About Chef Jim

Jim has had a rich, wide-ranging culinary career. After growing up in the hospitality industry, he trained as a chef, became a celebrated pastry chef, published several cookbooks, opened a pastry shop and restaurant in Hong Kong, then became a culinary educator and joined the food service industry. Since 2004, he has been Bon Appétit Management Company’s director of specialty culinary programs, based in the corporate office in Palo Alto, CA, and donates his time regularly to charities throughout the country.  

Jim comes from seven generations of hoteliers. The Dodges opened their first hotel, the Pendexter Mansion, in the White Mountains of New Hampshire in 1794. After early training and direction at his parents’ resorts, The Inn at Steele Hill and the Squam Lakes Club, Jim went to work for James Smith at Wentworth-by-the-Sea, in Portsmouth, NH. There he met Fritz Albicker, the Swiss chef responsible for Jim deciding to become a chef instead of a hotelier.

At Albicker’s Strawberry Court in Portsmouth, Jim learned how to meld Swiss influence with his New England heritage, resulting in unique methods of preparation and styling. In 1978, Jim moved to the West Coast to be the executive pastry chef at the Stanford Court in San Francisco for 10 years, during which he became one of the first pastry chefs to be nationally recognized. In 1991, Jim made his home in the Pacific Rim and opened The American Pie, a restaurant and pastry shop offering modern American fare in Hong Kong; a wholesale bakery and a second American Pie followed. In 1993, Jim returned to the States and left retail baking for education, joining the New England Culinary Institute in Montpelier, VT, as senior vice president. He supervised all areas of educational and operational quality, including two fine dining restaurants; two moderately priced family restaurants, three cafeterias, and a bakery café.

It was a natural next step to move into specialty food service. In late 1996, he became the director of food services at Boston’s Museum of Fine Arts, where he redefined the Fine Arts Restaurant and oversaw the Galleria Café, the Museum Cafeteria, as well as special events at the MFA. Moving back to the West Coast in 2000, he joined Bon Appétit Management Company as general manager at the Getty Center, running the restaurant, café, and catering services for the world-class art complex in Los Angeles. Since August 2004, Jim has been director of specialty culinary programs for Bon Appétit. Jim now oversees training in specific global cuisines and techniques, hosts culinary demonstrations, and manages the company’s Star Chefs program, which invites chefs to Bon Appétit cafés for recipe-tasting and book-signing events to help promote their new cookbooks. 

Media

Current

  • Director of Specialty Programs, Bon Appétit Management Company »
  • Jury Chair, Julia Child Award »
  • Advisory Council, Julia Child Foundation for Gastronomy and the Culinary Arts »
  • Judging Committee, Good Food Awards »

Past Involvement

  • Co-Founding Chef, Cooking for Solutions, Monterey Bay Aquarium, 2002 - 2010
  • Director, International Association of Culinary Professionals, 2005- 2008
  • Advisory Chair, Boca Bacchanal, Boca Raton Historical Society, 2002 - 2005
  • Seafood Watch Ambassador, Monterey Bay Aquarium, 2004
  • Los Angeles Chairman, American Institute of Food & Wine, 2003 - 2004
  • Co-Chair AIWF Pageant of the Chefs Benefit, Los Angeles 2002
  • IACP Cookbook Awards Judge for 6 years
  • Culinary Advisory Board, New England Culinary Institute, 1989-1994

TV Appearances

  • Ciao Italia with Mary Ann Esposito, PBS, 2006 season
  • Christine Cushing Live, Canadian Food Network, 2003 season
  • Great Chefs, PBS
  • In Julia’s Kitchen with Master Chefs, PBS
Jim has appeared on several national television programs including the Today Show, the Home Show, and Good Morning America.

Press

  • How Do You Keep Julia Child's Legacy Alive? Pay It Forward, Washington Post »
  • New Julia Child Award Will Go to a Leader Who Influences American Food, Los Angeles Times »
  • Foundation Honors Julia, The Boston Globe »

Awards & Recognition

  • James Beard Award for Excellence, 2005
  • James Beard Foundation, For Outstanding Contribution to the Beard House 1998 & 2003
  • Goodwill Ambassador, Boca Raton, Florida 2002
  • James Beard Awards, Finalist for Pastry Chef of the Year, 1994
  • James Beard Awards, Finalist for Pastry Chef of the Year, 1993
  • James Beard Awards, Finalist for Pastry Chef of the Year, 1992
  • Gold Plate Award, American Academy of Achievement, 1989
  • IACP Cookbook Award, 1988
  • Honorary Citizen and Goodwill Ambassador, Houston, Texas 1988
  • James Beard Cookbook Award in 1987
  • Honor Roll of American Chefs, Food & Wine, 1983

Cookbooks & Contributions

  • The Oxford Companion to Sugar and Sweets (2015) edited by Darra Goldstein »
  • Vanilla Table (2015) by Natasha MacAller »
  • In Julia's Kitchen with Master Chefs (1995) by Julia Child
  • Baking with Jim Dodge (1991)
  • American Baker (1987)
  • Joy of Cooking (Contributing editor, revised version)
  • Food & Wine (Former contributing editor)
  • Cooks Illustrated (Former consulting culinary editor)

Jim's articles have appeared in Cooks magazine, The Pleasures of Cooking, Woman’s Day, and the San Francisco Chronicle.