Cable commentator. Professional coach. Industry analyst. These are all positions you might imagine a professional football player holding once his career was over.
Tobias Dorzon, a two-year veteran of the NFL and Canadian Football League, decided to take a different tack. When the 33-year-old set aside his cleats, he took up the tools of the culinary trade instead.
“Cooking was something I always loved,” he told CNBC. “But it wasn’t until I ventured off and stopped playing that I realized I loved it more than football.”
It wasn’t an easy transition for Dorzon, though. He scrambled between various restaurant jobs and studying at the Art Institute of Washington, trying to find his niche.
During that time, he hit upon an idea: Why not use Instagram as a marketing tool to get his name out there?
“I post a lot on my page because I work hard on my craft and on how my food looks,” he explained. “I usually tag a foodie, and (my followers) would tag other people under my pics.”
His social-media outreach worked, and pictures of his beautiful food soon went viral.
In fact, they caught the eye of Washington Redskin Santana Moss, and he invited Dorzon to start cooking for his family.
Not long after that, he became the Redskins’ coach and even began serving meals to movie star Kevin Hart.
He credits his success to preferring a melange of herbs and spices that get “you right in the back of your neck.”
Of course, there’s more to it than that. Dorzon’s father was a Liberian chef, and the former footballer has trained with the likes of Emeril Lagasse.
Dorzon hasn’t stopped at cooking for famous clients. He also has a food truck (appropriately named Victory Truck) that hit the streets of his home of Washington, D.C. in the beginning of 2018. It was a rip-roaring success.
“The first night we went out we had 300 people waiting outside for food,” he said. “We made about $4,500 in three hours.”
Dorzon is simultaneously stunned and thankful for his success, and said, “It took my dad 10 to 15 years into his career before he started making six figures. I did that in my second year as a private chef.”
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