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LOCAL CHEFS/Evening Star Cafe's Jim Jeffords

Posted on Jan 03,2013
Filed Under Restaurants , Local Tastes,
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Photograph by Jeff Martin
Under Jim’s direction, the southern accent that was always part of the Evening Star’s menu is more pronounced as he combines the food experiences of his childhood with classic culinary training and the experiences learned in one of Washington’s finest kitchens.

ALEXANDRIA, VA. - A quick look at Jim Jeffords background, and it seems fitting he has landed at the beloved Evening Star Cafe, a quirky, neighborhood gem with strong roots in the Alexandria community.

With his appointment as Executive Chef, Jim has come full circle, combining his rich southern heritage and farm upbringing with more than five years of contemporary American and classic French technique.

Under Jim’s direction, the southern accent that was always part of the Evening Star’s menu is more pronounced as he combines the food experiences of his childhood with classic culinary training and the experiences learned in one of Washington’s finest kitchens.

One of Jeffords Southern Styled dishes;
Shrimp 'n grits.

As a boy, Jim spent every spare moment on his family’s farm in Moultrie, Georgia, where he helped tend to the corn, soy, peanuts, and cotton crops. His grandmother’s pot roast (made from his grandfather’s cattle), deviled eggs and boiled peanuts were staple foods at their large family dinners. As was expected, Jim pitched in with the Jeffords businesses at a young age, making the transition from farm to kitchen.
His first cooking position was in his grandparents’ restaurant, Southwells in Palakta, Florida on the St. John’s River. There, he first learned to break down and prepare alligators and local seafood. After graduation, Jim enrolled in college, but his adventurous spirit and desire to work with hands lured him to Montana where he found work as a lumber jack, fly fishing guide and ranch hand.

After two years of travel and self-discovery, Jim reclaimed his passion for food and enrolled in The New England Culinary Institute in Montpelier, Vermont. After graduation, the nearby dining scene in Boston led him to seek employment with Chef Chris Parsons, a fellow lover of the outdoors, who grew up fly fishing with his father. In 2006, he began working at Catch, Parson’s three-star seafood restaurant.

In 2007, Jim relocated to Washington, D.C. and, after several recommendations from close friends, walked into CityZen hoping to work with one of the area’s most reputable chefs – Eric Zeibold. After an internship and some time as a server, Jim ultimately worked his way through each station of the CityZen kitchen. In nearly five years with Zeibold, Jim learned a special appreciation for his abilities as a superior cook and distinct philosophy on the creation of each dish.

After serving its neighborhood for 15 years, The Evening Star Cafe received an extensive renovation and reopened its doors with Jeffords at the helm of the kitchen.
Jim brings his experience, commitment to the highest quality, local foods, and a Southern influence to each dish on the new Evening Star menu.



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