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Jim grew up in Central Florida surrounded by quality friends, family, and food. Jim and his brothers often caught fish and crabs in the vibrant waters of the Indian River Lagoon, bringing the bounty home for Dad to cook Cajun-Style.
After honorably discharging from the US Navy in 1995, Jim attended Valencia College in Orlando. In-between school and working for the City of Altamonte Springs in Recreation (usually found on the tennis court), Jim found his passion for culinary applications. Aspiring to a career as a Chef, Jim then attended the coveted Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park, NY. His internship was under Chef Urs Bieri, a career Executive Chef at the United Nations. Post-graduation, Jim worked for many years in fine dining at Citrus Club Orlando, and as Sautee Chef at The Jefferson Hotel’s flagship restaurant, Le Maire.
In 2005 Jim took a hiatus from cooking and joined CarMax Corporate in the Store Operations and Training department as a temp associate. Six months later Jim was advanced to Specialist in the Customer Relations department and spent the next five years as a coordinator, problem solver, sales trainer and supporting store Ops, Sales managers, and RVPs on the event resolution process.
After moving back to Florida, Jim began catering and teaching private client’s nutritional plans and culinary skills. For the past decade, Chef Jim has managed dietary operations in long-term health care, earning his CDM from The University of Florida. As a consultant in this field, Jim traveled all over Florida, focused on assisting clients with culinary training, operations, and budget management.
Going back to school in 2018, Jim just graduated from Keiser University with a degree in Business Administration. Having practiced Yoga, Meditation and Qi Gong for the past twelve years, Jim is currently studying for his Yoga Teacher Training certification. Jim is also Reiki certified and in his off time offers therapeutic breath work, yoga, and nutritional counseling to clients. Jim also enjoys tennis, sailing, long days reading at the beach and road trips with his furry companion, Zeppe Van Hendrix, the Rock Star Terrier.