Rising Star Chef Jake Rojas of Tallulah on Thames - Biography

Newport, RI

March 2014

Born and raised in El Paso, Texas, Jake Rojas chose cooking over some of the rougher life paths that lay before him. Early run-ins with the law found Rojas in a grim spot as a teenager, but they also put him in a vocational school, where he was first exposed to classical French cooking. It also forced him to appreciate his own potential.

Earning a scholarship to the Culinary Institute in Dallas, Rojas moved on to work under Rick Boyer at 27 Ocean Blue in Boca Raton, as well as the Four Seasons in West Palm Beach. Progress and high temps continued as Rojas accepted positions in kitchens such as The Sunset Restaurant in Malibu, California; Joel Robuchon at the Mansion in Las Vegas; and Alain Ducasse’s Mix in the Hotel at Mandalay Bay. Now as head chef of Tallulah on Thames and Tallulah Tacos, where he earned a 2014 StarChefs.com Rising Star Chef Award, Rojas is an important part of a tight culinary community in Newport, Rhode Island, nurturing a talent discovered in rockier times and pushing boundaries with aggressively flavorful, exquisitely composed dishes.