Award-Winning Chef Jesse Jones Brings His Nationally Acclaimed Southern Cuisine to HCCC Foundation Pop-Up Dining Fundraising Event

January 30, 2019

Former HCCC Culinary Arts Institute student to prepare five-course meal at February 8 event; proceeds to benefit HCCC students.


January 30, 2019, Jersey City, NJ – Chef Jesse Jones inherited his passion for cooking from family matriarchs and learned his technique at Hudson County Community College (HCCC).

The nationally acclaimed chef returns to HCCC for a pop-up dining event – a five-course fundraiser – featuring his signature “Southern cooking with a country French twist” and wine pairings. The event takes place at 7 p.m. on Friday, February 8, 2019 at the HCCC Culinary Conference Center located at 161 Newkirk Street in Jersey City. The cost is $75 per person. Proceeds will provide scholarships to deserving HCCC students. Reservations can be made by calling (201) 360 - 4006 or at the following link:

Jesse Jones has worked nationally and appeared in cooking competitions, demos, and fundraisers. His technique has been enjoyed by celebrities including John Legend, “Sunny” Hostin, Tyler Perry, and Michelle Williams, and has been featured on many television programs. Known for his charisma and natural storytelling talent, Chef Jesse is the author of POW! My Life in 40 Feasts, a memoir and cookbook.

Chef Jesse’s passion for cooking began with his mother Mildred Jones and grandmother Hannah Lewis Jones. Growing up in New Jersey, he spent his childhood summers in rural North Carolina where big house and field cooking demanded creativity. He honed his culinary vision using a cast-iron stove and any ingredients available to feed his inspiration in his grandmother’s kitchen. He later worked at ARAMARK, and eventually managed a staff of 60 at AT&T in Bedminster.

In addition to his culinary training at HCCC, Chef Jesse earned a business certificate from Katherine Gibbs School for Business Management. He perfected his French technique under top New Jersey chefs including Dennis Foy, David Drake, and Craig Shelton.

Entrepreneurship became the charismatic chef’s calling. In 2003, he opened Heart & Soul Restaurant in South Orange. Three years later, he closed the restaurant in order to focus on building his catering business, Chef Jesse Concepts. Described as approachable and familiar, yet bold and innovative, Chef Jesse’s cuisine is a rare treat not to be missed.

Established in 1997, the Hudson County Community College Foundation works to find and generate the funding that provides scholarships for students, seed money for new and innovative programs, stipends for faculty development, and capital to assist the College in its physical expansion. Over the years, the Foundation has awarded more than 2,000 scholarships totaling $2 million to deserving students. Additionally, students benefit each year from the hundreds of Book Vouchers and Knife Vouchers (for culinary students) supplied by the Foundation.