Homecoming Chef Feature: Jason Goodenough

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Homecoming Chef Feature: Jason Goodenough

Being the only child of foodie and travel-obsessed parents was the catalyst that created Chef Jason Goodenough’s love of cuisine and gastronomy. Jason’s childhood was spent in New York and London and he and his parents traveled Western Europe extensively, eating at the best restaurants they could get into.

Although Jason always wanted to be a chef, he didn’t really think it was realistic.  However, while pursuing his degree in Economics at Millsaps College in Jackson, MS he started cooking professionally to scratch the itch that he had always felt.  After a week working as a line cook he knew that he was hooked.  “I was thrilled that a fellow Millsaps Major joined our kitchen team,” reflected Jeff Good. “Jason was a very smart young man who wanted to break out of the traditional business school degree mode and follow his passion. I was able to share our story- Dan with an Econ major from UC Santa Cruz, and me with a B.B.A. from Millsaps- and how we took that school experience and applied it to running a restaurant. Jason was a quick study!”

After graduation from Millsaps, Jason left Jackson and matriculated to the Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park, NY.  He excelled there, and upon graduation moved to Philly where his wife, Amelia, was pursuing her Medical Degree.

Jason knew as a young culinary graduate that in order to be the best, he had to work for the best chefs that would hire him.  After stints at Lacroix at the Rittenhouse as well as for Iron Chef Morimoto and twice for the legendary Georges Perrier, Jason was offered his first head chef’s job.  The Happy Rooster was a Philly landmark that had landed on hard times, and Jason was brought in to relaunch its menu and improve its reputation.  He accomplished this and received many press accolades in the process but had to leave after a year and a half when his wife graduated medical school.

Jason and the newly-minted Dr. Goodenough hoped to get their daughter closer to Amelia’s home (the Mississippi Delta) for her residency.  This led them to New Orleans, where Amelia pursued her residency in Child and Adolescent Psychiatry at Tulane University (where she is now a member of faculty).  Jason spent his first year working as a sous chef for Emeril Lagasse at Nola Restaurant.  After this, he commuted to South Dakota from New Orleans to work as a private chef on a ranch in the Black Hills.  This job allotted him about 40 weeks per year of paid vacation, so Jason filled in his time at different New Orleans restaurants in order to keep his skills sharp.

Carrollton Market, named for the historical market that the building is in the middle of, opened in March of 2014.  The restaurant has received a plethora of accolades since its inception.  In early 2017, Chef and his crew travelled to Cafe Boulud in New York City where they cooked Lundi Gras and Mardi Gras collaboration dinners with Executive Chef Aaron Bludorn (Jason’s classmate and friend from CIA).  Most recently, Carrollton Market was named a Top-10 Restaurant for 2018 by Times-Picayne restaurant critic Brett Anderson.  Chef Jason was also named Chef of the Year by New Orleans Magazine.  Chef Jason believes that if he, and his crew, come to work every single day trying to be better than they were the day before then great things will follow.  Even after almost four years this is still — and always will be — the mentality of the staff at Carrollton Market.

“Few professional with Jackson, Mississippi ties have the experience that Jason has,” Chef Dan Blumenthal reflects. “He has literally seen the world, and those impressions come out in his food. I am honored that Jason has agreed to come home for this celebration. This will be stellar!”

Jason’s featured dish for our Homecoming Dinner:

Oysters Goodenough: flash-fried oysters / Benton’s bacon / creamed leeks / sauce béarnaise

To read more about our Homecoming Dinner and see the rest of the menu click here.

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