The ingredients that conspire to create a Tastemaker—restless creativity, entrepreneurial spirit and a position at the leading edge of a fast-moving industry—are also a recipe for mobility.
We thought readers might like to know what some of our past Tastemakers have been up to since we featured them in this space.
Sometimes a trucker just wants to settle down. Dan Kraus, named in 2013 for his home-butchered offerings at That Food Truck, opened his own Campus-area brick-and-mortar in 2017. Baba's offers breakfast food all day, including griddle muffin breakfast sandwiches that feature bacon butchered and smoked by Kraus and house-made chorizo sausage.
Catie Randazzo (2015) of Challah Food Truck and Matthew Heaggans (2014) of Swoop! (as well as stints at Flatiron Bar & Diner and The Rossi) are also moving toward a more rooted presence. Challah's still rolling, but Swoop! closed in 2014. The two have joined forces to create Ambrose & Eve, which is scheduled for a summer opening. In the meantime, the pair opened Preston's Burgers, a pop-up that recently relocated from the Brewery District to Woodland's Backyard in Grandview.
Ajumama's Laura Lee (2014) got some national attention when she brought the savory to the “Sweet and Savory” pairing in a February segment of Guy's Grocery Games on the Food Network. The food truck motors on; this year, Lee promises a reprisal of her Hawaiian Plate Lunch and Korean fried chicken.
When we selected Marcus Meacham in 2012, he was executive chef at Bodega. Since then, he's experienced online fame with a series of videos (his “Best. Burger. Ever.” has over 4 million views), served as executive chef at Latitude 41 and recently left that position. Last we heard he was working at The Keep Liquor Bar. Stay tuned.
Chef Avishar Barua (2013) of Veritas Tavern hit the road, temporarily succumbing to the siren call of New York City's trendy Mission Chinese Food and wd~50. Now he's back and making a splash as executive chef of Middle West Spirits' Service Bar, named as one of our Best New Restaurants earlier this year.
Silas Caeton (2013), also a Veritas Tavern alum, is now leading the kitchen at Cosecha Cochina—another Best New Restaurant.
Dustin Brafford (2013), formerly of The Crest, last year opened Drunch Eatery and Bar in Italian Village, where he serves up locally sourced brunch and cocktails all day.
And Hot Chicken Takeover's Joe Deloss (2015) seems to be taking over for real: Last year, the fried chicken emporium/social enterprise expanded to three locations: North Market, Clintonville and Easton.
Our stars of the bar have seen their talents recognized on both local and national stages. Last fall, Annie Williams Pierce (2015) was the first-ever female winner of the United States Bartender's Guild's “Most Imaginative Bartender” event. You can still get her to craft you a cocktail in person at Curio.
Bakers, Fishmongers, Cheesemongers
Cheesemongers John and Anne Reese of Black Radish Creamery (2017) recently began producing their own cheeses and offering a “cheese-centric” lunch menu at North Market from Wednesday to Saturday, including a traditional raclette.
Fishmonger Ian Holmes (2017) has partnered with La Tavola's Rick Lopez to create an oyster bar at Lupo, the hotly anticipated Upper Arlington restaurant that opened in April.
And Bake Me Happy's Wendy Miller Pugh and Letha Pugh (2017) have opened a coffee shop across the hall from their gluten-free bakery/production area in Merion Village. Next up for Wendy and Letha: gluten-free beer and other libations.