Bohlsen Restaurant Group, which is best known as the founders of Prime, Monsoon, Verace and H20, recently appointed East Northport resident James McDevitt as its Corporate Executive Chef.
Among his honors are “best new chef” by Food
& Wine magazine in 1999, a “rising star” by the James Beard Foundation in
2001 and celebrity judge on Bravo TV’s Top Chef. In recent years on Long Island
at Four Food Studio, he had excellent reviews.
McDevitt is best known on Long Island for his five years as
executive chef for Four Restaurant Group where from 2007 he directed the
kitchen of its Four Food Studio in Melville and the design, construction and
development of Two Steak and Sushi Den in New Hyde Park. Of his food
leadership, New York Times’ Joanne Starkey said, “If Four were rated solely on
food, it would receive an excellent rating.”
McDevitt’s interest in food developed as a young boy helping his mother to cook and entertain military officials. The son of an Irish-American military father and Japanese mother, McDevitt spent most of his life traveling the globe. Living in Japan, the Philippines and Korea seriously influenced his culinary style. Those early years in the kitchen led him to attend Scottsdale Culinary School in Arizona, where he met his pastry chef-wife Stacey, and began to shape his career.
Opening his first restaurant in 1997, Hapa (Hawaiian slang for “half”), in a former pizzeria in Scottsdale, Arizona, In McDevitt and his wife built from scratch this Asian-American inspired establishment to local and national acclaim. Before age 30, McDevitt was honored as a Food & Wine Magazine Best New Chef and a James Beard Foundation Rising Star with Hapa cited as one of America’s Best Restaurants by Gourmet Magazine. New York Times former critic Bryan Miller wrote, “This restaurant is one of the most inventive and exhilarating in Phoenix.” Zagat Survey ranked it #1 for food in all of Arizona with a rating of 28.
In 2004, McDevitt relocated to Napa Valley, California marrying his love of food and wine with the launch of his new restaurant. Budo (Japanese for “grape”), which was a collaboration between the McDevitts and Sonoma-based winemaker Roger Roessler.