The New Columbus Chefs – Alexis Randolph
This week, Columbus Underground is taking a look at some of the amazing young talent in the kitchens of your favorite local restaurants.
Alexis Randolph has been cooking at various restaurants in the Columbus area since starting out at the age of 15 at Thurn’s Bakery in German Village. Today she can still be found in German Village, currently working as the Sous Chef at G. Michael’s Bistro. “To me, the best feeling in the world is when you have a guest tell you how amazing their food was,” said Alexis. “You could be having the worse possible night, but that one single compliment will make it all worthwhile.”
Name: Alexis Randolph
Training Experience: Graduated in Food Service and Restaurant Management at Columbus State Community College.
Kitchen Experience: “I have been cooking since I was 15. I started out at Thurn’s Bakery and Deli in German village, and then I worked and gained experience at several other restaurants such as Figlio and The Athletic Club of Columbus.”
Current Job: Sous Chef at G Michael’s Bistro
Favorite cuisine: “I really enjoy French and Japanese cuisines, although I don’t necessarily always cook with those styles. My Chef has really gotten me into Lowcountry cuisine.”
Favorite dish to make: “At G Michael’s my favorite dishes to make would have to be soup or pates. I feel that they are some of the most creative dishes in which you can blend flavors. Recently, I made a cream of white asparagus soup with apple wood smoked bacon and grilled sweet corn topped with scallions and truffle oil. My favorite pate I ever made was a rabbit and bacon pate with a butternut squash hazelnut oil smear and port cherry compote. I just love going crazy at work with concepts and flavors, but at home my favorite dish is steak and eggs. There isn’t anything better at midnight (when I sit down for dinner sometimes) than a good breakfast.”
Favorite food to eat: “I would say anything that is made with cheese. I find cheese to be a great weakness of mine; I think it can do so much for a dish.”
Least favorite food: “I don’t like anything with nutmeg in it. After nutmeg, I would have to say mace. These two spices just do not agree with me.”
Favorite kitchen utensil: “Every Chef has their knife bag full of goodies, but beyond those I would have to go with two favorites. The first would be a food processor or robo coupe, and the second would be a standing mixer/Kitchen-Aid mixer. I think I prefer them because they save time and facilitate preparation during my prep. Without them, I wouldn’t be able to create as many yummy dishes in the limited amount of time I have available.”
Favorite cookbook: “This is going to sound silly, but my favorite cookbook is Good Housekeeping Desserts. One thing that doesn’t come as naturally for me as savory cooking is cooking desserts. Once I became the sous chef at G Michael’s, I started making some of the desserts. There are a multitude of great, comforting, everyday recipes a cook can use that people will really enjoy. However, I only look in cookbooks primarily as a guide or for ideas. I always try to change the recipes and give them my own special flair.”
Favorite Columbus restaurant: “I try to eat around Columbus as much as I can. There are a lot of great places to eat that people don’t always take advantage of. My two favorites, other than my own restaurant of course, would have to be the Refectory and Kihachi.”
Your Inspirational figures: “I would have to say my friends and family, especially my parents. My dad influenced me because he always encouraged me to taste things “outside the box” when I was younger, and my mom has always supported and encouraged me. Additionally, I have never worked with a better chef than David Tetzloff. He has pushed me since my first day at G Michael’s, and I would never be the cook I am today without the benefit of his knowledge and his confidence in me. I also have a great boyfriend who happens to be the sous chef at the Burgundy Room, and he has believed in me from the second we met.”
Your Dream Job: “Having worked at G Michael’s for almost four years now has made me realize how much I love fine dining. It would be great to have my own upscale restaurant some day or perhaps a Bourbon bar with food pairings. I absolutely love bourbon and vacationed in Kentucky earlier this year to visit distilleries. Another future idea is a gourmet sandwich shop, something simple but yet so flavorful. If I can’t be a restaurateur some day, then I want to be a food critic because, other than cooking, it seems like the best job ever.”