Chef Jason Neroni did not set out to become a chef when he took his first job in a kitchen. He just wanted a free pass to Disneyland.
A TRADITION OF AUTHENTICITY
As a 16-year-old kid from Orange County, Neroni got a job working in Disneyland’s Club 33. There, he discovered a love of and aptitude for the kitchen that would set him apart. His newfound interest and abilities took him north to Chez Panisse, where he worked on the line for year and began his career-long reverence for responsibly sourced ingredients.
Neroni returned to Southern California to help open fabled Wolfgang Puck flagship Spago Beverly Hills. While there, Jason found a mentor in chef de cuisine Lee Hefter, who promoted Jason to junior sous chef at 21 years old. Neroni went on to earn his stripes in New York and Europe, including such notable kitchens as Le Cirque, Blue Hill, Essex House, and three-Michelin-star restaurants across Europe.
Neroni returned to New York to become chef de cuisine at The Tasting Room, and, at 27, became executive chef at celebrated Manhattan restaurant 71 Clinton Fresh Food. His growing reputation earned him an invitation from the country of Spain to serve as a culinary ambassador, where he worked alongside some of Spain’s best chefs at Arzak, Mugaritz and El Bulli.
Neroni moved on to design and open his first restaurant, 10 Downing Food & Wine. The restaurant was a rapid success, and earned Jason another glowing three-star review from the New York Times.
The birth of his son brought Neroni back to his California roots, moving his family to Los Angeles to consult on a variety of projects. Neroni would help launch as executive chef and partner of Superba Snack Bar in Venice, eventually rolling out additional projects as culinary director for restaurant group American Gonzo including East Borough and Superba Food & Bread.
Neroni has earned accolades in many forms. He was named New York’s Rising Star by Star Chefs, received a James Beard Award for his book collaboration with Jeff Scott, “Notes from a Kitchen,” and has earned rave reviews for his creative and unique take on “California cuisine,” making himself a new and exciting presence on the American dining scene.
Neroni has now partnered with SproutLA to launch Catch & Release in Marina del Rey; expect New England seafood, with a strong provenance from Maine, influenced by his California roots. In the summer of 2015, he along with SproutLA will open The Rose, a renovation and reconceptualization of beloved Venice institution, Rose Café.