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Chopped champ's West Indian restaurant is a lifeline for Jersey City community during pandemic

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Posted at 5:59 PM, Sep 22, 2020
and last updated 2020-09-22 19:18:50-04

JERSEY CITY, N.J. — Usually one would have to travel far to get that unique West Indian flavor, but those who know go to Freetown Road Project along Newark Avenue in Jersey City.

The man at the helm of the authentic Antiguan-inspired restaurant is chef Claude Lewis.

If you’re a Food Network fan, that name might sound familiar.

Lewis — a Jersey City native — is a champion of the popular cooking competition show "Chopped."

His culinary expertise, which won him bragging rights, is now on full display at his restaurant in his hometown.

"I made food that made me feel comfortable, which led to me being able to win,"Chef Claude Lewis told PIX11. "I think that me representing my culture and heritage has helped my family and myself get a lot closer and become more of a team."

That team is pushing a message of community at a time when it’s needed the most.

Freetown Road simultaneously functions as a restaurant and soup kitchen, providing a lifeline to the needy.

Juggling the two services has had its obstacles, especially during the pandemic, but their mission keeps the team motivated.

"To give to people who don’t have it gives publicity to the restaurant and that’s the payment that we get back," he explained.

The restaurant is now open for indoor and outdoor dining, installing curtain dividers and keeping tables at a distance to keep customers safe.

And if it’s the West Indies you’re craving, they have you covered.

Freetown Road Project in Jersey City is located at:
650 Newark Avenue
Jersey City, NJ 07306
(201) 653-6533

To check out the menu, visit their website here.