Nebraska has a kind of quiet kind of confidence – constantly creating, evolving, and progressing with a community spirit that is inspiring – and the latest innovation is the food scene.
Lauded as one of the premier chefs in the state, I have heard plenty of accolades about the executive chef, Clayton Chapman of The Grey Plume well before dining at his restaurant in Omaha. Though there is a modern and innovative approach to cuisine here, it is still rooted in tradition and a commitment to maintaining relationships— local producers are proudly listed on the menu, while pieces of artwork from local artists and artisans are displayed throughout the restaurant, all while maintaining a no waste policy and a certified green restaurant.
When I finally meet the shy Executive Chef, he welcomes me into the kitchen introducing me to his culinary team, who seamlessly work together in symbiotic harmony, with few words spoken. There’s a level of mutual admiration and lack of egoism that, unlike many kitchens I’ve visited before, is refreshing.
My eight course tasting menu is thoughtfully conceived— showcasing a variety of classic and modern techniques, with equally matched wine pairings. A miniscule gouda crisp, and dots of arugula puree sit at the bottom of my bowl coated by a luscious white parsnip soup paired with a sparkling Marques de Gelida Brut Gran Reserva cava. A large and sweet u8 New Bedford day boat scallops with bok choy, kohlrabi, and persimmon is perfectly seared and served with a crisp 2012 Stuhlmuller Vineyards chardonnay, while the Plum Creek Farm’s duck which carefully showcases the poultry four ways (the duck prosciutto maintains its silkiness, the duck sausage is spiced perfectly, and the breast, moist) is paired with a 2008 Pascal Granger Earl Julienas beaujolais. I finish with an olive oil genoise with pear sorbet, drops of maple and powdered olive oil and glass of Broadbent Madeira.
This article first appeared in the Spring 2015 issue of City Style and Living Magazine. Want more chefs?