Mouthwatering barbecues and soul food are what Reggie Rhoades does best. He is the man behind Uncle Reggie's Catering, a fledgling business in Virginia that is making steady strides in the industry.

Rhoades was born and raised in Richmond, Virginia. He formalized his lifelong love for cooking in 2017 when he joined the Culinard program at Virginia College. Now he is doing what he loves, preparing dishes for the likes of famous Christian comedian John Crist, as well as NFL players.

He has the support of his wife Alisha Rhoades and their children Quintrell, Mariah, Jordan, and RJ. Whether he is cooking for the family or for clients, it’s always from the heart.

Can you give us some background on Uncle Reggie's Catering, your catering business?

Well, I started it last April. I finished schooling in September and graduated with my culinary degree, but I’ve been cooking all my life.

Your mother encouraged you to reach for your dreams. In what other ways did she influence you?

I was always in the kitchen with her. She used to always cook for us, so I kind of fell in love with food. She used to make awesome macaroni and cheese. In order for me to learn how to make those things, I had to be in the kitchen. What did you do before catering? I franchised my own car and rental truck company in Richmond, Virginia.

Where did the name “Uncle Reggie” come from?

My family and friends decided to call me Uncle Reggie, so I stuck with it! How did the relationship come about with Big Mamma’s Events? Kenya Bundy who owns Big Mamma is my wife’s best friend. She used to come to my family functions and really liked my food. She welcomed me under the umbrella and that’s how I became a chef. If you were having guests over, what would you prepare? A four-course meal, with entrees, or seafood. I like to make jambalaya. I’m not too much of a desert guy.

Do you have any healthy cooking tips?

I don’t do a lot of frying, if I use oil, I use olive oil. Gluten-free products are also good. Don’t overseason your food with a lot of salt. What is your advice for success? Practice, and good customer service. You have to serve great food. Don’t be scared to try different things and mix different cultures.

What can we expect from Uncle Reggie’s in the future?

We just opened a new, bigger space, with Big Mamma, so we can serve different types of events. We do paint night, and date night, and we're open to the public three or four times a month. How can people find you to cater for their events? Go to my Facebook page, Uncle Reggie’s Catering, to see upcoming events, etc.

— Portrait by @qs_photography23

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