DBT40 Honoree: Robbie Jester
Position: Culinary Director
Employer: High 5 Hospitality
Whether he’s speaking to high school students or inmates, chef Robbie Jester tries to teach people that when one oven door closes, another can open — with the right training and preparation.
Jester manages the culinary operations of three restaurants — Limestone BBQ and Bourbon, Stone Balloon Ale House, and Eggspectation — and is in charge of the full operation management at the first two.
With his business partner, Jester also runs his own business, Full Circle Food, which delivers healthy meals to customers on a weekly basis.
Jester frequently visits high schools and prisons to offer inspiration and training to people interested in cooking and baking as a profession.
He serves as a mentor and judge for the Delaware ProStart Program, which allows high school students to learn how to cook and manage a restaurant from professional chefs. He is also a board member of the Friends of Fusion Foundation, which supports Delaware children and first responders, and a speaker for Project New Start, which aims to reduce recidivism by teaching inmates applicable job skills and positive behaviors to help them successfully re-enter society.
In 2015, Jester competed on Guy Fieri’s “Guy’s Grocery Games,” losing during his first time on the show but redeeming himself with a win during another appearance. He also faced off against chef Bobby Flay on “Beat Bobby Flay” in 2016 and emerged victorious.
After his appearances on those Food Network shows, Jester sought to give back to various charitable causes, including raising money as a Leukemia and Lymphoma Society Man of the Year candidate and a Dancing with the Delaware Stars competitor.
If facing off against fellow chefs on television wasn’t enough, Jester is also a competitive billiards player — a skill that apparently runs in his blood because he and his mother
have been Delaware state doubles champions.