A New Jersey native, James Avery has fond memories of delicious simple down-home cooking with his family in New Jersey, Georgia and New Orleans, from rolling dumplings with his grandmother, to stirring gumbo with his aunt, and grilling clams at his grandparents house at the Jersey Shore. Without realizing it, he was falling in love with the food.
As a teenager, James worked for a local pizzeria, and in college in Florida, he gained front- and back-of-house experience at various bars and restaurants, only furthering his enthusiasm for the culinary and hospitality industry. In September 2005, he earned a Culinary Arts degree at The Art Institute of Fort Lauderdale before heading back to New Jersey.
James honed his skills working as a tournant for David Burke at Fromagerie in Rumson, NJ. He also consulted with his family on the opening of J Café, offering from-scratch cooking with local and seasonal ingredients in the small seaside community of Lake Como, N.J.
In 2010 was hired at Michael Mina’s Sea Blue where he eventually became a Sous Chef. A TV opportunity then came his way, and he took a break from the restaurant to work on the culinary production team for Gordon Ramsay’s hit FOX television show “Kitchen Nightmares.” James stayed on as a Consulting Chef for one of the show’s renovated New Jersey restaurants before making his way back to Sea Blue.
In 2011, James joined BR Guest Hospitality helping to open Dos Caminos and its three sister restaurants at Harrah’s Resort in Atlantic City. The following year, James returned to FOX television as the Blue Team Sous Chef on Gordon Ramsay’s culinary competition show “Hell’s Kitchen” for Season 11. 12, 13 , and 14.
In the summer of 2014 he became the Executive Chef of the Asbury Festhalle and Biergarten and Executive Chef/Partner at the Bonney Read.
James currently lives in Wall, N.J. with his wife, Diana, and their three young children, and he enjoys maintaining a healthy lifestyle, including avid exercise and outdoor training.
Sebastian's extensive experience, likeability and attention to customer gratification makes him a perfect addition to The Bonney Read team.
Sebastian's Colombian heritage, enthusiasm for international food, and exceptional service has afforded him the opportunity to manage several of the best restaurants in the tristate area for over ten years, including Michael Richard Central in Atlantic City's Revel Casino, Momofuku Noodle Bar in NYC, as well as The Downtown and Char Steakhouse, both located in nearby Red Bank.
His passions include oysters, buffalo wings, delicious beer, and sports -- especially fútbol!