Aha! Cuisine is a personal chef service created in 2013 by Jerry Sole, a trained cook and caterer most recently from Los Angeles. Shortly after arriving in Charlottesville in 2011, Jerry went to work for A Pimento Catering, one of the premiere catering companies in Central Virginia. Jerry’s experience cooking for APC’s owner and chef Gay Berry proved invaluable. He worked in many of the most highly regarded venues and private homes in the area, and was introduced to the rich variety of local food products found in Charlottesville.
 
In 2013, Jerry began receiving requests to create his own dinner parties for clients. So he created Aha! Cuisine, which specializes in bringing festive at-home dining experiences to groups of four to twenty four. Aha! Cuisine also offers cooking services for outdoor parties, business dinners, celebrations, intimate pre-wedding dinners and special events. Aha! Cuisine is available to make wine paring suggestions and conduct cooking demonstrations.
 
Chef / Owner Jerry Sole, a Michigan native, lived in New York City and Los Angeles before relocating to Charlottesville. He began his career in NYC in the film business, and eventually relocated to Los Angeles to continue working in film. After four years, Jerry decided to change course and pursue a career involving his true loves: food and wine. So he offered Le Cordon Bleu cooking school a trade: public relations work in exchange for their highly regarded cooking classes, and a career in catering followed.

Jerry says, “Living in California changed the way I approach cooking. LA’s mild climate and year-round availability of amazing produce encouraged me to develop a clean, straightforward style of cooking that combines the best ingredients available with simple techniques that maximize flavor. And I was lucky to enjoy some of LA’s most acclaimed restaurants – from ethnic to high-end – which further developed my palate and helped me grow as a cook.”

“Now that I live in Central Virginia, I enjoy cooking with each distinct season. I’m able to bring to my work a variety cooking techniques to suit the weather, and I cook with great ingredients that change with the season. I always have something to look forward to. And there is a real tie to the land here that allows me to cook with fresh, organic and locally grown produce, as well as delicious everyday ingredients such as properly raised and butchered pigs, cows and chickens, freshly gathered eggs, locally made cheese and honey to name just a few.”

“In terms of style, I’d say time spent in California’s wine country over the years, as well as my French cookbook collection, has influenced my cooking the most. Central Virginia’s emerging wine culture encourages me to continue to offer up wine country dishes. Most people I cook for appreciate wine, both as a component in a dish and as something enjoyable to drink. They understand that the dining experience is elevated when the wine at the table harmonizes nicely with food being served.”