Jerry grew up on the west side of Chicago. He originally went to college to study architecture and worked at a restaurant as a dishwasher to support himself. He eventually began helping the chef with food preparation and it piqued his interest in culinary arts which led him to culinary school.
A year at the university confirmed his true calling as he was quickly drawn back to working in different Chicago restaurants and hotels. Jerry took the opportunity to seek higher training of his craft by apprenticing at the Culinary Institute of America at Greystone in California and working in some of America’s most renowned resorts and hotel kitchens in Chicago, Atlanta, Orlando, Houston, and Amelia Island. Jerry held various chef positions with prestigious international hotels like Opryland Hotels, Marriott International, and Omni Hotels and Resorts, among others. For more than 20 years, his passion has been driven by one simple rule: “Learn something new every day.” His love for learning and mentoring, in addition to being part of 5 hotel openings, has sharpened and broadened Jerry’s general management competencies, as well as his restaurant concept development skills.
Jerry has cooked for world leaders, dignitaries and celebrities including US President, George Bush Sr., the Governor of Florida, Jeb Bush, Mayors of Galveston, Lyda Ann Thomas and Joe Jaworski, actor Anthony Hopkins, singer Rod Stewart, radio personality and voice actor, Casey Kasem, Astronaut and US Senator, John Glenn, hosted former WWF professional wrestling heavy weight champion, Hulk Hogan’s daughter’s birthday party, among others.
Jerry has also promoted the culinary trade through fund raising efforts since 1992 with the homeless and hunger relief organization Share Out Strengths. He is a member of the American Culinary Federation.