On Print Day, I got a call from Andrew Watts of Cordelia, our 2023 Best New Restaurant. He just wanted to stress that chef-partner Vinnie Cimino was the creative force behind the East Fourth Street restaurant that is quickly making people forget about its predecessor, Lola Bistro.
When we talked to Cimino, however, he pointed to sous chef Ryan Boone’s contributions, especially with the dessert program. Boone, meanwhile, credited the staff around them, from the servers who educate diners on funkier selections to the bar staff who executes cocktails with as much craft as is found in the kitchen.
“The culture is what makes it special,” Boone told us. “I don’t know if it’s lightning in a bottle or serendipity, but it makes working in a restaurant feel like having a blast at a party with friends."
We set out this month to profile the chefs behind Cleveland’s most exciting new restaurants. What we ended up with is a case study on how it takes a village (er, a kitchen) to execute even the most talented chef’s dreams.
A magazine is no different. Every issue is a testament to teamwork. Managing editor Ron Ledgard is our nucleus of organization and efficiency. A constant flow of ideas from editors Anthony Elder and Annie Nickoloff is the lifeblood of our storytelling. Art directors Erin Stinard and Abigail Archer turn Word Docs into pieces of art, and newbie Abigail Kussow gives you daily content in between print issues as associate digital editor. Meanwhile, talented young interns help us achieve accuracy.
Our extended editorial family also includes a growing pool of freelancers. You’d be hard-pressed to find a better food photographer in the country than Megann Galehouse, who shot this month’s cover. Becky Boban is a budding storyteller with serious chops, and Jacob DeSmit, Kate Bigam Kaput and Lynne Thompson's greatness continues to grace our pages.
If you take anything from this issue, I hope it’s that most meals, most parties and most creative endeavors are better shared.