Chef Jouvens Jean began his culinary career as a self thought professional, but later in his journey he fine tuned his expertise through advanced education and numerous apprenticeships under some of America’s finest chefs. His food reflects the best of all his experiences as he came, cooked and conquered. Born in Nassau Bahamas, where tourism is the main industry, it was only natural that this pai…r made a fusion in a later aspect of his life. In 1993, his parents sent him to Miami in hopes of a better future.
Jouvens started cultivating an interest in the culinary arts when a close friend started attending culinary school. Not as financially fortunate as his friend to attend culinary school, he decided to teach himself to satisfy the craving of his interest. After a few years of working in mom and pap places he landed a serious job at a local Italian restaurant (Coco Pazo Cafe) in South Miami, where he worked for several years honing his cooking skills and immersed himself in the day to-day operations. It was there he learned the fundamentals of running a restaurant from the restaurant’s Chef.
From 1997-1999, His career gathered momentum and it was time to take it to the next level. In 1999, he landed a gig at Baleen Restaurant in the luxurious Grove Isle Resort in Coconut Grove, where served under esteemed Chef Robin Hass until 2001. His yearning to fine tune his craft took him to the Hyatt Regency in downtown Miami where he worked at Japengo, a Pan-Asian /Sushi restaurant. At the Hyatt he matured his knowledge of the entire scope of food & beverage operations.
In 2004, now a well versed Chef, he moved to the Conrad Miami in Brickell where, under the guidance of acclaimed Chef Michael Gilligan, he ran the flag ship restaurant Atrio, a Latin-Asian (La-sain) fusion restaurant and was later named Executive Sous Chef. During this period he evolved into a full blown culinary artist. He led the restaurant in food competitions and was invited to design and execute a dinner at the famed James Beard House in New York City.
In between work hours, Jouvens attended Florida International University and graduate with a B.A. in Hospitality & Tourism Management in 2008. While at FIU, Chef Instructor Michael Moran recognized Jouvens talent and asked him to be his lead teaching assistant in advance food production. He was also given the opportunity to serve as teaching assistant in advance food production in Tianjin China at FIU-TUC (Tianjin University of Commerce). He also served as assistant culinary coordinator for the South Beach Wine & Food Festival’s popular Bubble Q.
In 2009, he was tapped by the W South Beach Hotel, where he was part of the opening team and highly involved in all aspects of the food & beverage department. While there he was introduced to innovative restaurateur Ramzi Zahr. The two immediately hit it off and Jouvens agreed to serve as Executive Chef at Mr. Zahr’s dual concept, Mediterranean/Japanese restaurant, Sawa. The rest, as they say, is history.
Chef Jouvens actively participates in culinary charity events as a way of using his talent to give back. For the past three years he has been working with the Academy of Hospitality for Booker T Washington Senior High School, volunteering numerous hours per week to help students interested in culinary art develop their talent. In 2011 Chef Jean and his restaurant, Sawa Restaurant & Lounge volunteered to be a host site for Urgent Inc.’s Summer Youth Employment Program. He’s now working on publishing a children’s book that promotes healthy eating for kids.