[J]onathon Sawyer is proudly from Cleveland, Ohio where he owns and operates his flagship The Greenhouse Tavern, and a conglomerate of other opportunities. From Noodlecat, to Tavern Vinegar Company, Sawyer’s Street Frites and SeeSaw Pretzel Shoppe, Sawyer’s culinary empire spans the palate. In 2010 he was awarded “Best New Chef” by Food and Wine magazine. In 2013, he opened two stadium establishments – Sawyer’s Street Frites in the Cleveland Browns stadium, and SeeSaw Pretzel Shoppe in the Cleveland Cavaliers arena. To say that he is a prominent figure in the Cleveland culinary world is an understatement. Amidst his busy schedule, Sawyer operates a premier hand crafted Vinegar Company, Tavern Vinegar. Sweet. Sawyer took time to answer few.
FD: What dish are you most well known for?
JS: Foie Gras steamed clams: multiple cooking techniques are showcased with this dish using only four ingredients foraged for us.
FD: Which Chef is your number 1 influence?
JS:My earliest influence came from watching my mom and grandmother. More modern influences are Dan Barber, Jamie Oliver and Mario Batali, and my mentors Chef Michael Symon and Charlie Palmer.
FD: What inspires you to continue to innovate in the Kitchen?
JS:We are hardwired that way and restless to keep in front of the trends.
FD: What are your culinary goals for the next few years?
JS:The new restaurant Trentina and vertically integrating all our processes throughout our restaurants: pastry, butchering, pickling, vinegar, etc.
FD: What is your favorite thing to do when you aren’t cooking?
JS:Spending time with my family: watching Louisiana at cheer competition, taking Catcher to soccer practice, dates with my wife, trips to the drive-in movie theater which has become a Team Sawyer summer tradition as well as travelling as often as possible with the family.
Chefs with one restaurant, let alone four, have trouble finding free time. But Chef Sawyer somehow manages to stay active with his family AND restaurants. Sleep is for the week, right?You can follow Sawyer on twitter @chefsawyer, find anything Sawyer related on his website, http://jonathonsawyer.com.