Fresh Basil Vinaigrette

makes 2 cups

1 ½ cups extra-virgin olive oil

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½ teaspoon Dijon mustard

1 small shallots

½ cup red wine vinegar

1 tablespoon chopped fresh basil

½ tablespoon Fresh Thyme

½ teaspoon crushed red pepper

1 teaspoon brown sugar

½ teaspoon kosher salt

½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

In a blender, combine all of the ingredients, blend well. 

Chef Jesse Jones is truly passionate about his art.  From the moment he first stepped foot into his mother’s kitchen, he knew that cooking was what he was destined to do.  Coming from a lineage of exceptional cooks, Chef Jesse has undoubtedly inherited the true culinary vision of Southern and Country French cuisine.  Under the tutelage of his mother, Mrs. Mildred Jones and his grandmother, Mrs. Hannah Jones, he started honing his skills as a chef at a very young age. 

Chef Jesse grew up in a small country town in Snow Hill, North Carolina.  However, at the age of 14 he returned to his birthplace of Newark, New Jersey where he formally began his journey towards becoming a chef.  With the help of his mother, he was able to get his first job working as an assistant to the Chefs of ARA Services.  During his 15 years with the company, he worked his way up to becoming a director of food services. 

Soon after, Chef Jesse decided to pursue higher training.  While attending the Katherine Gibbs School for Business Management, he also worked at Dennis Foy’s Town Square, in Chatham, New Jersey where he was trained by the Master Chef, Dennis Foy.  In July 1999, he completed his courses and obtained an Associate in Business.  

During the next seven years, Chef Jesse further honed his skills in Contemporary Southern and French Cooking. He worked in several restaurants including a small stint with Master Chef David Drake at Stage House Inn in Scotch Plains, New Jersey and Le Jardin in Maplewood, New Jersey.  In October 2003, with the support of his family and under the mentorship of Chef Dennis Foy, Chef Jesse realized his lifelong dream by opening up his own restaurant, Heart and Soul Restaurant Catering.  In June of 2006, he shut down his restaurant to focus on his catering services business which continues to thrive.

Chef Jesse just became the Ultimate Chef of Bergen County 2010 and now looking to start his own cooking show “Cooking with Chef Jesse Live.”