Off Hours with Jason Rivas


Jason Rivas - chef, father, cook in chef's top and hat

Jason Rivas

Jason Rivas, husband, father, model builder. Oh yeah, he cooks too.

Jason took time out of his off hours to talk about life out from the kitchen.

I’m sure you’ll enjoy his thoughts on family, food, and fun.

Cooking isn’t everything, what’s on your calendar when not preparing food?

Twitting! I have become addicted to Twitter lately; mostly focusing on self-exposure and self promotion.

I have also become an avid gardener.  Being in the garden, tending to my vegetables, and teaching my kids how to grow vegetables; it’s all very relaxing.

Lastly, I love to play with my kids, as they love to wrestle.

Jason Rivas Twitter avatar


What’s your big hobby besides cooking?

Just recently I have become hooked on reading; which I find ironic, cause I hated reading as a kid.  Give me alone time on the front porch with a good fantasy book and I’m set. Currently, I am reading “The Hobbit.”  I also like to read good cooking periodicals.

However, I look forward to the day when life slows down and I can go back to my true passion of building plastic models; preferable war vechicles.

Gotta love this completed tank model.

model tank by Jason Rivas with tiger stripes and face, teeth showing

Tiger Tank

What other careers have you been in or would do if you couldn’t create food masterpieces?

An earliest dream from childhood was to be an USMC Drill Instructor.  I saw “Full Metal Jacket” early on and said, “that’s what I want to be.”  When I finished high school I applied for The USMC; I was told no.  I argued their decision for 2 years with no luck.  I later found it was GOD saying no-notThe USMC.

What do you do for food off hours?

I love to bake desserts, cookies, bread – just truly love the art of baking; it is a guilty pleasure of mine. As a savory restaurant Chef my opportunities to bake are limited. I also love cooking for my family. After all, without my family I would be nothing; cooking for them is the least I could do.

To eat: I love a good sandwich – PB & J is the best. Fresh bread, wholesome ingredients, good flavors, nothing beats a bad ass hoagie. However, I am a sucker for sushi too.

What’s your favorite recipe? Could you share it with the readers?

Favorite recipe, now that is a hard one. Recently, I have created a site – dinnerbyJR – where I can share my creations (bread, desserts, cookies, wine pairings, dinner and more) and others can follow along in the journey. Though, my wife’s favorite is (my) Liquid Center Cake.

4oz dark chocolate
2oz butter
2 eggs, separated
2 oz sugar
pinch of salt
1. melt chocolate and butter togther over a double boiler or in the mircowave, stirring till melted
2. once the chocolate mix is melted and smooth, stir in egg yolks and sugar(reserve 1tbs of sugar).
3. whip egg whites with the reserved sugar to a stiff peak.
4. preheat your oven to 400*. fold egg whites into the chocolate mix. fold till fully incorporated, careful not to deflate the egg whites to much.
5. grease an oven proof bowl, then dust the inside of the bowl with coco powder. bake for about 15-20 mins. the edges should be cakie while the center liquid. Cooking time will be effected by the desired size of the liquid center depending on the size. EX: more cook time = smaller liquid center.
6. ENJOY! eat while while hot, just be careful, with your favorite ice cream(if you so choose).

Jason shared a few bits of wisdom as well.

  • you can be taught techniques and skills, but you can not be taught passion
  • never stop learning. the best way to learn is to know what the person next is doing
  • have the answer before the question is asked
  • be the example not the exception
  • great ones live to cook, not cook to live
  • “folks take my advice, pull down your pants and take a slide on the ice” – M.A.S.H.

Thank you Jason for taking time out for these interview questions. He shared so much I’ve extended his kitchen inspiration to a second part.

Jason was introduced to me over Twitter. Thank you to Lois Martin, @loismarketing.


 Off Hours with Jason Rivas originally posted on

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