While growing up in Nashville, Tennessee Jonathan watched his family come together around the table. There were fish fries using the fish his grandfather caught, barbecues featuring his uncle’s homemade ice cream, Sunday fried chicken dinners, and Christmas brunches with country ham and corn grits. It was evident early on that the centerpiece for community and the enjoyment of loved ones was food.
While enrolled at Western Kentucky University, Jonathan came to the realization that the only place he could be happy was in a restaurant. This led him to spend four years working as a server and bartender. Although a front of the house employee, Jonathan found himself spending more time around the kitchen than the dining room. Eventually he made the transition to the kitchen, starting as a prep cook, then moving up to line cook. As it had already become clear that the kitchen is where he would spend his career, Jonathan enrolled in the culinary program at St. Louis Community College. After attending classes part time while working as a line cook, Jonathan transferred to Johnson & Wales University in Providence to finish his culinary studies.
Jonathan spent several years working in and around Providence and southern Massachusetts, before migrating further north. In Mansfield, Jonathan learned Calabrian Italian cuisine at Trattoria della Nonna under executive chef Ken DiFazio. At Trattoria della Nonna, he learned to appreciate simplicity and the allure of fresh ingredients, picking fresh herbs, tomatoes, peppers, and other produce from the restaurant’s small garden. Upon leaving Mansfield, Jonathan worked as sous chef at Masa, the busy south end restaurant on Tremont Street. There he delved into the smokey, spicey ingredients of the American Southwest and Mexico. Most recently, Jonathan spent years working at Blue Ginger, celebrity chef Ming Tsai’s famed East/West bistro. At Blue Ginger, a whole new pantry was made available. Dozens of dried mushrooms, seaweeds, spice mixes, sauces, noodles, and produce captured Jonathan’s imagination. What was also impressed upon him while at Blue Ginger, was intense attention to detail and the significance of balance. Under the tutelage of Ming Tsai he learned to appreciate the importance of using different flavors, textures, and temperatures in unison to create great food.
When he’s not in the kitchen, Jonathan enjoys fishing, spending time outdoors with his two daughters, Maisie and Delilah, reading books on philosophy and theology, and listening to music. He currently resides in Taunton, MA.