For as long as he can remember, Jawan Perine has been fascinated by cooking.
“I was a little, chubby, kid so I always ate. I was watching cooking shows since I was 8 or 9 and cooking since I was 12,” he said. “I would write down recipes from the TV and give it to my mom or start trying to cook them myself.”
A graduate of NCC’s Culinary Arts Specialist Program in Newark, Perine was later hired at Legal Sea Foods, a popular, upscale, restaurant located in the Short Hills Mall.
The restaurant’s entrees include dishes like lobster risotto, double stuffed shrimp, baked scrod and stuffed flounder.
“The customers are very, very particular. You also have to be conscious of allergies and be ready to make modifications to a dish to fit the individual’s needs,” he said.
Eric Wiggins, the then sous chef at the popular restaurant, called Perine a “hard worker” with a “great attitude.” “He’s a great asset to our team,” he said.
Perine credits the training he received at the New Community culinary program with helping to prepare him for working in a fast-paced, upscale restaurant.
“I loved the school. I learned a lot of things and really got my speed up. Working at a restaurant is completely different from cooking in your own house,” Perine said.