What is in a name? In our case the name Sarah Jean's is a reflection of my roots with food. These roots are something I did not truly appreciate until I found myself as a chef. When I started cooking, I tried my best to distance myself from the food I remembered growing up. This wasn't intentional, but with each new dish and technique I learned, a whole new world of flavor was opening up for me. Ingredients I had only heard about or seen on TV were an arms length away. I tasted everything, and threw myself into learning all I could about different food cultures, while simultaneously ignoring what made me fall in love with food in the first place. It wasn't until I moved to Southwest Virgina that I began to appreciate the food I grew up with: the gatherings with family, the church covered dishes, and all of the gardens I complained so much about working in. I realized that all of those things were the foundation of everything I had learned.
With each kitchen I worked in, my desire to get closer to the source of ingredients also got stronger. This desire led me to Southwest Virginia, and it was love at first sight. I am still blown away by the diversity of ingredients these mountains give us. It was a whole new world of flavors that were all familiar but different in the most exciting ways. I started realizing all of the techniques I had learned along the way could be applied to what grows here. I realized that I didn't need to try and run from my roots, I needed to celebrate them. I started noticing that everything I needed to make great food was right here, and that I needed to celebrate all of the amazing ingredients of the mountains.
I truly hope that every guest who walks through our doors feels like family while enjoying a meal at Sarah Jean's. So come on in and celebrate the beautiful mountains we call home!
See ya at Sarah Jean's!