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Chef Hoppie Talks Working With Dallas Mavericks JaVale McGee And Jaden Hardy

Photo Credit Eleazar Perez

Manwell McLean, better known as Chef Hoppie, has always been passionate about food. His love of cooking started with his mother, who showed him the power of food in bringing people together. Now, at just 25 years old, Chef Hoppie is one of the most sought-after chefs in Dallas, Texas. His clients include several pro athletes, including members of the Dallas Cowboys and Dallas Mavericks.

Dak Prescott, Zeke Elliott, and CeeDee Lamb are just a few of the players who seek out Chef Hoppie’s home cooking. He cooks for them several times a week, as well as catering for other events. Hoppie recently began working with three-time NBA champion and Dallas Mavericks center JaVale McGee and rookie Jaden Hardy.

Speaking of McGee and Hardy, they both recently spoke about working with Chef Hoppie.

“I just hired him, so we are just starting to get the plan together. So, it really for me to start eating better and get my body right, and eating cleaner,” said Hardy.

“It took sometime for us to figure out a normal routine because I’m vegan, but once we were able to things rolling, things have been great, “said McGee.

“It’s not the difficulty of vegan eaters, it the difficulty of each person’s needs or wants with the food. Everybody can be vegan, but every doesn’t like it seasoned the same way, the same amount of spice, long a certain item is cooked. So, it really is more about figuring out the person likes in terms to specific items.”

When asked why he decided to work with Hoppie, Hardy shared that Chef Hoppie worked with what he was trying to do as an athlete and their goals aligned with his budget.

As for Chef Hoppie, when he is in the kitchen cook up meals for his clients like Chef Curry is cooking up NBA defenses. He focuses on,” Ensure that they are satisfied, having a good time, and enjoying the food, but also they are getting the benefits from the food that is needed at the time,” he shared.

The chef to the stars even broke down the difference between working with a rookie such as Jaden Hardy and a season veteran like JaVale McGee.

“For Jaden, he’s a rookie so, he doesn’t fully know how things go just yet, where as JaVale, who has been in the league ten plus years , and he has been with four or five different chefs because of the teams that he has been on,” Hoppie said.

“So, just really understanding what time they are comfortable with and the times that they normally eat dinner, or they eat lunch, or do they even eat that day, and are their game day meals different from their everyday meals. So, there is a lot that goes into it.”

When asked what is he looking moving forward, Chef Hoppie revealed that he is looking for another him.

“There’s not enough of me to go around. For example, let’s say I’m in peak season when it comes to football and basketball season, we are talking about five or six clients in one day. So, there’s not too much room to added another client or more people on the roster.”

Hoppie finished the interview by sharing with, that he recently hired his best friend as his sous chef to help him move fluently and efficiently throughout clients.

What do you think?

Written by Landon Buford

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