Q&A With Chef Jason LaVerdiere Owner Of Maine’s Flux Restaurant
FLUX IS A MODERN AMERICAN RESTAURANT. LOCATED IN THE HEART OF LISBON FALLS, MAINE.
Modern American cuisine with a large selection of local craft beers on tap. Creative dishes made from scratch, vegetarian, vegan, and gluten-free options. Casual dining with a great atmosphere perfect for families, friends, business meetings, and dates. Come unwind with Flux Restaurant and take some time to enjoy yourself! View The Listing https://chefsofmaine.com/listing/flux-restaurant-and-bar/
Q: What was it that made you decided to become a Chef?
A: There were many things that made me decide to become a chef, first and foremost, an intense fascination with food. I started cooking on an almost daily basis at home around the age of ten. I continued to cook at home, as well as worked various kitchen jobs in my late teens before graduating high school. After studying biology for several years at the University of Maine, I decided that a career in bio didn’t seem as exciting as a career doing what I was most passionate about. So I enlisted in culinary school. I guess that was the moment I decided.
Q: Where did you learn your culinary skill?
A: I learned the basics of my cooking from my Mom. My first real restaurant experience was at the now closed Apollo’s Bistro in Waterville, Maine. Chef Dan Giroux, who I worked under there, gave me a hell of a culinary foundation that I still use today. I completed my associate’s degree in Culinary Arts at Southern Maine Community College and gained a lot of knowledge working at various restaurants in the Southern Maine area (at least 10). After cooking school I landed at the now closed Walter’s Café in Portland, Maine. I spent over eight years there, where we were expected to produce a special menu item each day. Producing over 2,000 daily specials during my time at Walter’s was key to my development as a chef.
Q: What was the moment you decided to open FLUX?
A: Our decision to open Flux was really pushed forward by my brother Tyson. He really saw the opportunity and pushed to realize the idea. It was always a dream of mine to open my own restaurant, but the routine of working and raising a family could oftentimes make the notion of opening a business seem unascertainable. The seed was planted when we started working on a business plan, and two years or so later we had step one complete.
Q: What was the scariest part of opening FLUX?
A: The scariest part of opening Flux were all of the unknowns, and there are a lot. First and foremost, Lisbon Falls is a pretty small town. In order to survive we would have to produce a product that was appealing to locals, and interesting enough to attract guests from surrounding towns as well. A lot of people told us that a restaurant serving fine food in this area would not work. However, we pursued the opportunity that we saw, and it worked out in our favor.
Q: What was one of the best parts of opening FLUX?
A: There are a lot of great things about opening a restaurant, far outweighed by challenges. I would say the best part of opening was how busy we were right out of the gate. It eased a lot of latent doubts that we had about our location.
Q: What are the day to day things you love about running your restaurant?
A: My favorite thing about running my own restaurant is the freedom to order whatever products I want and preparing them however I want. Sourcing the highest quality products from a number of local farms, bringing in premium seafood from various suppliers, and trying new ingredients and methods on a daily basis really makes work fun and interesting for my staff. We are constantly trying to grow and learn together as a team through research, experimentation, and collaborative thinking.
Q: What would you tell someone thinking about getting into the industry?
A: Those thinking about pursuing a career in the food industry need to realize that it is a tough industry. There are a lot of sacrifices, however, if you’re truly passionate it can be extremely rewarding, too. If you work hard, you can go as far as you want with it.
Q: Any future plans for your restaurant.
A: I would like to expand our business in the future, though as we fight through the hardships brought about by the pandemic those ideas are on the back burner. One business in enough for now!
Q: What Restaurants, Breweries, Bakeries would you recommend to Mainers.
A: There are dozens of restaurants, breweries, and bakeries that I recommend. These are some recommendations, some of the standouts for me last year.
Recommended Bakery – Universal Bread (Waterville)