Jimmy Sneed went to the University of Florida before he got the bug to go to France in 1973 to learn the language and culture, and take some courses at the Sorbonne University. He went to work at the Cordon Bleu where he became the French translator for American and Japanese culinary students. Once back in the U.S., he needed a master to mentor him, so he went to see the chef at the French Embassy who referred him to Great Chef Jean-Louis Palladin, chef at the famed Jean-Louis at the Watergate. The interview consisted of one question, “You speak French?” followed by the affirmative “oui” from Sneed. He was hired and ascended to the rank of Palladin’s sous-chef. In 1987, he left to start his own restaurant, Windows on Urbanna Creek, near Williamsburg, Virginia.
In 1993, he opened The Frog and the Redneck in Richmond, Virginia, based on his premise that there is little, if any, difference between modern French and modern American food. The Frog of course was Jean-Louis Palladin and the Redneck refers to Chef Sneed. In 1994, the Great Chefs television crew showed up to tape him there for the Discovery Channel’s Great Chefs of the East television series. He closed that restaurant in 2001.
He then moved to Las Vegas and in 2004, he opened Jimmy Sneed’s at the Country Club in Steve Wynn’s Las Vegas property. He went on to be the executive chef at the New Frontier Casino & Hotel; spokesperson/chef for Vitamix; Chef / Food and Beverage Director for Sugar Toad at the Hotel Arista, and in 2010 he returned to Richmond, Virginia to help his daughter, Fresca, open Fresca on Addison, a vegetarian bistro