Meet Chef Jimmy Masters
"You'll never stop learning in this business. That is for sure!"
When did you start working for Stokes?
" I started with Restaurant Inc. at Twisted Fork three years ago and have been with Stokes now for two years."
How did you start your career as a Chef?
"I started working in the kitchen while in college at NW Missouri State and fell in love with cooking. After that I moved to Kansas City to get into fine dining and worked at the Bristol for eight years. I've also worked at Hereford House."
"I've been a chef for 13 years now."
Did you go to school for culinary arts?
"No. My training has been working in kitchens, which I take immense pride in."
How did you end up working for Stokes?
My wife was born and raised in Omaha and after getting pregnant we wanted to move back to be closer to her family. I met Gayle and could tell he was a great person. He implements a family first, job close second philosophy which I also believe in. Gayle liked that I had a strong banquet and catering background so it was a good fit."
Do you like Omaha?
"Absolutely! I love Omaha. It's smaller than KC and you can get around so easily. The short commute is fantastic."
Typically when a new chef steps in, guests make assumptions that things will change… quality, menu items, etc.
Will the long-standing favorites on the menu change?
"We've made a few changes over the years but Stokes is such a staple that you don't want to mess with it too much. I've switched up some of the plate presentations but the core menu will always be there."
What is your biggest challenge as a chef?
"The hours can be overwhelming for both a chef and their family. At the same time, you're doing something important. You are helping celebrate your patron's special anniversaries, birthdays . . . creating memories, so it's fulfilling"
What are your favorite dishes?
"Aztec nachos, steak and mushroom enchiladas."
What's the Best advice you've received?
"Lead by example."
Advice for guests?
"Sit back and enjoy. Don't be afraid to try new things!"