A private dinner club will introduce fine dining and ambiance to foodies around the borough.
Chef Jose DeJesus, a Morris Park resident known as the ‘Thrill Cooker’, is the founder of Breaking Bread, a pop-up dinner club that he first created in his Pierce Avenue home about five years ago, with the grassroots enterprise steadily growing.
Now, many of the pop-up dinners which are surprises to the attendees in terms of menu, are now hosted at Mottley Kitchen in Mott Haven and other locations around the borough, said DeJesus.
DeJesus, who grew up in Longwood, is also about to appear in the 18th season of Fox’s Hell’s Kitchen’s reality cooking competition television show with celebrity chef Gordon Ramsay.
“You are put into the position where you have to think on your toes,” said DeJesus about the show, adding that while it is about cooking it is also about different personalities.
DeJesus said he will appear on the show on Friday, September 28. He will create one of his signature dishes, know as ‘Everything Under the Sun’.
The dish includes seared scallops with sunchoke, tostone, honeycomb, shoots and sunflower seeds.
This dish is one of about a dozen signature dishes DeJesus told the Bronx Times he preparers for his dinners at Breaking Bread.
The chef prepares the dishes like he is in his own kitchen at home, with guests watching as he labors over his savory delights, he said.
“One my concepts is how can we take away all of the walls and make it just like home where you go into the kitchen in your house,” he said, adding that he welcomes interaction with dinners as he is cooking.
The dinner parties have the run of Mottley Kitchen on Sundays and Mondays when the restaurant is closed, and the location is especially suitable to Breaking Bread because there is a beautiful marble table across from a cooking area that isn’t enclosed, he said.
The chef has also held his pop-up events at Mott Haven Bar and Grill, Gun Hill Brewery, and at Bronx Brewery, where he did a seven-course meal for 45 guests.
DeJesus said he is always looking to collaborate with eateries and foodies from around the borough and elsewhere.
He believes he can showcase some of the borough’s great food hubs and bring more people from elsewhere to experience them.
The dinners range in price from $85 and up, said DeJesus.
The chef received his training in a Manhattan restaurant in the Flatiron District, but as Breaking Bread required more of his time, he resigned from there to focus full-time on his venture.
He did so with the support of his wife Elizabeth. He has two children: a son Jax and a daughter Kaleigh.
One of his greatest joys is having his daughter witness the successful growth of the floating restaurant Breaking Bread in the family’s own kitchen over the past five years.
“It is a special thing,” said DeJesus. “I want her to see what we have built with hard work and by not giving in.”
To learn more about Breaking Bread, e-mail break