Chef Jimmy’s at the kitchen helm of MYC

by Betty Wrenn Day - Posted on Mar 16, 2011 - 04:00 PM

Photo: A true epicurean, James Francis News, “Chef Jimmy,” begins his second season at Mathews Yacht Club creating savory dishes for members and guests to enjoy. Photo by Betty Wrenn Day.

A true epicurean, James Francis News, “Chef Jimmy,” begins his second season at Mathews Yacht Club creating savory dishes for members and guests to enjoy. Photo by Betty Wrenn Day.

The dining season for members and guests is now open at the Mathews Yacht Club and to ensure it is the best, Chef Jimmy News is at the helm.

Chef Jimmy, as he is fondly called, joined the staff in the fall of 2010. A native of Philadelphia, Pa., he thinks of himself as a native of Richmond also. "My dad was military and when he was stationed at Fort Lee we lived in Richmond. That was in 1953 and that’s where we stayed." He still maintains a home in Richmond where his wife, Susan, and nine-year-old son, Jacob, are most of the time as Jacob is in school. Jimmy also has a home in Mathews, "and I love it. I’ve been coming to Mathews, visiting friends, for eight or nine years. I was looking for a semi-retired job. When this opening came, it was perfect for me."

Jimmy began his career at an early age, "I was a 16-year-old boy working in the food service business" in 1969. He was an apprentice chef at the Jefferson Hotel. "I worked under Master Chef Enis Tow. From there, still in apprenticeship, I worked with Master Chef Paul Elbling at the La Petite France Restaurant," and then what he had chosen as a career took him to the Colony Club in Richmond. Jimmy was off and running, his background giving him the opportunity to work in many aspects of the culinary world such as executive chef, manager, part-owner. Along the way it brought him to owning his own restaurant, The Patrick Henry Inn in Richmond. During these years Jimmy involved himself in many styles and types of ethnic foods. His life travels in the food service business ("cooking is a business") took him to such places as Tanglewood Ordinary (French country cuisine), River City Diners, Swift Creek Mill, Ludwig’s Bavarian Restaurant (part-owner), Jacqueomo’s Restaurant (Cajun Creole style, part-owner) and his own Patrick Henry Inn, "a full service historic inn offering an upscale dining experience with regional and European cuisine," he said.