Cook, Sage American Bistro

Story by Shelley Mann // Photo by Jodi Miller

Toward the end of a three-and-a-half-year stint as sous chef at L'Antibes--an unusually long tenure in the restaurant business--Mike Gadd was creating his own multicourse tasting menus and pulling off entire wine dinners.

Gadd has big ambitions that include eventually opening his own restaurant, but he isn't above the dirty work--he even washes dishes. It's that mix of talent, big ideas and humility that was attractive to Chef Bill Glover, Gadd's new boss at Sage.

"I see a lot of myself in him," Glover said. "He has the ambition to do what I'm doing."

What attracted Gadd to Sage was its intimate feel.

"I like that it's a small kitchen," he said. "You're not serving 200 people a night, so you can really showcase delicate, intricate food."

Gadd's classically French cooking style was honed while working alongside Chef Matthew Litzinger at L'Antibes. He also picked up lots of inspiration during a week spent in Manhattan as a guest chef at culinary master Thomas Keller's Per Se.

"I completely changed my plating style after working with Per Se's chef de cuisine Eli Kaimeh," Gadd said. "It's much tighter, I'm playing around with different colors, elevations. It's all about playing with your senses."

Age: 24
Neighborhood: North Campus
Previous gigs: Sous chef at L'Antibes; cook at Rigsby's and Rosendales

2653 N. High St., North Campus