Dedication. Perseverance. Hard work. Driven by memories from his past and goals for his future, Chef Kevin Yarbrough’s passion for good food shines through.

As Senior Executive Chef for SEMO Dining, Kevin Yarbrough brings a rich history to the table. Having grown up on a farm in the Memphis area, home-cooked food—especially barbeque—has always been an important part of his life. 

But being a chef wasn’t always his dream. When he was younger, Chef Yarbrough’s plan was always to play football. After an injury prematurely ended his career, he turned back to his first passion: food. His years on the field still paid off, though, and he used the lessons in persistence and hard work that he learned from his coach to excel in the culinary world. 

Now, Chef Yarbrough’s dedication to his craft helps feed SEMO students every day. But he doesn’t want to stop there. His goal is to pass on his skills, and he’s striving to combine his passion for cooking with his love of sports, by being a “coach” in the kitchen. 

I get to coach my team and motivate my staff … so now it’s almost like I’m a football coach but in the kitchen.

Kevin Yarbrough, Senior Executive Chef, SEMO Dining