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Jason Rodriguez Promoted to Head Chef of Red Stripe Providence

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RS Chef Jason

Jason “Jay” Rodriguez has worked in the restaurant industry for 19 years, and has been a member of the Encore team since August 2012. He began at Mill’s Tavern as a line cook, then was promoted to Sous Chef and now to Chef de Cuisine at Red Stripe.

Originally from The Bronx, New York, Jason spent many summers at camp in Rhode Island and later returned to attend Johnson & Wales’ Culinary Arts program. He graduated in the same class as Mill’s Tavern Chef Bolus.

Like so many chefs, Jason grew up watching his mother and grandmother cooking, especially enjoying the feasts his grandmother prepared during his visits to Puerto Rico. He learned traditional preparations and flavors using many fresh homegrown ingredients. Today, he also enjoys cooking French and Italian cuisine.

Being a chef is something he “loves because it entails so many dynamics – from scheduling and ordering to creating dishes, prepping and precise cooking for consistency. It also requires the ability to adapt quickly to a situation and problem-solve. After all these years, I still have constant learning opportunities with room to grow. I’d be bored if all I did was cook.”

What dish or food means ‘it’s summer’ to you?

“Fresh produce, like baby fiddle ferns.”

What makes a great chef?

“You must know the fundamentals of cooking and how a kitchen operates. It’s crucial to be able to make the same dish 200 to 300 times a night exactly the same way. As chef, you have to know your staff and understand your clientele. My goal is always to select the choicest ingredients, hire the best people and provide guests with unsurpassed service.”

If you had a cooking show, who would be your first guest?

“The Galloping Gourmet, Graham Kerr. I watched that (cooking show) show all the time as a kid.”

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