Divani’s Executive Chef Jeff Baird moved from Grand Haven to Grand Rapids in the early 90’s to attend the Culinary Program at GRCC. With that education and over 27 years in the local restaurant scene, he brings a wealth of knowledge and experience to Divani. Chef Jeff has honed his skills at well-known West Michigan establishments such as San Chez, 616, Rockwell/Republic, Gibson’s, Kirby Grill, Thornapple Village Inn and The Peninsula Club. Chef Jeff is passionate about supporting local farms and products, creating seasonal scratch menus and providing guests with a unique dining experience. Chef Jeff is also the guitarist in a local punk rock band called The Bitters.
Q: What influences you when creating a new menu?
A: Seasonality, food trends, local availability and previous chef’s.
Q: If you had to pick three courses off of the menu, what would they be?
A: Shrimp and grits to start, for the entree I would lean towards filet mignon and dessert the flourless chocolate torte.
Q: What type of fish is your favorite?
A: It's a toss up between canadian walleye and chilean sea bass. I served so much sea bass at Gibson’s restaurant in the mid 90’s, that I feel I was personally responsible for nearly fishing it out of existence. Sorry.
Q: Who is your favorite musician?
A: There are so many but if I had to choose one, I would say the late great Mr. Lou Reed for his unconventional approach and awkward vocal style.
Q: What is the best part of your job?
A: Being a first timer as Executive Chef I take immense pride when I get compliments often I come close to tears of joy. Also I’ve never been happier with the
smoothness that the front of the house works with the back of the house. Plus, Molli is a superstar restaurateur.
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