John and nancy McDevitt
EXECUTIVE CHEF AND OWNERS
John grew up on the Jersey Shore, learning at an early age, a true appreciation for nature. Through this love for the outdoors, his career interest soon blossomed into culinary pursuits, and producing the wonders of nature into amazing food. Combined with the constant array of Seafood available and the bounty of the “Garden State”, John built the basis for his cooking style.
He moved out to California in his teens, looking for that “Sunshine Daydream”, where he lived in the Bay area for 6 years. There he picked up the nuances of not only California living, but also the amazing amount of fresh ingredients at his disposal there. This planted the seed for the future in which he would build a career in the Culinary world, working his way to eventual ownership of his own restaurant.
Upon moving back to NJ in 1993, John began working in restaurants diligently, mostly in the Front of the House. It was then that he met his wife, Nancy and settled back down, albeit somewhat reluctantly, on the East Coast. His work in restaurants grew to include kitchen work, which would prove to be his destiny. In the late 90’s John took the step to professional Chef by attending the Restaurant School of Philadelphia. He took to the course work like a “fish to water”, and was a leader in all aspects of the curriculum.
His career began working for such renowned Chefs as Robert Long, of the Frenchtown Inn and Bobby Trigg, of the Ferry House. A big break came when he became Sous Chef for Restaurant Associates, located on the campus of Princeton University. After several years with RA, the corporate office took note of his strengths and moved him up to The Time Warner Building at Rockefeller Center in New York City. There he was in charge of the Executive Dining Rooms and earned high marks for creativity as well as his business savvy.
Next stop, Mount Holly, NJ, the year is 2004.
Well, yes it was a big change from the big city. But with his wife by his side, John opened the High Street Grill and Catering Company, located in a 200 year old row building, complete with brick walls and ghosts in an old, historic town. Developing the menu was as natural as breathing for John, who knew right away what he wanted to serve. Both he and his wife were behind this operation to “create the kind of place they themselves would want to be patrons”. Describing the menu as “New American” Chef John took on the task of melding the flavors of Middle Eastern spices, Asian delicacies, and French Comfort foods such as Duck Confit, turning the town on their heels with an unexpected and greatly appreciated take on a mostly Grilled menu. Private parties became a specialty, as both the intimacy of the restaurant and the eclectic menu options were rather appealing by comparison to the everyday options available everywhere else. To raise the bar on creativity and flavor was the goal, and it was achieved. High Street Grill became a mecca for such private events as Rehearsal Dinners by Candlelight, Wedding and Baby Showers by the Fireplace, and outdoor Weddings to die for, at local historic locations.
In 2012, John and his family decided to head West to pursue the lovely California lifestyle and have settled here in Paso. John was the Executive Chef at Trumpet Vine Catering for 3 years before opening Farmstead Catering. His business acumen is undoubtedly what leads his success, along with the ability to create flavors that work together, stimulate the palate as well as the mind, and bring a special touch to your Catered Events.