We had the good fortune of connecting with Jason Fullilove and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Jason, is there something that you feel is most responsible for your success?
There are a few, however, number one is work ethic. By the end of 2019 I was operating 3 restaurants and my own catering company. At the beginning of their careers, most chefs will work tirelessly for other people. At some point making the transition to work tirelessly for yourself is essential. That’s where building your own brand and name recognition is important. You have to be willing to do the work at every stage of your career.
Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
No it wasn’t easy and entrepreneurship isn’t for everyone. For example, in 2019 we had the best year in my company’s history. Then in 2020 the pandemic hit, and the country was shut down. However, I used that time to film content and I’ve had the opportunity to work with brands like Traeger Grills, Dickies, the Food Network, and Kroger, to name a few. This helped keep my name out there, and to stay afloat. During that time I also secured 2 new catering partnership contracts that I’m excited to see come to light, once we are allowed to start doing events and to open back up again. The most important thing I’ve learned along the way it this: whenever times get hard and the stress seems to be overwhelming just focus on your work, and you can come out of it. Which brings us back to work ethic – this is essential. I’ve also learned that work / life balance is very important. Take care of yourself, eat right, exercise, have hobbies, travel and stay connected with your friends and loved ones.
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
First off, I would say you have to rent a car here in LA!
I highly recommend staying in the South Bay. For some strange reason this never pops up on the radar for most people planning a trip to LA. However Manhattan Beach, Hermosa Beach, & Redondo always have great hotels to stay at with reasonable prices, near the beach. It’s a beautiful and safe location to explore.
During the week, hit The Grove & the Beverly Center for shopping.
Then hit up Fish Pop in KTown – it’s one of the best Pop Ups in LA right now.
On Wednesday, head over to Santa Monica for the Farmers Market. Then grab dinner at Fia Restaurant, or Wally’s in Santa Monica.
Go to Venice Beach on Saturday to walk along the beach, check out the skateboarders, and grab brunch or dinner at Neighbor on Abbot Kinney.
Friday night, get drinks at Seventy 7 Lounge in Culver City.
Sunday, contact Orbic Air and book a Helicopter Tour of Hollywood, Beverly Hills & Malibu – then land at their hideaway in the hills and have a private chef tasting menu, before returning home.
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
I’d like to shoutout Ron Finley. When I was considering options and pathways along with the risk for starting my own business, I came across his TED talk and his interview on JRE. He inspired me to do what I thought was right against the odds because it needed to be done. My company was not only inspired by creating great hospitality experiences for our guests – I also started it to make a statement about how African Americans deserve a respected position in the Hospitality industry and how we were underrepresented in the fine dining space. I’ve since met Ron, and he’s maintained a very supportive role in supporting Black chefs, restaurateurs and connecting them with Black farmers.
Brian Feinzimer Silvia Rázgová