Kent Rollins is a popular chuckwagon and cowboy cook and YouTuber.
He has more than 2 million subscribers on his YouTube channel by the name Cowboy Kent Rollins.
Kent is also an author and entrepreneur and was a television actor, storyteller and poet.
Kent Rollins was born on 8 September 1957 into an extremely poor family in Hollis, Oklahoma, United States.
He grew up on the banks of the Red River near Hollis helping his father manage cow and calf operations and taking care of the herd.
His mother’s name is Wash Rollins and his father’s name is Joy Rollins.
Kent has an elder brother, Randy and a sister, Cindy Rollins.
Kent did his schooling from Hollis High School in Hollis, Oklahoma.
And then, he studied at Oklahoma State University.
Love for cooking-
Kent grew up by watching his mother cook by standing on a stool in the kitchen and at a young age, he fell in love with cooking.
At 8, his mother made him cook a chocolate cake and this consolidated his love for cooking.
Even though Kent liked cooking, he disliked washing dishes.
His mother inspired him to cook with his hands because she believed that hands are an extension of the heart.
Apart from his mother, his aunt, grandmother, neighbours and some ranch cooks inspired Kent to cook.
Riding bulls & cooking for hunters-
Kent grew up as a cowboy and worked on a few ranches and he rodeoed for 20 years.
He rode bulls and made a good living out of it but at 37, he quit because the ground became very hard and he found it difficult to ride bulls on it.
Previously, in the early 1980s, Kent worked as a cook for his uncle, Harry Newton Van Osdel Jr. in the Gila Wilderness of New Mexico.
He used to cook elk, mule deer, etc. in high altitudes (between 7000 foot-12,000-foot elevations) for the hunters on behalf of his uncle who was a garden outfitter and during that time, he didn’t have a chuckwagon, so, he used to pack cooking items on mules.
Becoming a ranch cook-
In the early 1990s, Kent planned to buy a chuckwagon for himself and become a ranch cook.
So, he put the word out that he is available to work as a ranch cook and passed it by word of mouth and as the cowboy circle was very good, he shortly got hired as a ranch cook in 1993 in Silverbrook Ranches in Abilene.
So, Kent bought an 1876 Studebaker chuckwagon and began working as a ranch cook and he also did catering, he used to drive hundreds of miles to feed hundreds of people.
Life as a cowboy cook-
Kent was offered a cowboy condominium which was a 7×7 canvas teepee.
He used to wake up at around 3 a.m. and start his day by making sourdough biscuits or buttermilk biscuits and coffee on his old firewood stove, bertha.
And Kent used to feed the cowboys between 4.30 a.m. to 5.30 a.m.
Meanwhile, he used to prepare breakfast consisting of sausages and cackleberries.
After the cowboys have left for work, Kent would start washing dishes and preparing for lunch.
For lunch, he used to usually prepare baked bean casseroles and desserts.
Then, Kent used to prepare and serve supper at around 6.30 p.m. to the cowboys.
For supper, he used to usually prepare 16 Oz. Bone-in Ribeye with sparklin’ taters, hominy and green chile casserole, a double decker red velvet cake and some homemade sourdough biscuits.
Kent would call it a day at around 8-8.30 p.m. and go to bed.
He used to earn $40 per day which is double than what the cowboys used to earn.
From a young age, Kent wanted to grow up to become a cook and while cooking for cowboys, he found that his passion lay in cooking on ranches.
He has been working as a chuckwagon cook for more than 30 years and even though he became a successful YouTuber, he didn’t stop cooking for ranches as he doesn’t want to forget his roots.
Kent used to experiment new recipes on the cowboys as he knew that cowboys can’t complain about food according to the cowboy code.
In 1996, he was proclaimed as the Official Chuck Wagon of Oklahoma by the governor of Oklahoma.
Kent also earned the title of Best Cowboy Humorist and Storyteller of the Year by the Academy of Western Artists.
A dentist, psychologist & doctor-
Even though Kent’s job as a chuckwagon cook was to cook for the cowboys, depending on the situation, he used to occasionally serve as a barber, doctor, dentist and psychologist to the cowboys.
The 347 pounds Bertha-
For many years, Kent cooked in the holes in the ground on ranches and strong winds used to make his job difficult and used to also contaminate the food with dust.
These cooking woes ended when he bought an old wood stove, Bertha and it weighs 347 pounds.
The metal of Bertha helps in retaining heat.
Kent appeared on numerous TV shows as follows-
- Throwdown! with Bobby Flay
- Chopped Grill Masters (he was the runner-up in this show)
- Chopped Redemption
- Cutthroat Kitchen
- Food Fighters
- Beat Bobby Flay
- Kids BBQ Championship.
Kent also appeared on CBS Sunday Morning.
Starting a blog & a YouTube channel-
Later, his wife, Shannon Keller Rollins helped him start his YouTube channel by the name Cowboy Kent Rollins on 17 July 2009.
As of September 2022, Kent has 2.13M subscribers on his YouTube channel and has 125K followers on Instagram and 286K followers on his Facebook page.
He earns through a variety of sources like advertisements on his YouTube videos, selling merchandise, affiliate marketing, receiving sponsorships and he also accepts donations through Patreon.
Kent also has Cowboy Kent Rollins’ Cowboy Coffee Shop in Wellington; Texas and he also hosts cooking classes in his Chuck Wagon Cooking Schools.
Kent published a couple of books, namely-
Kent was invited to do an entertaining and cooking workshop in a cowboy poetry gathering in Nevada and here, he met Shannon Keller Rollins.
Later, he invited her to his cooking school and they were friends for about 8 years and then, they got married in 2011.
Shannon helped Kent build a website and start his YouTube channel.
She also helps him as a videographer, photographer, writer, director and producer.
They live in Hollis, Oklahoma.
As per his From the Chuck Wagon blog, Kent was previously married to Donna and they had a son, Jeffery.
So, how are you inspired by the success story of Kent Rollins?
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Also read- The Inspiring Story of Jon Townsend