The Cordon Bleu-trained chef is determined to prove her culinary passion and prowess to the world.

By Gillie Houston
Updated May 24, 2017
Kelis Pop-up Restaurant, London
Credit: © Dave J Hogan/Getty Images

Singer Kelis Rogers—known to most as Kelis—made a name by singing about her milkshake bringing all the boys to the yard. Now, the New York-born songstress is making a foray into a different kind of food: fine cuisine. Rogers's first pop-up restaurant will be hitting London in July, and while some might be surprised by hit maker's move into food, the Cordon Bleu-trained chef is determined to prove her culinary passion and prowess to the world.

After selling six million records around the globe and snagging a Grammy Award nomination in the process, Rogers decided to step away from the stage and into the kitchen. "Cooking school revolutionized everything in my life," she says in an interview The Guardian. "I had spent four years tied to a label I hate, which was like an arranged marriage. I felt exhausted, under appreciated and really disrespected and it sucked."

Though Rogers grew up around food—her mother ran a catering business in Harlem—she spent 10 years in the music industry after signing her first record deal at 17. However, following her release from her contract in 2008, Rogers knew she wanted to get back to her roots and the food she was raised on. The singer graduated from the Cordon Bleu in 2009, but after an unexpected pregnancy and divorce, she turned back to the music industry to pay the bills. "Everything was upside down and I didn't know how to support myself through food yet," she says. In 2014 she released an album aptly named, "Food," which included songs such as "Breakfast," "Jerk Ribs," "Biscuits and Gravy," and "Cobbler."

Soon, she resubmerged herself into the food world and wrote a cookbook titled "My Life on a Plate: Recipes From Around the World," which was released last year. Now her kitchen skills are being tested on a much more public space: her own restaurant. Rogers will be collaborating with the cooking duo behind the London restaurant Le Bun to open a pop-up eatery that will run though July. Then, she'll be taking her menu on the road to a variety of U.K. based festivals.

The chef, who is best known for her hit about another food entirely, will serve up juicy pork flanks and blackened pineapples, in a mission to prove her cooking abilities to the world. "Keeping things super balanced, bringing together flavors I've experienced from all over the world, is what I think makes me stand out as a chef," she says. "There's also something so aggressive about music—it attacks your ears even when you don't want to listen—whereas food is the total opposite. Food is a choice and I think because of that, there's a certain level of respect that has to go into it."