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As the executive chef and co-owner of Table fifty-two, Art and Soul, Southern Art and Bourbon Bar, Joanne Trattoria, and LYFE Kitchen restaurants, Art Smith has received the culinary profession's highest awards and has cooked for some of the world's most famous celebrities. In 1997, Smith became the personal, day-to-day chef to Oprah Winfrey, a position that lasted ten years. Smith now coordinates and cooks for special events all around the world. Most recently Smith has made several television appearances including ABC’s Lady Gaga Thanksgiving Special, Top Chef and Top Chef Masters (for the second time), where he quickly became an audience favorite.
Smith is the founder of Common Threads, a non-profit organization teaching low-income children to cook wholesome and affordable meals since 2003. He believes that through hands-on cooking and introducing children to fresh foods we can help prevent childhood obesity, reverse the trend of poor eating habits, and learn about diversity and tolerance through the celebration of our cultural differences and our commonalities.
Smith was honored by Chicago magazine as a Chicagoan of the Year in 2007. That same year, the prestigious James Beard Foundation named him Humanitarian of the Year. In 2008 Chef Art Smith received an Honorary MBA Degree, awarded by the Dedman School of Hospitality at Florida State University. Smith was inducted into the Chicago Culinary Museums Hall of Fame in 2010. September 30th 2010 was proclaimed by Richard M. Daley, Mayor of The City of Chicago as Chef Art Smith Day. On May 19, 2012 Chef Art Smith received an Honorary Doctorate of Culinary Arts from Johnson and Wales University, North Miami Campus.