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New Columbus Chefs: Marcus Meacham

Walker Evans Walker Evans New Columbus Chefs: Marcus MeachamChef Marcus Meacham says goodbye to a lobster — Photo by Chris Walker Photography.
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Over the next few weeks, Columbus Underground is taking a look at some of the amazing young talent in the kitchens of your favorite local restaurants, food trucks and other dining establishments in the relaunch of our series known as “New Columbus Chefs“.

Marcus Meacham is a self-taught culinary guru who has worked under many local chefs during the past few years in Columbus. His unique style has most recently breathed new life into the menu at Bodega where Ahi Tuna Burritos, Fresh Duxbury Mussels and Bombay Burgers are surprising both old and new guests alike.

Name: Marcus Andrew Meacham
Age: 31
Current Job: Executive Chef, Creative Culinary Mastermind Bodega

Can you tell us about your training/educational experience?

No formal training other than the privilege to work under some great chefs during my growing process.

Can you tell us about your professional kitchen experience?

I ran a sorority house kitchen for a while while I was in school at OU. I was the Executive Chef at Barrio located Downtown, J.Liu in Dublin, and Vonn Jazz in Worthington. I worked at Latitude 41 with my buddy Dave and did private kosher catering events with the amazing Lauren Birdie.

What is your favorite cuisine to cook?

Imaginative Cuisine. (That’s my story and I’m sticking to it.) Anything with bold and creative flavors. For instance, this week I did Sea Urchin Roe Pasta with Squid Ink Oil and Finger Lime Segments (they are like natural pop rocks blended with lemon heads, awesome). Its a cool combination of creamy, smooth, bright, and earthy. It seems like a lot to comprehend but when you taste it you know whats up.

What is your favorite cuisine to eat?

Anything that puts a smile on my face at that moment.

What one kitchen utensil/tool could you never live without?

A pen. It sounds silly, but if I don’t write down my ideas they are gone for good. I feel like I’ve forgotten more dishes then what some people around me have created.

What’s your favorite cookbook?

Right now, Volt Ink. When I read it at home I catch myself saying  “Oh, Damn!” out loud a lot.

What is your favorite Columbus restaurant (besides your own)?

I’m a big fan of Commonwealth Sandwich Bar , Ray Ray’s Hog Pit, and Molly and Joe’s.

Who are your inspirational figures in the culinary world?

Ferran Adria for his reckless abandonment for creativity and what is “allowed” in the culinary world. Marcus Samuelsson for his drive towards perfection and his cool ass name. Bryan and Michael Voltaggio just for being flat out culinary artists. And Jeff Henderson for his crazy strong will to succeed. No Matter What!

What is your dream job?

Coconut water tester in Hawaii. You asked!

What do you think about the culinary scene in Columbus?

A little stuffy from time to time but for the most part booming and slowly evolving.

What do you think about the “foodie” scene in Columbus?

Well, ummm…. I don’t really like the term “foodie” whatsoever, and I’m embarrassed for the people who call themselves “foodies”. A well educated person not bs-ing their way through a dinner conversation gets mad respect from me, always. Its the stat-watching ESPN types that make me fall asleep before ice cream.

Tell us one food-related fact about yourself that few people know.

In my early college years I was known for making “something out of nothing”. One of my more famous dishes was General Po’s Chicken. It was a blend of chopped chicken tenders, my secret “garlic chili” sauce, and broken Top Ramen. Its funny because A. I was po’ as hell, and B. all of my friends still remember this dish to this day, they won’t let it rest in peace, damnit.

To sample some of Chef Marcus Meacham’s cuisine, head to www.columbusbodega.com.

Photo by Chris Walker Photography. Wardrobe by pursuit.

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