Chef of the Month: Jon Gibson of Wheelhouse

Name: Chef Jon Gibson Name of Restaurant: Wheelhouse in Opp,AL Restaurant Phone Number: 334-764-6482 Where were you born and raised? Opp, Alabama. What inspired you to become a chef? Growing up watching and helping my mother and grandmother cook. I was always curious about the history and cooking techniques and the science of food. Where did you train to become a chef? Le Cordon Bleu, California and Le Vecchia Cuccina, Sicily. Who is the most notable person you’ve ever cooked for? Two Star Michelin Chef Edouard Loubet and several California State Senators and representatives. Why do you believe your current restaurant is one of the best in the state? Because we strive for integrity of product and transparency in the quality and source of all of the products we use. Using the best quality of products, respecting the ingredients, and passing on this quality in the dishes we serve to our guests with a great perception of value. What are your professional goals? Really don’t have a check list or bucket list. My goals are to just provide the best food experience for my guests that come to try my food. I guess a James Beard Award would be nice. What’s your favorite seafood dish to serve up for yourself and your family? Toss-up between Seafood Pot Pie or Gulf Seafood Cioppino. If you weren’t a chef, what line of work would you pursue? I would probably be a farmer or fisherman. Some job that keeps me close to the food industry by providing quality products to chefs or restaurants. What is your biggest pet peeve? Restaurants being dishonest or fooling the guests on the product they serve by using imported or foreign fish/shrimp and passing themselves off as a “local seafood” restaurant. What makes Alabama Gulf Seafood special? The availability and freshness of many species of seafood is great. But the main thing is the efforts being done by the Nature Conservancy and other organizations in protecting migration patterns of several species and keeping our Gulf healthy and the quality of seafood coming out of the Gulf.

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