Originally from Montego Bay, Jamaica, Chef Jerome gained a love of food through observing and occasionally helping with his father's side business as a caterer to big parties and weddings. He saw how food brings people together and brings them a sense of happiness.
At age 15, he was hooked on becoming a chef. After graduating high school, he enrolled in and graduated from the Kenilworth Academy of Culinary Arts. Before leaving the academy, his talents were noticed by recruiters from a five-star resort on the island called Half Moon Resort.
"It was like starting school all over again," recounts the chef about beginning his culinary career at the ritzy vacation resort. He further honed his skills at high end resorts in Scottsdale, Ariz., Horseshoe Bay, Texas, Hawaii and Indian Wells, Calif. When Pechanga Resort & Casino came calling looking for a sous chef to open its new Umi Sushi & Oyster Bar in January 2014, Chef Jerome jumped at the chance. When the Journey's End head chef position opened in September 2014, he was an obvious choice.
"I like my dishes simple with standout flavors, but the presentation must be elegant and inviting," he says. "We all eat with our eyes first. It's true." Using local and indigenous ingredients including Temecula olive oil (which he says is so good you can drink), he also infuses hints of his Jamaican heritage into the menu.
With a newborn baby and a top chef job, Chef Jerome admits life is pretty good, though he is the first to say he did not get to where he is by becoming complacent. Since October, items on the Journey's End breakfast and lunch menus have received revamps, replacements and refreshes. He says the brunch menu is next for a rebrand, and diners can look out for his Jamaican-infused brunch and lunch specials to include an ode to his father's specialties - plantains, escoviche, jerk chicken and more. "I could only hope to cook at his level, though I'm not sure I'll ever get there," the humble yet confident chef admits.
Journey's End is open for breakfast, brunch and lunch every day from 7:00a.m. to 5:00p.m. Journey's End Lounge is open for cocktails and appetizers from 11:00a.m. to 6:30p.m. daily.
About Pechanga Resort & Casino
Pechanga Resort & Casino offers one of the largest and most expansive resort/casino experiences anywhere in the United States. Rated a Four Diamond property by AAA since 2002, Pechanga Resort & Casino provides an unparalleled getaway, whether for the day or for an extended luxury stay. Offering more than 3,000 of the hottest slots, table games, world-class entertainment, 517 hotel rooms, dining, spa and golf at Journey at Pechanga, Pechanga Resort & Casino features a destination that meets and exceeds the needs of its guests and the community. Pechanga Resort & Casino is owned and operated by the Pechanga Band of Luiseño Indians. For more information, call toll free (877) 711-2946 or visit www.Pechanga.com. Follow Pechanga Resort & Casino on Facebook and on Twitter @PechangaCasino.
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