Hailing from Pell City Alabama, the venerable seat of Southern Hospitality, chef James J. Harris (JJ) is the heart of Lovejoy’s kitchen. Leading by example, teaching from experience, JJ guides a dedicated crew who share his high standards. As they say in the restaurant business, JJ has the “chops.” He trained with renowned Chef Frank Stitt of Highlands Bar & Grill and Bottega in Birmingham, AL, another farm-to-table food mecca. When he moved to Portland, he forged his way into the kitchens of Simpatica and Café Castagna, then made his real mark as sous chef at Accanto.
Read his interview below to learn more about this amazingly talented fellow:
Q: What are some quirky/little known facts about you?
A: My first word was EAT!
Q: What’s your favorite Lovejoy dish and why should customers try it?
A: The pulled pork with green tomato pickles on brioche. I like the pulled pork because of the components it is made of: Crunchy, tart, pickled local green tomatoes. Tender, slow-smoked pork shoulder. Slightly boozy bourbon bbq sauce. Creamy cole slaw. Perfect on our brioche.
Q: How do you like to spend your free time?
A: With a nice glass of wine in my hand and dinner on the way to the table.
Q: If you could dress any way you want, what would you wear in the kitchen?
A: I don’t intend to disappoint you but I already dress exactly how I want.
Q: What do you love most about your job?
A: the hours, the food, the challenges, the people, its all a very close tie!
Q:Favorite meal in 30 minutes or less… GO!
A: I would get to Pho Hung as quickly as possible and order a number 1.
Q: How does Lovejoy stand apart from other bakery/cafes?
A: We have the best looking chef in town.
Thanks JJ! We love having you at the head of the Lovejoy kitchen!