At his first cooking job in his grandparents Florida restaurant, Jim Jeffords learned to break down and prepare alligators and local seafood. After graduating from The New England Culinary Institute, Jeffords moved to Boston, where he worked in various restaurants before relocating to DC and working up at CityZen. Today, Jeffords is at the helm of Evening Star Cafe and we turn the tables and grill the chef.
What’s in your fridge or freezer that would surprise people?
A brined beef tongue
Last meal you cooked for yourself?
A cheese burger with a pickled green tomato my hot sauce and a side of roasted chili mac and cheese.
Last meal on earth?
A true Neapolitan pizza with fresh mozzarella and speck.
Which six people — alive or dead — would you choose to attend your ultimate dinner party? What would you serve?
Leonardo da Vinci, Howard Hughes, Jimmy Doolittle, The Big Lebowski, Zooey Deschanel, and my wife (she never allows a dull moment).
I would serve oysters with saltines, hot sauce and lemon; fried mushrooms with an herb buttermilk dressing; deviled eggs with deviled egg Caesar stuffing; and pork rinds with rotel dip to start. The menu would include spiced boiled peanut soup; poached gulf shrimp with a grape fruit granite; tagliatelle with pulled beef cheeks, veal gloss, and shaved Thomasville tomme fourth; trigger fish with jambalaya; seared wagyu with bordelaise stuffed popover; and for dessert cookie dough soufflé with vanilla ice cream
What non-food-related things do you do for fun?
Travel as much as possible. No substitute for experience. Also love music, golf, and fishing.
If you could go anywhere on vacation, where would you go?
What’s on your DVR?
Planet Earth, Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy, The Last Waltz.