Jamie Byrd, Executive Chef · Craftsman Table and Tap
Jamie Byrd's 25-year journey in the culinary field began when he was 17 years old. "At first it was to help my mother with the financial burden on our household," he says. "Since then I have honed my culinary skills and found my true path in life." After being in Cleveland for the majority of his years, Jamie's path wound through Salt Lake City and New Orleans before ending up in Madison. "I have learned so much along the way," says Jamie. "I have had the joy of cooking with some amazing chefs in a number of different culinary styles. The highlight of my career was having the chance to learn from James Beard Award recipients while living in New Orleans. I had the pleasure of really honing my craft while working at Commander's Palace, which is one of the best restaurants in America. Having the opportunity to learn from so many great chefs was an invaluable experience for me; I wouldn't be the chef I am today without them!" The people he's met in the restaurant business are by far Jamie's favorite aspect of the industry. "I really enjoy having the chance to interact with such a wide array of people and personalities that have been molded in this often hectic industry," he says. It's the feeling of having a family away from home and knowing that when you need a hand your coworkers will always be there in good times and bad." This even includes the great chefs Jamie worked with over the years. "I know if I need assistance with anything, help is just an email or phone call away." But at the end of the day, Jamie is an outdoors kind of guy. "I love traveling around this amazing country and seeing some of the awe-inspiring beauty that exists in America," he says. "My wife and I have a goal to visit every national park in the U.S., and we are well on our way to achieving this goal. I am also an avid fly fisherman and take advantage of every opportunity to get my feet wet in the beautiful lakes and streams wherever I may be."