The Metro Scene

Central’s Chef Jason McGarry


Executive Chef Jason McGarry is up front about his vision for the future

— and it includes a James Beard nomination.

When asked what inspired him to become a chef he responds quickly: “I like to eat.” It also doesn’t hurt that he’s an adrenaline junkie at heart. “I was drawn to the organized chaos that lies just ‘behind the doors in a restaurant.’” Of course, the term is used loosely when referring to Central since they boast an open kitchen.

The creations at Central reflect Chef Jason’s greatest influencers: seasonal ingredients, current food trends and his own “outside of the box” approach to create good food. He plans menus according to the season and purchases his ingredients where ever the crops are popping up — so you can be assured his fares are always fresh. Chef Jason’s career began with hands on training at the prestigious Greenbrier Resort in White Sulfur Springs, West Virginia. It was there he completed the three-year chef’s apprenticeship.

The culinary team at Greenbrier is also driven by carefully designed, ingredient driven menus using local produce and seems to have left its mark on Chef Jason. Feeling stifled and bored doing corporate style menus in stuffy restaurants lacking heart and passion for their food and service, Chef Jason charted a different course. “Being an executive chef of a restaurant like Central allows the freedom to create and try new things.” When asked what style of food he would pick if he were given the opportunity to open a new restaurant Chef coyly replies, “It’s too soon to tell. Stay tuned.” Having been in the industry for fifteen years now, he has developed a keen eye for detail.

According to Chef Jason there are three key ingredients for running a successful restaurant, “Inspect what you expect, keep a constant finger on the pulse, and keep it fun!” At Central, with Chef Jason at the helm, you can expect to be surprised and satisfied, “I’ve never prepared a bad meal for someone. It’s all about the love.”



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