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Cooking up Success

In 2012, Leicestershire chef Jordan Brady was homeless and sleeping rough. Today he’s the proud owner of his own award- winning restaurant, which is thriving thanks to a recent (and very successful), appearance on Channel Four’s ‘Five Star Kitchen.’

This summer, Jordan made it all the way to the final of the hit TV show, which aims to find Britain’s next great chef.

Fronted by cheffing royalty Michel Roux, he drew praise for his delicious, hearty dishes and strong leadership skills.

Picture: Channel 4

In his own words, Jordan is now “living the dream,” running his own restaurant in the heart of Birstall. ‘JB Kitchen’ is a place which is constantly heaving with customers, thanks to his new found celebrity (and great food of course.)

“We’d been building up a bit of a reputation anyway, but getting on to the show and getting all the way to the final has kind of cemented our place as somewhere to get good food,” revealed the 30-year-old.

“Off the back of that it’s just gone crazy really. We’re fully booked weeks in advance and some of the customers even come in and ask for selfies! The support’s been unbelievable.”

Jordan opened JB Kitchen in 2021. However, it started out life as a passion project during the Covid-19 pandemic, with Jordan cooking and delivering food for the local community, from his home in Thurcaston.

The service became incredibly popular, and Jordan was named Food Hero of the Year 2020/21 by the Great Food Club.

Once lockdown finished however, he was forced to make the decision of whether to carry on with his popular new venture, or go back to his job as an executive chef in a local pub.

He took a deep breath and decided to take the plunge – opening JB Kitchen in its physical form, much to the delight of the local community.

“It’s always been my dream to open my own restaurant and for it to be doing so well is amazing,” said Jordan.

“I think the people of Birstall are just really proud that they’ve got someone here that’s representing the area and the food here. The food scene is really good in Leicester and Leicestershire – especially the Charnwood area I think. People appreciate good food and I enjoy giving it to them.”

However, life’s not always been so palatable for the talented chef, making his current success even more remarkable – and his under dog story utterly delicious…

At the age of 11 Jordan left school without any formal qualifications to his name. He was a self confessed ‘bad boy’ – always in trouble with the police and dabbling in drugs.

After a bad break up, he eventually ended up homeless and had to live in the woods, hunting and eating rabbits in order to survive. Walking miles to keep his job as a junior chef in a kitchen, is something he credits with ‘saving his life.’ It enabled him to get his own flat and after years of hard work – eventually the means to acquire his own restaurant.

His signature dish at JB Kitchen is ‘Rabbit in the Woods’, to represent his journey and show off his concept that three simple flavours is all you need to make a luxury dish.

“My struggles have all made me who I am today,” he told Pukaar. “Back then I never thought I’d achieve anything close to what I have today.

I was homeless and I’ve just spent six weeks cooking with Michelle Roux! It just goes to show how quickly life can change and how dreams can come true if you work hard and are prepared to put the effort in.

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