Like many teenagers, Jeffrey spent his high school years tossing pizzas, but soon realized he enjoyed the restaurant business. He expanded his kitchen knowledge at a restaurant called Mudd’s in San Ramon, California. Mudd’s had a five acre garden which gave Jeffrey valuable knowledge about cooking with seasonal products.
Realizing that his passion was cooking, he enrolled in the California Culinary Academy. Just before his graduation in 1988 he fulfilled his required one month externship at John Ash & Company in Santa Rosa, California. Upon graduation he returned to John Ash & Company as Sous Chef and then became Executive Chef the following year. He passionately held that position for 20 years, creating exquisite meals using fresh, seasonal products gathered from local farms and from herbs grown in the restaurant’s garden. During that time he also traveled internationally as a “California Cuisine” consultant. In addition to teaching cooking classes at Santa Rosa Junior College and Ramekins in Sonoma, Jeffrey has also been a guest chef at the James Beard House in New York City and the Ahwahnee Hotel in Yosemite.
Wanting to spend more time with his family, Jeffrey left John Ash & Company in 2008 to pursue his dream of owning a restaurant of his own. He found the perfect location tucked away at the Hillside Inn and created a cozy little spot for delicious breakfast and lunch cuisine, and Jeffrey’s Hillside Café opened September 21, 2009. What originally drew Jeffrey to Sonoma County still keeps him here to this day.