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New Columbus Chefs: Mike Gadd

Walker Evans Walker Evans New Columbus Chefs: Mike Gadd
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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“.

de-NOVO is a newer restaurant on the Columbus dining scene, having opened their doors Downtown just under a year ago. The restaurant quickly became a fan favorite here in Columbus Underground, placing 5th on our list of best new restaurants of 2011 after only a month in operation. Mike Gadd became the new executive sous chef at de-NOVO recently, and brings some noteworthy experience to the restaurant despite his young age.

Chef Mike Gadd. Photo by Chris Walker Photography.

Name: Mike Gadd
Age: 24
Current Job: Executive Sous Chef at de-NOVO

Can you tell us about your training/educational experience?

Most of my training/learning is from the restaurants I’ve worked in here in Columbus and in NYC. Also, I’ve learned alot just from eating at Per Se in NYC twice.

Can you tell us about your professional kitchen experience?

My first kitchen experience was in 2004; while I was in high school, working at Mitchell’s Steakhouse at Crosswoods. After that, I worked at Rigsbys Kitchen in 2008 and then went to work for Chef Rosendale at Rosendales in the Short North. After that, I went to L’Antibes where I eventually became the Chef de Cuisine; I worked there for three and a half years. While I was at L’Antibes, I had the opportunity to spend a week in New York, where I staged at MPD NYC for three days, and Thomas Keller’s Per Se for two days. After leaving L’Antibes, I spent a short time at Sage. Now im working at de-NOVO.

What is your favorite cuisine to cook?

I love classical French cuisine, but i like to incorporate other cuisines into it, whether its through ingredients or dish concepts. I would consider my style of cooking to be French-American, because American to me is a melting pot of all types of cuisine.

What is your favorite cuisine to eat?

I would have to say that its a tie between Japanese and French.

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

It has to be my 7″ Korin Petty Knife. I use it for everything. Right behind that would have to be a cryovac machine. They’re so useful and can save a lot of money.

What’s your favorite cookbook?

I use my Alinea cookbook and The French Laundry cookbook equally.

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

Kihachi, by far.

Who are your inspirational figures in the culinary world?

Chef Thomas Keller, Chef Grant Achatz, and Chef Heston Blumenthal.

What is your dream job?

My dream job is owning my own restaurant and serving 50 people a night — full tasting menus!

What do you think about the culinary scene in Columbus?

I think that the restaurant scene in Columbus is gradually getting better. I really feel that the corporate restaurants have taken over and diluted the diner’s idea of good quality food. I feel that we need more privately chef-owned restaurants where chefs can showcase their talents. Compared to Chicago and New York, I feel that Columbus is at least 5 years behind.

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

I feel that more and more people are starting to move towards dining at smaller chef-run restaurants, and are starting to trust the chefs and their abilities. I look forward to the day where eating at a restaurant is more than just getting a meal, but seen as an “experience” where you get amazing food and amazing drinks every time.

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

Im extremely technical and extremly precise in my food. I view food as artistic expresion, from the plating to the flavor profile, to the wine paired with it.

To sample some of Chef Mike Gadd’s cuisine, head to www.denovobistro.com.

Photo by Chris Walker Photography.

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