I’m Jase Grimm. I’m a cook by trade, and adventurer by choice and an uncommon fruit by good fortune. I’m California born, Iowa raised and corn fed and I received my Associates in Culinary Arts at Le Cordon Bleu Chicago in 2008 and have been cooking my way around the globe ever since. I specialize in simple, wholesome New American cuisine with an emphasis on using local, seasonal and sustainably produced ingredients. When I’m out of the kitchen you can find me in the woods, on a beach or on a farm. I most recently resided in New York and made a living catering, whilst trying to act/model as well as co-host The Curious Cook Series with the lovely Athena Reich. My next adventure, and the inspiration for this blog, is taking back to Antarctica. I’ll be sharing my food/travel pictures, stories, reactions and humorous musings here and on my personal site Uncommon Fruit I might also play the ukulele. Just sayin.
I’m a cook by profession, but would consider myself a bit of a jack of all trades. I am in love with nature and the outdoors and can be found once a day on a hiking trail/dirt path/gravel road seeking adventure. I found that cooking as a profession can have some profoundly disturbing side effects on the waistline so I also make fitness a priority in my life and could even be described as a bit of a gym bunny. Music is a huge part of my life and I surround myself with people who make it, or at least have good taste and have recently picked up a ukulele and have been strumming my way through the Top 40 Charts.
I’m currently curled up in a nook of a cute little bed and breakfast in a small resort own on a sliver of a sand bar just off of Long Island, New York where I spent the summer as a personal chef for a charming couple in their gorgeous beach house. Before this I was making a go of it as a waiter/cook/actor/model in the heart of Manhattan simultaneously loving and hating every minute in that city. The highlight of my big city adventure was co-hosting The Curious Cook Series with Athena Reich; it celebrated my love of food and that mild yearning for fame and attention that tugs at most Iowa boys’ hearts when they move to the Big Apple.
Prior to NYC I served my country by accepting a temporary USDA Meat Inspector position at a rural Iowa processing plant where I spent my days knee deep in all sorts of offal learning the ins and outs of pig butchery. It was certainly a departure from my previous job which was a 12 month gig cooking breakfast lunch and dinner for a team of reclusive scientists at the South Freaking Pole. No joke. Read about Cooking at the Bottom of the World here. I’m actually headed back to Antarctica in a few weeks, which was the inspiration for this blog so check back in a month or so if you’re into extreme weather, stark landscapes and crazy cool science.
The only reason I ever ended up in Antarctica was because I was spending my second summer cooking in Alaska (I might have a bit of a thing for the cold) and was looking for my next seasonal position, having no idea that it would bring me to the most remote human outpost on earth. I really only ended up in Alaska cause I spent a year studying outdoor survival/wilderness skills in Washington before pulling an “Into the Wild” and heading up the coast. Which brings me back to college, where I spent 2 years acquiring my Associates in Culinary Arts at Le Cordon Bleu Chicago whilst getting my real world culinary education scrubbing pots and pans at a hip vegetarian biker bar in Wicker Park.
I decided to pursue a career in cooking on a whim after graduating from a prestigeous private boarding arts high school in California, to which I fled after coming out in the fairly conservative state of Iowa. I was raised in a wonderful family there since I was 6 and fell in love with the bluffs, streams, rivers and woods and know I will eventually make that my home (stay tuned for a post about my homestead/permaculture project!) My parents decided to make the move to the family friendly midwest a few years after my birth in the Sacramento area of California the state in which they met.
Now that the introduction is out of the way, you can look forward to posts about the food that I’m cooking/eating and what’s inspiring me, my travels around the states and soon about my upcoming trip back to Antarctica. Ask questions! Leave comments! Share with your friends and don’t forget to look me up at my website Uncommon Fruit