Ismail Muhammad, a 21-year-old professional boxer from Philadelphia, spends most of his time outside of boxing in the kitchen of Essie’s Steaks, the eatery on Crittendon Street in East Germantown that he owns, writes Matt Breen for The Philadelphia Inquirer.
Muhammad, who recently won his first two professional fights, has owned Essie’s Steaks for the last four years. His goal is to master both boxing and cheesesteaks, the two things that are among the city’s greatest exports.
“I don’t want to say I didn’t have a choice but boxing was one of the first things I knew,” said Muhammad. “And my dad always had a restaurant growing up.”
The Chef, as he is nicknamed, sees cooking as a way of life, and he feels the same about boxing. In March, he debuted as a professional boxer after a successful amateur career. He fights with the logo of his restaurant stitched on his trunks and has no intention of choosing between the two.
“The more you box, the better you get at it,” said Muhammad. “The more you cook, the more things you find to cook, and the better you’ll get at it. I’m just having fun.”
Read more about Ismail Muhammad in The Philadelphia Inquirer.