Classically trained with over 30 years of experience as a seasoned executive chef, 191 was Jesse's first outing as a proprietor/chef. For the past two years he's worked tirelessly on the line of his kitchen until March 2020, at which point he had to re-imagine himself.
"We're hosting Pop Ups through Kitch and it's proven to be a better situation for us since it's not profitable for us to be open. We're trying to at least cover our rent because we did not, nor are we getting an abatement from our landlord and we didn't receive any SBA help.
Rona and I have to seek work opportunities outside of 191." - JD
Jesse is available on a consultant basis for menu and kitchen development. Jesse is also a house music dj and movie buff.
With over 15 years of experience as a waitress and bartender during and after college and in between a few roles in administration, Rona entered the kitchen at 191 upon opening and became a prep and line cook. Working under the supervision of Jesse she became a skilled cook and is working on her own holistic approach to food and returning to her roots of Guyanese home-style cooking.
"The first two years of being a small business owner was extremely taxing. We didn't have a budget for a prep/line cook. That's how I ended up in the kitchen. I had to wear so many hats that owning a restaurant was turning out to be an absolute nightmare for me. We were just starting to do really well right before COVID and people were showering us with compliments and love. Jesse is a genius in the kitchen and I was really happy that 191 was coming together, it was beginning to feel stable. But we're not the only ones hurting right now and I do have faith we'll find our way somehow." - RD
Rona also studied creative non-fiction writing at Columbia University. She is a non-fiction writer.
Read more of the 191 story at www.thisbushwicklife.com/notesonabrooklynstreet