By Ron Wynn
NASHVILLE, TN — Nashville Chef Star Maye is now enjoying not only local acclaim, but national recognition. She was a big winner a few weeks ago on the Food Network’s “Chopped” series, and that’s just the latest recognition Maye has earned through a culinary career that’s now extended over two decades. “When they called me about the show I was really estatic,” Maye told the Tribune during a recent interview. “Winning was something special, but just getting the chance to be on national television, get some recognition for myself and Nashville, the experience was incredible.”
For anyone who missed the shows, they can be found on Maye’s instagram account. Her personal history is both remarkable and quite distinctive. She grew up in Repton, Alabama. Maye was raised in a large family and food played a key role in bringing everyone together. She later spent three and a half years in the Navy. Her last post was in San Diego, where she’d combine working during the day and cooking part-time at night. After that she credits a year-long program at the Culinary Institute as the place where she learned the basics. “They gave me the training that’s enabled me to reach the places where I am today,” Maye says.
She’s been in Tennessee for eight years, spending five in Clarksville, and the past three in Nashville. The place where’s she made her mark locally is Anzie Blue, 2111 Belcourt Avenue, Suite 101. Maye is the executive chef and co-owner there.
This past June was quite a busy month for her, in some ways a culmination of a 23-year journey. She released a new cookbook “A Star Among Us; A Chef’s Story,” which is now available on Amazon. In addition Maye, a proud member of the LGBTQ community, was part of a celebration at the National African American Music Museum and was also official food vendor for the Nashville Pride celebration. She has shared a portion of proceeds from her book with The Trevor Project, the world’s largest suicide prevention and crisis intervention organization for LGBTQ youth.
At Anzie Blue, Maye curates a few fun offerings every month, such as a drag brunch, gospel brunch, jazz brunch every weekend, and many other events.
She considers the cookbook an extension of herself and the recipes she creates at Anzie Blue. Maye also sees herself as a trailblazer and pioneer in a field that’s still very much male dominated. “I didn’t have a lot of models to look up to as I was learning the business and I definitely want to be an inspiration to the generations coming behind behind me,” Maye added.
For more information and dishes available on the menu visit anzieblue.com on their instagram and X (Twitter) pages. To view her recent television appearances or for more information on Chef Star Maye visit her various social media platforms (Facebook, X, Instagram, Tik Tok) at chefstarmaye.com