Age is not a restriction for Lahrul Muhammad. He is currently 22 years old and has been studying culinary arts for nine years.
Lahrul was born and raised in Bayview Hunters Point, San Francisco, CA, and he grew up in the Nation of Islam, where he learned to do for self under the guidance of the Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan.
His culinary journey began at age 13.
“My mother asked me to make her something to eat because she was ill. It was my first time ever cooking, so I was nervous. After 30 minutes, I made whiting fish with rice,” he wrote.
When his mother enjoyed the dish, he decided to learn how to be a master chef, which led him to open up his own business.
“I recently started a dessert catering business called Your Community S&P,” he wrote. The company makes organic, non-GMO desserts and delivers them locally and domestically.
Under the banner of Your Community S&P, he invented the bwinkie: a bean cake twinkie, which is the most popular item on the menu.
“The idea of the bwinkies came from when I received a book on how to cook/bake with navy beans. I saw a recipe on navy bean cake and experimented on it to make it better,” he wrote.
“It tasted amazing, so after a while of baking the bean cake, I wanted to make desserts that haven’t been heard of, so the idea of the bean cake twinkie popped in my mind, and I started to put it in effect.”
Outside of his business, Lahrul works at a five-star luxury hotel, The Fairmont Hotel. “I am the youngest full-time cook to work at this hotel,” he wrote. He praised Allah (God) for his accomplishment.
Four years ago, the young chef completed a program called “Primed and Prepped (P&P).” It was created by Kelly Armstrong, and it teaches young children the basics of culinary fundamentals and recipes. Armstrong’s first students were Lahrul and six other youth. Youth that complete the program receive a food handling certificate.
“Every year, P&P hosts an annual iron chef competition where chefs from different hotels compete to see who has the best food in San Francisco,” Lahrul wrote. He attends every year.
“I am the poster child for the program, which is good because I can give back to my community while teaching and motivating young children that cooking is fun, and also, to never give up on your dreams and goals,” he wrote.
For the 2018 competition, he was teamed up with The Fairmont Hotel. Two other hotels competed: The Marriott and Park and Rec.
“It was a tough competition due to the fact of missing ingredients and limited amount of time. However we didn’t quit; we finished our plates and won 2nd place in the competition,” Lahrul wrote.
He describes his concluding years of cooking and studying as an overall amazing journey. He recognizes that he still has a long way to go, and he hopes his story encourages young cooks to follow their dreams and to never give up.
“My ultimate goal in cooking/baking is to open up a café (Your Community Café), restaurant and start to make my business into a franchise. Also, I want to open up a Culinary Art School in our community to teach our people the fundamentals of cooking and baking,” he wrote.
He also wants to travel the world and study recipes in different countries to take back to his community.
He sees no limit to success.
“Achieve it while you’re young and continue to build for your family and your people,” he wrote. “May Allah (God) bless you all who’s reading this with success and happiness.”