Starting a restaurant in today’s economic environment tends to be a bit of a leap of faith and Chefs on the Run in Homestead, Florida is no different. We have a weekly paper and I often contribute human interest articles and restaurant write-ups. Those two are not as disparate as they may seem because really, small businesses are often based in very human stories.
Chefs on the Run opened not long ago, an emphasis on take-out, but with a charmingly decorated dining room that holds about seven tables. The young Chef Jodrick and his family are from Puerto Rico and his culinary background includes work in Orlando, Coral Gables, Coconut Grove; locations where he honed his skills. Although he began as a dishwasher and was actually drawn to cooking because he liked fire, his willingness to work any station, to learn all that he could about food was part of why he rose within one of the restaurants where he worked, and was poised for the type of position that could truly launch him as a professional chef. He and his wife, Jessica, learned that their young son was autistic. It was a clear choice; professional chefs do not hold 40-hour a week jobs. Their son’s condition was such that if his parents were able to spend extra time and participate actively in therapy, then he might well be able to function at a higher level than otherwise. Chef Jodrick didn’t hesitate – his wife and child needed him; needed him then, not years down the road. He shifted into a different type of culinary endeavor, to include developing recipes, that enabled him to spend significantly more time at home. After a few years, the increased therapy seemed to be effective and the opportunity to buy a small restaurant in a less than perfect location came open.
It was not the dream scenario they had envisioned, but it was a chance to pursue the dream. Chef Jodrick, his wife Jessica, his brothers Eric and Emil, and even his mother-in-law, Estrada, are all part of the business. The food is excellant by the way, an assorted cuisine that includes Puerto Rican favorites such as mofongo, balanced by Atlantic salmon with honey-miso glaze, and other delicious dishes. They also provide catering and have plans to build on their success if things go well.
Theirs is a story of faith, family, and drive bound together by strong relationships. I will keep you posted as to how they do.