Chef Dennis Sydnor – JB’s Lounge

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“Good food, good mood”

He’s charismatic & friendly and his food will put you in a good frame of mind. He’s highly regarded and respected as the Chef of JB’s Lounge. Marking his 20th year being in the restaurant business, 37 year old Chef Dennis Sydnor has reached a milestone in his career. It’s time to celebrate! Maybe a party celebrating his accomplishments is well warranted. A native of Cleveland, Ohio, Dennis’ family has relocated to and from Sacramento over the years and he considers both places home. Inspiration for cooking came at an early age being the second oldest of six children, his siblings loved for him to cook for them. His father taught him how to BBQ and bake. His mother educated him on how to prepare collard greens and sweet potato pies.
The lessons stuck and he got his first opportunity at 17 to work in a restaurant in Cleveland and he’s never turned away from it since. With 12 years in the business, (10 years to his credit), Dennis’ job was in the “front of the house”, waiting tables, managing, bartending and serving. He attended Culinary school 8 years ago to polish and hone his skills and has been preparing and creating in the kitchen since 2010.

Life is busy with 3 sons ages 20, 7 & 5 and when he’s not in the kitchen, he’s working on menus and new cooking ideas. Culinary Battles is one of those ideas. Kitchen Throne Thursday‘s at JB’s Lounge is a treat! Chefs and non-Chefs from all around the area come in for the challenge. Pastry Chef Mary Holm and Chef Jeremy Katz has already challenged Dennis to peach cobbler and burger challenges.
Chef Dennis has worked with various well known Chefs; award winning Chef Jay Veregge at Ten22 in Old Sactown, worked under Chef Michael Tuohy, who is currently executive Chef for the new Kings Arena downtown Sacramento. His first culinary instructor was Vincent Alexander who inspired him to seek a job that led him to meeting Michael Tuohy.
He doesn’t have a specialty and he leaves that up to his customers. Most menu items Chef Dennis prepares is someone’s comfort food and it’s worth the wait. The fried chicken, greens, BBQ ribs, cornbread and the cobbler have been slamming and in demand.
Seared fish, hands down is a dish he enjoys eating and preparing the most. Any day of the week you can call up and order or stop in a get a great meal.
Since being in the kitchen at JB’s requires 14 to 15 hours some days, he doesn’t cook at home very much. He’s one of the simplest people in the world when it comes to preparing something for himself daily. He’ll make a deli sandwich, grab a bag of chips a soda and relax. Every now and then he’s inspired to prepare himself something fancy like a seared steak and mashed potatoes or risotto.
Chef Dennis grew up taking piano, trumpet, guitar lessons and he sings. I couldn’t play one of those instruments to save my life. That’s why I stay in the kitchen”, Chef admits. He shares the kitchen at JB’s with Michael Smith.
Yes we will keep him in the kitchen. We’re looking forward to tasting all the new creations in the kitchen from Chef Dennis and we look forward to new Culinary Challenges coming soon.
Thomas Keller said it best, “A recipe has no soul. You as the cook must bring soul to the recipe”.

Tootie Keith
Staff Writer


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