Renowned Chef Turns Injury Into Impact, Bringing Culinary Accessibility To The Forefront


Photos by Leroy Mikell


Aug. 2 2023, Published 12:10 p.m. ET

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“Resilience,” is defined as the capacity to withstand or to recover quickly from difficulties. It’s the only word that came to mind as I sat across from Chef Lay Alston at her “Food and Friends” tasting, hosted by Samsung 837, in New York. 

For 30 uninterrupted minutes, I had the pleasure of interviewing Alston, owner and head chef of Soul & Wheel, a mobile Afro-Asian and Caribbean-inspired restaurant concept that also focuses on highlighting culinary-related accessibility issues and helping to create solutions.

We talked about her profound professional culinary journey, her remarkable recovery from a spinal cord injury, and her work as an accessibility advocate within the culinary space.

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By: Brittany Dandy

Brittany Dandy is an established producer, journalist and digital marketer who’s helped growing entrepreneurs and corporate giants like MTV, Google, Toyota tell mindful and profitable stories. The busy mom of two, is also the founder of Ode to Us Wellness, a unique resource hub for new moms and women considering motherhood. Offline, you can find her brunching around Brooklyn with her family, enjoying NYC's live music scene, or squeezing in a good workout.

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