Canada born, LA-bred chef Aaron Barnett was on the path to becoming a veterinarian when he decided to bail and pursue his passion. From an early age, Aaron Barnett’s parents instilled in him a love of food. He was eating snails and dining on his mom’s home-made ceviche when other kids were munching PB & J. He attended culinary school in California before working in Vancouver, BC, and back in San Francisco. He moved to Portland and served as Executive Chef at two culinary icons.
Portland proved to be exactly the market Aaron was looking for and gave him the confidence to open his dream restaurant, St. Jack. The Lyonnaise eatery garnered Eater Restaurant of the Year and Aaron became a StarChef Rising Star. Four years later, he decided to continue his French fare with a more accessible concept in La Moule, plus a second location for St. Jack. Today, all three restaurants are thriving examples of Portland’s openness to experimental cuisine with a rich story.
Family meals were an event at our house as a kid. I remember coming home and finding ducks hanging from the ceiling in preparation for Peking duck my mom would make.
All chefs have egos. I try to think that mine’s not out of control; I try to be pretty pragmatic. At the end of the day I do it because I like it.