Inspired by a strong lineage, Jesse Jones is a classically trained chef and author renowned for his modern approach to southern cuisine. A native of Newark, New Jersey, Chef Jesse's culinary DNA was developed during childhood summers in Snow Hill, North Carolina where his grandmother's cast iron stove was the source of many memorable food experiences. Today, he continues to be influenced by her legacy, bridging past and present through interpreting classic southern dishes with French techniques.
Whether catering private events, entertaining television audiences or competing in regional cook-offs, Chef Jesse always brings the flavor. His catering company, Chef Jesse Concepts, has served celebrity clientele including Whoopi Goldberg, Sunny Hostin, Tyler Perry, John Legend, and more. He has appeared on abc7NY, PIX11, and other media outlets to share recipes from his cookbook and memoir, POW! My Life in 40 Feasts. In 2014, Chef Jesse was named a Top Chef by Inside Jersey. In 2010, he won the title of Ultimate Chef of Bergen County, New Jersey.
Chef Jesse began his career at Aramark where he climbed the ranks from dishwasher to sous chef. He later became executive chef at AT&T, managing a staff of 60. He then transitioned to restaurants, working in professional kitchens with top Master Chefs in the New Jersey area. During this time, Chef Jesse was classically trained at Hudson County Community College's Culinary Arts Institute. He also received a business certificate from the Katharine Gibbs School. Building upon his education and experience, Chef Jesse formerly owned Heart & Soul Restaurant in South Orange, New Jersey. He has also hosted “Chef Jesse Live” cooking demonstrations at Bloomingdales, Savory Spice Shop, and private parties.
Chef Jesse actively engages the Northern New Jersey community through donating his time and services. He has participated in events and fundraisers supporting Newark Institute of Culinary Education, HealthCorps, Project Self Sufficiency, St. Peter's Orphanage, Les Marmitons, and the American Cancer Society.
Chef Jesse resides in Maplewood, New Jersey with his wife of over 30 years, Annette. They have two sons, Tristan and Jesse.