Raised in Washington State, Chef Jennifer Backman grew up in the beautiful surroundings of the Pacific Northwest. Deciding to come east to follow her passion and study culinary arts, she discovered the charms of New England while studying for her degree at Johnson & Wales University. After graduation, she decided to stay in Rhode Island.
That tentative commitment has become a seventeen-year journey, with jobs in some of Rhode Island’s most celebrated kitchens. Most recently, Jennifer was appointed Executive Chef at the Weekapaug Inn in August 2012. Before the Inn, she was promoted to Executive Sous Chef in January 2012 at Ocean House —Weekapaug Inn’s sister resort—after joining the staff as Sous Chef of its renowned Seasons restaurant when it opened in 2010.
Prior to her roles with the Ocean House Management Collection, Jennifer spent five years at Castle Hill Inn in Newport; before that she had sous chef duties in the kitchen of the century-old Rhode Island Country Club in Barrington. Taken with the beauty of the coast and the wonderful sources for fresh food, she’s now content to call New England her home.
“I want to create a truly memorable encounter for our diners by preparing the freshest, most precious ingredients our area has to offer, presented in a way that they have not yet experienced,” says Jennifer. “I encourage our guests to immerse themselves in their senses, while indulging in the beauty of each moments’ preparation, course by course.”
While the location of her kitchen has changed over the years, and her responsibilities have increased, Jennifer retains her strong belief in using the freshest and finest local ingredients, creating unique, seasonal menus that offer an unforgettable dining experience in the Mansion’s fine dining restaurant.