21st Guest: Chef Jeremy Blutstein

We’re teaming up with lululemon to host some dinners out East this summer. Each one will have 20 guests. Big for a dinner party. But here’s the thing: Though we’d like to, we can’t fit everybody at the table. This is where you come in. You’re all the esteemed 21st Guest. We want your input on the conversations around that table, for you to ask questions and be a part of the party. This week, Chef Jeremy Blutstein serves it up.

The underlying theme here is “doing a solid.” Your questions are going to do the party a solid and get them talking about what you want to hear. Do us one, and check back in the next edition for where can send your burning questions. Or just email us your thoughts on this or anything at hello@whalebonemag.com.

Jeremy Blutstein has been running kitchens out here on the East End and in NYC. He is currently the Chef at Almond in Bridgehampton and co-founder of Kimchi Jews, a fermented foods company dedicated to using dope local product from all of his super rad local farmer friends. Food is a bond.

Photos by Austin Eckardt

Who’s the most inspiring person to you?

My aunt, Shelia. She has been fighting terminal brain cancer with more strength, grace and positivity that can be imagined. She is a mother, sister, aunt and superhero.

What’s the biggest challenge you ever faced? Who helped you get through it?

I got sober almost 4 years ago. My friends and colleagues had my back the whole way. In an industry that is riddled with alcohol and substance abuse, there is a large syndicate of sober chefs, many of whom reached out to give words of encouragement not knowing me personally, but with a mutual respect professionally.

How have you learned the value of paying it forward?

I love my community, local and professional. I jump on any and every opportunity I can to be present, give back and support it and those that live in it.

Hard honest work always pays dividends.

What’s something anyone could do to pay it forward?

Be present. Listen to the people around you. The action of paying it forward will happen more often than not, naturally, without you even knowing it.

A time you wanted to help, but couldn’t or didn’t get to?

A childhood friend of mine reached out about getting sober and continuing to work in the restaurant industry. We had made loose plans to get together after the season calmed down. That never happened. His life was brutally ended before we had a chance. It crushes me that I never got to have that talk with him.

Best advice you’ve ever gotten?

“Hard honest work always pays dividends.” – Dad

One piece of advice you wish you’d gotten but didn’t?

Nobody cares, work harder.

Where are the places that you go to to find inspiration?

Into work early for some alone time in the kitchen is priceless.

What’s a small way to do someone a solid anytime?

Say hello. Sometimes it’s that easy to make someone feel like they aren’t alone

Pay it forward by:

Being a part of the place that you live in and the lives of the people that live there.

So you’re a lululemon ambassador, what has that experience been like for you?

Dope AF. Love all my homies at Lulu.