On the Line: Jo-Jo Doyle Of Honda Center, Part Two

The first part of an interview is typically my favorite. However, Jo-Jo's responses to part two included some memorable details. From how he met his wife to his hardest lesson learned, I appreciated his candidness. If you read all the way through, you'll know what I mean.

If you prefer to begin at the beginning, then click over here for part one.
Then continue from this point for more on Chef Doyle.

Do you have any skills that have nothing to do with food?
I play the blues harp, a.k.a. the blues harmonica.

What turns you on: creatively, spiritually or emotionally?
I love being surrounded by other creative people. It allows me to bounce ideas off of them and take the creative process to a whole new level.


Tell us something most people don't know about you.
I have my own clothing line for chefs that I started in 2011 called Extreme Culinary Outfitters.

You have a whole day to yourself; what do you do?
I have a family of six, so when I have a day off I spend time with my wife and kids.

How did you meet your wife?
A mutual friend introduced us at an Applebee's in Tallahassee, Florida. Everyone was out celebrating, and I had two dollars and change in my pocket, so all I drank was coffee.

Where did you grow up, and where do you call home?
I grew up in Tallahassee, but I have lived in so many places that home is wherever my family is.

Hardest lesson you've learned.
How to forgive and let go. Things in this business are intense and full of emotion. You work your tail off, and people can let you down or not even enjoy your food or work. You gotta be able to let all that go and kind of accept that you can't please everyone.

It's a strange love affair with failure, because this business can take you down. To make the perfect plate or party or event takes a lot of practice and trial. You have to be able to accept the lessons and outcomes. So to forgive, let go and accept is always a tough lesson. Hell, I'm still working on it.

What's your favorite childhood memory?
My favorite childhood memories are fishing with my family. Every summer was spent at my grandparents' home in Mobile, Alabama. We fished on Dog River every single day.

You worked for a Top Chef alum; have you ever wanted to compete?
Until a few years ago, I considered competing in shows like that. When shows like Top Chef were new, it was all about teaching people how to cook amazing things and showcasing incredible talent. Now they are more about creating food under extreme time pressure.

What did you study in school? Did you always plan on being a chef?
There's not a lot I didn't study in school. I spent a long time in college, and finally finished with my culinary degree. It wasn't something that I ever thought would be my career, but now I wouldn't have it any other way.

What would you like to be doing if you weren't in the industry?
If I weren't in this industry, I would probably be working with my dad– he is an expert in explosives and the disposal of them. I was heavily involved in his company growing up, doing everything from running detonation tests to designing obstacle courses for bomb robots.

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