Chef Jason Reaves
Jason Reaves – Executive Pastry Chef at Salamander Resort & Spa
Meet Executive Pastry Chef Jason Reaves
Born and raised on a farm in Purcellville, VA, Chef Jason Reaves developed a love for food at a young age. He learned how to cook and bake from his mother and grandmother. Early on, Jason began to check out every cookbook he could find at the local library to further hone his skills.
Jason entered many baking competitions throughout his childhood. This led Jason to enroll at Monroe Technical Center in Leesburg, VA for Culinary Arts during his junior and senior year of high school. During that time, he worked in the pastry kitchen at Lansdowne Resort in Leesburg, VA. Here he trained under Pastry Chef Ricardo Murillo, who inspired him to attend culinary school.
The Journey Begins
Jason graduated from the Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park, NY in 2004 with an Associate of Occupational Studies degree in Baking and Pastry Arts. He began his professional career with Norwegian Cruise Lines in Hawaii as an entry-level pastry cook. After many promotions, he became the Assistant Chief Pastry Chef of the cruise ship, “Pride of America,” where he met his wife Nicole.
Chef Jason’s journey brought him through destinations like Hawaii, California, and New York. His mother was however, ever vigilant to send numerous newspaper clippings about the future Salamander Resort & Spa. In 2005, Chef Reaves returned home and became the pastry chef for Market Salamander. Jason was quickly noticed for his elaborate cake designs, and competed on many Food Network shows. Shows including Sugar Dome, Halloween Wars, and won first place on LEGO Cakes, King of Cones, and Freakshow Cakes. When Salamander Resort & Spa opened in 2013, Jason became the Executive Pastry Chef, where he and his team provide all of the desserts and cakes for the resort and Market Salamander.
Family being a big part of his life, Jason feels fortunate to be raising his family and building his career where he grew up. He and his wife Nicole currently reside in Hamilton, VA with their two sons, Nolan and Calvin, and the newest addition to the family is their daughter Madeline.