About the Three Birds
To understand the way I cook I should tell you a little bit about how I grew up. I am a perfect hybrid of my parents. My mother works in healthcare. She in nurturing, empathetic, and loves learning. When we made a commitment to something she made sure we followed through. My father was one of those old school butcher's when you could still go to the store and pick out the perfect cut of meat for your recipe or budget. He makes a friend everywhere he goes and likes to reminisce about funny moments from our childhood. They are both great southern cooks. Mom made fried chicken and biscuits and dad grilled anything he could get his hands on. My grandparents had gardens and I remember plucking green bean ends, a salted cucumber half, a tomato sandwich so fresh the inside was still warm from the sun. This laid the foundation for my love of cooking.
One of my first restaurant jobs was a small hometown seafood restaurant in Eastern North Carolina. Guys ruled the kitchen and ladies served the guests with sweet southern charm. There was no cross over. There was however very long navy skirts and pink bandanas which we all hated. The kitchen is where I longed to be; with the guys frying soft shell crab and hush puppies. So I decided that culinary school was my next stop.
I went to Johnson & Wales University at what used to be their Charleston, SC campus. At the time I was vegetarian and taking the butchering classes was less than ideal. My father would quiz me on all the cuts and how they were best used and I got an "A". Among many things we learned how to mix cocktails, make bananas foster in the dining room tableside, write menus, and my absolute favorite Garde Manger where playing with your food was highly encouraged.
After finishing my first year of culinary school there was a summer job recruitment job fair. I was offered a job at Glacier National Park in Montana as a cook. I absolutely loved it! I loved it so much in fact that I went back the second summer as a sous chef. My grandmother was a park ranger so she always encouraged us to visit state and national parks. It continues to be one of my favorite things to do.
I lived in Denver, Boston, and Memphis. Our family fell in love with Eureka Springs and decided to move here on our first visit in November 2020. We spent several months renovating the cafe and patio to make our restaurant dreams come true. So you can see I love to nurture people through food, be committed to my passion, meet new people and do it all surrounded by beautiful mountains. I am exactly where I am supposed to be. We are so excited to meet each and every one of you!
Chef Jennifer McDermott
I was born in Denver, CO and have also called Memphis and now Eureka Springs home. Having a chef Mom, I have developed an adventurous pallet for a kiddo. I enjoy baking, photography, reading, and singing. Do not be surprised if you see my wild curls running or biking through the local woods.
Growing up in the Midwest among family farms, I appreciate the value in supporting local agriculture and the importance of working towards a sustainable future for generations to come. Outside of the café, I work for a worldwide leader in veterinary diagnostics with home base being in Memphis, TN. I have enjoyed being Chef Jen's #1 taste tester for 20+ years!