HAMPTON, Va. (WAVY) — A Hampton man battled addiction for years, landing him behind bars multiple times, but he vowed to make a change to improve his life and the lives of those around him.

Delvin Moore always had a love for cooking, but he never saw it as more than just a passion. It took him years before he turned his passion into a career, years of him battling alcohol addiction and time in jail.

“There’s no way to be successful behind bars,” Moore said.

It’s a lesson he learned the hard way. 

“I was going back a year here, 18 months there, 6 months I would get out, be home for about 6 months and get locked back up,” he said.

Before his last arrest, he enrolled in a culinary training program at the Virginia Peninsula Foodbank and swore he would change his life once he got out of jail.

His first step toward doing that was to stop drinking, cold turkey.

“Once I decided I stopped drinking alcohol, everything fell into place for me. My entire life changed,” said Moore. “With women, money problems, no more jail of course.”

He started working in different restaurants after he got out. Moore loved cooking but started to second guess working as a chef, until he got a job doing large scale catering at the Virginia Beach Convention Center.

His life, however, was hit with more changes.

“We did one big event and three days later, COVID happened,” he said. “So, I went home, and I started cooking at home.”

Quarantine didn’t stop him from cooking or believing he could cater events on his own.

So that’s exactly what he did. He created his own business, Savor of Elegance, as a personal chef and caterer. Since he started, business has taken off.

“I like the versatility of the things that I can make and I just like to see the smiles on people’s faces when they eat my food and they actually just love it,” he said.

But Moore’s dedication isn’t just to his new business or cooking — he’s also giving back to the community as much as he can.

“I took away from the community for so long,” he said. “When I got the opportunity to give back, that’s just what I wanted to do.”

Chef Delvin will be 8 years sober in April and this month he held his fifth annual Christmas toy drive in Hampton.

He also made meals for the Hampton Sheriff’s Office, the same people who locked him up years prior.

Moore says it’s all about being a good role model for the kids in the community, something he didn’t have growing up.

“Did I have people that I wanted to be like? Yeah, they were drug dealers. […] I saw those guys with the nice cars and jewelry,” he said. “Those guys didn’t come back and give back to the community, host toy drives, and things of that nature. So I wanted to make a change in my community.”

Outside of the kitchen, he’s even training to be on American Ninja Warrior. Between cooking, training, and giving back, Moore says it’s never too late to make a positive change.

“It’s never too late to get back up. The only time it’s too late is either if you’re dead, or you’re locked up. Other than that, it’s never too late to get back up and to pursue your dreams.”

Chef Delvin is also organizing more community events in the new year. Reach out to him via his email savorofelegance@gmail.com or his business number 757-790-6722 if you’d like to help.