TJ McConnaughey

T.J. joined the family at Southeast as a brunch cook in December 2013. Prior to being promoted to Executive Chef, he served as the evening Sous Chef for two years.

A native of Traverse City, Michigan, T.J. grew up in kitchens, working in virtually every restaurant job before he decided to follow his passion for cooking to the Louisiana Culinary Institute in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. While there, he took the grand prize in the school's annual Race to Cannes competition, which earned him the opportunity to cook at the Cannes Film Festival under the American Pavilion alongside other young chefs from all over the United States. After graduation, T.J. made another big move to Portland, where he worked at restaurants including Brasserie Montmarte and The Gilt Club.  

T.J. is a lifelong steward of the environment and advocate for responsible sourcing, and when he's not in the kitchen, you might find him volunteering with the Northwest Steelheaders Association, fishing, or hunting; he also enjoys hanging out with his family (including his beloved cat, Biscuit).  

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