August Chef of the Month: Chef Jason Ramirez of Villaggio Grille

Name: Jason Ramirez

Name of Restaurant: Villaggio Grille

Restaurant Phone Number: 251-224-6510

What inspired you to become a chef?

Cooking from an early age with my grandparents is what started my drive. Everything else has been building my knowledge where they left off.

Where did you train to become a chef?

I completed my formal culinary program at Johnson & Whales University. But your training never really stops, every day I expand my knowledge in some capacity.

What does your typical workday involve?

I guess you can say a typical day is nothing “typical”. A normal business day for me involves opening up the kitchen in the restaurant, inspecting orders for accuracy and quality. Training staff on execution of menu items and supervising the cooks while on the line. I work closely with the company’s catering director in creating menus for off and onsite special events. I write the schedule and make product orders as well.

What are your professional goals?

I currently enjoy the career path I have now working for Lane and Ginny Gilbert at Villaggio Grille. Who knows what the future holds though, someday I might want to open my own establishment.

What’s your favorite seafood dish to serve up for yourself and your family?

Whole Grilled Pompano with whatever seasonal vegetables I can find.

What is your favorite movie?

Three way tie! The Goonies, The Sandlot, Stand by Me.

If you won the lottery, how would you spend your winnings?

Travel, travel, travel.

What are your favorite hobbies?

Fishing, Cooking, Music and of course spending time with my family.

What makes Alabama Gulf Seafood special?

Defiantly the freshness of the product. Our Alabama coast is so small and local driven. When you know local fishermen and vendors it ensures that it is literally coming out of the Gulf and into our kitchen!

If you weren’t a chef, what line of work would you pursue?

I can’t see myself doing anything else!

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