Owner/chef, Till

Story by G.A. Benton // Photos by Alysia Burton

The man with the dragon tattoo embracing his face came to Columbus to study tai chi--a martial art he'd succeed at even when competing in China. Being wiry, restless and intense probably helped. Yet those qualities also led Magdiale Wolmark--after a decade of widespread accolades--to close the great Dragonfly Neo-V ("I'm over this," he confessed), his groundbreaking, plant-based restaurant.

Lessons learned during tai chi would play a part again--through its quests for health, discipline and perfection--when he decided to open the herbivore- and carnivore-friendly Till.

If you haven't been (go!), Till is a pioneering casual eatery with a focus on painstaking techniques (expect custardy scratch-made tofu and stunningly fresh hand-chopped hamburger) and top-notch biodynamic ingredients (think ultra-sustainable and super-organic).

"Quality is objective--you can taste it. And you can see much higher standards on biodynamic farms," Wolmark said.

He practices those same standards now in the biodynamic garden he started behind Till, from which he harvests special-seed-grown herbs and vegetables.

Never content to stand still, Wolmark is experimenting with--and perfecting--charcuterie products that combine meat with vegetables (like game-changing potted shiitakes with bone marrow), and a new handmade donut-specializing bakery called Glaze is poised to brighten the mornings of Columbusites.

If you're wondering how those donuts might be, consider how Wolmark explained his aesthetics: "It's all about intent. If you put love in your food, it'll taste better."

Age: 46
Neighborhood: Short North
Previous gigs: Owner of Dragonfly Neo-V, On the Fly

247 King Ave., Victorian Village