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Walter Royal

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Information about Walter Royal

Profile image of Walter Royal

Profession

Category:
BusinessMakers
Occupation(s):
Chef

Favorites

Favorite Color:
Blue
Favorite Food:
Roasted Chicken, Potatoes, Vegetables
Favorite Time of Year:
Spring, Summer
Favorite Vacation Spot:
Anywhere Near Water
Favorite Quote:
You Can Be Anything You Want To Be.

Birthplace

Born:
5/18/1957
Birth Location:
Eclectic, Alabama

Profession

Category:
BusinessMakers
Occupation(s):
Chef

Favorites

Favorite Color:
Blue
Favorite Food:
Roasted Chicken, Potatoes, Vegetables
Favorite Time of Year:
Spring, Summer
Favorite Vacation Spot:
Anywhere Near Water
Favorite Quote:
You Can Be Anything You Want To Be.

Birthplace

Born:
5/18/1957
Birth Location:
Eclectic
See how Walter Royal is related to other HistoryMakers

Biography

Chef Walter Royal was born on May 18, 1957 in Eclectic, Alabama to Ida Royal Reynolds and Columbus Ransaw. At the age of fourteen, Royal knew he wanted to cook professionally. However, his parents dissuaded him, unsure of how successful he would be as a black chef. In 1974, Royal attended LaGrange College in LaGrange, Georgia, where he graduated with his B.S. degree in psychology. In 1980, he graduated from Auburn University with his M.S. degree in psychology. After working with mentally disabled children for five years, Royal enrolled in a nine-month program at Nathalie Dupree’s Cooking School in Atlanta, Georgia in 1983. After graduating from the cooking program, he was hired as a sous-chef at the Fearrington House restaurant in Pittsboro, North Carolina. There he worked under acclaimed chef Edna Lewis. In 1986, Royal was hired as a chef at the Magnolia Grill in Durham, North Carolina before becoming the executive chef and co-owner of the Crescent Café. In 1995, Royal was hired as the executive chef of the award-winning steakhouse The Angus Barn in Raleigh, North Carolina.

Royal has won numerous culinary awards. In 1997, he was the first African American chef to be awarded the Restaurant Guild’s Five Star Chef of the Year. Royal was also deemed one of the James Beard Foundation’s Rising Stars along with being honored as one of the Top Five Chefs in the Southeast, the Top Black Chef in America and the Best Chef in the Triangle region of North Carolina. Royal was featured in Southern Living magazine. In addition to being featured in Ebony, Royal performed a cooking demonstration in Raleigh, North Carolina on the CBS Network program The Early Show. In 2006, Royal competed on the Food Network reality cooking show, Iron Chef America . Royal has cooked with popular American chefs and television personalities like Bobby Flay, Guy Fieri and Cat Cora. In 2010, he was awarded an honorary doctorate from Johnson & Wales University in Providence, Rhode Island. Royal has one son, Walter Royal, Jr.

Walter Royal was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on February 19, 2012.

See how Walter Royal is related to other HistoryMakers
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  • Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Walter Royal's interview
  • Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Walter Royal lists his favorites
  • Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Walter Royal describes his mother's family background
  • Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Walter Royal remembers his maternal grandmother
  • Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Walter Royal describes his mother's education and profession
  • Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Walter Royal recalls her maternal family gatherings
  • Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Walter Royal describes his father's family background, pt. 1
  • Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Walter Royal describes his father's family background, pt. 2
  • Tape: 1 Story: 9 - Walter Royal talks about the racial demographics of Coosa County, Alabama
  • Tape: 1 Story: 10 - Walter Royal describes the rivalry between his maternal and paternal families
  • Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Walter Royal talks about his parents' relationship
  • Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Walter Royal describes his stepfather
  • Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Walter Royal talks about his siblings
  • Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Walter Royal describes his parents' personalities and who he takes after
  • Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Walter Royal talks about the closeness of his family
  • Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Walter Royal describes his community in Elmore County, Alabama
  • Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Walter Royal talks about the southern meal structure
  • Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Walter Royal recalls his early schooling in Alabama
  • Tape: 2 Story: 9 - Walter Royal describes his experiences at Elmore County High School in Eclectic, Alabama
  • Tape: 2 Story: 10 - Walter Royal talks about the Civil Rights Movement
  • Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Walter Royal describes his tight-knit community in Elmore County, Alabama
  • Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Walter Royal talks about the Russell family of Elmore County, Alabama
  • Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Walter Royal talks about his early exposure to professional cooks
  • Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Walter Royal talks about the history of southern cuisine
  • Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Walter Royal remembers his early ambitions to become a chef
  • Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Walter Royal talks about his stepfather's career advice
  • Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Walter Royal recalls his football scholarship to attend Auburn University in Auburn, Alabama
  • Tape: 3 Story: 8 - Walter Royal remembers transferring to LaGrange College in LaGrange, Georgia
  • Tape: 3 Story: 9 - Walter Royal describes his experiences at LaGrange College
  • Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Walter Royal recalls working at J.S. Tarwater Development Center in Wetumpka, Alabama
  • Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Walter Royal remembers attending Nathalie Dupree's cooking seminar
  • Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Walter Royal talks about the southern cuisine
  • Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Walter Royal recalls his experiences at Rich's Cooking School in Atlanta, Georgia
  • Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Walter Royal remembers working with Edna Lewis
  • Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Walter Royal talks about the restaurant business
  • Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Walter Royal recalls becoming a sous chef
  • Tape: 4 Story: 8 - Walter Royal describes the members of a kitchen staff
  • Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Walter Royal talks about his process of preparing food
  • Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Walter Royal describes the role of chef de cuisine
  • Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Walter Royal recalls opening his first restaurant
  • Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Walter Royal talks about using his psychology background in the food industry
  • Tape: 5 Story: 5 - Walter Royal recalls closing the Crescent Cafe in Durham, North Carolina
  • Tape: 5 Story: 6 - Walter Royal recalls working at Bonnie Brae and the 1996 Summer Olympics
  • Tape: 5 Story: 7 - Walter Royal recalls joining the staff of the Angus Barn in Raleigh, North Carolina
  • Tape: 5 Story: 8 - Walter Royal talks about the history of the Angus Barn
  • Tape: 5 Story: 9 - Walter Royal describes the daily operations at the Angus Barn
  • Tape: 6 Story: 1 - Walter Royal talks about managing the Angus Barn in Raleigh, North Carolina
  • Tape: 6 Story: 2 - Walter Royal describes the menu at the Angus Barn
  • Tape: 6 Story: 3 - Walter Royal talks about his role at the Angus Barn
  • Tape: 6 Story: 4 - Walter Royal describes his culinary philosophy
  • Tape: 6 Story: 5 - Walter Royal talks about his experiences on 'Iron Chef America,' pt. 1
  • Tape: 6 Story: 6 - Walter Royal talks about his experiences on 'Iron Chef America,' pt. 2
  • Tape: 6 Story: 7 - Walter Royal reflects upon his life and family
  • Tape: 6 Story: 8 - Walter Royal reflects upon his legacy
  • Tape: 6 Story: 9 - Walter Royal describes his hopes and concerns for the African American community
  • Tape: 6 Story: 10 - Walter Royal talks about mentoring children about healthy eating practices
  • Tape: 6 Story: 11 - Walter Royal describes the culinary programs in prison
  • Tape: 7 Story: 1 - Walter Royal talks about healthy food programs in prison
  • Tape: 7 Story: 2 - Walter Royal describes how he would like to be remembered
  • Tape: 7 Story: 3 - Walter Royal narrates his photographs, pt. 1
  • Tape: 7 Story: 4 - Walter Royal narrates his photographs, pt. 2