South Jersey hot chefs was born out of a simple conviction; that life and business is done better together.
One of out greatest achievements is the fact that our bi-annual festivals partner together with our local restaurants to bring you locally sourced produce across our entire city.
In the age of big business and the digital revolution it’s so easy to pass by every local place in our cities. We spend less and less involvement in our communities because we feel like we just don’t have the time.
Living in a fast food nation seems easier, but the truth is, we have forgotten how much that hurts our local businesses which includes our family and friends.
Fast and easy has made us lose the character of our American cities and the commitment to great artisan products.
If you’ve ever visited South Jersey and any of our restaurants, one thing is instantly made clear through a simple conversation; we love our city and we love what we do.
This holiday season as you race for last minute christmas gifts and dinner reservations we wanted to highlight a great documentary series that just might make you rethink where you shop, and most certainly where you eat.
In the TV series Part’s Unknown, Anthony Bourdain travels to different cities across the world and highlights the food and cultures that inhabit each unique place he visits.
In season 2, Anthony visits Detroit, Michigan, which at one point was the epicenter of American Industrialization and modern culture. If it was important to the world, it most certainly came out of Detroit.
When American corporations started to move jobs out of the United States, one of the first things to go was the automative industry which employed hundreds of thousands of people, and a good portion of those jobs were in Detroit.
What started to happen slowly, was the breakdown of the city. First went the jobs, then people moved out, then local stores eventually left or closed down. People lost their homes, and their culture, and subsequently, their communities.
Everything in Detroit seemed to get eroded by big corporations leaving and local communities not having the resources or the energy to fight back.
When Anthony Bourdain visited Detroit it was in 2013. What he saw looked more like a burned down Rome and less like a bustling city that not too long ago changed the world.
The beauty in this documentary was the insurgence of people moving back to Detroit and focusing on food. Anthony went on to visit local restaurants, and locally owned farms that were starting to supply grocery stores and all of the restaurants with their produce.
Their uphill battle will never be easy, but for a city that lost everything, so many people are moving back home to help bring their community back to life.
It’s a small start for a city marked by so much ruin, but it’s a great reminder for what happens when we forget our local communities. It’s so easy to lose sight of the cities that have raised us, the roads we have grown up own, and the farms that fed us.
While we would love you to visit all of our member restaurants at SJ Hot Chefs, we could love even more for you to care about the communities you live in.
It takes hard work and dedication for all of our restaurants to succeed, and the reason they do is because the owners, chefs, hostess’s and servers love their city and their families.
It seems like their might be a Detroit of the future, but it will never be one supplied by big corporations that have lost what it means to support their local communities. The Detroit of the future will be one that is built on the backs of men and women that have never lost sight of their community, because whether it’s farming, restaurants, or local grocery stores, our communities are better together when we invest in them with our lives.
We encourage you to check out Anthony Bourdain’s episode on Detroit with your family and friends, and we hope it impacts you enough to see the beauty in shopping local, eating local and living local.
We all have a chance at making the world a better place, and at SJ Hot Chefs, we are so proud to start by serving our city with the finest local food, made by the finest local people.
From all of our restaurant families to all of yours, we wish you a very happy holiday season and we hope to see you at all of our restaurants soon, we promise you, you won’t be disappointed.