Chef Naimah Rutling
Naimah grew up in North Philadelphia. Inspired by her father and uncle, Naimah spent most of her play time in the kitchen observing the men in her life cooking. At the age of nine, Naimah prepared her first six course meal for her family. In her teenage years Naimah would get paid for cooking for the people in her neighborhood. She was known as the young girl with an old soul.
After several years of working as a housekeeper, Naimah was offered a supervisor position which she declined in order to accept an entry-level kitchen position with the Restaurant P.S.F.S. under Executive Chef Tom Krieble. Thus began Naimah’s formal entry into the culinary world where she was able to hone her skills as a chef.
While searching for her niche in the culinary world, Naimah worked as a caterer at Festivities Catering in Roxborough, and as a line cook at Cresent City Restaurant.
It was not until she was given the opportunity to work for Wolfgang Puck Catering, that Naimah found her niche. Working closely with Chef Roshan Martin, Naimah begun to learn the skills of fine dining. Under the tutelage of Chef Martin she was able to master her craft, leading Naimah to supervising events with her own team. While working at Wolfgang Puck, Naimah enrolled in The Art Institute of Philadelphia where she earned a Food Science Degree. Shortly after Naimah was offered a position to become the banquet Chef at Xfinity Live in Philadelphia. It was at Xfinity Live that her passion for food exploded. Naimah was given creative liberty to create menus and oversee banquet events. It was during this time that she was promoted to the position as supervisor and creative culinary director of Broad Street Bullies Sports Bar. While in this position Naimah was able to create a menu that put Broad Street Bullies as the go to spot for a new flare on pub food.
After her time with Xfinity Live, Naimah moved on to become the kitchen manager at Outback Steakhouse. It was during this time that Naimah begun working with The LaRue Group. Her time with The LaRue Group has allowed Naimah to be a part of the Chef Series Experience, lead cooking classes, appear on The Fox 29 Good Morning Show, as well as being featured in an editorial piece in the Philadelphia Tribune.
All of the roads in Naimah’s culinary journey have led to her becoming the proud owner of her catering company, H.E.R. by Chef Nai, which specializes in catering public and private events, galas, parties, and cooking classes. It is Naimah’s dream to one day be the owner of a BYOB.
Naimah gives her mentor and very good friend Chef Peter DeAngelis a huge thank you for believing in her, and pushing her to be ambitious.