Jason Neroni

Chef

At 16 years old, Jason Neroni got his first taste of exclusivity. While working at Disneyland’s prestigious Club 33, he discovered his love and aptitude for cooking—and that’s only where the magic started. From there, Jason stacked up a sprawling CV, working from California to New York and Europe at Le Cirque, Blue Hill, Essex House, The Tasting Room, 71 Clinton Fresh Food and Superba, to name a few. His drive and commitment earned him a coveted 3-star review from The New York Times.

Currently, he runs Venice staple The Rose Cafe. Despite opening its doors in 1979, Jason has kept the menu fresh and modern over three decades later. He stays true to Southern California cuisine and ingredients the community knows and loves, while introducing his seasonal, globally influenced flair.

Why We Love Jason Neroni

Jason's style is one of harnessed unpredictability. He’s a cowboy, a force of nature, a brilliant artist who can deftly translate the precision of sous-vide to scratching a record.

“I love the day-to-day challenges of being a chef. There is no such thing as minutiae. Everything changes every day.”

“I’ve been cooking 24 years now, so Rose is a culmination of what I’ve done (so far) in my career. And I like painting a very big picture!”

6 Questions with Jason Neroni

  1. How would you describe your cooking style?

    I guess abstract, but approachable. I’m definitely a modernist when it comes to matters of technique. I brine everything—fish, chicken, vegetables, etc. But I also use a lot of good, old-fashioned cooking techniques as well. I don’t see the more “cutting edge” technique as better, necessarily; rather, they are just another tool in my arsenal.

  2. Why did you decide to settle in Venice?

    I grew up in Orange County but I loved coming up to Venice in my teens because it just seemed more “real” to me. Now, you have Google and Snapchat here. It’s an influence of constantly evolving change. It just feels like the right “palette” for me.

  3. How has the culinary scene in LA evolved?

    Los Angeles has been very lucky to have a lot of great chefs gravitate here. We have the ability to access ingredients and produce year round, and have the ability to do it on smaller budgets. A lot of young chefs now have the opportunity to express themselves.

  4. You used to own a Vietnamese restaurant in Portland. How did you approach opening Saucebox?

    I grew up in Garden Grove/Westminster, California, which has the largest Vietnamese population outside of Vietnam, and I was inundated with those flavors—a lot of my friends’ moms cooked such amazing food. The menu at Saucebox in Portland was my cooking style, but incorporating those foods I had while growing up, as well as Korean, Indonesian, Cambodian, Japanese, and South Asian flavors. I wasn’t looking for the food to be authentic and I didn’t want our patrons to expect that; it’s just my take on great local food—with a couple twists.

  5. What’s the biggest difference cooking in Europe, New York and California?

    It’s all about the kitchen environment. European chefs begin apprenticing at the age of 10 or 12. In Europe, being a chef is a lifestyle and you cook your entire life. Here in the States, it’s more about cooking for a job. When I returned from Europe, I approached the management of my kitchen a whole different way—now, my kitchen is filled with longtime chefs and staff. It’s a huge difference.

  6. What would you be doing if you weren’t a chef?

    I love movies, specifically sci-fi. If I wasn’t a chef I could definitely see myself doing something in movies, something in Hollywood.

Vietnam with Jason Neroni

One Departure Only | June 10 - 17, 2019

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