Owner of Cellar 335 Shares his Culinary Industry Journey
Jamie Knott, Chef & Owner of Cellar 335, talks with Joanna Gagis about his extensive restaurant industry experience and how it has led him to his many successes today, including three of his own restaurants.
"Welcome to Life & Living. I'm Joanna Gagis. It was in his grandma's kitchen early in his life when Jamie Knott says he learned how food, family, and community work together. Today he's received critical acclaim for his culinary work. He is Jamie Knott, chef and owner of the Saddle River Inn, Cellar335, and Saddle River Cafe. Welcome to the program Jamie. Thanks for having me. It's great to be here. It's great to have you. You continually appear in all of our New Jersey publications as a restaurant that you, a chef... that you should be experiencing a restaurant that you should be going to. That is, of course, the settle River Inn. But you started in your grandma's kitchen. I did. I have a big family a lot of cousins and my grandmother cooked professionally when I was a kid. So, there was always, you know, ham in the oven, or turkey breast, or four pots on the stove. She made crab soup which is like, world-famous. And this was in Maryland? In Baltimore? Yes, this was in Baltimore, Maryland, where I was born. Correct. So, you eventually transplanted to Nutley, New Jersey where you and I actually went to high school together. Yes, we met... Right? We'll have to let the audience know that Jamie and I go way back. But really, was it in high school that you started to understand that this could be something for you? I don't think I understood much of anything in high school, but I knew that I wasn't meant for an office, or a nine-to-five job. And I knew that I liked girls, and there was a lot in the Home Ec class, so, you know, that's what I gravitated towards. And there was food, right? Food was... food was probably second most important... I went to Home Ec for four years in high school, and I just I kind of loved it. And I got a job as a busboy at the Franklin Steakhouse when I was 13 years old. And, you know, it was... it grabbed me from there. I loved it. They let you... at the time it as Johnny Maggs, right? ...Was the owner? Johnny Maggs was the owner. I also used to work at the Steakhouse. A lot of people cut their teeth there. Yes they did. But you've got some experience, not just as a busboy, but they let you start experiencing the food and putting together salads and things, right? Well, Johnny was big into football, so on Sundays he was never there. And I would sneak back into the kitchen, I started working the salad station, then I would watch the saute guys... I love the..."