393: Becoming emotionally sound with Kyle Lee Mcknight


In this episode, we discuss how Chef Kyle Lee Mcknight got his start in the industry, why he does the work he does, when getting started- how cooking was a vehicle for travel, how cooking to make people change has changed his career, finding sobriety, how life changes once sobriety is found, being emotionally sound, developing emotional intelligence, how to deal with confrontation, training, culture, side hustling your passion, how to get a product to retail, growing and leveraging your network, and why buying food from friends is chef Mcknights mantra.

Chef Kyle McKnight got his start washing dishes for a par of Adidas. 25 years later he has made a name for himself as a premier chef in the south. He’s won multiple accolades for his work and has been invited to cook at the James Beard House. Today he’s the founder of Nena’s Meats and Provisions and serves as Executive Chef at Fullsteam Brewery.



Show notes…

Favorite Success Quote or Mantra.

“Face everything and run or face everything and remain.”


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Knowledge bombs

  1. Which “it factor” habit, trait, or characteristic you believe most contributes to your success?

    • Scrappy. Doing whatever it takes.
  2. What is your biggest weakness?

    • Emotions.
  3. What’s one question you ask or thing you look for during an interview?

    • Willingness.
    • Ask, Who is the most important person in the restaurant?
  4. What’s a current challenge? How are you dealing with it?

    • Dealing with personal issues in life.
    • be open and talking through it.
  5. Share one code of conduct or behavior you teach your team.

    • Be silly.
  6. What one uncommon standard of service you teach your staff.

    • Stand squarely to a table.
    • Standing off-centered can communicate to the table that you don’t want to be there.
  7. Share an online resource or tool.

    1. Google.
    2. Instagram.
  8. What’s one book we must read to become a better person or restaurant owner?

  9. What’s one piece of technology you’ve adopted in your restaurant and how has it influence operations?

    • Induction range.
    • Order man POS from Aloha.
  10. If you got the news that you’d be leaving this world tomorrow and all memories of you, your work, and your restaurants would be lost with your departure with the exception of 3 pieces of wisdom you could leave behind for the good of humanity, what would they be.

    1. show up is the hardest part.
    2. you only fail when you don’t try.
    3. People don’t.

Contact Info

Nena’s Meats & Provisions


Kyle Lee Mcknight



Thanks for Listening!

Thanks so much for joining today! Have some feedback you’d like to share? Leave a note in the comment section below!

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Huge thanks to Chef Kyle Lee McNight for joining me for another awesome episode. Until next time!


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