Darnell Ferguson, 28, never read comic books growing up. He’s making up for lost time with the opening of his new restaurant SuperChefs, which has the theme “food, faith and superheroes.”

Photos of superheroes fill the walls of the restaurant at 106 Fairfax Ave. in St. Matthews, and the menu, which includes breakfast, lunch and dinner, has a superhero theme with entrees like the Wolverine, the Batman and more.

“Super” wasn’t a big word in Ferguson’s world until he studied culinary arts at Sullivan University and was honored as a “Super Chef” to cook at the 2008 Olympic games.

For a long time, that title was his identity as he lived for the next best recipe, the next title, the best cooking website. He cooked in some of Louisville’s most prestigious restaurants, but success failed to fill his hunger for more in life.

Ferguson came to Southeast Christian Church by himself, grateful it was large enough to blend into the crowd. He sat alone in the Sanctuary for three months before taking the risk to sign up for a retreat for adults in their 20s. That’s where he forged friendships, joined a small group and ultimately decided to live for Christ. He tells his story simply, “I was lost, but now I’m found.”

Ferguson attends the Man Challenge Bible study at Southeast’s Blankenbaker Campus each Thursday morning. He partners with Scarlet Hope, an organization that ministers to women in the sex trade. He provides culinary training and teaches practical job skills to women trying to leave behind jobs in strip clubs and other sex-related businesses.

Though he’s fascinated with superheroes like Spiderman, Batman and Iron Man, Ferguson doesn’t see himself as one.

Children at Southeast’s missions partner, Cookson Hills children’s home in Oklahoma, might disagree. It’s where Ferguson goes on short-term mission trips to reach out to at-risk kids and share his story.

Southeast missions staff member Chad Blanchard said Ferguson draws a crowd at the children’s home.

“Those kids haven’t had a lot of role models,” Blanchard said. “Darnell came through a tough time and is living his dream. The kids there love him.”

Prior to the opening of the new restaurant location, Ferguson and his long-time friend Rodney White called together the staff for a meeting to discuss the philosophy of the restaurant. When asked what they thought the mission of the restaurant was, only one employee said serving food was the goal. The rest, Ferguson said, seemed to understand the real mission behind SuperChefs.

“Our main goal is serving Christ,” Ferguson said. “We serve and manage in a different way because of our faith.”