chef Jedidiah Borja has been making waves with his island-inspired cuisine at area markets and events. Chef Jedi, or Jed, as many know him, cooks up his Chamorro-style barbecue under the moniker of Hafa Adai Catering, which gets its name from a common Guamanian greeting used to say “hello,” “how are you” and “goodbye.”
Borja’s business is a family affair, run with the help of his wife, Mary Borja, and kids – Alayla, Zander and Elli – and it’s heavily inspired by his heritage. His father, who also helps out occasionally, is from Guam, and his mother has Filipino roots. While growing up in Florida with three siblings, Borja developed a love for food from watching his father and grandmother prepare humble, nourishing communal meals for their family, friends and neighbors.
Borja moved to the St. Louis area in 2000 and was hired for his first restaurant job as a teenager. From there, he continued his culinary career with hands-on training through various jobs at now-shuttered institutions, including Villa Farotto and Mosaic Tapas, where he served as sous chef.