For years, we’ve known Jon Bon Jovi as one of the many musical mougs from New Jersey who made it big. While you might assume he’s busy in the studio working on songs for his newest record (which you’d assume correctly…the rockers next CD will be hitting shelves in 2013 followed by a world tour), what you may not have known is that he and his wife, Dorothea Bongiovi, have been active in the community the rocker grew up in trying to make a difference for those less fortunate. The pair are at it again and have just unveiled their latest project to try and give back.
The Soul Kitchen is the new gourmet restaurant the couple have opened. However, it’s not like any celebrity gourmet restaurant you’ve ever heard of, this is one everyone can afford. Their “pay-what-you-can” menu offers some of the finest gourmet quality meals to those who can’t afford to eat out. Paying customers are asked to leave what they can in the envelopes left on the tables while those who can’t pay money are simply asked to pitch in.
“With the economic downturn, one of the things I noticed was that disposable income was one of the first things that went,” Jon explains. “Dining out, the family going to a restaurant, mom not having to cook, dad not having to clean up – a lot of memories were made around restaurant tables.”
“When I learned that one in six people in this country goes to bed hungry, I thought this was the next phase of the Foundation’s work.” he added.
The Foundation Jon is talking about is the Jon Bon Jovi Soul Foundation. Other projects they’ve completed through the help of their namesake is building 260 houses for low income families, charity concerts, a local food pantry they began helping in several years ago, and their soup kitchen, Lunch Break, which feeds over 100 people per day, the one that started it all.
Now, after a year and $250,000, The Soul Kitchen is open to those who still want to enjoy fine quality dining at a price they can afford while giving back to the community.
“This is not a soup kitchen,” Bon Jovi makes clear. “You can come here with the dignities of linens and silver, and you’re served a healthy, nutritious meal. This is not burgers and fries.”
The restaurant offers a menu rich in gourmet soul food you’d find in any of the areas most famous eateries. Cornmeal crusted catfish with red beans and rice, grilled chicken breast with homemade basil mayo and rice pilaf and grilled salmon with soul seasonings, sweet potato mash and sauteed greens. Not only do the options sound mouth watering, many of the ingredients were grown in the herb and vegetable garden right outside the doors of the establishment.
“There are no prices on the menu, so if you want to come and you want to make a difference, leave a $20 in the envelope on the table. If you can’t afford to eat, you can bus tables, you can wait tables, you can work in the kitchen as a dishwasher or a sous chef,” he says. “If you say to me, ‘I’m not a people person,’ I say, ‘That’s not a problem. We’ll take you back to Lunch Break to volunteer with those people. If you don’t want to volunteer with that, we’ll take you to the Food Bank.”
“If you come in and say ‘I’m hungry,’ we’ll feed you,” he says. “But we’re going to need you to do something. It’s very important to what we’re trying to achieve.”
Once you’ve volunteered at these places, you’ll earn a food certificate good at The Soul Kitchen for your meal. This idea is all part of a bigger plan for the Foundation to help bring back some community and help people who are struggling know that there are people out there who care about them while giving a little back in return.
“This is not an entitlement thing,” the rocker adds. “This is about empowering people because you have to earn that gift certificate.”
Bon Jovi urges those who can afford to dine out to patron The Soul Kitchen to help make this a true community resource. They are open for dinner near the Red Bank train station in central New Jersey Thursday through Saturday and also offer Sunday Brunch. He and his wife have been staying active in the restaurant and the New Jersey moug we all know and love has been working there at least once per week to pitch in. While you might think he’s busy creating delicious dishes to don the menu with his decades of experience dining in the worlds best restaurants, you might be surprised.
“Last Friday, I was at the White House, serving on the Council for Community Solutions, got on a train, changed in the bathroom and got here in time to to wash dishes Friday night,” he said. “I’m the dishwasher, for real. I can’t cook a lick.”
We have to say, this is by far one of the coolest things we’ve heard of recently. We wish Jon and Dorothea and the rest of The Jon Bon Jovi Soul Foundation much success.
So what do you think about this Celebstalkers? Isn’t is great to see celebrities giving back to the community?
Soulful songstress Amy Winehouse is giving rehab another go before she starts her European tour.
“Amy Winehouse has embarked on a treatment program at the Priory Clinic,” her rep said in a recent statement. ” “She wants to be ready for performances in Europe this summer and decided to seek an assessment. She will remain at the Priory on doctors’ advice.”
According to sources at People, Winehouse’s father urged her to seek treatment for her drinking.
Winehouse is responsible for hits such as “Back to Black”, “You Know I’m No Good”, and ironically…”Rehab”.
Celebstalk wishes Ms. Winehouse the best of luck.
Amy’s tour kicks off June 18th. What do you think Celebstalkers? Will Amy finally “clean” up her act?
Kate Hudson and Muse’s Matt Bellamy are quickly becoming one of the hottest (and most well traveled) celebrity couples out there! From lunch in Paris to house hunting all over Europe and now drinks in Vienna, these two have been spotted all over the place together. In this picture we saw on daily mail UK, the two were spotted talking in the Hotel Imperial cafe in Vienna as Kate was reading what appears to be a script while Matt listens intently and smiles.
New rumors say that the lovey-dovey couple is now searching for an abode in New York, maybe in addition to the one they are looking for in Europe? Not sure yet. However, Bellamy has started speaking up more about the relationship.
Last month, before meeting Hudson’s mom, Goldie Hawn, Matt said, “We are meeting next week. I’m quite nervous!”
When asked about their future together, Matt said “It’s a bit too soon to talk about weddings and stuff. Ask me again in a few months though!
‘Things are going great at the moment. I am very happy. We’re just having fun together and are seeing how it goes. Kate is great.
‘We have tried to keep things private so we haven’t told anyone how we met or any details like that. We are just doing our thing.”
Well, rumor has it that the pair met in April at the Coachella Music Festival and hit it off. Sounds like things are moving along pretty smoothly and going great for the couple!
So what do you think, Celebstalkers? Do we hear wedding bells in the future for Matt and Kate??
The on again/off again couple have decided to split again, this time 8 months after Manson proposed in Paris, according to E! News.
The two began seeing each other back in 2007 when Wood was in a video for Manson’s song, “Heart Shaped Glasses”. They have reportedly split up a couple times and been seen with various people while their relationship was on the fritz.
Manson was seen in West Hollywood over the weekend with his guitarist (Twiggy Ramirez), Playmate Colleen Shannon and a brunette who Manson referred to as his new girlfriend.
Evan Rachel Wood has not been linked to anyone, but you can see more of her on Sunday nights on True Blood.
Neither of the stars reps have commented on the most recent split.
So what do you think Celebstalkers?
Do you think that they will really call it quits for good this time?
Sound cool? Well, it’s about to get a lot cooler! It seems that the actress took her entire paycheck for the gig and donated it to the charity, Sojourn, a shelter that helps abused women.
Although the amount of the donation was not disclosed, that’s still pretty freaking awesome.
Fox appeared in the video with Lost’s Dominic Monaghan in a few scenes, which premiered on August 5th.
The inspiration for the video was domestic violence.
“Joseph and I worked pretty closely together to make sure we got this right,” Eminem explained in a recent press release. “Trying to make this tough subject work visually is a challenge. It was great to have Rihanna , Megan and Dominic on board for this. They really brought it and made this video super powerful.”
Singer Rihanna was also asked about her decision to be a part of such a heavy subject. “It was believable for us to do a record like that, but it was also something that needed to be done and the way he did it was so clever,” she said. “He pretty much just broke down the cycle of domestic violence and it’s something a lot of people don’t have a lot of insight on, so this song is a really, really powerful song and it touches a lot of people.”
So you tell us, Celebstalkers: What do you think about Megan’s gesture? And if you have seen the video, what are your thoughts on it?