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JASON McCLAIN - JONATHAN CLUB

What set you on the path to become a Chef, when did you first decide you wanted to pursue this career within the culinary field. What other positions have you held in the past? Can you elaborate on those positions?

My father went bankrupt and told me to get a job. Found a job washing dishes and bussing table. A Garde Manger cook cut himself and I was promoted. The Chefs took me under their wing and started teaching me how to cook and prep. I was not good in school because of my learning disability so realized I need to learn a trade I could do with my hands. Cooking to me seemed like a fun career because it was always evolving and changing. Every memory I had with, from my childhood, with friends and family, was always over a good meal. I like the idea of bringing people together through food I create.

 Positions held in the Past

Graduated Culinary Institute of America 1994

Riverton Country Club: 4 years through high school and culinary school

White Dog Café: Cook for externship from CIA

Four Seasons Hotel Philadelphia: Cook

Time off Stage all over Philadelphia: Cook /Worked free or low wages to learn

Four Season New York Breakfast and Lunch Sous Chef: Got best breakfast two years in row from New York Time, New York Magazine, Best breakfast in the country, and three stars review from New York times for 57/57 restaurant inside hotel.

Time off staged all over New York: as a cook /worked free or low wages to learn

Shore Club Miami & Nobu Group: Chef de cuisine and promoted to Executive Chef

Narcisse Champagne and Caviar Lounge: Chef Partner first piece of ownership in restaurant, many accolades

Executive Chef of Pearl and Nikki Beach Club Miami: Many accolades

Chef Owner of 8 ½ Restaurant Miami Beach & Chef Jason Catering Company /Best New Restaurant in Miami

East Hampton Point Executive Chef for a summer

Foxwood & MGM Grand Connecticut Assistant Executive Chef: oversaw 27 restaurants 1,100 cooks and 100 Chefs

Assistant Executive Chef Pechanga Resort Casino: Oversaw 14 restaurants

Executive Chef of Prestigious Jonathan Beach and Town Club: for last 8 years. Best restaurants no one will ever know about. 300 private events a year and a huge reputation hand crafted food and wine events. Jonathan Club is a Huge supporter C-Cap and local culinary Programs.

 

What would you say is your most intricate dish at The Jonathan Club? What is your inspiration behind it, what is the story?

My philosophy is, less is more. It takes more talent to create dishes this way. Some chef hide behind luxury ingredients because the guest do not know how it should taste and they are more into labels and presentation than substance. I want to blow you away with a Tomato that I Grow in my Rooftop Garden. That a chef!

 

What aspects of Skuna Bay brand resonates with you and why? In your experience with working with our Salmon, how is it comparable with other premium products you have used in the past?

Quality of the fish, care in how it was raised and flavor profile. I personally like that it is raised in wild waters and fed consistently in designated areas. This technique produces the perfect fattiness for a consistent great piece of salmon. Wild tends to be very inconsistent in size and taste profile because of what it eats in wild waters.

 

Where do you pull inspiration from, for the menu at the Jonathan Club?

My inspiration comes from our culinary philosophy at the Jonathan Club, which is very simple; Ingredients, Ingredients, Ingredients. We buy the best ingredients money can buy and let the food speak for itself

 

How have you applied these inspirational aspects to your dishes, or your menu? Was there any inspiration or influence behind incorporating Skuna Bay on your menu?

Skuna Bay was easy! The product speaks for itself and the people raising the salmon put love into the fish, in an organic and sustainable way. Why do I incorporate it on the menu? Because of the quality of the product, better the ingredients i start with, easier my job becomes as a chef.