James at the Mill
Miles JamesMiles James has traveled the world to create Ozark Plateau cuisine.
James, 29, is executive chef and owner of James at the Mill in Johnson, heralded by many as the best restaurant in Arkansas.
James, who grew up in Fayetteville, received an associate's certification from the New England Culinary Institute in Montpelier, Vt. He then worked at two restaurants on Nantucket Island, Mass., and two in New York City - Park Avenue Cafe and Tribeca Grill - before heading overseas to apprentice at Guy Savoy Restaurant in Paris.
James then traveled through Germany, Austria, Switzerland and Italy, learning more about European cooking along the way. He worked at The River Cafe in London before returning to the U.S., taking classes in confectionery arts in Maryland.
James spent two years as sous chef at The Coyote Cafe in Santa Fe, N.M., before returning to Arkansas to open James at the Mill in 1994. James says his Ozark Plateau cuisine features fresh, local produce and is prepared with an international cooking flare.
James has a long list of accomplishments. He is the only chef from Arkansas to cook at the James Beard Foundation in New York City. He served as host for the first Beard Foundation out-of-house event in Arkansas (a special dinner and fund-raiser held in June at James at the Mill). He was one of 15 chefs chosen this year to be featured in PBS television's Rising Star Chef series and cookbook. And he is developing his own line of gourmet home meals to be sold by Sam's Clubs.
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