Chef Jim LaPerriere, Personal Executive Chef / 616-212-5695 /


With over 23 years experience in high profile restaurants across the country, and a Culinary Institute of America alum  (graduated top of  his class) Chef Jim LaPerriere is taking the upscale dining experience into homes across Southwest Michigan.  Originally from Northern California, he now resides in Saugatuck, Michigan with his wife and two boys, where his primary focus is creating one of a kind fine dining experiences in the comfort of your own home, as well as instructing private and group culinary classes in his "must see" demonstration kitchen.  Whether you choose from a multi-course market-inspired tasting menu, a full-blown interactive demonstration dining experience, or a more traditional sit-down dinner,  Chef LaPerriere takes pride in tailoring each and every experience to his client's interests.

Choose Your Culinary Experience

Private Dining Options

Distinctive Dining-- in the comfort of your own home!

Private dinners include a seasonal multi-course menu tailored specifically to your groups interests, signature hors d'oeuvre "hour", printed menus, professional server(s), necessary service wares, all clean-up, and a 3, 4, or 5-hour distinctive dining experience in the comfort of your own home.
($1,450 minimum event charge / $1,750 Holiday weekends / tax & gratuity not included

Traditional Sit-down Multi-Course Dinners

(5 courses /please allow 3 to 3-1/2 hours) start at 125/person.

Seasonal Multi-course Farm-to-Fork Market Tasting Menu's

(7 or 9 courses /please allow 4 to 4-1/2 hours) from 140/person.

Interactive Demonstration Dinners (please allow 5 hours)

145-160/person,held in my demonstration kitchen just 5 minutes from downtown Saugatuck.


Sample Market Tasting Menu

Hors d’oeuvres 


Summer Shandy tempura / harissa & sorrel aioli's


Mahi Mahi / red onion / cilantro / blistered corn / lime juice / coconut milk / leche de tigre


crisp cucumber cup / Thai sweet chili-wasabi cocktail sauce


thinly sliced grilled skirt steak / salt-vinegar potato chip

creamy Stilton blue cheese-chive potatoes / Urbani white truffle oil drizzle / smoked salt



French cultured butter / sourdough wheat / sliced radish /fleur de sel/fines herbes


cornmeal tempura / tarragon-Dijon creme fraiche


bruschetta / garlic creme fraiche / pickled onions, peppers, fennel, celery, carrot ribbons / baby greens / Italian parsley / dill


onion / pancetta / black pepper / egg yolk / Parmigiano Reggiano / butter / lemon


záatar crusted / cracked freekeh-feta tabbouleh / sorrel, mint, parsley / broccoli fleurettes


certified Angus tenderloin / truffled brown butter beárnaise / fines herbes / Boursin

smashed olive oil-salt-roasted fingerlin’s / grilled baby carrots

Something' Sweet!



creme brule´/ Amaretto infused rice krispies / burnt” marshmallow cream


buttermilk-espresso cocoa cake / Kahlua mascarpone cream

Ancho-Reyes magic shell / cocoa nibs

Signature Reception Offerings


Wood-Fired Neoplitan-Style Pizza Experience

Assortment of hand tossed pizza’s cooked on site in an 850 degree wood-fired pizza oven / includes a selection of hors d’oeuvres, salads, and dessert options.


Paella Party

Cooked in the traditional style, in a 32-inch carbon steel paella pan (feeds up to 80) includes an assortment of hors d’oeuvres, salads, and dessert options.


A Taste of Mexico

If you're looking to experience authentic  Mexican cuisine and some of the traditional flavors of Oaxaca, you'll definitely want to consider a Mexican themed dinner.  Chef LaPerriere's travel's throughout parts of Mexico included time spent cooking with Diana Kennedy, the world's foremost authority on traditional Mexican Cuisine.


“Just wanted you to know how much my husband Steve and I enjoyed the wonderful gourmet meal you so artfully prepared for us on Saturday night at the cottage.  I honestly can say it was the best meal I’ve ever experienced.  The presentation and selections were superb.”  Steve & Nancy

"Harry and I can't thank you enough for the extraordinary experience you provided us with last night. It was one of the most memorable, unique, things we've ever done. Not only did we learn a lot, the food was unbelievably delicious and plentiful. You put together such a user-friendly menu, we will definitely be able to prepare everything you showed us ourselves once we get home. Plus, the fact that you got a vegetarian to eat meat is quite an accomplishment." 

~Harry & Laurie / Detroit, Michigan

"I want you to know how thoroughly I enjoyed the class you gave at the SCA last night.  I picked up so many wonderful tips about healthier eating.  Everything you prepared was absolutely wonderful and I hope to try all of your recipes some day."

Mary / Glenn, MI

"Jim, I truly wish to thank your team and you for making Friday's celebration so special.  Throughout the planning, I appreciated your ideas and responsiveness.  We got many, many compliments on the food an service". 

Robin / South Haven, MI

"Thank you again for another delicious dinner for our Holland 100 gathering.  Everything was so delicious…special rave reviews about the chicken and dessert!  You have much class, professionalism and you are a pleasure to work with."

Sincerely, Jeff & Amy

"Jim, Thank you so very much for a wonderful evening of dining, friends, delicious food, tips, hacks, and the experience of such a unique evening.  We all enjoyed every minute of it, and such a treat to take the recipes with us.

Thanks again,"

Connie, Lisa, Renee, Gina & Kirbie

Saugatuck, MI

Chef's Bio

     Before moving to Saugatuck, Michigan in 2007, with his wife Melanie and two boys, Chef Jim LaPerriere’s roots and much of his training had been focused in Northern California.  His interest in cooking began at the young age of 4 and by the time he was 14 (determined to become a chef some day) was creating dinners for his parents and their friends.
     LaPerriere began his restaurant career the day he turned 16, working for a number of prestigious restaurants in his hometown of Sacramento.  By the time he was 18, he had been promoted to Sous Chef in the top fine dining seafood restaurant in the area.  Two years later, he had the good fortune to work side by side with Italian born chef Biba Caggiano, assisting with the opening of her highly acclaimed traditional Northern Italian restaurant “Biba” in 1986.  After working under her as Sous Chef for six years, he departed to study at the Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park, New York, where he graduated top of his class.  During his externship, he followed his passion for Southwestern Cuisine and worked with nationally recognized Chef Mark Miller, at Red Sage Restaurant in Washington D.C.  After graduating from the Culinary Institute of America in May of 1994, Jim relocated to the beautiful Napa Valley by way of Boston to work as Sous Chef for award winning Chef Cindi Pawlcyn at her infamous Mustards Grill.  When an opportunity to run his own kitchen back home was presented, Chef LaPerriere moved back and opened Enotria Café and Wine Bar as Executive Chef in 1995, earning and maintaining his first of many 4-star reviews.

  In the summer of 1996, Chef LaPerriere  traveled throughout Mexico to experience the regional cuisines, and had the wonderful opportunity to spend a week studying under and cooking with the foremost authority on authentic Mexican cuisine, Diana Kennedy.  Upon his return to California,  in January of 1997 Jim took over as Executive Chef for the Slocum House restaurant, immediately escalating the restaurant to four-star status and earning numerous awards during his nine years there.  In 2004, Chef LaPerriere left the restaurant business to spend more time with his family, and to start his own business as a Personal Executive chef, bringing the fine dining restaurant experience into the comfort of his clients homes.   “Distinctive Dining” was born!

     For the past 32 years, Chef LaPerriere's food has graced the covers of Sacramento Magazine and the Sacramento Bee, and he has been featured in various local publications including the Holland Sentinel and Grand Rapids Magazine.  He has also been a regular guest chef for a number of regional live television cooking segments.   Jim is now a Personal Executive Chef and focuses his talent and creativity on one of a kind private events, including demonstration dinners, weddings, wine dinners, corporate team building, and private group cooking classes in his custom designed teaching kitchen just minutes from downtown Saugatuck.  Prior to relocating to West Michigan, he was a regular culinary instructor for the Sacramento branch of William Sonoma, in the Pavilions shopping center, as well as a participating instructor for the Raley’s & Bel-Air Fine Foods cooking program.  He is a strong believer in the farm to table approach and often can be found foraging through the local Farmer’s Markets for the freshest local products available.


Culinary Classes

  Anyone looking for an excuse to broaden their culinary knowledge, hone their cooking skills, and have a really great time will want to schedule one of these classes soon. Tucked back in the woods on a private lake, Chef LaPerriere invites you to join him in his "must see" teaching & demonstration kitchen, featuring a Forno Bravo wood-fired pizza and bread oven, twenty feet of work islands, and a wood burning rotisserie fireplace. Chef Jim LaPerriere will confidently guide you on a culinary journey tailored to your specific interests,  integrating his experiences, philosophies, and tricks-of-the- trade, all while leading you to a successful and rewarding experience in your own kitchen….

3-hour demonstration classes / $585 for groups less than six 6 or more people, add $65 per additional person

half-day classes (4-1/2 hours private demonstration or hands-on instruction) / $695 for groups less than six

6 or more people, add $85 per additional person

full-day classes (7 hours private hands-on instruction, includes sit-down lunch)  / $895 for groups less than six / 6 or more people, add $95 per additional person

private one-on-one individual classes ($395 for 3 hours hands-on instruction) / $95 per additional guest


Contact Us

Contact us for a custom quote

Distinctive Dining

(616) 212-5695