Chef Jeff McInnis
Jeffrey McInnis was born to either fish or cook, and to this day, he would gladly do either. Born in Niceville, Florida (and yes, that is a real city in the Florida panhandle) in 1978, he was surrounded by the magic of the ocean. He grew up on fishing boats, bringing in only the freshest catch and by 16, he was peeling shrimp, cleaning squid, cutting fish and cooking on the line at The Marina Cafe.
His passion for fresh local food was further inspired by his frequent trips and long southern summers spent with both sets of grandparents on their working Alabama farms. The restaurant term “farm to table” was more than an expression, but a reality for McInnis as a child. His grandparents only ate what they raised, from milking their own dairy cows and churning butter, to making their own blackberry jelly preserves from fresh picks of the day.
After high school, McInnis attended culinary school at Johnson & Wales University in Charleston, South Carolina. Determined to avoid being "type-cast" for only southern cuisine, McInnis set off traveling to further his culinary knowledge and expertise. After some time cooking in the Virgin Islands, San Francisco, Virginia, North Africa and Europe, Jeff expanded his repertoire to include Caribbean-Asian, Japanese, Southern Mediterranean and North African cuisine.
After appearing on the popular Bravo television show, “Top Chef,” Jeff returned to his Miami roots, helming the kitchen at gigi and then Yardbird Southern Table & Bar, where he earned himself and the restaurant, three James Beard nominations in two years. Now settled in NYC, Jeff is bringing southern hospitality to the Alphabet City with the opening of root & bone with his partner, Chef Janine Booth, of “Top Chef” season 11.