Meet The Chef
Chef Jeff Servin
With over 15 years of restaurant experience, this 33 year old Executive Chef has bid farewell to the restaurant world, and welcomed the world of the Private Chef & Refined Catering! And to be honest, the restaurant world's loss, is our gain!
Born in Portland Maine, and raised in South Florida, Chef Servin has traveled through several southern states cooking his way through different culinary adventures and challenges. From his first Executive position on Lake Burton, to the beautiful mountain town of Murphy NC, Chef Servin has proven to push the envelope with beautifully presented, interactive, and exciting dishes!
Chef Servin takes pride in sourcing his produce from local farmers, and bringing the best quality to the table for every plate he delivers, so you know it's fresh! Bringing people back to the dinner table seems to be a huge goal for Chef Servin, and what better place to start, then at home? When dining with a Chef that has a love for laughs, fun, and food, you are sure to build memories through each unique dining experience.
Why a private chef after all these years?
At the end of the day, it comes down to this : Family. I barely knew my son the first two years of his life. I saw him in the morning before I went in, and only got to kiss his head at night when I got home. This industry needs someone who can work all day and night, and holidays as well. I'm just not that person anymore. I still miss some time with my family when I work, but not nearly as much. Catering to families also makes it a lot easier, because even though I'm not with MY family, I'm part of someones family for a few memorable hours. More times then not, I'm invited for follow up dinners, which is always great
What motivates and inspires you as a chef?
With food being such an essential building block of life, it is incredibly rewarding to be able to prepare meals for complete strangers, and all share the common ground of the joy food can bring.
How would you describe the type of food you like to cook?
I love to cook anything fresh. Recently I have gained such a huge respect for the farmers here locally. Such care and finesse with their produce shines through on a plate. I don't think anything beats having the freshest of local produce.
What might diners not know about you?
People who know me personally may know me as a crazy guy i suppose. I've got a pretty thick sense of humor, but at work and in front of guests, I tend to be a bit more stern.
What’s your favorite local product and how do you use it?
Aside from local produce, we have great trout in the mountains. With it being such a versatile fish, loved by most, the preparations are endless.
If there’s one important piece of advice you might have for home cooks, what might that be?
Keep it simple. I've always had to tell my cooks the same thing. Don't overthink it, just let it flow. If you thought it, try it. If it sounds good in your head, do it. Experiment and just have fun. Food should be happy not stressful, enjoy what it brings to the table! HAPPINESS!
What’s your favorite cheap eat?
Most people don't believe that chef's eat terribly. Believe it, it's true. When working for restaurants, you're surrounded by food constantly, and never really have time to sit and eat a meal. After long day, its Pizza rolls or something equally as easy. Since leaving the restaurant business, I'm more inclined to cook at home, which is great!
What’s your all-time most memorable meal?
This may sound odd, but it was a plate of fried clam strips and a Maine lobster roll. I was born in Maine, and there is small restaurant here locally that serves seafood. My wife and I went in, and when I saw a lobster roll on the menu (Almost $20, hot dog bun and all) I had to have it. It was incredibly nostalgic. It brought me right back to childhood. It actually brought tears to my eyes. I'll never forget that seemingly normal meal on a Wednesday LOL.
What ingredient are you obsessed with?
I love citrus. Any citrus really. There are so many applications it would take years to list them. From sweet to savory, I use citrus A LOT!
What’s your guilty food pleasure?
Definitely Sweets. Don't judge me, but I've ate four ice cream cookie sandwiches in one evening. And proud of it LOL
What’s the kitchen tool you can’t do without?
My knife. I have several that I use, but my 14" chef's knife, nicknamed Excalibur, has been my "Go-To" for over a decade.
What would you be doing if you weren’t a chef?
I have no idea. I'm definitely a people person, which is one of the reasons I've gravitated towards the private interactions as opposed to the chaos and personal disconnect of commercial kitchens. So, something that leaves me around people! Does that count? LOL
What’s your favorite meal to make at home?
Anything on the grill. It's quick, easy, and delicious!