While growing up on the East Coast his father opened up a supper club where Jim worked all areas and ending up in the kitchen. After a few years he decided this was his future. Attended the California Culinary academy in the early 80's.
As a resort chef, he has appeared on the Today Show, TV Food Network, and appeared in a variety of publications. He has worked with local farmers/fishermen, provided mentorship to our local culinary school, participated in many charitable food/wine events, presented at a company-wide Four Seasons general managers conference, and more. One of the most memorable events was on September 10, 2001. He cooked for a sold-out audience at the prestigious James Beard House on 12th Avenue in New York City. A day later (September 11), he found himself back at the Beard House – this time cooking meals (all food donated) to feed the tireless rescue workers and hospital personnel after the tragic 9/11 incident at the Twin Towers.He has won gold medals and and culinary competitions. He is a certified Executive Chef in the American culinary Federation.
Throughout his 30 plus culinary years, partnering with local farmers and fishermen still excite him. His steadfast philosophy is to create rewarding dining experiences that are culinary adventures for the soul – highlighting his commitment to regional, seasonal and artisanal (handcrafted) products. “At Pueo’s, your culinary adventure will be grounded in Hawaiʻi – but the flavors will take you abroad to Italy,” said Chef Babian. This concept came from his love for Italian food. He has Sicilian roots on his mother side (Granatelli) and always remembers growing up being exposed to great food and how it positively affects the soul.