The fourth season of Selena Gomez’s cooking show Selena + Chef, set to premiere on HBO Max, will feature a guest appearance from acclaimed chef DeVonn Francis. On Thursday, August 18, 2022, three episodes of the popular cooking show will start. Experienced chefs arrive on-site via video call and guide the host through a variety of fun, summer-themed dishes.
First-generation queer Jamaican-American artist DeVonn Francis founded Yardy in 2017 to explore different facets of his ethnicity and culture. To open his studio and spread the value of food and culture, the artist combined his two interests of painting and cooking. Yardy’s employees threw Caribbean-themed dinner parties to honor their origins.
There will be a total of 10 episodes in Season 4 of Selena + Chef, with three additional episodes premiering August 25 and the final four episodes airing September 1.
With each episode focusing on a different charity, Deadline says season two will be “set in a beach house where Selena will continue to discover the joys of cooking with All-Star Chefs.”
DeVonn Francis fell in love with food at a young age
DeVonn was a shy kid growing up. He didn’t have the same passion for sports as his brother, preferring to hang out at home with his mother. They would both spend their days cooking. After his father retired from the Navy, he opened a restaurant in Norfolk, Virginia, drawing inspiration from his childhood in Jamaica.
He despised being the kid who showed up at his middle school cafeteria with oxtails in his lunch box, growing up in Virginia as the son of Jamaican immigrants. He only became interested in local Jamaican ingredients and dishes as a teenager after working in his father’s shop and watching Food Network with his mother.
DeVonn moved to New York City in 2011 to enroll in the Copper Union’s arts program while also working in restaurants. At Estela he got his first job in the restaurant, but soon realized that he couldn’t reconcile it with his schedule. He then began serving customers in the restaurant and developed a close relationship with the chef, owners and managers.
The chef discovered that creativity and cuisine go hand in hand when he accompanied the employees to the market every morning to talk about the ingredients. Shortly after leaving Estela, he embarked on a culinary journey around the UK with a friend.
To understand the impact of food production, they traveled to Scotland, England and Wales, starting at the local business level, cooking on farms and over open fires.
Upon returning from the UK in the summer of 2017, DeVonn came up with the idea for Yardy, which he launched in 2018. In doing so, he absorbed his family’s traditions, values and heritage and hosted salons in a variety of locations including Williamsburg, Saipua and Lee’s in Chinatown.
He told MYKITA about his studio and said:
“It was important to me that the Yardy salons felt more like home, and that world coincided with my mom and dad working their way up into a living room. The term “home” and the idea of not institutionalizing the experience but making it permeable were important to me.”
After the epidemic, DaVonn began selling takeout outside of SoHo’s Smile to Go coffee shop and made his YouTube hosting debut on Bon Appétit’s popular Test Kitchen channel.
Adrienne Cheatham, Rachael Ray, Gordon Ramsay, Kristen Kish, Ludo Lefebvre, Matty Matheson, Nick DiGiovanni, Paola Velez and Priya Krishna are just a few of the well-known chefs who will be appearing at Selena + Chef.
Don’t forget to check out Selena + Chef, a brand new season premiering this Thursday on HBO Max.