CULINARY DIRECTOR JASON Czaja
Shinsei and Lover’s Seafood Market’s Culinary Director Jason Czaja, once went to college for music performance. But then he changed his tune and entered the field of culinary arts. Since then, Jason has forged a highly successful career in the hospitality industry which has included stints with many of the country's most prestigious restaurants.
“I didn't want to go into music education, and cooking just came naturally to me,” Jason said, “Growing up in the Chicago area, my mom waited tables to make ends meet. As a kid I used to sit/hang out in the kitchen while she worked, and restaurants became very familiar and comfortable to me”.
Jason grew up in Iowa, where he studied music as a percussionist at the University of Iowa. Once he got out of college, however, the restaurant business called, and he made the switch. Jason started out with the PBJ Restaurant Group. In 2010, Lynae Fearing and Tracy Rathbun hired him as a chef for his first go-round at Shinsei. After a few years at Shinsei, Jason joined famed Dallas restaurateur Nick Badovinus (Neighborhood Services, Town Hearth) and worked for a number of years as a chef at several of Badovinus' restaurants. From there, Jason worked as Assistant Culinary Director with HG Supply Co before coming home to serve as Culinary Director for Shinsei and Lover’s Seafood Market, where he serves Dallas restaurant patrons with the freshest fish and sushi. With a résumé like that, it's obvious that the switch from music to culinary arts has worked out pretty well for Jason. He shares a love of the restaurant business with his girlfriend, Brandy, who works as the General Manager at Lover's Seafood and Market.