Chef Jack McGuckin found his love for food at an early age, growing up in the sportsman's paradise of southern Louisiana. With a youth spent hunting and fishing in the woods and waterways of the Gulf south came a respect for the ingredients that he carries over into his cooking today. Jack began his career at age 15 in the fabled Bechac's restaurant on New Orleans' northshore. Through high school and college, Jack continued his training under the tutelage of restaurateurs Mike and Gayle Pair, eventually coming to Florida in 2002 to open up Bijoux.
With a focus on fresh, local ingredients, Jack says his favorite way to prepare them is simply. "We try to take a few local ingredients from the garden, whatever's in season at the time, and prepare them simply, to allow the natural beauty and flavors of the ingredients to be the showcase." He enjoys working with the many talented cooks and chefs in the area and sees the Emerald Coast becoming a leader in the slow foods movement. "I see many chefs around town, really striving to use local, all natural and sustainable ingredients in their menus. I think it's a great sign that the Gulf coast is coming to the forefront of this movement. I got into cooking originally because I like to make people happy, and when I see the smiling faces and clean plates of our customers, I know that they are eating well and it truly makes me happy."