Columbus, Ohio is a surprisingly happening culinary town. While there are plenty of hot dog joints and student hangouts around The Ohio State University, Columbus is home to a NHL team, a burgeoning art scene, and several Fortune 500 companies. It’s no surprise that there are many fine dining options, my favorite of which is The Guild House. Located next to Le Méridien Columbus, The Joseph, The Guild House is a farm to table restaurant that is part of the Cameron Mitchell restaurant group.
Located in the artsy Short North district, The Guild House is an upscale-casual restaurant that is beautifully decorated in cream leather, wood, and plenty of glass and mirrors. The food, creative American cuisine, is locally sourced when possible, and features seasonal ingredients.
A childhood spent cooking and baking with his grandmother led The Guild House Sous Chef Patrick Hofer to a life in the kitchen. He had originally planned on attending business school after high school, but having always enjoyed food and cooking, his dad suggested culinary school. Research on the best school possible led to Hofer’s attending the Culinary Institute of America. After graduating from the CIA, he opened Red Oak Pub in Newark, Ohio as a kitchen manager. Other positions included line cook and supervisor at The Pearl, and sous chef at Molly Woo’s, before Hofer transferred to the Guild House as a sous chef.
How long have you been cooking? I have been cooking since I was 15, so approximately 10 years.
What is your favorite food to cook? I really enjoy anything – I can’t say that I have one favorite
What do you always have in your fridge at home? Butter, Eggs, Bacon, Milk (I am a breakfast food kind of guy)
What do you cook at home? Mostly Breakfast, due to the hours of a restaurant. I really don’t cook much at home.
What marked characteristic do you find unappealing in a customer? Someone that is unadventurous.
Tupperware, Rubbermaid, or Pyrex? Rubbermaid.
Beer, wine, or cocktail? Beer.
Your favorite cookbook author? I wouldn’t say I have a favorite author, but the book that is most helpful is The Flavor Bible.
Your favorite kitchen tool? Robot Coupe.
Your favorite ingredient? Mushrooms
Your least favorite ingredient? I would probably have to say beets
Least favorite thing to do in a kitchen? Inventory.
Chef you most admire? Paul Bocuse for everything that he has done for the culinary world.
Favorite types of cuisine to cook? All of them! Some I have never done, but they are all great and fun to learn.
Beef, chicken, pork or tofu? Beef.
Favorite vegetable? Mushrooms.
Food you like the most to eat? Anything sweet
Food you dislike the most? Beets.
How many tattoos? And if so, how many are of food? I have one right now, and it has nothing to do with food.
Recipe of Sous Vide venison Leg Filet with Garlic Poached Lobster Mushrooms, Quick Sautéed Greens, Mushroom Reduction, Wild Mountain Blue Berries, and Carrot Bark. (Special Tool: Clearly, a sous vide. Gift-giving season is upon us.)
VENISON: Portioned to 6oz and sous vide at 50.2c for 2 hours with garlic, thyme, and butter.
LOBSTER MUSHROOMS: Clean all of the dirt off them and cut them to bite size pieces, keeping the shape of the mushroom intact. Sous vide these at 82c for one hour with a compound oil.
Compound oil: 1cup blended oil, 2 smashed garlic cloves, 2 sprigs of thyme, 2 sprigs of rosemary. Heat this and let the herbs steep into the oil for 30 minutes.
Sauteed Greens: Combine Kale, Swiss Chard, Spinach, and leeks into a quick sautee with oil and salt.
Mushroom Reduction: Make a very nice mushroom stock and reduce it down to a thick syrup (takes a lot of stock to achieve this), then emulsify butter into the reduction until smooth and creamy.
The End. Go Eat.
Photos: Venison, Patrick courtesy Guild House. All other photos courtesy Jessie Voigts