Vegetarian Update

We heard you and we have made the changes that you have asked for. Our vegetarian friends will see that we have added many vegetarian dishes on both the lunch and dinner menu. There are great new sandwiches, satisfying salads, exciting rice noodle bowls and appetizing entrees that are so good a carnivore won’t miss the meat. We also wrote the new menus with an eye for flavorful gluten free foods that reflect our philosophy of Globally Inspired/Locally sourced. We invite you to see what we have done with the tastes of spring.

 

---  Chef Odette

This weekend we had a flatbread crust cook off!

In our continuing search for the best that we can serve we held a competition between the day and the evening crew.

Each of the cooks brought their raw doughs in to be cooked in the stone oven, so that we could have an authentic taste and texture.

Jeremy Zimmer brought in two doughs (hedging his odds) and Jake Steward joined him in the competition. We thought that there might be a bit of competitive bravado, but they both bonded in front of the oven. Men, Fire, Friendship!

All of the challengers were great, each one brought something different to the table (ha ha). Some were best thin, others thick, some got great bubbles and others stayed flat. We tried them plain, with just olive oil and with toppings. Each was best in one category or the other.

Our “professional” tasting judges, CMU students, had a very difficult job, but they managed to narrow the field to just one. The winner is Jeremy’s sour dough!!!!! This dough has a long pedigree, the sour starter was started over two years ago by Jeremy and a couple of his classmates for a school project. The dough was named George, because they spoke of it as if it were a child. Who had fed it? How much it had grown? Who had custody for the weekend? They referenced the comedy skit “I will love him and hug him and call him George”.

Chaz & Odette will now be the proud adoptive parents of George. We hope that our customers will love him as much as we do.

 

This is How it All Started

Chef Odette was happily working as an assistant professor in hospitality and culinary arts. Chef Chaz was creating a successful catering company...

They had known each other and worked together for 12 years. Neither of them really ever thought about opening a restaurant. Over the course of a few months Chef Odette had started to get a feeling that there was something happening at work that would affect her job in a negative way. She started to believe that her job could be at stake. Chef Chaz was starting to rethink his future as well, he wanted to make a move from freelance catering to owning a place where he could base his business and expand.

One day the two got together for lunch, Chaz told Odette that he had been looking at a few places in the area and that he hadn’t found anything that would work for him. He said that he had a couple new leads and would like for Odette to join him on his tours. The first place that they went was horrible with a capital H. It was a small sandwich shop that must have flown under the health department’s radar for quite a long time. There wasn’t even a usable toilet for customers, and they both made the mistake of eating there before they took the tour that revealed a three story petri dish of funk and nastiness. The place would have needed a complete gutting, and the owner wanted $450,000.00!!!

A few days later the chefs visited a location that had not even been listed yet. Thanks to their broker they were the first through the door of Toast. Little did they know it would soon become Chaz & Odette?

A few days later they scheduled a second meeting with their broker to discuss the business. That same day there was an emergency faculty meeting at Chef Odette’s job. At that meeting the administrators explained that there would be a big layoff of the faculty, especially in the Culinary Department. Where they wanted 6 of the 8 professors to take a buyout. Chef Odette says to herself she's too old to be able to get a great job in culinary and too young to retire. So, being an optimist she saw the timing as a sign from the restaurant gods. She was in on the deal, and Chaz was glad to have his new partner.

Meet Chef Odette

Chef Odette has been in the local food scene for decades.

This international gold medal winner started out as many chefs have, washing dishes in a local restaurant as a teen. That is where her love for the industry started to develop. She worked in many of the finer restaurants and hotels in the Pittsburgh area, as well as being the Private Chef to the Chancellor of the University of Pittsburgh.

Her education in Culinary Arts began with a three year apprenticeship with the American Culinary Federation. She received her undergrad degree in Vocational Education from the University of Pittsburgh, and her Master’s in Education and Curriculum Development from Penn State.

She has most recently been an Assistant Professor of Culinary Arts and Hospitality at a local Art School. While there she developed much of the curriculum and many of the courses, she also helped to guide the education of many of the Chefs of Pittsburgh. Her students have kept her current in the restaurant scene of Pittsburgh and her travels have provided her with experiences and flavors from Europe, the Mediterranean, and China.