JR’s background consists of graduating from culinary school, studying food for the past 35 years and traveling the world to experience food in new ways. Early in his career, he worked in all areas of restaurants being a Function/Banquet Captain, Sous Chef, Head Saute Cook, Garde Manger, Rounds Cook, Head Chef, Executive Sous Chef and Food & Beverage Manager at companies to include, The Canterbury Hotel in Indianapolis, The Denali National Park Hotel in Alaska, Sugarbush Inn, Edson Hill Manor and Mount Mansfield Company in Vermont. He also ran the food service at Lambeau Field and worked as a contractual Executive Chef for PGA events, major concerts and VIP catering for Spectrum Events out of Houston before opening his first restaurant.
For the past 15 years, JR has created some of the best dining spots in Northeast Wisconsin. Chives Restaurant in Suamico was his first. Since then, he created and opened 8 others, some small operations, some larger, most of them successful and others not so successful but always taking a risk, sticking his neck out, trying new ideas, and loving every minute of it. Each and every idea brought a new learning experience.
His mission is to always keep it simple, always use the freshest ingredients available. Our staff consists of very talented customer oriented people; some who have helped JR develop Chives culinary path from the beginning and some are employees he worked with in previous kitchens. The entire staff at Chives is along for the next ride which makes for a great working environment. Chives would not be what it is today without the talent and dedication of our staff.
As JR evolves, so has his family grown. His 3 children are grown and the grandchildren keep him young. Jessa, his oldest daughter is our head Baker in Fish Creek, baking delicious bread from scratch for both of our Door County locations. Nick, his oldest son and Nick’s wife, Charlotte run our restaurant, RYE, in Appleton. Nick is the Head Chef and Charlotte is the Events Coordinator. Lucas, his youngest son has graduated as a Certified Sommelier and has created for us some spectacular wine lists and works in food & beverage at both of our Door County locations. JR’s wife, Cindy, has dedicated herself to lead the office and bookkeeping departments for all his restaurants.
JR has two restaurants in Door County. Chives In Baileys Harbor and Barringers in Fish Creek. Chives Door County opened in 2014. Looking to start settling a bit, JR and Cindy chose Door County to call home. The building that Chives is located in captures the history of the small town of Baileys Harbor and character throughout. It is the perfect setting for creating dishes utilizing the freshest ingredients available. You will see our chef team planting seeds on the property and picking their vegetables from our very own greenhouse. Chives prides itself on everything made from scratch. From our bread to ice-cream, from our garden of vegetables and local ingredients, we are truly Farm to Table!
Check out his newest hobby….Food Trucks! JR now has two of them. He has our “Farm to Truck” food truck specializing in house-made sausage sandwiches, grilled cheese, salad in a jar and Friday Fish Fry. Our new pizza truck is an original 1945 Ford 1 1/2 ton commercial pick up with an artisanal wood fired oven on the back. We make a variety of pizza, wood oven roasted food and salads from it. You can enjoy food out of either of them at the Door County Brewing Co in Baileys Harbor or special events/caterings in the area. Also, try Barringer’s Restaurant in Fish Creek for a remarkable steak house/supper club experience.
Lucas began working in our restaurants at the young age of 14. He showed an interest in mixology and started bartending at 18. Lucas has worked at Chives in Suamico, Bleu in DePere, Mustard’s in Napa CA, Chives in Baileys Harbor and Barringer’s in Fish Creek.
Lucas specializes in beverage, earning a certification in wine as a Certified Sommelier from the International Culinary Center in Campbell, California. Lucas focuses his attention on our wine lists at Chives Door County and Barringer’s but you’ll most likely find him at Chives in Baileys Harbor behind the bar.
Lucas loves to travel, taste wine, snowmobile, golf, and watch NFL football.
Evan is here for his 2nd season representing our food truck business. He comes from a small town in Indiana and graduated in 2018 with a degree in Business Management with a certificate in Dutch studies from Indiana University – Bloomington. His main interest is to learn more about breweries.
You will find him at one of our food trucks in the summer. Evan enjoys beer, vinyl, golf, travel and fishing.
Lucas started working for us in 2010. He was only in high school at the time and began his career in the “dish-pit”, as all great leaders should. Lucas graduated from the University of Minnesota – Minneapolis in 2016 with a BS in Food Science. In keeping with pursuing his passion with food, he has worked at Chives and Rustique Pizzeria in Suamico, Rye in Appleton and most notably has staged with Thomas Keller’s restaurants, Ad Hoc and Addendum in Napa, California.
Today, you will find Lucas as our Chef at Chives in Baileys Harbor. His passion and fascination with food comes to life on his menus. You’ll often find him tending to the gardens at the restaurant. Lucas loves ice fishing, hiking, kayaking, gardening and being a duck farmer.
Samantha is a Door County local. She has worked in various restaurants in the area. She graduated with a degree in Business Management with an emphasis in Entrepreneurship in 2016 from NWTC in Sturgeon Bay. Samantha has been with our company since 2014.
We consider Sam our in-house artist where you will find her artwork on our daily feature board at Chives in Baileys Harbor. Samantha enjoys riding her motorcycle, spending time outdoors and being on the water.
Cecelia has been with us for several years now. She graduated from Fox Valley Technical College with a degree in Communications in 2018. She has worked in customer service for Bergstrom on Victory Lane as a receptionist, Alta Resources as a senior phone agent and Rye Restaurant in Appleton.
Cecelia comes from a large family of 10 siblings (9 girls and 2 boys) and loves fashion, nature, exercising, reading and playing board games.
Brady is as a graduate of Waukesha Co Technical College with a degree in Culinary Arts. He has spent time cooking at Wolf Peach in Milwaukee, Lagniappe Brasserie in New Berlin, Bleu Restaurant in DePere and Chives in Suamico.
As a young kid, Brady became interested in cooking while in Boy Scouts: “If you cooked, you didn’t have to clean”. Brady chose cooking. Today, you’ll find him cooking as Sous Chef at Chives in Baileys Harbor. Brady enjoys the outdoors, gardening, golf and raising ducks.