The list of chefs Jason Pfeifer has worked for reads like a “Who’s Who” of culinary giants—Michael Anthony at Gramercy Tavern, Thomas Keller and Jonathan Benno ’93 at Per Se, and René Redzepi at Noma.
Now he’s joined his own prestigious list, having been named one of Forbes magazine’s “30 Under 30” for 2014 in the Food category, a list the magazine says “represents the entrepreneurial, creative, and intellectual best of their generation.” And Jason certainly fits that criteria.
He was just 18 when he completed a 2,174 miles, five-month hike of the Appalachian Trail, creating gourmet meals with foraged ingredients. Jason then spent time maintaining two organic farms at an inn in his native North Carolina, and decided to turn his passion for food into a career.
When he enrolled at The Culinary Institute of America, the course was charted for his future success. “The CIA prepared me with the basic skills and expectations I would need to enter the culinary world,” he says. “It was the first conscious choice I made to set myself on the path of becoming a chef, and it has been invaluable in the trail I’ve taken.”