Next Door Chef Team Bios


Meet cara

Cara is a stylist and a metal fabricator living in Chicago who didn’t know how different types of salts could enhance her cooking. Cara says she’s never been a great cook, but she’d love to learn a few tricks and contribute more to family dinners and home cooked meals.

She was excited for the opportunity to become the Next Door Chef with the help of Jason Vincent and even made the two signs used to decorate her restaurant. 



Meet Jason Vincent

Working in a kitchen is deeply engrained in Chef Jason Vincent, who started as a dishwasher at age 14 and never left the kitchen. He then started cooking at age 15 at a pizza restaurant in Cleveland, OH. Jason studied at the Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park and then moved to San Sebastian, Spain, where he cooked at Michelin three-starred Arzak. This formative experience taught him the importance of proper technique and how to transform ordinary ingredients into an extraordinary dish. After moving back to the States, Jason honed his skills at a number of notable restaurants around the country, including James Beard Award winners Fore Street in Portland, ME, and Commander’s Palace in New Orleans.  

In 2005, Jason moved to Chicago to helm the kitchen at Lula Café and eventually went on to help open its sister restaurant, Nightwood, where his uncomplicated yet refined Midwestern menu earned national acclaim. While at Nightwood, Jason received the highest culinary accolades, including Food & Wine “Best New Chef;” COCHON 555’s “King of Pork;” a JBF semifinalist nomination for “Best Chef: Great Lakes;” and Michelin Guide’s “Bib Gourmand” award.  

In 2014, after 25 years working in restaurants, Jason very thoughtfully and deliberately decided to take a break from the industry to begin planning a place of his own. During his hiatus, he spent precious time with his young family and traveled for inspiration and a fresh perspective. Giant is the result of this “pause,” a representation of Jason as a chef, a father, a husband and a friend. His concept for Giant is simple—a special little neighborhood spot with great service and honest, unpretentious and delicious food.



Morton Kosher Salt is the salt that adds a gourmet touch to the dish. Because it is the chef’s preferred salt, it makes us feel like a better cook. It is easy to control for perfectly seasoned food. That’s because the flakes are easy to handle and give us the ability to pinch and sprinkle the salt for precise seasoning.

Morton Kosher Salt is perfect for brining poultry to make it extra tender, juicy and flavorful, great for grilled meats and vegetables, and versatile for many cooking uses.

Meet Morton SEA SALT coarse

Add an artistic *pop* you can see and taste with Morton Coarse Sea Salt. Sprinkle on top of your favorite dishes as a perfect finishing touch. The larger than table salt crystals provide contrasting texture. Easy to pinch and sprinkle, no dish should leave the kitchen without a pinch of coarse sea salt..

Use the entire family of Morton Sea Salt products as you would any other salt for both cooking and finishing applications.

Meet Morton FIne Sea Salt

Salt your foods with the natural and pure salt from the sea. Morton Fine Sea Salt is created through evaporation of sea water by the sun and the small salt crystals blend easily to give food a well-balanced flavor. Fine sea salt measures and flows like table salt making it ideal for everyday cooking and baking.

Use the entire family of Morton Sea Salt products as you would any other salt for both cooking and finishing applications.