In the category of people who chucked a career in high finance for one in food prep, there is Sharone Hakman.

The 34-year-old Los Angeles native and chef in residence on FYI’s Wednesday dinner party series “Kocktails With Khloe” was a financial planner at the end of the last decade when the meltdown of 2008-09 hit. Whatever passion he had left for his work was wiped out just like so many portfolios.

“I just had no love for the banks and financial institutions I spent my life working for and with and was recommending to my clients. So I could not get behind it anymore,” the self-taught chef tells Zap2it. “And food was something that I always loved to do. It was something that I was always very passionate about. It was just so pure and simple in its way. It’s just good food. If you make good food, you’re going to put a smile on someone’s face and there’s something beautiful about it and there’s something just magical about food putting people together and making people happy.”

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Which is exactly what he’s doing these days on “Khloe.” As the chef on the hourlong series, he’s charged with designing and preparing the food and drink that in turn fuels much of the candid conversation among host Khloe Kardashian, her guests and at times Hakman himself. But while all guests are driven to the show’s Los Angeles set, Hakman reports that some are nonetheless leery of taking a drink while the cameras roll.

“At first, they’re quite reluctant,” he says, “and sort of perplexed by the fact that there is actually a real cocktail in front of them and they’re encouraged to drink it and have a good time. And so it’s always really funny to me because we’re a few episodes in and I see their immediate reactions. At first it’s like, ‘I don’t know if I really want to be doing this.’ And then 20 minutes later, they’ve had a couple and they’re having a great time and they’re like, ‘Oh s…, this is great!’ And that’s exactly what I signed up for.”

Posted by:George Dickie