Farm to Tray Stories: Chef Ginger Pierce, Jams Restaurant

Soup Kitchen Stories: 2018

Biography: Ginger Pierce, Executive Chef, Jams Restaurant

Chef Ginger Pierce was raised in the San Francisco Bay area, where at a young age she gained an appreciation for the bounty of fresh, local produce. Her mother, an avid gardener, gave her an early affection for backyard produce, often yielding delicious tomatoes and a variety of fresh fruits.  Ginger attended the California Culinary Academy in San Francisco where she learned to utilize the fresh produce she grew up on.

Upon graduating, Ginger landed a job at Roxanne’s restaurant in Marin County, California where she was often assigned the task of selecting produce from the San Francisco Ferry Plaza farmer’s market, as well as foraging for indigenous plants.

When Roxanne’s closed its doors, Ginger set her sights on New York City, and had the fortune to end up at Barbuto working for Jonathan Waxman.  It was there that she went from line cook to Sous Chef, realizing a serious love for all things Italian. Waxman, a fantastic teacher, instilled a serious appreciation of simplicity in Ginger.

After Barbuto, Ginger went on to work at Provence, for the dynamic restaurant couple, Marc Meyer and Vicki Freeman.  She continued on with them at their restaurant Five Points as their Chef De Cuisine.

Following her work at Five Points, Ginger joined forces with her husband, Preston Madson to co-Chef Freemans, Peels and ISA restaurants.

In September 2015, Ginger opened Jams by Jonathan Waxman, at 1 Hotel Central Park as the Executive Chef.  Her passion for sustainability and seasonality is reflected in the vibrantly eclectic menu at Jams.

Ginger lives in Williamsburg Brooklyn with her husband and two children, Sebastian and Pierce.

For more information about our Farm to Tray event, go to www.farmtotray.org