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Momma’s back with a Thanksgiving feast

Charita Jones aka Momma Cherri

Without doubt one of the most recognisable faces on the Brighton food scene, Charita Jones aka Momma Cherri found fame Gorden Ramsay’s Kitchen Nightmares TV show with her soul food concept and larger-than-life personality, writes Nick Mosley.

Originally from Philadelphia in the USA, Charita moved to Brighton in 2000 and opened her first restaurant – the Soul Food Shack – in Little East Street. Success followed and a larger property was needed resulting in the Momma Cherri’s Big House.

“I’ve always cooked from a young age”, said Charita. “My mum was a single parent so as the oldest I was responsible for taking care of my siblings including feeding them. I’ve always enjoyed hosting parties and cooking for friends and family”.


“I come from a long line of matriarch cooks in my family, learning from my aunts and grandmother. As a student I lived in Mexico for a year and then in France and quickly appreciated the differences in worldwide food. Food is my love language”.

Due to various commitments including fostering and working with inmates at Lewes prison, the restaurant is no more however that hasn’t stopped Charita sharing her food. Earlier on 2023, she had a one-month pop-up in Gardner Street and offers cooking experiences in her home kitchen studio.

“I’ve been really busy this year serving up my soul food to the hungry folk of Sussex”, said Charita. “I’ve just finished hosting sell-out cooking experiences for the Ageing Well Festival and continue rattling the pots and pans with the team at the Bedford Tavern on Western Street in Brighton with my Soul Food Sundays”.

Charita joins the BITE Sussex team for the final ‘Meanwhile Mondays’ pop-up event of 2023. Hosted in Meanwhile Café on Jubilee Street on Monday 27 November, the theme is a US Thanksgiving Celebration with guests enjoying over 20 different dishes including roast jerk lamb, catfish fritters, stuffed aubergine, black eye peas and ham hock, key lime pie and – of course – pumpkin pie.

“Thanksgiving is my favourite holiday of the year”, said Charita. “It’s a time for family and friends to join together and enjoy a real feast. I’m looking forward to sharing traditional American dishes alongside a few familiar English classics”.

“We’ll be seating all our guests on shared tables, to ensure the communality that is at the very heart of the Thanksgiving celebration”.

Tickets are £35 per person and available to purchase directly from Meanwhile Café by emailing or calling 01273 900 300.


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