Eat Right: Q&A with Chef Jacob Hough of Barcelona
For restaurant weeks and other special events throughout the year, chefs are constantly creating special menus to run alongside the regular dinner menus that typically highlight seasonal ingredients and flavors. At Barcelona, Chef Jacob Hough and his team rotate through chef’s tasting menus and “Menu del Dia” daily lunch menus on a frequent basis. We caught up with Chef Hough to ask more about how he developed his menu for Dine Originals Week, the city’s original restaurant week, running Monday, September 17, through Sunday, September 23.
Q: Can you take us through your process for creating a special menu, whether it’s a restaurant week menu or a menu of the day?
A: As I went through the process of creating the menu for Dine Originals Week, I tried to think of fall flavors. So you’ll see a quinoa salad with cranberries, cozy braised beef short ribs, and an apple tart with pecan streusel on the dessert menu. I try to offer a variety of food for everyone, so we’ll always include items for vegetarians and vegans, plus we’ll try to highlight different proteins like beef, chicken and pork.
Q: Where do you get inspiration for the seasonal flavors for your restaurant week dishes?
A: I get inspiration from the local farmers that we use to source ingredients throughout the year. Like Hershberger Farm in Holmes County, which is in Ohio’s Amish country. They have the best produce around, and right now they have really great apples and squash.
Q: What’s your favorite dish from the Dine Originals Week menu for September?
A: My favorite dish would have to be the Tres Cerdo, which means “three pork.” It’s pork loin topped with hickory-smoked bacon, our house-made chorizo sausage and Manchego cheese. We’re serving it with sweet potato hash and a mojo verde sauce.
Q: What’s your favorite new restaurant in Columbus?
A: I’m looking forward to checking out Lupo on Arlington, the new restaurant from Rick and Krista Lopez, who own La Tavola. I’ve heard great things. Their chef, Todd Elder, used to work with us in the kitchen here at Barcelona. I just have not had time to check it out.
Q: What do you enjoy doing when you’re not at the restaurant?
A: I enjoy hanging with friends. Enjoying a good drink—that usually contains tequila. And of course, I also enjoy seeking out good food around the city.
Dine Originals Columbus celebrates, supports and promotes the culinary diversity that locally owned and operated member restaurants contribute to the identity and culture of our city. The nonprofit group is committed to strengthening the local economy and enriching the community through education and charitable partnerships.
Dine Originals Week restaurant week runs Sept. 17-23! As part of the city’s originals restaurant week, enjoy prix-fixe menus at Dine Originals independent restaurants. Find menus at dineoriginalscolumbus.com.