Chef’s Corner with Drew VanLeuvan of One Midtown Kitchen
Connecticut native and Atlanta local Drew VanLeuvan brings 16 years of experience to ONE.midtown kitchen, a Concentrics concept that lead the restaurant resurgence to Midtown as well as helped elevate the Atlanta culinary scene to national recognition.
A graduate of the Culinary Institute of America VanLeuvan has been recognized as a “Chef on the Rise” by Food and Wine Magazine and was given the “Rising Star Award” by StarChefs.com. Chef VanLeuvan is a member of the Jean Louis Palladin Foundation, Slow Food and Chefs Collaborative.
journeyPod got to try some really amazing dishes prepared by Chef Drew. Pasta-tarians will love the English Pea and Brown Butter Tortellini! In the mood for something light, opt for a Pizza Margherita, sit at the bar and marvel at the large selection of wines (which also happen to be part of the wall decor).
journeyPod got a chance to chat with the culinary master himself…
How did you get your start in cooking?
Working with my step-father, Greg! He would always use the recipe on the back page of the New Yorker as our Sunday Night Dinner and I would assist him step by step!
Tell us about the cuisine here at One.midtown kitchen:
It’s about using the best ingredients that I can find and preparing them in a fashion that doesn’t take away from what each ingredient is. I would describe our menu as “fresh, light and composed”. The cuisine is Italian and Mediterranean bistro inspired. Wood oven pizzas rotate daily and include 12 inch options such as Arugula with Lemon Ricotta. Whole roasted fishes, a Farmer’s Market Plate, Daily Roasts, housemade pastas, 28 day Dry Aged Steaks and a Porchetta are a snapshot of the menu’s direction. I am especially excited about his housemade salumi program. It was developed ten months ago and breaks down whole pieces of meat into simple salumis. These offerings are a big part of the menu and are used throughout. It is all about using fresh ingredients will always bring out the best and most flavorful plates.
What are 3 things you can’t cook without?
Garlic, my pasta machine and my spoon!
If you were on Iron Chef America, what would you hope would be the themed ingredient for the cooking battle?
I would love and hopefully will have the chance to be on Iron Chef. In a perfect world I would battle Mario Batali and the secret ingredient would be Saffron. Between the two of us that would be an amazing show.
Have you cooked for any celebrities?
I have cooked for a few but not on my own accord. I have had the privelage of working in two 5 star restaurants. One with Jean Louis Palladin and the other, with Guenter Seeger. During my tenor at both places, I can say that numerous celebrities passed through our doors.
Who do you admire in the culinary world?
My favorite restaurant is A16. Not for the chef, but for the concept. There are three chefs that I admire and believe have the same thought and ambitions as me. Paul Bertoli, Mario Batali and Marco Canora.
It’s 1 am, you’re leaving work – where do you head for a late night snack or cocktail in Atlanta?
I head to the Highlander for a couple of 420′s and a bowl of Tater’s!