Chef Max Hardy Is Hour Detroit Magazine’s Restauranteur of the Year
One of Metro Detroit’s most anticipated annual culinary recognitions for years was the Hour Detroit restaurant of the year announcement. However, the challenges the restaurant industry faced during the pandemic resulted in a change in the way the magazine would highlight the Detroit dining scene and everyone that it has endured the last year. Instead of the restaurant of the year, the magazine announced its first restaurateur of the year. This award went to Chef Max Hardy for his food and philanthropic efforts during the pandemic.
While the future of food was uncertain, Hardy never stopped cooking. When Coop, its Caribbean merger booth at Detroit Shipping Co., shut down in the spring, Hardy opened the new Jeds Detroit restaurant, launched a new line of condiments, worked on a new cookbook of cannabis-infused dishes, and fed hundreds of voters in rows the polls during last year’s historic election. The Restorer of the Year 2021 has also campaigned to feed thousands of people with unsafe food forever through the Too Many Cooks In The Kitchen initiative.
“When I grew up I went without much. Seeing so many other people help and give me was something I loved and that’s why I wanted to be able to give something back. I really wanted to be a blessing to others as they were a blessing to me, ”says Hardy.
“When I grew up I went without much. Seeing so many other people help and give me was something I loved and that’s why I wanted to be able to give something back. I really wanted to be a blessing to others as they were a blessing to me. ” – – Chef Max Hardy
Hardy understands the needs in his community and says he wants to “bring concepts into the areas that need the most love and things that are a little more fun”. While these neighborhood projects are his priorities, Hardy plans to join the downtown Detroit scene with Honey, an Afro-Caribbean restaurant and speakeasy set to open in Harmonie Park.
Listen: Hour Detroit Dining Editor Lyndsay Green shares what they considered in winning this new Restaurateur of the Year award.
Lyndsay Green, editor of Hour Detroit Dining, says it was difficult to pick just one in this climate when so many other restaurateurs showed up during the pandemic. But she says, “You can’t ignore everything he’s done in the church this year. … He used his skills and talent to help needy Detroiters, and that was what last year was all about. “
Hardy is one of Hour Detroit’s 2020 Taste Makers driving the Detroit food scene and one of 16 black chefs to switch food in America in 2019 from the New York Times. Hardy is no stranger to creativity in the kitchen. His cultural culinary expertise can be experienced with every bite of Coops Coconut Curry Shrimp, which is served in a fresh pineapple bowl with Caribbean rice and coriander, or with Jed’s Detroit’s typical Caribbean balls, which are soaked in a sweet and tangy mango-habanero sauce and with light, citric pineapple and pineapple topped are grated cheese.
Coop is located at 474 Peterboro St. in Detroit. Roadside opening times are Monday to Tuesday from 4pm to 8pm and Friday to Saturday from 4pm to 9pm.
Jeds Detroit is located at 1648 E. Seven Mile in Detroit. The opening times are Sunday to Saturday from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m.
Find the edition of Detroit’s Hour Restaurateur of the Year on the newsstand and online at www.hourdetroit.com.