James "Berkeley" Braden
About James "Berkeley" Braden
A strong work ethic and a love of food have always been part of my life. I find great enjoyment in working with my hands and am passionate about the amazing products we have in this area. Southern food and culture were a part of my upbringing and elements of this can be seen in the dishes I create. After college at the University of North Carolina I realized that cooking, not political science, was my calling. Culinary school initially brought me to this area and exposed me to the beautiful bounty of local ingredients. In addition to loving the seasonal fare of the Pacific Northwest, I have become fascinated with many of the Asian foods that are so prevalent in Portland. While I wouldn’t consider my specialty necessarily Korean food, many of my dishes now pay homage to some of the amazing tastes I encountered through exploring this cuisine. As a self-employed freelance chef and caterer for the past 15 years I have had the honor of cooking for professional athletes, corporations including (Nike, Adidas). I have travelled around the state and the country doing weddings, parties and intimate get togethers. My love of smoked meats ( a hold over from my Southern roots) has transitioned into accounts at many local restaurants including Brass Tacks and Addy’s Sandwich Bar. You can have my locally sourced and house cured pancetta and pastrami any day they’re open. My favorite type of event is when I work closely with my clients to develop a specialized menu that perfectly matches their needs and expectations. I think that the ceremony and ritual of food is one of the most joyful things we get to experience in life. Being a part of that truly makes me happy!