Loving Loves His Career

Anna Ashby, Jeff Loving, Mellissa Upton, and Kristen Griffin. (Photo by Dylan McNiel)
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Jeff (Cheffery) Loving, owner of Chef on the Run, has had a passion for cooking since he was a young child and has grown with it throughout his life and developed it into a business that he truly enjoys working with.

He started during his 8th grade summer working in different restaurants, now twenty-five years later he owns his own catering business. He has never attended formal school for cooking and is completely self-taught, learning solely from experience.

Cheffrey learned most of his techniques from working in various restaurants with chefs around the world when he was younger.

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“I observed how things were supposed to be prepped and cooked and absorbed all that knowledge,” Loving said.

His father, Retired Captain Howard H. Loving, was in the Navy for 34 years so lived all over the world and took in all that knowledge.

Loving says he has worked in almost every genre of food except Indonesian and Thai, and if there is something he doesn’t know how to do he will research and find out how.

“I worked my way up in every restaurant I worked in,” said Loving. “Whenever I looked for work, I was always drawn to the restaurant life.”

When asked if he had any influences that got him interested in cooking he said it would have to be his mom, Elisabeth Loving. His mother was French so he grew up around authentic classical French cooking and learned a lot from watching her.

After moving to Texarkana from Virginia Beach in 2003 to open Timothy’s Gourmet Grill, he has since owned several other local restaurants, such as: Brick House Burger, Fillin’ Station Grill, and The Twisted Fork. Catering was always something he did on the side, but it has now become a full-time job for him.

He is very well known around town for his delicious food and outside of the box flavor combinations to give his customers a new type of dining experience. He says people in this town like to play it safe when eating and he likes to push those boundaries.

“I love watching people’s reactions to my food being like ‘what is this?,’ and then seeing them take a bite and watching their face light up,” said Loving.

He serves meals out of his house every week on Tuesday’s and Thursdays, where families can come pick it up and take them home to enjoy. On Tuesday’s he does a smaller meal that will feed a family of four and on Thursday’s he does a three course meal for under $20.

“There is no place in town where you can get a chef fresh meal delivered to your car,” said Loving, “and people can taste the difference.”

He works mainly out of his house at the moment, he has completely transformed his kitchen into a workstation. Laura and James Hungerford, mother and son, help him prepare for events at his house. Loving says he would like to have a second location at some point, just so he could be more accessible to the community.

“Seeing people come together and enjoy your food and say ‘that was amazing,’ that’s why I love what I do,” said Loving.

 

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