Skip to content

All articles

In His Own Words Part II: Chef Russell Jackson of Reverence

Cover Image for In His Own Words Part II: Chef Russell Jackson of Reverence
By Sophie Brochu
Posted
Categories:DefaultIn Their Own Words

In June of 2020, chef Russell Jackson wrote about building his fine dining restaurant, Reverence, in an underserved community. Now, with indoor dining returning, Jackson is back with a whole new spring tasting menu and more to say about running a business in Harlem. This is chef Russell Jackson in his own words. [Read Part I here]

This has been one of the most disturbing and difficult years I and so many restaurant owners, workers, farmers, supporting artists, and guests have had to survive through. We’ve all lost so much:  time, people, and an iconic part of our restaurant culture here in Manhattan and across the country.

Reopening from this period has become so much more difficult than any one of us could have imagined or can describe. It’s not just flipping a switch back on. It’s rebuilding from an ad hoc state of crazy. In all this is who we are as “Hospitality People.” Here to serve, to entertain, to craft and guide culture and representation, to enrich our communities and fellowship lives. It’s why we worked so hard this year to be and represent the best of who we are.

The 18-seat chef’s counter-turned-takeout operation, October 2020.

African American chefs are starting to gain exposure and people are starting to learn our influences and impact on modern cuisine. It’s critical to note that Reverence is the only African American-owned, fine dining chef-owned and operated restaurant in all of Manhattan, and that currently, there are no Michelin stars above 78th street. We’re also one of the only restaurants that have consistently been open during the pandemic and are now reopening for indoor dining above the park.

 

“It’s critical to note that Reverence is the only African American-owned, fine dining chef-owned and operated restaurant in all of Manhattan, and that currently, there are no Michelin stars above 78th street.”

I’m happy that we’ve fought so hard for all the right reasons. Now onto our next chapter. It’s time to experience what we’ve created, what we’ve learned, and what matters in food and dining in Harlem.

I’m always inspired by the stories of my life on the West Coast. While living through this past year of pain and suffering, art and inspiration have brought me to this place. The next menu series is inspired by love and all of what it has and will represent for me and for Reverence.

It’s a visceral vision of my heart and hopes. My loves, losses, and desires.

Book Reservations at Reverence

TaggedChefs


More Stories