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‘He Cannot Wait to Start Cooking Again’: Chef Featured on Gordon Ramsey’s ’24 Hours to Hell & Back’ Homeless After Failed Restaurant Gets a Second Chance to Turn Life Around

A Caribbean chef once featured on “24 Hours to Hell and Back” is on the receiving end of a blessing after a series of heartbreaks left him homeless in the freezing rain.

Clive Jackson, 62, is best known for his appearance on famed chef Gordon Ramsey’s hit TV show. Jackson was found soaked and shivering in Los Angeles’ infamous Skid Row homeless camp.

Lizzy Calhoun found Jackson down on his luck on Feb. 25 while providing food to unhoused people.

“Clive soaked and shivering in the freezing rain with no shelter and coat. His makeshift tent on 6th Street collapsed in the storm last night and poured water all over him and his belongings,” Calhoun said on a GoFundMe she created for Jackson.

Calhoun claimed to be a friend of Jackson and once she discovered he was in need she immediately took him in her car to the store for dry clothes and supplies and sought out a motel.

“As we drove, he told me though tears what had happened and how he never thought that it could get this bad,” Calhoun said.

Born in Jamaica, Jackson said in an interview with “Soft White Underbelly” that he grew up poor.  

He emigrated from Jamaica to the U.S. when he turned 18 years old. He first worked for a cruise ship before moving to Miami then Los Angeles in the 1970s. He went to school to become a certified executive chef and worked as a chef for many years. He eventually opened his own restaurant, “Brownstone Bistro” in January 2013 before closing down a few years later.

Jackson’s current hardship is not his first because on Nov. 21, 2002, his son Clive Jackson Jr. was killed.

According to the Los Angeles Times, Jackson Jr., who was 14 years old at the time, was waiting for a bus to go to the mall when then 17-year-old Antwaine Butler approached him. The teens got into an argument that led to a fight. After being on the losing end of the fight, Butler shot Jackson Jr. multiple times in the chest and head. The shooting was linked to ongoing gang violence at the time because Butler was a member of the Rollin’ 40s Crips, according to police.

Clive Jackson Sr. alongside his family including late son Clive Jackson Jr. (Photo: Facebook/Clive Jackson Jr. Memorial Page)

Jackson Sr. was less than two blocks away when his sun was killed.

“My heart stopped. I’m lost, really. What kind of world are we living in?” Jackson told the Los Angeles Times in 2002.

Jackson later divorced from his wife according to the GoFundMe page but his occupation as a chef remained steady. When he opened “Brownstone Bistro” he struggled to attract customers which made his business ripe for Ramsey’s “24 Hours to Hell and Back” show during its first season in 2018.

Clive Jackson Sr. stands alongside patrons at Brownstone Bistro in 2018. (Photo: Instagram/BrownstoneLosAngeles)

The show usually drew attention to the restaurant it featured but Jackson’s added notoriety was not long-lasting because he ceased operations in 2019. Afterwards Jackson Sr. eventually lost his home and became homeless.

“He bounced around on friend’s couches and finally ended up in a tent on Skid Row last Spring,” Calhoun said.

In 2021, Jackson Sr. tried to launch his own GoFundMe campaign to help him get back on his feet, but it ended with only $6,510 raised. Calhoun’s discovery of Jackson in dire circumstances brought out a greater showing of support.

“The last few days have been a whirlwind,” Calhoun said.

By March 6 the latest fundraising effort has exceeded $50,000 for Jackson according to GoFundMe.

In an Instagram video, Calhoun shares how much money has been raised that will be used to secure housing for the once proud chef.

Clive Jackson Sr. sits in disbelief after learning more than $44,000 was raised in a GoFundMe campaign to help him find housing. (Photo: Instagram/FoodNotBombsdtla)

“Do you want to know how much money we’ve raised?” Calhoun said to Jackson Sr.

“How much?” Jackson Sr. replied.

“About $50,000. That is how much people care about you,” Calhoun added.

Jackson Sr. sat in momentary disbelief with his hands clutching his head. Amid deep breaths, Clive broke into tears and a subtle, “thank you” emerged from under his breath.

“The shelter system & SROs were terrifying experiences for such a trusting, gentle man. And it’s next to impossible to find work when you don’t have access to stable housing,” Calhoun said.

“He says he CANNOT WAIT to start cooking again,” Calhoun said he told her.

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