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Behind the Line

(Editor’s note: Stock & Barrel and (614) Magazine devote plenty of ink to the people with their names at the top of the menu. This is the first in a reoccurring series about the integral employees in the culinary trenches, the guys and gals behind The Guy or Gal) Bill Glover is a legitimate food star [...]
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(Editor’s note: Stock & Barrel and (614) Magazine devote plenty of ink to the people with their names at the top of the menu. This is the first in a reoccurring series about the integral employees in the culinary trenches, the guys and gals behind The Guy or Gal)

Bill Glover is a legitimate food star in the capital city. His talent resonated for years from the small kitchen at Sage American Bisto in the Old North, and when the Downtown Hilton took its place on the Columbus skyline, it was Glover they tapped to run the culinary show.

While he often had to turn away talented chefs from his tiny space at Sage, now Glover is in charge of a massive team at the towering hotel, an artisanal army of 25-plus that has elevated the menu of its head chef to one of the best in the city.

Twenty years after Glover started sweating it out in hot, cramped kitchens, chalking up stitches in his hands, he’s overseeing the next wave of potential Columbus heads chefs, eager up-and-comers who spend more time with their kitchen team than they do with their own families.

“Every successful chef has two things: a strong support structure at home and a talented and inspired team of cooks in their kitchen,” Glover said.

While Glover is quick to point out that there are plenty on the team that are worthy of praise, here we focus on five crucial team members and their roles at the restaurant.

Let’s go Behind the Line, and meet the inspired team at Gallerie Bar & Bistro:

Josh Kayser, 39
Chef de Cuisine

Education Self-taught

Experience 20 years
The Ohio State Faculty Club, Columbus, Ohio (roundsmen/lead cook), Bel Lago Waterfront Dining (executive chef)

Glover’s right-hand man, Kayser is the day-to-day operator of the restaurant, overseeing purchasing, production lists, and managing inventories and direct supervision of the staff. He and Glover work on menus collectively and design seasonally changing options together.

“Josh has been a big part of three kitchens I have been in as the executive chef in over the years,” Glover said. “He and I have a shared approach and philosophy that is not easy to come by and makes the creative process very fluid.”

Allison Grieves, 27
Sous Chef

Education Scottsdale Culinary Institute

Experience 8 years
Arizona Biltmore Resort and Spa, Phoenix, Arizona, (lead line cook), Third & Hollywood (line cook)

At a hotel serving three meals a day, 365 days a year, you need a strong person in charge of the daytime crew, and that’s Grieves. She worked her way up from the Gallerie’s opening team, and a spot on the p.m. line before recently being promoted to Sous Chef.

“Allison has done an amazing job with our staff during breakfast and lunch to bring the consistency we strive,” Glover said. “She is an amazing cook who has traveled the world developing her style and approach to cooking. Her palate is incredible, and she has a delicate touch with flavors that is difficult, if not impossible, to teach.”

Dan Kamel, 25
Lead Line Cook

Education Columbus Culinary Institute

Experience 10 years
Alana’s Food & Wine (apprenticeship), M at Miranova (line cook)

Kamel is Glover’s “mad scientist.” Always studying on the job, Kamel reads anything he can get his hands on, and according to the head chef, is often the most knowledgeable member of the team in this area of expertise. He brings modern cooking techniques into the kitchen, including inventive pastry concepts for Gallerie’s dessert menu.

“He is a natural cook who picks up on new ideas and flavor profiles with ease,” Glover said.

Rick Collignon, 26
Line Cook

Education Pennsylvania Culinary Institute

Experience 7 years
Barcelona (line cook), The Bistro on Biltmore Estate, Asheville, North Carolina (line cook)

A jack-of-all-trades and creative problem solver, Collignon bounces from the regular restaurant line to Gallerie’s large-scale banquet team seamlessly.

“When we need a strong cook for a big production, Rick is the first to volunteer,” Glover said. “If we need a rock on the grill for a busy night in the restaurant, he’s happy to do it. He has a maturity that speaks to the skills needed for leadership roles and has a promising future in this field. He is an asset to both sides of our kitchen.”

Jon Fortney, 29
Line Cook

Education Self-taught

Experience 8 years
Columbus Club (lead line cook), Burgundy Room (pastry chef)

As passionate as he is meticulous, Fortney typically works the lunch-dinner swing shift and has learned every station on the line in four months during both lunch and dinner. Steady and calm, he brings a consistency to the line that is crucial during rushes.

“Jon is the quiet storm; he can go from a slow breeze to a hurricane of action seamlessly,” Glover said. “He could have 50 checks hanging or two and he is the same guy: calm, consistent, and focused on quality.”

 

 

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Food & Drink

Restaurant Review: El Lugar and Alpine bring Spanish, German tapas to German Village

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Displayed proudly along the wall behind El Lugar’s bar are rows and rows of canned seafood—not the ingredient of choice one might expect from an upscale tapas and pinchos restaurant, located in a city with a culinary scene that typically fawns over either traditional American, or fresh and local food. Nevertheless, the Espinaler cans of tuna, razor shells, and cockles reside there like a dare for those with adventurous enough appetites to try some of the finest seafood in the world. 

Photos by Julian Foglietti

El Lugar is a shared effort by co-owners Enis and A.J. Ndreu and Elidon Hizmo to bring new and authentic European flavors to Columbus. Their two new restaurants, El Lugar and Alpine, sit next door to one another and provide different, yet complementary experiences of Spanish and German cuisines. One side boasts a more family-friendly selection of meats, cheeses and hearty vegetables, while the other is fresh Mediterranean flavors of citrus and seafood. Both share an intriguing selection of signature cocktails. 

In contrast to El Lugar, Alpine features cuisine that showcases flavors from across Germany. Nicholas Paxton, the executive chef at both restaurants who was tasked with transforming the owners’ vision into menus, is neither German nor originally familiar with German food, so he brought in consultants more familiar with the region to help develop the recipes. “I love the authenticity that we provide here on the Alpine side,” Paxton said. “There’s a broad spectrum of what German food can be.”

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Alpine is continuing the tradition of authentic regional food that has helped characterize German Village, where it and El Lugar are located. The two restaurants replaced Juergen’s Bakery, a community staple that provided Columbus with Bavarian-style fare for 50 years. Co-owner A.J. Ndreu said they’d been looking for a spot in the area to open up another German restaurant (they also own Wurst und Bier in Worthington), so when the opportunity presented itself, they jumped.

“I used to buy all my pastries from Rosemarie [Keidel, Juergen’s Bakery’s owner],” A.J. Ndreu said. 

“We just connected and she’s like, ‘I’d love for you to take over and make a German restaurant out of it.’ ”

With that, he and his cousin launched into bringing to life their concepts for German and tapas restaurants, which they’d been developing for a decade.

One of the most instrumental sources of inspiration for A.J. has been traveling around Europe. He lived in France, where he fell in love with French food. But once he experienced all the different ways Spanish cuisine used seafood, beef and pork, he was convinced otherwise. “I thought French food was the best cuisine in the world until I started going to Spain.”

The simplicity of Spanish food is a challenge for Paxton, who says his tendency when developing a recipe is to mess with its components. Spanish cuisine, in contrast, consists of ingredients that can speak for themselves; all Paxton has to do, he says, is figure out how they work together and wait for inspiration to hit.

Back in 2008, Anthony Bourdain traveled to Catalonia for his show “No Reservations” to explore the same flavors that intrigued Ndreu and Paxton. At a little bar about half an hour outside of Barcelona, Bourdain tried Espinaler’s canned seafood, and asked, “How can any chef do better for you than that?” Ndreu was captivated.

“I was like, ‘What the hell is he talking about? It’s canned,’ ” Ndreu puzzled. “So […] I went, and I was amazed. It’s unbelievable. It’s some of the best seafood I ever ate.”

After that, A.J. spent years trying to find a way to bring Espinaler’s products to Ohio, and he finally uncovered an opportunity in El Lugar. But besides the seafood, El Lugar also features Vermut Lacuesta—not the vermouth used for lining a martini glass, but a wine-like drink to be enjoyed on its own or in a cocktail. It also offers the Spanish serrano and ibérico hams, which can be cured for years. The more expensive of the two, ibérico ham comes from black pigs fed an acorn diet and can take up to five years to reach peak flavor.

Next door, Alpine’s menu describes dishes like leberkäse (a meatloaf) and wurstteller (a selection of sausages). Diners can also order raclette, available by the scrape, over any meal. But not forgetting that it’s still in the United States, Alpine offers a handful of American classics during happy hour. These include mini cheeseburger sliders, tater tots with beer cheese dip, and fried chicken wings, among others. 

Alpine and El Lugar present their guests with foreign foods that encourage diners to explore the culinary diversity of Europe. Portion sizes, particularly at El Lugar, may be a bit smaller, but Paxton hopes Columbus diners will recognize the value in great, unique-tasting food and finding excellence in unexpected places.

“We don’t want you to fill up on it. We want you to taste some amazing flavors that nobody else is doing,” Paxton said.

Alpine and El Lugar are located at 525 S 4th St. in German Village. Find out about Alpine at alpine614.com and El Lugar at ellugar614.com.

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They’ll be nothing to wine about at these 9 local wineries

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Everyone knows that Columbus is a craft beer city, but fortunately for those who never got acclimated to the yeasty drink, there’s wine. We may not have the best climate for grape growing, but these nine wineries around Columbus are breaking down barriers and serving up delicious bottles to vino lovers.

Camelot Cellars Winery | 901 Oak St, Columbus

Camelot Cellars, an award-winning Urban Boutique Winery, handcrafts all their own wines sourcing premier juices from vineyards all over the world. Offerings include retail wines by the bottle, wine tastings, flights, and event spaces.

Via Vecchia Winery | 2050 S High St, Columbus

This family-owned, urban winery is tucked away off a private lane and hosts 7700 square feet of exclusive venue space. With original exposed brick archways, wood ceiling beams and limestone walls, every experience is sure to be unforgettable.

Wyandotte Winery | 4640 Wyandotte Dr, Columbus

Wyandotte Winery is the first and oldest winery in Central Ohio, conveniently located just miles from Easton Town Center. With wines made from Ohio grapes and a beautiful patio to enjoy them on, you’re sure to enjoy your experience at Wyandotte Winery.

Signature Wines | 3816 April Ln, Columbus

Unlike many urban wineries, Signature Wines makes wines predominantly from whole grapes  and juices brought into Columbus from predominately California and Ohio using traditional, small scale winemaking techniques.  Stop into the Winery to enjoy a glass of wine in a comfortable atmosphere.

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Hidden Lakes Winery | 650 Winchester Pike, Canal Winchester

Hidden Lakes offers a delightful selection of house-made, award-winning wines and unique craft beers. Along with beverages, enjoy food from the newly-updated kitchen while taking in the scenic lakeside view.

Cooper’s Hawk Winery & Restaurant | 4230 The Strand, Columbus

Cooper’s Hawk Winery & Restaurants celebrates moments that matter with chef-crafted food, award-winning wines, and life-long friendships. Outstanding wine, modern fare, Napa-inspiring tasting room: Cooper’s Hawk.

Good Vibes Winery | 2 S State St, Westerville

Good Vibes Winery is an urban winery located in Uptown Westerville, offering guests a wine experience, bistro samplings, and a beautiful environment to be enjoyed by friends and family.

Plum Run Winery | 3946 Broadway, Grove City

Plum Run Winery is a family-owned winery focusing on small batches of quality wines made from locally sourced fruit. A 3-acre vineyard located five miles south of the winery provides many of the grapes for the estate wines. Stop by and enjoy the wine and hospitality!

Powell Village Winery | 50 Liberty St, Powell

As one of the first wine négociants in Ohio, Powell Village Winery sources, blends, and produces small lots of high quality vinifera wines from America’s notable grape-growing regions. From bold & dry to sweet & fruity, they strive to create a diverse range of distinct wines for every taste.

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Tuttle Mall getting a lot sweeter thanks to 2 newcomers

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Malls have changed a lot over the years. Remember Waldenbooks? Was KB Toys your go-to as a kid? Heck, even Sears will soon be nothing more than a memory.

While mall establishments are frequently lost to the sands of time, it’s rare that you see a former retailer return to a mall it’s already vacated once. Well brace yourselves, sweets fans, because a gooey, sugar-frosted favorite is making a comeback at Tuttle Mall.

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Of course we’re talking Cinnabon, which was last in operation at Tuttle some years ago, and is now listed as “coming soon” on the mall’s directory. But wait! As tempting as it will be to fill up on cinnamon rolls after this long absence, you’ll want to save room for this other coming attraction: it seems Duck Donuts is also setting up shop in Tuttle.

Hop on the treadmill and give your dentist a heads-up, mall lovers—sweets are back at Tuttle in a big way!

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