As executive chef of Rare, Chef James blends classic French technique with a contemporary American approach to cuisine which showcases the best products available in New England. He is in constant contact with local farmers, artisan cheese makers and small businesses that have unique and delicious products that help to enhance his menus and offer guests exciting dining experiences.
Born in Hollywood, California, Chef James began his culinary career at the Ritz Carlton, Laguna Niguel before moving to Aspen, Colorado to work at the historic Red Stone Inn. Opportunities then followed at the Forbes Five-Star Little Nell and the St. Regis Aspen Resort, where he worked with world-renowned chef and Boston native, Todd English.
Chef James later moved to Las Vegas where he held executive chef positions at Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino before spending time at the Michelin-rated Alizé restaurant at Palms Casino Resort. In 2014, Chef James joined Wynn and Encore Las Vegas where he assumed the role of assistant executive chef for group dining and special events. Chef James’ background in fine dining allowed him to excel in the role, bringing restaurant expertise to large group settings. His experience in executing some of the most ambitious and elaborate events in Las Vegas made him the best candidate to lead the group dining and special events team at Encore Boston Harbor as executive chef when the resort opened in June 2019, before taking the helm at Rare.
In his free time, Chef James enjoys skateboarding and hanging out with his two pit bull terriers. His artistry extends beyond cooking to working with metal and wood, restoring kitchen appliances, cars and bicycles as well as repurposing materials into art pieces.