When you are down to the worst point in your life, what do you do? Do you stay down and complain about your situation, or figure out what it takes to get out of your situation and make it better? That’s exactly what 28 year old restaurant owner Darnell Ferguson did. About 3 years ago Darnell Ferguson, who earned the title “Superchef” while in culinary school at Sullivan University, was at once just a young man with no direction in his life. Although he was making a name for himself in the culinary world, that still wasn’t enough to keep him from sleeping in his car, and feeling alone. His one-of-a-kind breakfast creations include red velvet pancakes filled with whipped cream, roasted red pepper grits, beignets, granola encrusted French toast, homemade candied sausage, peanut butter and jelly oatmeal and more. By 2008, he was able to add the the title of “Olympic Chef” to his resume, when he was chosen to cook for the Olympic team in China. Darnell was blessed to be featured in Louisville’s most prestigious kitchens, including Proof on Main and Napa River Grill, which is how SuperChef became his identity. Even with all these things going on, he was still having brushes with the law, and knew he was headed in the wrong direction.
After he graduated from college, earning his associates degree, he continued selling drugs ( which he started while in school to cover expenses,) instead of pursing a career as a chef , until his luck had finally run out. Ferguson was arrested eight times in a three-month period, which caused him to lose everything including being evicted by his landlord, leaving him homeless. While Ferguson was living out of his car, his mom suggested he go back to church, which is something he had done as a kid. He decided to attend Southeast Christian Church, because of the large size. “I knew I wouldn’t stand out there. I didn’t want to go to some small church where visitors stand up and everybody looks at you. I wanted to hide somewhere.” he said . In 2011, the church hosted a fall retreat that he decided to sign up for an attend. It was at this very retreat that his life took a turn for the better. Not only was he hungry for the cooking, but for the Lord, and a new beginning on his life.
While sitting in a McDonalds, he was approached by an acquaintance who owned the Chicago Gyros across the street, about renting the kitchen for breakfast. Ferguson knew it was a great opportunity to rebuild.
In the spring of 2012, he opened SuperChef’s Breakfast Restaurant with partner Ryan Bryson, a friend from junior high school. More recently he opened up a more permanent storefront on July 9th of this year located in Louisville, Kentucky. His favorite bible verse is Philippians 4:13: “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.”
His story of triumph just goes to show that anyone has the power to change their situation. It all starts with a thought and the will to move forward.