Jovan Horton puts a special twist to his culinary art skills in the kitchen. He cooks for the people around him and less for himself. Horton’s goal is to inspire the people around him and to change the atmosphere through cooking. Padella’s executive chef implements his New Orleans roots into every cuisine cooked. Horton gives us a brief run through of his day. “I come in to check the board and the hotel occupancy. Next, I talk with my supervisor and walk the line to check on my cooks. Then I come to my office to check my emails.” Horton’s additional duties are entirely laborious to the point they have become an act of normalcy.
As a young child, the executive chef admired, observed, and took notes on how a culinary business was run. His grandmother had a catering company in New Orleans. This was the city where food first became his attraction. “My grandmother was a chef. I spent a lot of time with her catering company. I have been cooking majority of my life. Professionally during the early 2000s is when the degree went under my belt. Everyone cooks good in New Orleans. I had asthma really bad as a kid. She would babysit me on the days I did not go to school. One of my finest memories was sitting with her watching “Greatest’s Chefs of the World” on T.V. The old school French chefs had a mystique about them. My grandmother was like a magician in the kitchen. She had no formal training. It came from her own hard knock life.” Horton enjoys watching people have a nice time with food. The smiles and laughs of his customers have always excited him and continue to do so. “There is no greater feeling when watching their expressions while eating your food. You are taking an idea from your mind and putting it on a plate.”
The most unique eye-opener to Horton is that he prides in allowing people to enjoy themselves. Throughout all the cuisines he has made and can make, red beans and rice seem to be his favorite. “I rarely eat my own cooking. The enjoyment is not for me while cooking fancy. During holiday times my grandmother would make elaborate dishes such as jambalaya and creole. She would eat a bowl of cornflakes. I would say, “Me me what are you doing? You cooked all this food.” She would respond, “This is not for me. It is for your enjoyment. I personally like simple food.”’ You can find the New Orleans style executive chef at Padella’s located in Marietta, Georgia.