James Reaux
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Chef Reaux, has been delighting taste buds across various regions in the United States since his graduation from culinary school in Ohio. His culinary journey began in 1981 when he completed his culinary education and secured a prestigious position at the renowned Greenbrier Resort in West Virginia.
Over the course of nearly 18 years, Chef James Reaux has embraced a whirlwind of experiences, fearlessly working, learning, and spearheading numerous fine-dining establishments in Europe, Hawaii, and now in the South. With his national reputation as a celebrated chef, James Reaux has been warmly welcomed to the mountains of Western North Carolina and North Georgia. In 2009, he introduced Murphy's Chophouse, a fine dining establishment located in Downtown Murphy, North Carolina.
In the spring of 2023, Chef James Reaux further expanded his culinary empire by opening JR Chophouse in Franklin, NC. Situated on Main Street in the heart of historic Franklin, this dining establishment offers an atmosphere of casual elegance both indoors and outdoors. The restaurant is open daily for lunch and dinner, making it the ideal spot for a casual meal after a day of shopping on Main Street or exploring the area's breathtaking sites. Dinner options include hand-cut steaks, prime rib roasted daily, locally farmed trout, and a diverse selection of signature entrees, salads, appetizers, and sandwiches.
In addition to his remarkable ventures, Chef James Reaux is the proud owner and operator of several other esteemed restaurants, namely Murphy's Chophouse in Murphy, NC, and Hawg Wild BBQ and Catfish House restaurants, located in Hiawassee, GA, next to the Fair Grounds, and Clarkesville, GA, situated right off the square on Hwy 197.
Chef Reaux's talent and contributions to the culinary world have earned him recognition from some of America's most prestigious culinary institutions. He has received numerous awards from the American Culinary Federation, an organization for which he holds certification. Notably, in the year 2000, he was honored as one of the Best Hotel Chefs, and in 2003, he was recognized as a James Beard Centennial Honoree at the prestigious James Beard House. Furthermore, Chef Reaux is affiliated with the esteemed La Chaine des Rotisseurs and has been ranked as one of Florida's top 5 chefs.
The Reaux Family has developed a deep love for the mountains and the people of the region. James has taken a keen interest in the influence of Cherokee Indian history in the area and has skillfully incorporated those flavors into his restaurant's design, menus, and presentations. Before settling in the Hayesville-Hiawassee area of North Carolina, Chef Reaux resided in South Florida, where he served as the Executive Chef overseeing the entire culinary operation at the Boca Raton Resort & Club. Prior to that, he held positions at various luxury seaside resorts, including the Century Plaza Hotel and Towers in Los Angeles, California, the Mauna Kea Beach Hotel in Hawaii, and The Westin Resort in Hilton Head, South Carolina. Additionally, he gained valuable culinary experience during his tenures at the Plaza Hotel in New York, Victoria Jung-Frau in Interlaken, Switzerland, and the Greenbrier Resort in West Virginia.
Raised in a small town in Michigan, Chef James Reaux has cherished memories of his childhood, particularly in his own backyard. It was there that his mother, who remains his secret advisor to this day, instilled in him a love for cooking and taught him the art of combining seasonal ingredients to enhance the flavors in his dishes. As a test of his skills, she would blindfold James and challenge him to identify various herbs by their scent. When Chef Reaux discovered the beautiful building that now houses Murphy's Chophouse, he knew he had found a truly exceptional and unique location for another of his renowned restaurants. Outside of his culinary endeavors, Chef Reaux resides in Hayesville, North Carolina, with his wife Jennifer, daughter Haley, and son Hunter.