Jasper White was born in 1954 on a farm near the New Jersey shore. He credits his love of good food to his Italian grandmother. He began his cooking career in 1973, and after graduating from the Culinary Institute and working around the U.S., he then relocated to Boston’s Copley Plaza, the Parker House and the Bostonian Hotel in 1982, where he and Great Chef Lidia Shire introduced Boston to contemporary American cooking. In 1983 he took over an old molasses warehouse on Boston’s waterfront and transformed it into his elegant restaurant “Jasper’s”.
Great Chefs taped Jasper at this location in February 1993 for their Great Chefs of the East and Great Chefs-Great Cities television series. Chef Jasper prepared Salt Cod Cakes as an appetizer for The East series, and a Portugese Mussels entree for The Cities series.
In 1995, in the midst of Boston’s decade-long “Big Dig”, he boldly chose to close Jasper’s in 1995, and took time to write two cookbooks and consult for Legal Seafoods. In 1996, Great Chefs returned to Boston with Weber Grills, to tape a BBQ special Great Chefs Grill Out Boston when Chef Jasper prepared a Grilled Lobster and Grilled Calamari.
In May 2000, Jasper surprised everyone by opening a crab shack in Cambridge called “Jasper White’s Summer Shack”, a loud, energetic clam shack that has become a Mecca for seafood lovers. Its success has spawned four more Summer Shacks in the Northeast.