Sunday, November 18, 2007
9 Questions For… RODNEY LOVEJONES
With a name like Rodney LoveJones, being cool just ought to be your birthright. Hailing from Brooklyn, NY, Mr. LoveJones created Bill Jones Epicure Delights nearly four years ago. This boutique pastry company is known for confectionery treats like red velvet cupcakes with crushed cranberries and sweet potato cheesecake. For a recent wedding, he created a pumpkin squash armaretto cake with English coffee armaretto buttercreme. Oh, and the cake was topped off with white chocolate flowers that Rodney hand-painted to add a fresh floral look. How’s that for mouthwatering?
Before breaking into the world of sweets, Rodney developed a diverse resume having founded his own children’s talent agency and assisting with the launch of the now defunct Suede magazine. But, his true passion is baking and since completely diving in just a few years ago, his clients already include radio personalities Miss Jones and DJ Envy, corporate financial giant Goldman Sachs and the Clintons (as in Bill & Hillary). A true people-person, Rodney’s personal style is just as memorable as the delish delectables he whips up. He’s known for his signature bow-ties in funky colors or prints. Read on to learn why umbrellas are multi-functional, who’s porch is a must visit in Brooklyn and snag yet another reason to head up to Harlem immediately.
PPT: Who are your favorite stylish people?
RLJ: My grandfather William Samuel Jones got dressed to go to his factory job everyday in a suit, fedora, bow-tie and gloves. And he always carried an umbrella. He didn’t want his family to feel less than because he worked in a factory. The gloves helped him hide the calluses on his hands from hard labor. I later learned that the umbrella helped him keep his balance - my grandfather loved him some spirits!
PPT: Where are your favorite stylish places?
RLJ: Saint Germain in Paris, France because it reminds me of NYC’s West Village but it still has something romantic and quaint about it. It has lots of mom and pop shops that I like. Also, Solomon’s Porch in Brooklyn. You can listen to live music, get a great burger and be around nice people.
PPT: What are your favorite stylish things?
RLJ: Bow-ties, because of my grandfather. I got my very first one when I was six years-old from Alexander’s department store. It was velvet and way too big for me at that time but I was extremely excited about it.
PPT: What’s been your biggest splurge?
My Shun Knives designed by Ken Onion. I’m over the embarrassment of how much I paid for them - they’re my favorite knives!
PPT: What about your ultimate budget find?
RLJ: I got a wool camel Burberry car coat for $12 from a thrift shop in Harlem (135th Street & 5th Avenue). No stains, no rips, no missing buttons. And it was dry-cleaned.
PPT: What’s the last book you read?
RLJ: Hmmm. I read more than one book at the same time. For the third time I just read Our Kind of People by Lawrence Otis Graham.
PPT: Who are you listening to?
RLJ: I’m listening to Rahsaan Patterson’s new cd Wine & Spirits. My favorite songs [on it] are Stars and Higher Love.
PPT: Your last vacay (not work related) was to?
RLJ: I went to Paris last year.
PPT: What’s your definition of style?
RLJ: Besides my grandfather, I learned a lot about style from (celebrity make-up artist) Sam Fine. Sam always keeps an impeccably clean make-up kit because people judge him by that before he works on their face. Now, I apply that same philosophy to my utensils as a chef. Even down to how my wait staff presents themselves. Just being able to prepare good tasting food is often not enough in this business.
Originally I promised to deliver a 9 Questions For… every month. My bad. Things happen. Life happens. Going forward, I’ll try my best to keep this feature monthly.