Chef Jamie Imlah
Chef / Co-Founder at Off the Line Cooking
Jamie brings years of experience cooking in the region to his new food blog and catering company
“Guilty pleasure” snack: “Sweets in general. I have a major sweet tooth and lack self control when it’s activated so I generally try to keep it dormant.”
Favorite meal: “While this definitely varies depending on the time of year, I will never say no to a baked pork ragu pasta. It’s very comforting and reminds me of family gatherings in New Jersey. ”
“Can’t live without” ingredient: “Salt obviously, and Badia fajita seasoning.”
Most essential kitchen item: “A chef knife, saute pan and rondeau. ”
Get to know Chef Jamie Imlah
I was born in Vermont and moved to Northern Virginia as a kid. My cooking journey first began by taking culinary arts classes at Monroe Technology Center in Leesburg. Then I did a 3-year apprenticeship program while working at Landsdowne Resort. After that, I worked at The Inn at Little Washington for just under two years followed by 8 years with Evolution Food Group, more specifically Market Table Bistro where I developed my passion for using local ingredients that were oftentimes foraged or grown by myself or other restaurant employees. Most recently, I’ve stepped out of the brick-and-mortar restaurant and “off the line” to launch a food blog and bespoken catering service with my fiancé, Alejandra. We’ll be getting married this February in El Salvador!
Finding a love for food
My love for food quite frankly came from my love of eating. Growing up I would watch the Food Network often and then try to recreate many of the dishes I saw in my own kitchen. I also have a cousin who was a chef in New York City at that time, who I looked up to greatly.
Not having a brick-and-mortar restaurant is challenging at times but it has also freed us up to experience various opportunities. Off The Line is a food blog and a private events service we started in early 2021. It was born when I stepped out of the restaurant industry and Alejandra was looking for a creative outlet. Our recipes are all inspired by our experiences, family and our everyday lives. Our hope is that by cooking our recipes and eating our food, people are able to create special moments and memories that inspire them. My favorite thing about it is that it allows us to connect more deeply with our customers and enables me to exercise my creativity more because I’m constantly coming up with different menus to fit different environments.
How do you feel about the locally sourced movement?
I believe it to be not only great but essential. Eating local is the natural way of living and it creates a stronger community. Locally sourced ingredients simply make a dish 10x better. When you invest time and effort into your food, starting with either planting the crop or raising the animal, that food when put on your plate or in your fridge means so much more to you than something you grab at the store or get delivered to you in a box.