Jared Harwood has been a longtime Lead Line Cook at Localis, and he is leaving for a life of international travel and discovery! But before he puts down the knife with us, we thought we’d learn a few things about one of our favorite employees.
Jared Andrew Harwood
I went to ARC (American River College).
HOW LONG HAVE YOU BEEN A CHEF?
Six years. I started when I was 18. Right out of high school, I went to a restaurant called Latitudes in Auburn. I worked there as a prep cook. From there, it blossomed. I worked at Auburn Alehouse and learned about high-volume there. And then I started going to culinary school around that time and I was just starting to eat downtown and really liked Hook & Ladder, so I got a job there. From there I went to Kru so I could learn more about higher-end, fine dining. And now I’m here (Localis).
DO YOU THINK IT’S TOUGH TO BE A CHEF?
I enjoy the lifestyle. I don’t seek the forceful nature of this job, but… I like it, it keeps me humble.
WHAT’S SOMETHING YOU REALLY VALUE AS A CHEF?
I really like seeing a product from start to finish. Doing everything yourself, like homemade pasta, homemade bread, homemade everything. And that’s what I really enjoy about cooking, is doing everything with your hands. Dealing with farmers and learning from farmers and their cultures. You should always be looking to tighten up your skills.
WHAT’S YOUR ULTIMATE CULINARY GOAL?
I don’t see my whole life in fine dining. I could see myself opening something small, a cafe or a coffee shop with, like, 8 tables. And I could focus on things that are housemade, like pastas, like breads. DO stuff I could do with my hands. That’s what I want.
YOU’RE GETTING READY TO DO SOME TRAVELING. WHERE ARE YOU GOING?
I’m going a bunch of places! Sacramento will still be my homebase, but I’m taking a road trip to Vancouver, going to Zion National Park, then Mexico City where I’m going to Quintonil, which is currently ranked the 13th best restaurant in the world. And it’s pretty cheap too! I’ll go to Hawaii for a couple days, Cancun and maybe New York for a couple days. I’m pretty lucky because my mom works for Alaska Airlines and I pretty much get to fly on standby for free all the time. But it only lasts 'til I’m 25 and that’s this year, so I got to get going!
ANY PARTING WORDS FOR YOUR SACRAMENTO FANS?
I would say that if anyone’s still feeling like fine dining is unapproachable, that it’s really the most approachable in terms of knowing where things are sourced, you know what you’re putting in your body. Localis is a great place for that because we’re casual, and we’re doing great things. I’ve always liked working here. People get hung up on science or technique and it’s really just about knowing exactly what you’re getting. We can give you that knowledge.
Jared... We wish you great travels... and expect to eat some day in that cafe you are imagining!