Downtown spotlight: Chef Jason Lamountain

Jason Lamountain

City Moose Café owner is on a roll

Chef Jason Lamountain has covered a lot of impressive ground in his career. And he has plans to cover even more.

Beginning his culinary career at Alvirne High School in Hudson, he started as a teen line cook at Michael Timothy’s (now called MT’s Local) in Nashua. After learning at the feet of the masters at the prestigious Culinary Institute of America at their beautiful New York campus (working in CIA’s catering and running a B&B that focused on local vegetarian cuisine), Chef Jason worked at the Marriott flagship property in New Orleans, before returning to New Hampshire, to be part of the Bedford Village Inn’s pastry department and eventually their corporate dining facet (for more than a year, he fed more than 1,000 people per day). He’s also been the private chef for high-end tech company FLIR in Nashua.

In 2016, Jason and wife Stacy started a catering business they ran from the kitchen of the original site of  Tupelo Music Hall in Derry. Then a new opportunity presented itself. “We were asked by 30 Temple Street if we wanted to open a café,” says Stacy. “We hadn’t ever thought about a café, but we rose to the challenge in April 2018.”

City Moose Café
30 Temple Street
Downtown Nashua
www.citymoosenh.com

Jason Lamountain, chef and co-owner,
City Moose Cafe.

And so the City Moose Café was born. Chef Jason and Stacy co-own the City Moose Café; he handles the food, she manages the still-vigorous catering component. The restaurant is open Monday–Friday for breakfast and lunch. Lamountain notes that “our house-roasted, hand-carved meat” is a standout for patrons. All their beef, turkey, chicken and pork is freshly roasted in-house (unless locally smoked). “We don’t use traditional deli meat at all,” he says.

City Moose Café is also dedicated to the farm-to-table relationship. “[We] pride ourselves in supporting local farmers by carrying seasonal, locally sourced ingredients,” Lamountain states. “Sit in the café and you’ll see local farmers delivering their produce!”

Chef Jason is always excited to try new things in the kitchen. “What do [I] love about being a chef? Creativity; experimenting and trying new ingredient combinations and techniques.” He counts bread as one of his favorite things to create. “I start my own yeast and enjoy seeing the results from start to finish,” he says. For Dinner on Main Street: A Harvest Celebration, he will present homemade, hand-cut potato chips, served with a traditional onion dip, and mushroom dip made from local purveyor Dunks Mushroom Products and Foraging.

The future holds huge growth for the couple. “We’ve now had other folks ask us to open a café at their office, cater to a local school and have an express line at the gas station on Canal Street,” Stacy reports. “We [are] hoping to get a commissary kitchen locally just for the catering side of the business. Our long-term goal is to open an event venue called City Moose Lodge,” she reveals.

For now, locals can enjoy this CIA-trained chef at the café. “My passion for food comes from the need to let the food speak for itself,” Chef Jason says. “When cooked and seasoned properly, the food, even ordinary food like green beans, will become a star.”

Jason Lamountain lives in Nashua with his wife Stacy and their two young children.