Jonathan Club - Los Angeles
When he’s not hand-selecting bushels of sun-soaked Swiss chard or snipping delicate chive greens from his 3,000-sq.-ft. rooftop garden in the heart of downtown Los Angeles, Chef Jason McClain can be found smoking fresh-caught salmon in his butcher shop or designing an “a la minute” tasting menu inspired by the season’s bounty.
In this regard, Los Angeles is Chef Jason’s kitchen. Creating new culinary destinations, from the refined urban Town Club to the oceanfront Beach Club in Santa Monica, Chef Jason has developed and introduced a departure from traditional club fare, with a new take on the food-and-beverage offerings at the Jonathan Club, a 120-year-old private club comprised of community leaders and up-and-coming trailblazers who have maintained the heritage of serving as esteemed participants in the cultural life of Los Angeles.
Chef Jason and his innovative team of chefs are complemented by a club sommelier and back-to-basics mixologist, to create flavorful dining opportunities for members and their guests. In addition to the rooftop Urban Garden, which yields more than 30 distinct fruit, vegetable and herb varieties, the authenticity of the culinary experiences at the Jonathan Club are enhanced by a 1,000-label wine cellar, on-site butcher, pastry and bakery shops, and six dedicated areas to imbibe, including the Cigar Lounge, the newly redesigned restaurant, The Grill, and the speakeasy-turned-Sky Bar.
Chef Jason has evolved the menus by focusing on one thing: ingredients, ingredients, ingredients. Driven by quality and simplicity, if Chef Jason doesn’t nurture and grow the elements of each dish by hand, he collaborates one-on-one with California’s premier farmers to responsibly source meat, fish and fresh produce—creating a seasonal, ingredient-driven menu that changes six times each year.
By infusing a sense of “California” in each bite, Chef Jason’s signature braised octopus with artichokes, chickpeas, celery leaves and lebni gremolata, and his house smoked salmon rillette with Ossetia caviar and chive creme fraiche, truly represent the Jonathan Club’s coastal community.
Chef Jason joined forces with a local urban farming company to plant the 42-bed rooftop garden at the Jonathan Club, and continues to contribute to the surrounding neighborhood by inviting underprivileged youths to visit the club four times each year, to teach them the value of growing ingredients first-hand.
Chef Jason also launched the summertime pop-up concept, Chophouse & Sons, which takes The Grill’s dining experience to new heights on the rooftop. Alongside sommelier Caitlin Stansbury, he hosts a six-course, region- or ingredient-themed dinner paired with unexpected wines from the Jonathan Club’s private selection.
Chef Jason honed his skills under the tutelage of some of the world’s great talents: Jean-Marie Lacroix from his days at Four Seasons Philadelphia, Martin Hamann at the Union League Club of Philadelphia, and a prized collaboration with Chef Nobu Matsuhisa at The Shore Club in Miami. He received his formal training from the Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park, N.Y.
Chef Jason cooked at the 2018 Salmon Seduction dinner on October 2, 2018