Chef Jose DeJesus Shares his Recipe for Success

–Tatyana Turner


Imagine making reservations for a 5-course meal at an undisclosed location. The ticket you purchase only provides the time and the date; but, where you’ll be sitting, who you’ll be sitting with, and what you’ll be eating is all a mystery. Only a handful of people are aware of the fastidious arrangements; the other few dozen will be left in the dark and hungry for answers until their arrival. Those who crave obscurity are in for a treat…one can only imagine what is being prepared behind closed doors. Until the secret unfolds, the only thing to do is expect the unexpected.

Chef, Jose DeJesus, who also goes by “Trill Cooker” is an extraordinary home cook who prepares a range of delicious delicacies for Bronx residents. In recent months, DeJesus has partnered with several eateries such as the Mott Haven Bar & Grill to host communal style dining. The purpose is to introduce guests to flavors they may not have been exposed to before and to have the opportunity to share that experience familiar strangers. Although an exquisite meal is something people rave about long after the dinner is over, there is another component that has great taste. Hours before guests arrive, floral designers from a local floral shop called Verde Flowers, lend their talents and skills to create a dreamy ambience that mocks an elegant al fresco. Trill Cooker dinners have become immensely popular…some folks even request their tickets weeks in advance.

The common person may agree that the best meals require time, patience and good ingredients. In light of that notion, it would be a safe bet that the best chef’s require just the same. Chef DeJesus was willing to share his recipe for success during our talk for BXTRA. The Bronx home cook recalled finding his passion in high school, ” I always enjoyed eating my mother’s food and eating my grandmother’s food…I was like a taste tester,” said DeJesus. Like most high school seniors trying to find their next step in life, DeJesus wanted to ensure that he was choosing a path that would yield happiness and prosperity no matter where he was in the world. ” I decided to get into cooking,” he said.

As Chef DeJesus continued to build his platform, he created the alias, ” Trill Cooker.” The term is used to describe something that is true and real. “When it comes to food, my career and my family…everything I do is truly real,” said DeJesus. He credits his five-year-old son for giving him the name, “the cooker.”

Towards the end of our discussion, DeJesus shared his recipe for success; a recipe that he believes just about anyone can stir together. ” My advice to anyone, doesn’t matter what field it is, is to find what you love doing.”  Finding a passion is only step one, the next element is perseverance. Regardless of where a person is in the process, a sour lemon always seems to land on the counter. That sour lemon could be failure, rejection, or simply a lack of self-esteem; according to DeJesus, the next step is, “never give up.”

“I try to figure out how I can help people love the dream with me and find their vision.”

The final step is what you make of it. The only person who can shape your dreams is you. If I had to make a suggestion, it comes down to three things : Do Good. Stay Well and BXTRA.

If Chef DeJesus get the chance, he would love to cook for Jay-Z. “He built his own legacy…I would want to cook for him, be inspired and be like him one day.”

Be on the look out for Chef Jose DeJesus in the Bronx and beyond! Check out his website here.




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Tatyana Turner is a Bronx native who grew up in the Mott Haven and Grand Concourse sections of the borough. She has experience in print journalism and photography. In December 2016, Tatyana graduated from Temple University with a degree in Communication Studies and returned to her home in the Bronx where she is applying her skills to further discover the extraordinary people and places in the place she calls home.

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