co-chef and co‐owner of CHARCUT Roast House, charbar restaurant, Rooftop Bar @ Simmons, Alley Burger
Jackson brought San Francisco-style collaboration to the chef community in Calgary, putting his competitive bent aside to pull the profession and the city ahead through informal gatherings to share ideas and raise funds for worthy local causes. He is a powerful voice with civic, business and hospitality organizations advocating for community through food. And he welcomes other chefs into his kitchen for shared creative dinners that surprise as well as satiate with flair.
Jackson began his career at Calgary's award-winning Owl's Nest Dining Room. After five years and much acclaim for the restaurant, he accepted a position as chef de cuisine in Manhattan. Working in New York City over the next several years, Jackson had the opportunity to train with a number of notable chefs, developing his technique and taking advantage of New York's world-class cuisine. During this time Jackson also consulted on many other restaurant projects, including the opening of Jean Georges Vongerichten's Restaurant Lagoon in Bora Bora.
In 2005, Jackson ventured to San Francisco as Executive Chef of the St. Regis Hotel. Opening this prestigious hotel and obtaining the Mobil 5-Star Award each year since its opening were monumental occasions in Jackson's career. While in San Francisco, John was also given the honour of hosting the James Beard Foundation's 20th Anniversary celebration.
Throughout 2008 and 2009, Jackson took advantage of his travels in Europe to stage and train at some of the world's top rated restaurants including, London's River Café, Le Jardin des Cygnesin in Paris, and at a small local butcher shop in Italy's Marche region, perfecting his techniques by learning from masters.
Now, co-chef and co-owner of one of Calgary’s most lauded restaurants, CHARCUT Roast House, and the newly opened charbar in the historic Simmons building, both on Canada’s 100 Best Restaurants list, along with Calgary’s best new Rooftop Bar @ Simmons and the popular walk-through window, Alley Burger, located in the newly revitalized East Village, Jackson brings his success in business full circle back to where it all began.
Jackson is often called upon to represent Calgary and our country as a culinary ambassador along with his co-chef Connie DeSousa, travelling the world to speak on behalf of Canadian cuisine. He serves as a member of the Board of Directors for the Alberta Culinary Tourism Alliance.