Chef Jason Marcus grew up in New Jersey, the son of foodie parents, long before the term "foodie" was used. He cooked and gardened with his mom and listened to and watched his dad in the kitchen, the greatest gourmand he’s ever known. After studying philosophy in college, Jason abruptly shifted his focus, pursuing his passion for the culinary arts. He worked for the best restaurants that would have him in NYC and California, such as Judson Grill, Eleven Madison Park, Le Bernardin, and Manresa. In between jobs, he travelled as much as possible throughout Southeast Asia, Europe, Mexico, and the Middle East. While helping to open Red Pearl Kitchen in San Diego as chef, he met Heather Heuser, general manager. After first working together and building a friendship over two years, they eventually began dating and moved to NYC in hopes of opening a restaurant. That hope led them to Brooklyn to open Traif Restaurant in Williamsburg, and eventually to marriage. Traif has been the recipient of numerous accolades in NY Magazine, Timeout NY, the Michelin Guide, Eater.com, Grubstreet.com, and Zagat. Jason was also a contestant on the Food Network’s “Chopped.” Recently, Jason opened his second restaurant, Xixa, where he explores his love of Mexican food and other globally seasoned dishes.