CATER­ING TO CLIENTS Per­sonal chef James Large brings mod­ern touch to French clas­sics

Palm Beach Daily News - - TODAY -

Per­sonal chefs are elite mem­bers of the Palm Beach culi­nary scene. Some make up full-time kitchen brigades and oth­ers work ex­clu­sively on a per-event ba­sis. For their clients, these chefs are worth their weight in gold.

James Large is a free­lance chef with an ex­clu­sive client list. His ap­point­ment book is so packed dur­ing the sea­son that he typ­i­cally works eight to 10 days in a row. Com­mit­ments for ma­jor hol­i­days, special an­niver­saries and in­ti­mate din­ner par­ties are made well in ad­vance of the events.

“A friend in Palm Beach rec­om­mended him a few years ago,” said client Nor­man Sun­shine. “We tried him out for a din­ner party we gave and were most im­pressed.

“We asked if he would cook for us in Con­necti­cut from time to time, know­ing he was based in the Hamp­tons for the sum­mer. We gave a few din­ners and our guests were ec­static.”

In­spired by Ju­lia Child

Large’s ca­reer be­gan as a coun­ter­point to a ca­reer in the art world. Born and raised in Idaho, he would watch Ju­lia Child seg­ments on PBS, along with his brother. He re­mem­bers beg­ging his mother to join a recipe-of-the-month club.

The sum­mer months were spent with his grand­par­ents on their cat­tle ranch. He helped his grand­fa­ther plant and cul­ti­vate a farm gar­den that cov­ered nearly an acre. His grand­mother canned dur­ing the grow­ing sea­son. Ev­ery­thing they ate came from the farm.

While in col­lege, work­ing to­ward a bach­e­lor in fine arts in sculp­ture/art his­tory, he moon­lighted cook­ing and cater­ing pro­fes­sion­ally for Cristina’s Ital­ian Restau­rant in Sun Val­ley.

“In 2000, I was of­fered a sum­mer job as a pri­vate chef in the Hamp-

Chef James Large makes his sig­na­ture cheese souf­flé, care­fully blend­ing parme­san, Gruyere, sharp white ched­dar and mi­mo­lette cheeses for one of his clients.

The light and del­i­cate fin­ished cheese souf­flé evokes ex­pres­sions of de­light from Large’s pri­vate clients.

Roberta Sab­ban

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