Shortly after being born in Bishop, California, Chef Jesse Smith moved to the Central Coast when his parents answered an ad in the paper to manage a small apple stand in Avila Beach. Some of his earliest memories at the apple stand were shouldering bags of apples to customers cars during the warm Avila Valley summers. His fondest memories were Sunday evenings in the kitchen with his mother transforming fresh ingredients from the farm, into gourmet comfort food for the family. And that is where his love for cooking began.
Upon graduating from high school Chef Jesse Smith left the Central Coast seeking to broaden his horizons, and enlisted in the United States Coast Guard (USCG) as a Culinary Specialist. Following his extensive 13-week training in the methods of baking, sauces, seafood, etc., Chef Jesse Smith became a certified culinarian. During his 4-year enlistment Chef Jesse Smith had the privilege of cooking for thousands, and opportunities to reside in Hawaii, Alaska, and Northern California where he was introduced to regional cooking styles.
Inspired by the USCG, Chef Jesse Smith unquestionably decided to further his studies and experience as a chef, and enrolled at the Culinary Institute of America (CIA) in Napa Valley's, St. Helena. His experience at the Culinary Institute of America was extremely rewarding. Not only did he study under top chefs, he learned a broad spectrum of cooking techniques that helped hone his skills as a classical chef.
In addition to attending the CIA in St. Helena, Chef Jesse Smith had the good-fortune to work for a number of notable chefs and restaurants, such as Robert Mondavi Winery, and Cindy Pawlcyn's Restaurant Group, The culmination of these experiencers not only enhanced his love and passion for cooking, but also introduced him to wine country cuisine: a harmonious crossroads of regional ingredients and local wines.
Thrilled to share his acquired culinary experience, Chef Jesse Smith moved back to the Central Coast in 2012, to work side by side with his family at the Avila Valley Barn. Since returning, he has built the culinary program for the Avila Valley Barn by creating and offering a broad selection of traditional country favorites with a custom flare.
With a desire to fuse his classically French trained CIA skills with his love for old-school Texas smoking techniques and Central Coast cuisine, Chef Jesse Smith created The Farmers Guild Catering and Events in October of 2017. Chef Jesse Smith believes that his family is key to the success of his vision, and feels blessed to have his twin-brother, Jake Smith, an organic farmer, and his wife Collette, a certified sommelier, join him on his culinary adventure.
Chef Jesse Smith
MEET THE MAN BEHIND THE FIRE.
"One cannot think well, love well, sleep well, if one has
not dined well." -virginia woolf