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Trojans in Business: LaJuan Ramsey

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Ramsey-Chef.JPGName: LaJuan Ramsey

Resume: Sous Chef at Morel's French Steakhouse & Bistro

Sport at USC: Football


How did you transition from the NFL to a career in cooking?


After the 2009-2010 NFL season, I came back to California for the offseason to train and relax. Before I was supposed to report back to St. Louis for OTA's and the offseason program, I got a call from the team's management and was released. A year went by without any offers from NFL teams, so I started thinking about a second career. During the process of thinking about what to do next, I realized that I was pretty good at cooking and I enjoyed it a lot, so I decided to make a career of it. A restaurant down in Orange County gave me an opportunity to kind of intern for them and it was cool, so I enrolled in Le Cordon Bleu.

Did you a cook a lot while you were playing?

I cooked a lot when I was in the NFL. I would cook for my friends, family members and teammates. I would have dinner parties, BBQ's, potlucks and Thanksgiving dinners at my place. Back then, I knew I liked cooking, but I never thought of it as a career.

RAMSEY,LaJuan KL AR 05.jpgWhat is your specialty?

I am classically trained in French cuisine, however, I dibble and dabble in everything from American Southern to Japanese and Indian. I haven't really settled down with one cuisine right now. I like to tell people that, "I'm not married to one cuisine right now. I'm just dating them all."

What's your nickname in the kitchen?

At my old restaurant, they used to call me Shaq (because they said I look like him) or Ram for Ramsey or gigante (giant in Spanish) because I was the biggest in the kitchen.

What's next?

I am getting ready to launch my own catering company Rabbits and Roosters this July.  We plan on providing some more innovative dishes for catering events such as weddings, parties, company gatherings, etc. rather than the traditional outdated grub. We're also looking forward to working with the Trojan Football Alumni Club this fall, catering all the football home game tailgate parties.

2 Comments

I really appreciate you including Trojans on the blog who have businesses we can support. The restaurant menu looks delicious. We'll be going there soon. Fight on!

Thank you for sharing this information. It is so great to see student athletes who made it to the NFL and after finishing their career there, have started new ones we can support. Awesome!! Makes me a proud USC supporter. And Twila, I think I will join you!

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