SALT LAKE CITY, Utah (ABC4 News) – A local chef is calling on Utahns to support black business owners – as they face the effects of COVID-19 and ongoing protests against police brutality and systemic racism.

“In the kitchen, I’m Roody 100 percent,” said Roody Salvator, the head chef and owner of Makaya Caters.

On Thursday, Salvator was cooking up a Haitian meal in his catering kitchen in Salt Lake City, and said cooking for people is his passion.

RELATED: Supporting black-owned businesses in Utah: Why it’s important for you to help

With the financial effects of COVID-19 and clashes over systemic racism – for people who want to help – Salvator encourages them to support local black business owners.

“Put your money where your mouth is,” Salvator said. “We really love the fact that you’re outside, out there with us, but us as black business owners, we need every support that we can get.”

Salvator said supporting local businesses who bring diversity to Salt Lake City creates jobs within the community for people of color – and opens the door for continued conversation about racial justice.

“In Haiti I didn’t feel black. I felt Haitian. I felt like a person,” Salvator said.

Growing up in Haiti for 21 years, Salvator said he felt proud of where he came from. But when he moved to the United States, he “felt very much like I [he] was black and that it meant something bad in some people’s eyes and I [he] felt belittled sometimes.”

In the kitchen, Salvator said he feels like himself as he shares his culture with locals and hopes more people will support businesses like his.

At this time, Makaya Caters does take-out or delivery orders.

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