Carrie and Jason Hoeltzel are the owners of Mammoth's newest restaurant – CJ's Grill. Their story is similar to many a resident of Mammoth: they came, they loved it – they stayed.
Jason graduated from Mammoth High, went off to college in Louisiana and, drawn by the lure of Florida's weather and waters, took a job working for Outback Steakhouse. It may have been his best move ever because that's where he met Carrie, a native of Pittsburgh. She too had heard Florida's – and Jason's – siren song and pretty soon they were a couple.
But, Florida isn't Mammoth and after a few vacations back here, Jason was homesick and Carrie was hooked. The decision was made to have their wedding in June Lake. Somehow, in the midst of all the preparations the week prior to the wedding, Carrie found time to go on a job interview with the Mountain.
For the past few years, Carrie has been working as department head of The Mountainside Grill while both she and Jason held on to the dream of one day owning their own restaurant. So, when the location which formerly housed The Fireside Burgers became available, they jumped at the chance. Their idea has always been to have a family restaurant, with Carrie in charge of front-of-house and Jason as Chef, so it was natural to involve Jason's parents, Carol and Russ, in their venture. In fact, if you drop in on them some afternoon, after the lunch service but before the dinner rush, you're likely to find Russ supervising Jason Jr.
Prior to meeting, Jason and Carrie were raised in homes where family and food went together - when sitting at the dinner table was the most important time of day, because the family was together. Jason's mom, Carol, is the biggest influence on his baking and sweet tooth. Growing up, Carol owned a Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory. So, as a result, Jason's ice cream, cheesecakes and cookies are the best in town! Carrie's family is self-explanatory when she mentions that her younger brother, Eric Hall is Executive Chef at La Posada Resort in Sante Fe, New Mexico and her older sister, Stefanie Longton is General Manager of Bennett Lane Winery in Calistoga, Napa Valley. And her parents, Greg and Debra Hall and Veronica Gibbs always had something cooking in the kitchen.