J’s Kitchen Culinary Incubator. The endeavor allows local cooks and chefs to practice and concoct culinary marvels with the “shared kitchen” concept. While she did get clients and orders for some of the meals provided—that German chocolate cake on the catering site looks delicious—she needed some extra umph to really bring in clients.

Enter the Big Investors

That’s where she hooked up Hungry director of operations, Nina Mahmoudpour—who didn’t know Patton was Usher’s mother. Formed in 2016 by Eman and Shy Pahlevani, the D.C-based startup initially focused on offering catering services in its hometown before expanding into other big cities. The company offers a kind of base of operations for chefs and cooks while offering their talents for sizable functions at reasonable prices.

Patton would reel her son, Usher, in as an investor by explaining that Hungry was only going to grow and grow rapidly. With the inclusion of hip-hop royalty Jay-Z and his MVP fund—and other big names—Hungry picked up $8 million. In total, the company raised $12.5 million.

How Hungry Works

In talking with Forbes, Eman Pahlevani summed up Hungry as the Uber of catering saying that it is doing for chefs what Uber did for folks with cars. It they’re a professional chef or cook and can handle catering functions of various sizes, Hungry can get them clients. 

Not only that, but with this working model, culinary professionals are able to set their hours by accepting functions they would like to tackle. Since the chefs come up with the menus they wish to offer and clients can go with the professionals that best fit their catering needs.

Chefs working with Hungry come from all career backgrounds from those who worked in diners, restaurants, and hospitals to other who have worked in the White House and appeared on Chopped. There could even be an Iron Chef or two in there! Their clients involve some big names such as Microsoft and Amazon.

In addition to helping chefs find clients and clients find catering partners, Hungry also gives back by donating a meal for every two purchased. So, if you’re in the D.C and Philly areas and would like some of the best in the nation and world to cater your function, Hungry is worth a look. 

Who knows, Jonetta Patton might hook you up with one of those German chocolate cakes.

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