GET TO KNOW THE LOCAL CHEFS

01-Jan-2020

 

LARRY HUNTER

Executive Chef

CARSON’S FOOD & DRINK

What sets you apart from other chefs?

Here at Carson’s we have a passion for excellence. Our chef-driven menu is centered on seasonal offfferings which are served in a truly casual, yet

elegant environment.

What is your favorite dish?

My favorites here at Carson’s are the Ahi Poke appetizer and Filet Medallions entree. When I’m cooking at home, my “go-to” meal is Grilled Steak with Carson’s Truffle Butter.

When you aren’t in the kitchen, what do you like to do?
Rock climbing in the Red River Gorge gets me out of the kitchen!

What do you love most about the local restaurant industry?
I love the fast-paced environment and the passion it takes to make excellence. Over the past 5 years, Lexingtonians have come to expect a higher quality dining experience and it’s both fun and challenging to rise above those expectations.


RANADA RILEY

RANADA'S BISTRO & BAR

What sets you apart from other chefs?

I think my personality makes me unique. I'm the "never meet a stranger" type. In today’s industry I feel that it is critical that chefs have a presence in the front of the house and be able to connect to guests from all demographics and ages.

How would you describe

Lexington's food scene?

Lexington’s food scene is so diverse and rich. L

ThThere is a tremendous amount of talent in this big little city and so much untapped talent—especially under-represented female chefs.

Do you have a favorite entrée?

My favorite dish on the menu right now is our Blackened Halibut with Lobster Succotash.

What is your favorite local ingredient to cook with?
My favorite local ingredient to cook with would have to be our Kentucky Darling Meats grass fed ground beef.


DOUGLAS JOHANNES

Chef/Owner

CHEF DOUG’S GOURMET FOODS

How would you describe your restaurant?

My kitchen serves Caribbean and Southern comfort foods and is now open for weekend take-out: Thursday through Saturday 11am to 9pm.

What is your favorite dish?

Loaded Red Beans and Rice! Our red beans and rice are served vegetarian-style but for carnivores
we can add the meat back by topping it with
jerk chicken, pulled pork or chili!

How would you describe Lexington's food scene?

Lexington is a cutting-edge, vibrant melting pot of ethnic cuisines!

When you aren't in the kitchen, what do you like to do?

Outside the kitchen I like to work in my raised-bed garden or go to a movie with my kids.


JASON WALLS

Chef

CASTLE FARM AT THE KENTUCKY CASTLE

What sets Castle Farm apart from other restaurants?

We are literally farm-to-table as we are located on an actual farm. I love working with our grown on-site, quality products.

What do you love about your restaurant?

I am very proud of our fish. We receive our fish boat- direct within two days of being caught. As far as specific dishes, I am also very fond of our Oxtail Medallions which are served with a foie gras bordelaise.

When you aren't in the kitchen, what do you like to do?

I'm out on the farm when not in the kitchen. I like tending what will be our next meals! I also like trying out new restaurants as Lexington has an inspiring and creative restaurant scene.


DYLAN JONES

Executive Chef

JEFF RUBY'S STEAKHOUSE

Tell us about Jeff Ruby's.

Jeff Ruby’s Steakhouses are known for nationally-acclaimed U.S.D.A. prime steaks, seafood and sushi, impeccable service and live entertainment. Collectively, these are the elements of the Jeff Ruby experience. No request is too big or too small here—we thrive on anticipating wants and surpassing the expections
of our guests.

What do you love most about the restaurant industry?

I love the comraderie that is built every day between co-workers, front-of-house, back-of-house and the community. Food really has a remarkable way of bringing people together.

What is your favorite local ingredient to cook with?

Any cheese from Kenny's Farmhouse creates dishes with wonderful flavor and a creamy texture.

What is your favorite dish on the menu?

Our Wagyu Meatball appetizer is my favorite. It is served with creamy polenta and smoked tomato gravy and has the perfect balance of flavors.

When you aren't in the kitchen, what do you like to do?

I am ambitious and spend a lot of time in the kitchen; so I prefer to spend my off-time relaxing with my significant other and our two dogs at home or the dogpark.


GREG SPAULDING

Chef

WEST MAIN CRAFTING CO.

How would you describe your restaurant?

Our kitchen staff has the privilege of having an outstanding bar program that we feel gives us no ceiling in regards to the food that we prepare. ThThat being said, we take pride in responsibly sourcing all of our products.

What is your favorite meal to make at home?

Mexican/Tex-Mex is a family favorite. Let’s just say every Thanksgiving, Christmas and Easter is family affair scratch fajitas at Mom’s.

What do you love most about the restaurant industry?
ThThat’s a good question. I think I enjoy what we call “the grind.” I love working with my hands, I thrive on what I refer to as controlled chaos. I have to be learning something at all times.

When you aren't in the kitchen, what do you like to do?
I watch a lot of documentaries. I read a lot about food and history. I travel as much as my job allows. I enjoy working on things around the house. I also enjoy visiting local breweries and eateries. Deep sea fishing is also what I plan on doing if and when I ever put my chef knives down for good.


COLE ARIMES Executive Chef and Owner

COLES 735 MAIN EPPING'S ON EASTSIDE AND POPPY & OLIVE

How would you describe your restaurants?
I like to think our family of restaurants offffer unique and approachable options for every style, taste and occasion. You can have an elegant and intimate fine dining experience at Coles, try a scratch-made lunch, dinner or brunch in the urban elegance of Epping's or relax over a "parent-friendly" meal with the kids in tow at Poppy & Olive.

What is your favorite meal to make at home?
My wife Susan and I have two children: Hurst and Park and they are starting to help in the kitchen, so easy meals like pancakes are a big hit right now.

What is your favorite local ingredient to cook with? Depends on the season and what's fresh from our local farmers! I love being surprised by one of our purveyors with hard-to-find seasonal ingredients like foraged mushrooms.

Do you offffer any specials?
Epping's has a variety: every Monday, we offffer a special $8 burger, Tuesdays are half-offff all wine (glass and bottle), plus our menus are always changing with new ingredients or ideas from our chefs.

What is your favorite dish on the menu?
People always laugh at this, but I'm a burger and fries guy. As a chef and business owner, I'm rarely sitting down to a quiet meal. A great burger (like the Kobe beef burger at Coles) with local, fresh ingredients always hits the spot.

What do you love most about the restaurant industry?
I originally got into the industry because I love to eat, and cooking was just a good way to enjoy amazing food. Once I got into restaurants, it was the fast pace and high pressure that I enjoyed!


RAIG DE VILLIERS

Executive Chef

GRAZEAT THE WOODLANDS

Tell us about your restaurant?

We are a fresh to table concept featuring global comfort food with South African influences. We take pride in providing from scratch, house-made dishes.

What is your favorite dish?

My favorites main dish is our Pork Tenderloin served with sweet potato, winter vegetables and mushroom rosemary cream.

What is your favorite local ingredient to cook with?
I especially like cooking with local heirloom tomatoes from Crooked Row Farm.

How would you describe Lexington's food scene?

The ethnic influence is growing, which is bringing new flavors and new experiences to the city.

When you aren’t in the kitchen, what do you like to do?
When I am not in the kitchen, I enjoy hiking and spending time with my dogs.


TIMOTHY E. WOOD

Executive Chef

THE CLUB AT UK'S SPINDLETOP HALL

How would you describe Spindletop?

We are a University of Kentucky Faculty, Staff Chefs & Restaurateurs and Alumni Club catering to the needs of our membership and their families. Be it fine dining, asual comfort food, themed parties or catered events and weddings. We do anything and all
for our members.

I really enjoy the Chef's garden plot on property that allows us to grow our own herbs, tomatoes and peppers that make every dish personal.

I really enjoy the Chef's garden plot on property that allows us to grow our own herbs, tomatoes and peppers that make every dish personal.

What sets you apart from other chefs?
I love being a club Chef. ThThe personal relationships build with my clientele allow me to be personal with the food in a way I was never able to in another kitchen.

What is your favorite dish?

Our winter menu features "The Whitmer" in honor of one of our most dedicated families: spicy marinated Beef Tenderloin topped with Bourbon flashed caramel apples, butter braised baby carrots and roasted potatoes.

What do you love most about the local restaurant industry?

The chance to do something new everyday has been an amazing experience. Getting to do that with some of the most talented and creative people in the state has been an inspiration. I truly love what I do and who I do it for. My memebrship has supported me and I love the chance to thank them with every dish.