Team Sawyer visits the Meat Lab L-R (Brian Goodman, Fred Sandoval, Vinnie Cimino, David Kocab)

Food Is Their Muse

Team Sawyer visits the Meat Lab L-R (Brian Goodman, Fred Sandoval, Vinnie Cimino, David Kocab)

To most of us, food is food. You cook it. You eat it. Done. But when you stumble upon those individuals who see food as a muse, food as a medium for transcendency, it’s hard not to get excited.

Since 2009, The Greenhouse Tavern has rewritten the rules of plate appropriateness, leading a culinary resurgence in Cleveland and setting the trends on what chefs everywhere are exploring. From roasted pig heads to fois gras clams and duck fat chicken wings that require four days of TLC before reaching your plate, it seems there are no limits to what James Beard winner Jonathon Sawyer and his merry men can pull off.

Chef Brian Goodman at the ECC Meat Lab

“We’re always trying to stay ahead of the curve,” says Brian Goodman, Sawyer’s right hand man in all Team Sawyer operations, including Greenhouse Tavern, Noodlecat, Trentina, Sawyer Street Frites, SeeSaw Pretzel, and the Tavern Vinegar company. “When everyone else is walking, we want to be running. When everyone else is running, we want to be walking.”

Chef Vinnie Cimino discovering the treasures hidden inside the chuck.

Recently Goodman, along with Vinnie Cimino, executive chef of The Greenhouse Tavern, and David Kocab and Fred Sandoval, executive chef and general manager of Trentina, spent a day exploring an entire side of beef with Certified Angus Beef meat scientist, Dr. Phil Bass.

Dry-aged steamship round – caution: may require spotter

Middle meats? Any restaurant worth their salt has got those. But what hidden gems were uncovered that’ll be appearing on a Team Sawyer restaurant menu soon? Guess we’ll have to wait and see.

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Bryan Schaaf

Bryan is a modern-day Hamburglar, minus the mask and kitschy catch phrase. There’s not a burger on the planet he wouldn’t take on — even those token ones for customers with less-adventurous palates. In his spare time, he’s a soccer junkie, musician, husband and father of the most adorable little carnivores this side of Jurassic Park.