef Creole.
Sejour's hiatus from the small screen did not last long. Travel shows from across the globe began calling him for cameos. Eddie Huang, a New York chef and Fresh Off the Boat host for Vice, featured Sejour on his show. On Travel Channel's No Reservations, Anthony Bourdain described his visit to Chef Creole as "an example of food being the best expression of a place and personality." Although Sejour loves the attention that the exposure gives his brand, he also complains these guys don't pay him a cent.
What makes him money are his relationships. Questioned about finances, Sejour answers ambiguously.
"What do you think rappers were doing before they became rappers? You think the bank gave them the money? Come on. Every strong business has had its innuendo of associations with this or that: racketeering, dope, smuggling people, anything illegal. I grew up in a community where I'm always associated with these people."
After 20 years in the business, Sejour is growing tired of all that "bullshit." He hopes to franchise restaurants and take a step back from his eponymous brand.
"People get this perception that I'm so in love with these restaurants, but I'm not. The things I've done, the things I've gotten myself involved in, the opportunities -- well, it's been a great ride. But now, really, I'm just burned the fuck out."
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