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Culinary creatives: Jason Merryweather and Ruben Aguirre

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Thanksgiving Point’s executive chef Jason Merryweather (right) has enjoyed a professional partnership with Ruben Aguirre (left) that started in the late 1990s.

Jason Merryweather and Ruben Aguirre started their culinary partnership in the late 1990s at the Homestead Resort in Midway. Now, the pair continue to share a kitchen at the expansive Thanksgiving Point property where Jason oversees all food — including at the Harvest Restaurant, Tower Deli and Trellis Cafe — and Ruben is the banquets chef, coordinating flawless delivery on all areas of the property.

“We have a shared vision for how things should go,” Jason says. “He doesn’t have to ask me what to do in every situation. He knows what to do.”

If a problem arises that involves a consultation, the communication is often non-verbal.

“We work through eye contact,” Ruben says. “We can get a lot done without saying anything out loud.”

Ruben’s banquet division makes up about 60 percent of the total revenue from food at Thanksgiving Point, meaning he’s an expert in delivering volume and quality — playing nothing but away games.

“Working banquets is all about being organized, preparing the food and getting it out on time,” Jason says. “We are both organized, which helps.”

Their partnership works because of mutual trust and respect.

“There’s give and take and we’re not too critical of each other,” Jason says. “Sometimes I get a little ornery, but we keep going. We keep pressing on. You still have to feed people and still have to create. You can’t do it alone.”

This is one of 11 stories featured in the partnership section of Utah Valley Magazine. Read all the stories here.

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