Custom Provisions

personal chef service and culinary instruction

About Chef Jim

My name is Jim Loellbach. As a child, I spent summers at my grandparents' small farm in Wisconsin where growing, preparing and preserving food was a necessity. I never considered cooking as a career, but a seed must have been planted in my mind. I eventually became an aeronautical engineer, working for NASA in Cleveland, OH. Cooking became a hobby that consumed more and more of my spare time.

At age 39, I attended Le Cordon Bleu and made food and cooking my life. Hard work and a bit of luck landed me at the Four Seasons Hotel in Chicago where I got my true culinary education. I learned to butcher meat and fish, cooked on the line for the restaurant, produced and served food for banquets up to 700 people, and learned the intricacies of pastry, all under some of the best chefs in the industry. Next, I moved to a small but prestigious catering company, serving demanding clients in their homes. The next stop was the Pump Room Restaurant, working under world-renowned Chef Jean-Georges Vongerichten. As Banquet Sous Chef, I acquired the skills to manage a professional kitchen. I then helped open the restaurant C Chicago as Pastry Chef.

In 2015 I decided to realize my goal of working for myself and started Custom Provisions. My experience with farm life, exceptional chefs and worldwide cuisines has taught me to start with the highest quality ingredients, season and cook them with care, and let them speak for themselves.