Meet The Chefs
Meet the Ocean House Chefs
The culinary team at Ocean House is comprised of a group of talented chefs, hailing from all around the country, with a shared goal of achieving excellence and perfecting their craft. Each chef, with his or her own unique background, tells a story through food with an emphasis on local ingredients and seasonality. Click the arrows below to learn more about some of the gifted team members that make dining at Ocean House truly special.
Growing up in Madison, CT, Chef John Kolesar was always close to the kitchen. With his grandmother and grandfather always creating something special for the family to enjoy, Chef John knew at a young age that the culinary field would be his calling.
While attending Johnson & Wales in both Miami and Providence, Chef John was able to refine his culinary skills while developing a love for the business of a kitchen; all of the skills that it takes in addition to cooking to run a successful establishment. From menus, creating unique and special bistro-inspired dishes, costing out recipes and managing a team of professionals, he realized his passion quickly.
Prior to joining the Ocean House team, Chef John worked as Executive Chef for the Rhode Island Center for Performing Arts where he was accountable for food preparation and daily operations for a 1,200-seat theater and 300-seat nightclub. He also worked as the Executive Chef at Chester House Catering and Amalfi Restaurant & Catering.
Appointed as the Executive Chef of Ocean House in December 2011, after serving as Executive Sous Chef since the summer of 2010, Chef John brings more than 10 years of experience at world-class restaurants and catering companies to the hotel.
Chef John is responsible for overseeing all culinary operations for the luxury, beachfront resort, including its five fine and casual dining restaurants. Managing a kitchen of more than five chefs and 40 cooks and employees, Chef John finds being the Executive Chef both challenging and rewarding on a daily basis.
“At the end of the night, when the ovens and gas are turned off and I’m doing my order, I look back on the day,” he says. “All I can do is smile and be thankful – thankful for having the opportunity to lead an extraordinary group of young Chefs that wow hundreds of people each day.”
Awards and Accolades
Voted Caterer of the Year in 2006 by
Rhode Island Hospitality and Tourism.
Originally from Madison, CT
Banquet Sous Chef
When you ask Banquet Sous Chef Jose Pabon about food, the first word out of his mouth is “steak.”
“When I think about opening my own restaurant someday, all I think about is steak and sandwiches,” he said. “When I find a good sandwich, it just puts a smile on my face.”
Born in Puerto Rico, Chef Jose first set foot in the United States when he and his parents emigrated from their home country to North Kingstown, Rhode Island. At just 8 years old, he knew next to no English. But, as time progressed, Chef Jose quickly picked up the language and took a job as a dishwasher at the age of 15.
Recounting it now, he said he never had any desire to be a chef. However, after watching the rhythm of the kitchen from day to day, “I guess it kind of intrigued me,” he said.
Prior to joining the Ocean House’s culinary team as a line cook in April 2012, Chef Jose spent eight years as a line cook at Cedars Steakhouse at Foxwoods Resort & Casino. He also worked briefly at Fred & Steve’s Steakhouse in Lincoln, Rhode Island and most recently worked as a line cook at David Burke’s Prime. After working as a full-time grill cook and leader of Ocean House’s Bistro line, he was promoted to Bistro Sous Chef in 2013 and is continuing to look ahead. In 2015, Chef Jose switched gears once again and took on the role of Banquet Sous Chef.
When asked what motivates him most about working at Ocean House, he replied:
“When someone gets a plate from me, I want them to be like, ‘Wow!’ Like I painted a picture on their plate. At the end of the day I not only strive to make our guests happy – I want to wow myself.”
Chef de Cuisine
Jacob Jasinski began working in restaurants during his high school years. He spent time in several restaurants in Providence and the surrounding area before traveling West to experience a much different style of cuisine in the Rocky Mountains. Later he ventured to Tucson, Arizona where he worked as a personal chef.
After a year in Arizona, Jacob, eager to learn more, bought a Michelin Guide for France and emailed every Michelin star restaurant until a chef in the Rhone Valley invited him to work and stay for several months at his hotel. He took the money he had saved and traveled abroad, working diligently as a stagiaire at Domaine de Clairefontaine, and then briefly at Osteria da Fiore in Venice Italy. Jacob took every opportunity to visit markets and other restaurants, hungry to absorb as much of the culture and European standard for food as he possibly could.
After returning to the States, Jacob cooked at The Dining Room at Atlanta’s Ritz-Carlton Buckhead, which, at the time was one of only twelve Five-Star restaurants in the U.S. From there, he accepted a position at Kennebunkport’s White Barn Inn and, a year later, took his first head chef position at a restaurant that had not yet opened in Portland, Maine. At the Salt Exchange Restaurant, he was exposed to an entirely different side of the industry. Here, he not only ran his own kitchen, but also experienced the many challenges of running a business.
With a desire to return to a more refined cooking style, Jacob moved on to Joël Robuchon at The Mansion MGM Grand in Las Vegas. Here he quickly learned and adhered to the standards necessary to manage and succeed in a Three-Star Michelin restaurant.
Back on the east coast, Chef Jacob spent two years at Newport’s Castle Hill Inn, another Relais Châteaux property on Rhode Island’s coast. In Early 2014, Jacob left Castle Hill to join the Ocean House team, assuming the role of Chef de Cuisine in Seasons.
In February 2015, the Seasons restaurant team was awarded their fifth star from Forbes Travel Guide, making Ocean House one of only ten fifteen-star resorts in the world.
“My objective is to create an experience that conveys a sense of place in a classic restaurant setting utilizing all the ingredients the area has to offer at their peak freshness.”
PM Sous Chef
William’s diverse culinary journey began at a local pizza place in his hometown. Like many other chefs with humble beginnings, he quickly realized that cooking was something he wanted to pursue for the rest of his life. After working his way up through the ranks, he moved on to Bistro 9 in East Greenwich, Rhode Island. William’s hard work didn’t go unnoticed, and after just a short period of time, he was promoted to Sous Chef.
His deep desire to expand his culinary knowledge and finesse brought him to Tucker’s Bistro in Newport, Rhode Island. Once there, he caught a glimpse of classic French fine dining, and fell in love. After only four months in Newport, an opportunity arose to travel overseas and work in Paris. William, wanting to learn as much as possible in a short time, jumped at the offer.
In Paris, William worked with American chef–and dear friend–Kevin O’Donnell at L’Office. The quaint French-American bistro opened his eyes to a different kind of food culture he’d never before seen.
Reluctantly, William returned to Rhode Island where he began working for Newport Restaurant Group at The Mooring, and eventually moving on to Castle Hill Inn, a Forbes Four-Star Hotel in Newport, Rhode Island. Here he met Chef Jacob Jasinksi and instantly fell in love with the slightly more modern fine dining cuisine at Castle Hill. After working along Chef Jacob for six months, William moved on to Boston, once again working in tandem with Chef Kevin O’Donnell, at a Back Bay charcuterie and pizza restaurant called The Salty Pig. He absorbed as much knowledge as he possibly could about the world of charcuterie and refined Italian cuisine before returning to Rhode Island.
In the spring of 2015, William assumed the role of Line Cook at Ocean House. Here, he had continued his international culinary journey, traveling to a Johann Lafer Stromberg, a Relais and Châteaux in Germany, to expand his knowledge of foreign cuisine and culture. Since then, William has quickly moved up the ranks, being promoted to Sous Chef in the summer of 2015, and has played an integral role in advancing the culinary program at the resort.
Executive Pastry Chef
While some may spend their entire youth working toward a career path of their choosing, the path to the technique-driven world of pastry seemed almost to have chosen Adam Young. Raised in Brandon, Vermont, Chef Adam set foot in his first kitchen at the age of 12. (The restaurant’s owner thought he was at least 16 because of his height – he is 6-foot-5.) Here, at a Victorian-style inn in the area, he was responsible for one of the most labor-intensive (and underappreciated) areas – the dish room.
Gradually, as he rose through the ranks, Chef Adam was exposed to all areas of the culinary field, including butchery and, eventually, pastry. It wasn’t long before the talented and determined young chef soon found himself infatuated with the aggressive and fast-paced atmosphere the kitchen afforded.
When he turned 17, Chef Adam enrolled in the New England Culinary Institute, a rigorous program that instilled within him discipline and focus. As his technique strengthened, so did his passion and resolve to pursue a culinary career. Initially drawn to the savory side of the kitchen, it wasn’t until a chance encounter with French Master Chef Rene Bajeux and Pastry Chef Joy Jessup in New Orleans that Chef Adam discovered the as yet uncharted world of pastry – and fell head over heels.
“I fought it at first,” he said. “My ignorance led me to believe that desserts were just an afterthought. But I learned that the success of a pastry is determined by a strict set of variables. Controlling those variables and working as precisely and consistently as possible is paramount.”
Prior to joining Ocean House as head of the pastry department in 2010, Chef Adam worked as the pastry chef at Quail Valley Golf and River Club in Vero Beach, Florida under the direction of Chef Jose Faria.
“When it comes to grooming and molding young chefs, this guy was the ultimate,” Chef Adam said.
It is this approach Chef Adam encourages at Ocean House, where he continues to oversee a 24-hour pastry operation, which has attracted aspiring young talent to create the recognized products that have become signatures to the hotel brand.
“In the culinary industry, once you yourself have achieved your goals, you have the opportunity to start giving back to the next generation of young talent behind you,” he said.
Excited to deliver what will be the best year at Ocean House yet, Chef Adam said he is looking forward to providing for guests more variety, new techniques and products, and a shining young staff to support him.
“I feel very at home at the Ocean House, it provides the perfect pallet to perform my craft,” he said.
Awards and Accolades
• Awarded Certified Working Pastry Chef certification from the American Culinary Federation
• Has cooked three times at the James Beard House
• Was profiled in a featured article in the National Culinary Review
• Serves as a mentor to Vocational / Technical School students for annual Ocean House Gingerbread Competition
• Volunteered with Daisy Bakers for at risk youth while in Florida
Grew up on a small dairy farm in Leicester, Vermont, which currently remains as the Harvest Program for at risk youth.
Growing up in the small farming community of Colchester, Connecticut, Chef Paul McComiskey developed an interest in cooking at a young age. His culinary career began at the tender age of fourteen when he took a job as a dishwasher at a summer camp and, after showing a keen interest in food, was quickly promoted to Prep Cook. Very early on, Chef Paul came to understand the importance of serving fresh, wholesome food; he recognized how food could not only feed the body but also fuel the soul. This realization kickstarted the pursuit of his culinary dreams, and by the time he was 21 years old, Paul had taken every food-related opportunity that crossed his path, working in diners, pizza kitchens, casinos, fish markets, small cafes and even at a slaughterhouse.
His colorful background earned him his very first position as a Chef, running the kitchen at the Willimantic Brewing Company and Main Street Café. Here, Chef Paul developed strong ties to the community where he worked with local breweries and restaurants to expand a beer dinner program and started a charitable Guest Chef program that benefitted nearby soup kitchens, schools and community organizations.
Paul’s passion for local and seasonal cuisine heightened when he joined the Altnaveigh Inn & Restaurant in Storrs, Connecticut as the Chef de Cuisine. Later, Chef Paul joined Weekapaug Inn as a Sous Chef where, under the expert guidance of Chef Jennifer Backman, Paul learned the art of hospitality and flourished in his role. In March of 2015, Chef Paul journeyed to sister property Ocean House in Watch Hill, Rhode Island to take on a new role as the Food Forager. Having successfully climbed the ranks from home cook to Sous Chef, Paul’s humble beginnings and non-traditional culinary training make him an obvious choice for the role. At Ocean House, Paul is able to create lasting relationships with local purveyors, seek out the freshest local flavors and practice and teach his own food and cooking philosophies.