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