By Myron Smothers
Aristide Charles Williams II had his life all planned out. As a youngster, Williams watched a lot of “CSI” and “First 48.” This inspired him to pursue a law degree when he got older. After graduating high school, he enrolled in Southern University and earned his Bachelor’s Degree in Criminal Justice. Next, Williams went to law school.
Just in case his pursuit of a law degree did not work out as planned, Williams decided to have a plan B on deck. What he came up with was pretty unexpected.
“I wanted to challenge myself into something different that no one would ever thought or imagine me doing,” expressed Williams.
His backup plan to become a chef. Williams grew up in Uptown Hollygrove in New Orleans, Louisiana. He says he always enjoyed cooking, but the idea really honed on him one day when he was tired of eating the same thing over and over again.
“Where I’m from, we don’t eat luxury nor get pampered,” said Williams. “I decided to treat myself to a luxury meal and it went from there.”
Little did Williams know, his plan B would take center stage. Williams shifted from the idea of going to law school and began to take his cooking seriously. He is now one of the hottest upcoming chefs in Louisiana. He attended Southern University, and now lives and works in Baton Rouge.
His friends jokingly began calling him Chef Kharles during the beginning of his cooking journey so he took the name and ran with it. His brand is Kharles Bistro.
Williams focuses on what he calls “soul gourmet meals,” which include every thing from breakfast, lunch, dinner, all the way to dessert. Some of his signature items are Salmon and grits, Kharles chipotle ranch wings, Crawfish nachos, and Pepper jack macaroni; however, his most popular item might not even be a food at all. It might just be his signature Kharles Fresh Squeezed Lemonade.
He came up with the idea after hosting a plate sale and giving out sodas with the meals. He wanted to make funds all around and wanted to do something different, yet familiar as well.
“What’s something I can come up with that almost everybody likes that I can put my own spin to it?” thought Williams.
Then a light bulb lit up in his head and he thought of lemonade. Williams has a plethora of flavors including mango, pineapple, peach, strawberry, and blueberry just to name a few. The lemonade is homemade and has real fruit in it. There’s also an adult version of the lemonade for all the grown folks.
Though just starting out, Williams is confident in his new journey in life. He says he prayed to God to lead him in the right direction and many doors have been opening for him as a result. Williams is striving for success and already has his eyes on the future with big plans for Kharles Bistro.
“In the next 10 years I see myself being a private chef for celebrities, athletes, and families,” said Williams. “I want manage food trucks nationally, have lemonade in stores worldwide and lastly my own restaurant.”
Unlike Allen Iverson, Williams is “practicing” nonstop to make his dreams come true. He knows it will take hard work and dedication so each and every day he is focusing on building a better brand, becoming a better chef and a better person.
Williams caters parties and events. For any interested in booking Kharles Bistro for cooking needs, you can contact Williams at email@example.com. You also can check his work out on Twitter @Kharles_Bistro