Once in a great while, a person will come across a dish that makes him feel alive. Maybe the aroma takes you back to Sundays in your grandmother's kitchen, the family huddled around the countertop, flour wedged under your fingernails. It could be the enticing flavors, transporting you to the shifting sands of Abu Dhabi or the lush forests of Brazil. Whatever it is, that meal provides for you a sense of place, a philosophy we take very seriously here at Ocean House.
Enter Jacob Jasinski, Ocean House's newest team member. Chef Jacob, who has previously held positions at such noted properties as Atlanta's Ritz-Carlton Buckhead, Kennebunkport's White Barn Inn and, most recently, Newport's Castle Hill Inn, brings to the Ocean House kitchens more than a decade's worth of information and inspiration.
Hired as both executive sous chef of the hotel and chef de cuisine for Seasons, Ocean House's fine dining restaurant, Chef Jacob said that his first priority is to promote solidarity and standards throughout the kitchen. Equally as important – "I want to see what we can do to continue to surprise people," he said. It's this sense of boyish curiosity melded with his sophisticated palate that allows Chef Jacob to elevate his cuisine to new heights.
A graduate of the International Institute of Culinary Arts in Fall River, Massachusetts, Chef Jacob got his start as a sous chef at the White Horse Tavern in Newport, Rhode Island, where he stayed until 2005. After a year-long stint as a personal chef in Tuscon, Arizona, he took the money he had and traveled abroad. Working as a stagiaire, Chef Jacob was exposed to the artful cuisine of Osteria da Fiore, one of only two Michelin-star restaurants in Venice, Italy, and France's Domaine de Clairefontaine, also a Michelin-star-rated restaurant.
Upon his return to the states, Chef Jacob continued to build his portfolio at Le Bernardin, Maine's The Salt Exchange and at The Mansion in Las Vegas under the guidance of Joël Robuchon before returning to his New England roots. His homecoming brought him a new job and him and his wife a new baby. Now, Chef Jacob is a proud father of two boys.
Hoping to continue Ocean House's legacy of unforgettable farm-to-table cuisine, Chef Jacob hopes to offer guests a rarified world to discover through food. "Being in New England, there is a wealth of outstanding ingredients – the fish here is second to none. It's all about taking the local ingredients or those fond memories we as cooks may have, taking that idea and having it complement the region."
When asked what dish he, himself, prefers above all else: "Really good bread and cheese."