By Mark Mangra and Angie Villada
Chef Kalin Anderson, owner of “Feed The Ville” uses food both as his love
and art. This was something that became his passion when he needed it the
most. He developed his brand around people who meant to him the most. One of
those important individuals is his mother.
“My mom was always cooking. We weren’t “the eat out family,” he said. “She always would try out different restaurants; after she would try it she would say, ‘Hey this is easy.’ With her thought process that kind of carried my career.”
Learning the ways of his mother helped grow his culinary talent and veer off from just excepting what was already out there. She encouraged him to make everything in his own way. From there, his first customers were his friends.
“Even for someone to say ‘Aw, man! I tried your food, it was good.’ That’s good enough
for me. Especially coming from the city and the people I know, it’s always more
than that, like people have told me, just my work-ethic has pushed them.”
His friends always felt the importance of support. His friend and customer, Jonte Jones made his way to the kitchen to receive a meal from him. It’s a carefully thought-out Italian-styled dish with all the trimmings.
Giving multiple options to his customers has shown Chef Kalin’s range in making sure everyone eats. He also specializes in vegetarian and vegan options.
“Feed The Ville means that everybody eats, plain and simple,” said Jones. “I mean, if you’re from the family, from the ‘Ville…there’s not too many people from here so it’s such a close-knit county for us to represent. Feed The Ville means Feed The Ville; if
you’re family, you’ll eat.”
Out of the many things that fuels Chef Kalin’s passion, his friend, Glen
“Gleet” Mcneil Jr. is his main source.
On July 4th 2017, Mcneil was fatally shot while celebrating in Jacksonville Beach. He left behind inspiration for his friends and family, especially for Kalin.
“Gleet was always a funny person. This man would make anybody laugh, in any situation. He could make the worst day turn into the brightest day. He helped me progress the idea of Feed The Ville, because he told me, ‘If no one else is going to support you, we’ll support you,’” he said.
McNeil’s death sparked the hashtag #LongLiveGleet, that grew within the community and brought people to together to celebrate his life, so much so that a memorial was created for him at the location of his murder.
“’Long live Gleet’ is kind of the mantra a lot of us are living by, because we know the person he was. We’re trying to live his life the best we can through our passions, to show his impact on us. To show he is still apart of us.”