Nevertheless, the dishes he creates gravitate away from those ordinary toward mouthwatering comfort food with a modern twist. Take for instance the smothered pork chops garnished in gravy with dessert apples, or his variation of peach cobbler with bourbon and fresh seasoned fruit (both of which were featured in BBC’s Olive Magazine, along with other classic southern dishes such as fried chicken and watermelon with frozen vodka), such recipes are sure to make one’s taste buds tingle at the very thought of their tantalizing taste. But his culinary experiments do not end there. He even takes a modern twist approach with traditional dishes and snack foods like the beloved movie favorite, buttery popcorn, by boiling butter and brown sugar together, and then mixing it into the late night snack. Or his “modern age pie,” a new take on dishes from his childhood with crispy tortillas instead of crust, vegetables, and one’s choice of flaked tuna, shrimp, breaded chicken or juicy skirt steak.

Soul food isn’t just about cooking; it’s a way of life, and Cowan plans to embody this idea in a work-in-progress cookbook, entitled Soul Voyage. The book, which he hopes to have published by the end of the year, will include more than just his recipes. He plans to throw details of his life into the novel to show that cooking isn’t just a hobby, but a voyage of sorts.

“Soul Voyage speaks of my journeys in life along with recipes. I try to be as creative and inventive as I can and have a good time doing it” he said. To give his fans a sample of what they might find on its pages, he recently posted a sample recipe on hisFacebook page: whole grain pancakes with blueberries inspired by his daughter, who, at the time, craved blueberry hotcakes.

Amongst his innumerable accomplishments, in 2010, Cowan proved himself and his soulful style of cooking to the viewers of the Food Network’s Chopped Champions, in which he was announced the first ever Chopped Grand Champion, winning the $50,000 grand prize, which he would later use to bring his family from England to the United States. Cowan sealed his win with a dark chocolate and tahini cake, embezzled with dragon fruit and champagne compote. After being announced the winner, he received another surprise — his daughter and wife were flown in from London by the executives of the show to surprise him. It was a vulnerable moment for Cowan, who was in awe of sharing his victory with his family, and began to cry as he held his daughter — even the judges cried.

“I was not expecting to see my daughter. When I saw her, I cried like a little girl,” he told the New York Post in an interview.

Adding to his list of television frequents, he has also been a guest judge on Extreme Chef, a television show in which the limits of chefs are pushed by physically and mentally stimulating challenges, and has even tried his hand at extreme cooking by throwing together curried kale and sweet corn chowder while blindfolded on WPIX 11 to promote the show. For his next television appearance, he will be participating in the April 15 screening of Iron Chef America, once again displaying his ever growing competitive streak with his race against the clock and his challenger, Chef Jose Garces.

Yet Cowan doesn’t approach competition in the same way as others. He appreciates every opportunity and treats each competition as a measure of his own skills, instead of comparing himself to his contenders.

“Time was probably the most difficult factor when doing Chopped Champions. I got on quite well with everyone, competition doesn’t necessarily equate to dislike or ill feelings as some may to think. For me the clock was the main opponent,” he said reminiscing his time on past shows.

Apart from the shows he has done, Cowan also started Madison Cowan, LLC, a culinary production company whose main goal is global catering; operating out of New York, Avenue Inc. hosts the most prestigious and exclusive dining events on both a national and international scale.

Needless to say, due to his television appearances and decadent dishes, Cowan has become a huge success with an even larger fan base, of which he believes that his “fans” should be referred to as “supporters.” No matter what his supporters are referred to as, there are definitely a lot of them. Not only does Cowan have over one thousand followers on Twitter, there is also a Facebook page entitled, “Food Network: Please Give Chef Madison Cowan His Own Show.”

“They could easily support someone else instead, I’m very thankful,” he said, going on to mention that, while he is busy with No Kitchen Required, he is also working on “other projects and vehicles for [himself].”

As for those who want to become personal chefs, Cowan says to make sure it’s what you want to do.

“For me, cooking has to be personal. It has to mean that much. If someone were to do it for free, and find it just as rewarding, then I believe they’re in the proper business. Don’t do it for fame or recognition, you’ll be thoroughly disappointed,” he said.

Tune-in for all-new episodes of “No Kitchen Required” on Tuesdays at 10/9c on BBC America.

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