When you ask Bistro Sous Chef Jose Pabon about food, the first word out of his mouth is "steak."
"When I think about opening my own restaurant someday, all I think about is steak and sandwiches," he said. "When I find a good sandwich, it just puts a smile on my face."
Perhaps it's just this – the smiling or the steak and sandwiches – that makes Chef Jose a perfect match for Ocean House's bistro menu. Featuring casual, seasonally-inspired dishes, the bistro menu is simple yet refined, comforting but unique. Just like Jose.
Born in Puerto Rico, Chef Jose first set foot in the United States when he and his parents emigrated from their home country to North Kingstown, Rhode Island. At just 8 years old, he knew next to no English. But, as time progressed, Chef Jose quickly picked up the language and took a job as a dishwasher at the age of 15.
Recounting it now, he said he never had any desire to be a chef. However, after watching the rhythm of the kitchen from day to day, "I guess it kind of intrigued me," he said.
Prior to joining the Ocean House's culinary team as a line cook in April 2012, Chef Jose spent eight years as a line cook at Cedars Steakhouse at Foxwoods Resort & Casino. He also worked briefly at Fred & Steve's Steakhouse in Lincoln, Rhode Island and most recently worked as a line cook at David Burke's Prime. After working as a full-time grill cook and leader of Ocean House's Bistro line, he was promoted to Bistro Sous Chef in 2013 and is continuing to look ahead. When asked what motivates him most about working at Ocean House, he replied:
"When someone gets a plate from me, I want them to be like, 'Wow!' Like I painted a picture on their plate. At the end of the day I not only strive to make our guests happy – I want to wow myself."