Interview with Executive Chef Jagger Griffin of Ocean Prime
Not too long ago, we drooled about Ocean Prime’s Candied Yams with Marshmallow Brulee (if you missed it, you can read the writeup here), one of my very favorite comfort dishes. Chef Jagger Griffin heads the kitchen at Ocean Prime (located up at CityNorth) and recently, I had a chance to ask him a few questions and learn a little more about his background.
PhoenixBites Interview With Chef Jagger Griffin
Amy Martin: Can you tell us a little bit about your background and how you came to Ocean Prime?
Chef Jagger Griffin: After I graduated from the New England Culinary Institute in 1993, I moved to Arizona and worked for Vincent’s, Christopher Gross, and Eddie Matney who was then the Executive Chef at Furio, and Salty Senorita.
Amy: What motivated you to become a professional chef?
Chef Jagger: The joy of cooking. It’s also something I excelled in at a young age.
Amy: Where do you find inspiration for new dishes on the menu?
Chef Jagger: I turn to seasonal produce, locally-farmed proteins, and vegetables.
Amy: If you could have unlimited supply of any ingredient (produce, protein, spice, etc.), which would it be?
Chef Jagger: I know it sounds like a cop-out but it would be foie gras; it can be used in so many dishes.
Amy: Is there one specific item that would never be found in your kitchen, whether at work or home?
Chef Jagger: You will never find “base” in MY kitchen.
Amy: The cocktail menu at Ocean Prime is impressive! Do you have a favorite?
Chef Jagger: I’d say the tequila cocktail.
Amy: What is your personal favorite cut of beef?
Chef Jagger: It has to be Ribeye.
Amy: Where do you source your steaks?
Chef Jagger: Michael’s finer meats from Columbus Ohio.
Amy: The marshmallow yams stole my heart on our recent visit. Which would you say is the most-ordered side dish on the menu?
Chef Jagger: The jalapeno au gratin is popular.
Amy: When you’re off the clock, what is your “go-to” meal?
Chef Jagger: I love sandwiches.
Amy: Any favorite “guilty pleasure” foods you’re brave enough to tell us about?
Chef Jagger: In-N-Out animal style and a hotdog any time of the day.
Amy: Favorite local restaurants?
Chef Jagger: Crust and Humble Pie.
Amy: If you could orchestrate your last meal, what would it consist of and where would it be?
Chef Jagger: Foie gras, cherries, cheese plate, a fine bottle of wine, scallops, ribeye, chocolate mousse and my wife, somewhere romantic and quiet.
Amy: Any recipes or kitchen tips you’d like to share with our readers?
Chef Jagger: Be organized and expect the unexpected on a daily basis.
To learn more about Ocean Prime or to view the menu, visit oceanprimephoenix.com.
Ocean Prime | 5455 East High Street | Phoenix, AZ | 85054 | 480-347-1313