Zeet Peabody, executive chef at the new JBJ Soul Kitchen, which features crisp design inside and a vegetable and herb garden out front. (Click to enlarge)
By JOHN T. WARD
The star power at Wednesday’s opening of the JBJ Soul Kitchen in Red Bank belonged, of course, to the restaurant’s main sponsor, Jon Bon Jovi.
But while the the telegenic pop star may continue to volunteer his time washing dishes at the Monmouth Street pay-what-you-can eatery, patrons will be on intimate terms with Zeet Peabody, the restaurant’s executive chef.
Along with his kitchen crew and wait staff, he’s the one who’ll be there most of the time. More importantly, he’s be the one who’ll decide what goes onto the plates, and how those dishes will elevate the eatery to destination status.
After all, this is “not a soup kitchen,” Bon Jovi said at the opening. With its knife-sharp appearance, it doesn’t look like one. And the people behind it don’t want it to function as a dole for the down-and-out. The goal, they emphasized, is to make it a restaurant for all, no matter what’s in the customer’s wallet.
So amid the hubbub of the opening, redbankgreen isolated Peabody who’s been a personal chef and consultant since closing his Bistro Zeeto in Atlantic Highlands a decade ago for a few minutes to get his input. Here’s our quickie interview.