Chef Joel Mahr
Joel began cooking at the age of 8, watching his grandmother cook for his family barely able to reach the stove. His grandmother taught him the importance of a roux to thicken gravies and sauces she would make. Growing up Joel began helping his grandmother more and more around the holidays. He was always the first to show up, sometime hours before the rest of his family would and right along side of his grandmother making turkey gravy for Thanksgiving.
After a handful of different jobs growing up, Joel was missing something in his life. When the opportunity arose he took a job in Elkhorn working under a Chef Robert Barr at a “mom and pop” type restaurant called Circle B. The first scratch kitchen Joel had ever worked in ( scratch kitchen means that 80-90% of all menu items are made in the restaurant) Sadly his first kitchen job came to a close only after 6 months, the Circle B closed its doors. Joel landed a job working at Blue Sushi. This was his first real fast-pace kitchen. He took this opportunity as a challenge, and made his way to lead cook with in 5 months.
After a year had passed proper training was something Joel needed to hone his skills to be a chef. He enrolled at Metro Community College culinary arts program. An opportunity arose leaving Blue sushi to work at V. Mertz. A full time student and a full time employee, Joel was trying to absorb as much knowledge as possible.
He strived for perfection and wanted to better his technique, Joel tried out on the culinary team for metro. He made it on the culinary team, which gave him a “hands-on” understanding of mise en place (put in place) a term used a lot in kitchens. It basically means to have all of your prep work done, station organized, and being mentally ready for opening service.
After making sous chef at V. Mertz, Joel moved on to Dario’s brasserie, Omaha Country Club, and the French Café. Joel found himself wanting something new and interesting. Basing his technique in classical French and American, he applied at Spencer’s steakhouse. Never working in a steakhouse before Joel had the opportunity to work with prime grade and local farm meats. Local was something that started to be very important in his career. Joel’s fiancée parents own a farm in southeast Iowa. At the farm they raised pigs, cattle, and grew their own vegetables. There Joel learned how to butcher and the importance of farming.
Lot 2 is the first kitchen Joel will be the head chef of. Taking all that he has learned though out the years and applying that to a menu, that will offer seasonality ingredients, local meats, and in- house made items.
- 12:00 AM
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