VACAVILLE — If Chef Brian Jaco was content with cooking up burgers and sandwiches, he would probably still be at a bar and grill in Missouri.
“But I wanted to go into cooking further than that,” Jaco said.
Jaco said that started an ongoing fascination and exploration of fusion cooking, where he can mix and match all the different styles of cooking – such as with his creation of smoked gouda chicken, which embraces both Dutch and Asian cooking.
“It’s all about experimentation – what tastes good with this, what tastes good with that,” Jaco said. “And then, if it does taste good, put it in your menu.”
Jaco will put some of his fusion cooking on display this weekend at the 2014 Home & Garden Show, which starts Friday at 300 Chadbourne Road in Fairfield, next to Jelly Belly.
Jaco is originally from Jacksonville, Fla., and said he has always liked to cook.
He has lived in the Vacaville area for four years and has been in the catering business for the past two years, running Diamond Catering out of his home.
After leaving that Missouri bar and grill, he attended the Pennsylvania Culinary Institute Le Cordon Bleu in Pittsburgh and did his apprenticeship at the Inn at Palmetto Bluff in South Carolina. He moved here when he wife landed a job with Kaiser Permanente.
In California, he initially worked as a line cook and helped train students at the Culinary Institute of America in St. Helena. Then he started Diamond Catering. His business has been advertised by word of mouth and appearances such as the one he will make at this weekend’s Home & Garden Show.
Jodi McGuire of JN Productions, one of the producers of the Home & Garden Show, said she’s pleased to have Jaco back for a second year of cooking demonstrations.
“He is great,” McGuire said. “He does recipes that look difficult, but are very easy and they are very tasteful.”
Jaco liked doing the demonstrations last year, showing people how to make sweet potato soup, turkey sliders with cranberry mustard, and an eggplant-and-squash ribbon panini with a pesto.
His plans are to open up a restaurant, possibly a grill and bar where he can work with mixing and matching exotic foods.
This year’s Home & Garden Show is from noon to 6 p.m. Friday, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday and 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday.
Jaco will demonstrate honey Dijon chicken salad sandwiches at 1 p.m. Friday on the demonstration stage. He will demonstrate turkey club sandwiches with avocado and coriander aioli at noon and 3 p.m. Saturday and Sunday.
“The simplest things are the best,” Jaco said.
For more information about the 2014 Home & Garden Show, visit http://jnproductionsllc.com. Jaco and Diamond Catering can be reached at 816-344-3641 or [email protected]
Reach Ian Thompson at 427-6976 or [email protected] Follow him on Twitter at www.twitter.com/ithompsondr.