From his distinctive Southern drawl to his trademark duds - denim bib overalls and a red and white truckers cap heralding "Save the Farm",- Jack McDavid is a "good ol' boy" with a unique recipe for success. Most recently, he starred in the TV Food Network's, "Grillin' and Chillin'" with Bobby Flay.
His innovative American cooking style and old-fashioned work ethic have produced rave reviews from customers and food professionals alike, including Food & Wine magazine's "Best Chefs in America" Award. With the skill of a classically trained chef who adds his own special culinary flourishes, Jack is known for serving ample portions of hearty, basic foods by weaving marvelous combinations of the finest grown farm-fresh ingredients.
Jack decided on a career as a chef, honing skills in more than 115 restaurants during the 1970's and early '80s. He learned classical French technique, as well as discipline, at Washington's bastion of French cuisine, Le Lion D'Or. There, he bacame proficient at every station in the kitchen of Jean-Pierre Goyenvalle. In 1984, he moved to Philadelphia to continue his culinary profession at the world-renowned Le Bec-Fin. It was Georges Perrier who inspired the young budding entrepreneur.
Jack opened his first restaurant, the Down Home Diner, in March of 1987, at the Reading Terminal Market in Philadelphia. He wowed patrons with inexpensive, inventive dishes like cornbread pizza with Tennessee ham and chicken-fried buffalo steak with red-eye gravy. In November 1989, he opened Jack's Firehouse in the Fairmount area of Philadelphia featuring "haute country" cuisine.
Jack's resolutely American regional style is clearly defined by his commitment to using products that are locally grown and raised. He buys from 250-300 farmers and breeders, and invests in local farms and greenhouses so that he can get perfect vegetables and herbs all year round. Everything served in his restaurants are McDavid-made - from mayonnaise and ketchup, to biscuits and chocolate chip cookies.
Six months after the Firehouse opened, he made his first national appearance at the Food & Wine Classic in Aspen, Colorado. Since then, he has been invited six times to cook at the James Beard House in Manhattan, the culinary equivalent to playing Carnegie Hall.
Jack is married and the father of four. In addition to his family and restaurants, Jack makes time for charities, having donated time and effort to the American Farmland Trust, March of Dimes, Meals on Wheels, Chef's Aid, Share Our Strength and many more.