On top of putting out great food, Jesse strives to create a memorable experience for his patrons. Here, food is a moment, and a connection between people. It’s not about the idea of having a perfect meal at a Michelin star restaurant; it’s more so the mix of people and going with the flow that defines the dining experience. “We’re not a fine dining restaurant, and I’m not trying to be the best in the world. I’m just trying to have fun.” Instead of striving for perfection, Jesse’s more concerned with having the freedom to create great food and allow people to have their own experience. The more you talk with Jesse, the more you understand food truly does dictate his way of life. When asked what keeps him going throughout these 16 years of being in the industry, the answer comes easily because it’s never been in question: “I don’t ever actually think about that. I get up in the morning and I start thinking about eating and drinking and cooking. Then I go eat and drink and cook. I don’t know what else I’d do.”
So whether it’s shaved dehydrated carrots plated next to freshly caught mackerel paired with wine from a newly featured region, there’s always something new at Dudley Market. Future plans include ideas to open a big seafood spot on the boardwalk to offer something different from the fast food scene. Although that area may be more difficult to work in, Jesse isn’t fazed. “There’s some things you can control and there’s some things you can’t. It’s just about worrying about the right ones. All I should really care about is if the food’s good or not.” Well, if Dudley Market has shown anything to Venice, it’s that the food will most definitely be good.