We had the good fortune of connecting with Jonathan West and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Jonathan, what makes you happy? Why?
Teaching people how to make good food makes me happy. Not everyone can afford to dine at nice restaurants, but that doesn’t mean they shouldn’t be able to eat well. It can be extremely empowering for a person to learn how to make bread or cook a vegetable using a new technique. This power gives individuals confidence in themselves and opens up a whole new realm of creativity. Showing people that they don’t need to rely on restaurants or processed foods is one of the best ways to buck the system–and I’m all for that.
Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
The Good Pot started out as a pop-up dinner and catering business with a focus on fermentation. When covid hit, I had to cancel dinners and I lost potential clients as they canceled weddings and events. I had a side-gig writing articles for a blog, and I wanted to combine my two jobs into one. So I started writing some recipes for friends and family which were a big hit. I decided this is the route I wanted to take my business. I got to where I am today by working very hard in professional kitchens for 14 years. Being a chef is an extremely taxing job–most chefs have little to no time for personal life. I worked long days and focused on learning and improving myself, but I put impossible expectations on myself and my employees. I got burnt out and left the kitchen. I bartended for a stint, then I moved to California and worked as a cheese monger. But my mind always came back to cooking, and I was always sharing recipes and making food for friends and family. I focused on my personal life and became and healthier and happier person. I moved back to Texas and started The Good Pot.
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
I don’t know much about Houston but I can say what I would do in Austin. Places to Eat – Bufalina Pizza, Ramen Tatsuya, Licha’s Cantina, Hop Doddy Burger Bar Places to Drink – Small Victory, Kinda Tropical, Liberty Bar Places to Hang Out- Barton Springs Pool, Zilker Park, Farmers Market
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
My fiance, Hollie, has been the greatest source of encouragement in my life. She is an artists and looks at things a little differently than most people. Anytime I have had a lack of confidence in myself or cant really figure out the next step, she’s there with some fresh ideas to toss my way. I seek out her advice every step of the way.
Youtube: coming soon
Bobby Scheidemann did all the photos except the headshot https://bobbyscheidemann.net