Although food is his passion, leadership is very important to James. His degree in Business Administration with a focus on Leadership. Always striving to have balance in the restaurant, setting high standards and inspiring. He promotes a culture of inclusion, growth, professionalism, and respect. Pride in the food is maintained through a connection to the sources and treating them with respect. All while working with dishes focused on local produce and products.
James has 20 plus years in the industry with much experience about wine and food pairings. Diverse Chef experience includes a fine steakhouse, sushi, private clubs, French, and the Mediterranean. The turning point in his career was creating a farm to table restaurant, in Michigan. This allowed him to discover the important connection between buying the freshest meat and produce, locally. After this, he played a pivotal role in designing and opening a fine Italian restaurant. Then he was the Executive Chef at Dusty’s in Okemos before coming to Vinology
As he samples wine he is thoughtful to create a connection to food. There are no rules with ingredients. He loves the food industry because it allows him to experiment, be adventurous, and make new discoveries. In his free time, James enjoys experimenting by creating beer, cider, miso, and vinegar; always looking for the next palate-pleasing inspirations. He has extensive cocktail knowledge; making his own cherries, bitters, and vermouth. He enjoys making anything with his hands. He builds, refurbishes and designs furniture. Being creative, productive and learning are essential for his happiness. Growth is vital to its existence.
James is excited to bring you a new menu; determined to entice, surprise, and entertain.