Chef Jamie Daskalis
Jamie Daskalis, born 1984, grew up surrounded by food. From a young age, she was emerged in the restaurant industry with her father’s New York diner. From there, she made the decision to dive head first into the Culinary Institute of America. Upon graduation, Chef Jamie took her talents back to her roots and began working in the family business at their restaurant, Coney Island, located in Middletown, NY. As the business grew, an opportunity arose in South Carolina that would change the direction of her career.
It wasn’t long after relocating to South Carolina before the young chef carved a reputation for herself in the city of Myrtle Beach, SC. The close knit community in which she serves allows her the opportunity to give back to the people that support her on a daily basis. With the opening of the first Johnny D’s location in the heart of Myrtle Beach, she would soon turn the family restaurant into a culinary destination. The opening of two more locations on the Grand Strand prove that local residents and visitors cannot get enough of the menu Chef Jamie has perfected.
Within just a few short years, she has been awarded accolades for her determination, creativity and perseverance. Chef Jamie has been named “Best Chef” by South Carolina Woman Magazine and Grand Strand Magazine, Food Network’s “Best Waffles in South Carolina”, awarded South Carolina Chef Ambassador, recognized as a leading woman in business in Myrtle Beach, awarded “Chamber Volunteer of the Year”, nationally televised on The Food Channel’s “Chef Swap”, and has been named Myrtle Beach Hospitality Association’s “Chef of the year”. While running three restaurants, she has also found the time to develop her own line of sauces and spices under her Making it Delicious retail line, and is the author of “Making It Delicious” the cookbook. With all of this, she continues to push forward to build and inspire the culinary scene in Myrtle Beach.
With her restaurant experience and culinary genius, Chef is expanding her resume in 2024 with the opening of the wine bar, The Tasting Room on 9th, that will be located in the newly developed downtown area of The Art and Innovation District. The Tasting Room will have shareable, small plates curated especially for the community in which Chef Jamie has come to know so well. Quarterly, private chef dinners will be opened to a table of 12 in which wine and food will be married together in a seamless experience aimed to dazzle local clientele.
On top of all of this, she is a strong advocate for Autism Awareness. Her son James was diagnosed at age 3 and since then she has made it her mission to help him and other children anyway she can. From hosting Sensory Friendly events here at Johnny D’s to creating an Autism Awareness Campaign every April, where she features a child or adult with Autism everyday, that reaches thousands of people to help spread understanding of Autism and how it affects families. Money collected and raised during these events are donated to two local organizations, Champion Autism Network and SOS Health Care. Champion Autism Network works to help make the Grand Strand an Autism Friendly Travel and Living Destination and hosting Sensory Friendly Events and SOS Health Care provides many services, including ABA Therapy, Social Programs and their Autism Community Education Program, just to name a few. Her commitment to her son and the cause has truly made a difference and she says it has made her a better person. James has taught her to not be so quick to judge others, to look at the beauty within a person and that a little love and understanding can go a long way.