One of seven children, at age 8, Jay learned the simple truth about cooking from his father: if you learn how to make weekend breakfast for your older brothers, they’ll temporarily lay off the late night attacks while you’re sleeping. By age fifteen, Jay had hung up his cleats and baseball glove in exchange for bussing tables and chopping onions.
In 1986, Jay realized he wanted to become an executive chef while working with Master Chef Raymond Hoffmeister at the Westin Century Plaza Hotel. Jay’s pursuit of culinary perfection has taken him to France and Italy to learn the cuisine, culture, language and back to his hometown of San Diego where he worked with Chef Roberto Bernadoni–recipient of both the superior achievement award in the culinary arts from the Italian prime minister and a 5 Diamond award from the Insegna Del Ristorante Italia. In 1996, while working at Bella Luna Restaurant in his first executive chef position, Jay had the pleasure of preparing a special luncheon for Presidential Candidate Robert Dole. The meal left an impression, because in February of 2004, Jay received a letter of recommendation from Senator Dole for the White House Executive Chef position.
Though he was passed over for the position, it was around this time that Jay fell in love with his wife Christy, a native Oregonian, and the Pacific Northwest. He soon left San Diego, and continued honing his craft in Seattle and Portland where he launched the boutique catering company JP Taste and opened several restaurants as the consulting chef for the NW Hayden Group as well as being an executive chef for the flagship headquarters store of Nordstrom. Jay now serves as the Chef d’Cuisine at Oregon State University in Corvallis. He and Christy share their lives with three beautiful children, Dylan, Reese and the youngest, Jacob, who may soon be learning Jay’s simple cooking truth: make the weekend breakfast.