Jacques Larson is a humble man. If he were a plate of food, he’d be his very own tagliatelle alla bolognese — a simple dish. One that contains no fancy microgreens or foams, but each and every bite reveals a hearty burst of authenticity
“Jacques has a passion for cooking — a strong passion. He’s good and he’s consistent,” says Fat Hen’s Fred Neuville, a fan of Larson since the days of Union Hall (which became Cintra a few years in). Neuville fell in love with Larson’s veal cheek ravioli and ended up following him to Mercato before reeling him in to work for him at Wild Olive. “When Wild Olive first opened, I hired Jacques to help with prep during the day, and I eventually hired him as chef de cuisine,” says Neuville. “Shortly after I brought him on, I remember holding a meeting with the team to go over online reviews. A few reviews said the food was too salty. After the meeting, Jacques came to me and said, ‘Don’t worry, I’ll correct this.’ He was determined. He went straight to the kitchen and trained the staff, and it worked. The food came out less salty.”
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