Jason was incredible and I was blessed to have him for our wedding party of twelve. My mother had taken over the catering aspect of our Oahu wedding because she saw how stressed out I was, and if you do talk to Jason, he can confirm how high strung I was when we met. I perfunctorily nodded and looked at the menu, my mom handed over the money, and I barely talked to him because I was upset at our ceremony site, which looked nothing like it did in the pictures (our home base is in NYC so we didn't get to see the property until 3 days before the wedding) and I was too busy with sprucing it up to get to know Jason personally.
The purpose of this preface is to say that this is obviously NOT a review of Jason as a person because upon talking to him, you'll be taken by his sense of humor, character, and charm. If the apocalypse comes you'll want him on your team, not just to cook of course but because he's so funny and has a magnanimous soul (my dad got locked out of his room and Jason stopped what he was doing in the kitchen and went to help!). This is a review obviously, of his professionalism and his INCREDIBLE food. It's unfortunate that I can't post pictures but let me just say this. People typically oversell how good they are and in Jason's case, my objective opinion is that he doesn't do enough. Exhibit A: I offered to post reviews for him in every forum possible because he really deserves the greatest public approbation but he still hasn't called or write (c'mon Jason you need to pub yourself more!). Anyways, I'll stop gushing and be helpful to those who are looking for a chef for their private event.
Here are a few background notes to me so you can get a sense of where I come from and why I believe Jason deserves the highest praise.
Here is a list of the courses we had that I'm recalling from memory, so the names are descriptive and less poetic than I'd like: 1) Steak Bruschetta, 2) Crabcakes, 3) Asparagas and Mushroom Salad, 4) Mahi Mahi, 5) Steak, and 6) Lobster.
Pretty simple right? Jason's crabcakes were the best I've ever had. They were meaty (I couldn't tell where the breading was), flavorful, and unlike most crabcakes that are heavily battered and salted, NEEDED Jason's amazing sauce because it was barely salted. As I've said, we're based in NYC and there's no need to be snooty about food but what I mean is we've tried the best in the culinary world. I grew up in Taiwan and I've had Michelin starred restaurants in NYC, Hong Kong, and Tokyo. Most of the times I find food in most of these restaurants well plated but overhyped in taste.
I'm not going to essentialize Jason because this is obviously just one meal I've had from him, but it was a 6 course meal and there were too many opportunities to be inconsistent. Jason's trademarks (again, from my one time impression): 1) light on salt (I didn't request this, I think this is just a hallmark of great cooking), 2) using the freshest ingredients, and 3) making everything from scratch (for reals, I saw him making crabcakes in the kitchen). I hope this review would be helpful to those of you who are looking for someone to cook for your event, if you or your guests are more Paula Deen than Morimoto and like thickly battered fried and refried items or go nuts with the salt shaker then Jason will be a disappointment.