Columbia food news roundup

By now you’ve probably heard that Mike Odette is taking over chef duties for Boone County National Bank due to Jacques Laboile’s long-awaited retirement becoming imminent. Mike’s been interested in making this move for some time, and it’s a natural one – better hours, benefits, security, etc. He’s got a couple of young kids. But it will be challenge for the rest of the Sycamore crew, which Mike has helped make one of the best  in the area. Supposedly he’s going to stay on as Executive Chef for at least a while, but who knows?

Other news I don’t happen to be breaking but would be remiss if I did not share:

  • Gunter Hans, a Euro-focused bakery and specialty goods store (or something) will be opening in the former Pasta Factory location downtown.
  • Playing with Fire Wood Fired Pizza, a mobile pizza operation, says they’ll be ready to turn out  “Neapolitan-style pizzas” mid-summer.
  • Continuing the expansion of Columbia’s niche coffee scene, Frequency Coffee will be opening in the space just to the east of Kampai Alley. It looks sleek, and offers a brick and mortar alternative to my own personal favorite, Fretboard Coffee. You can find Fretboard’s top-notch beans at The Root Cellar, by delivery (!) and brewed fresh at the Columbia Farmers Market and North Village markets. I highly recommend the Kenya Kichwa Tembo roast.
  • The Wine Cellar and Bistro debuted their spring menu this past weekend. See you there.
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Author: Scott

I am a married father of two. I graduated from Rock Bridge High School and then Mizzou before spending six years in the Washington, D.C. area. We returned to Columbia, Missouri in 2006.

7 thoughts

  1. How much cooking is there to be done at Boone County National Bank???? Do they operate an employee cafeteria?

  2. This is a common response, and one I shared myself. But I’ve now been in once and found it a cool, throwback perk (even if the salmon en croute was a bit of a letdown).They operate a small dining room where staff entertain clients and potential customers. It’s not an employee cafeteria.

    Bottom line is there is enough cooking to keep one guy and two servers or so mildly busy. I’ll say 6-8 tables. Perfect for a guy wanting to downshift a bit…

  3. I’ve heard Mike Odette is staying on as Executive Chef at Sycamore and will still be in the kitchen as much or nearly as much as before, since obviously the BCBN job is a lunch-only job… Any specifics? Hate to downgrade Sycamore in anyone’s mind unless he really won’t be there most nights…

  4. Mike staying on in that capacity is the stated plan, yes, but it seems like wishful thinking to me. Him running both operations long-term would probably end up being more work and stress, not less. I don’t have any specifics or inside info, I just think this feels like a first step, not the endgame itself.

  5. Congratulations to Chef Odette on the new opportunity. I like Sycamore as much as the next hungry professor but I feel like the menu could benefit from a fresh pair of eyes. Gunter Hans sounds unique for Columbia and I’m really looking forward to the opening of Frequency Coffee. Also I think the Wine Cellar and Bistro is currently renovating their patio. Add to that Pizza Tree, Cafe Poland, and Bamboo Terrace and overall the Columbia food scene will be quite a bit more interesting by the end of 2013 than it was at the start.

  6. I’m looking forward to Gunter Hans…I hope the food is as good as the menu sounds. Do you have any updates/insider news on The International Tap House slated for the Lofts at 308 complex, The Oak Room at Tiger Hotel or the rooftop bar/restaurant going in at The Broadway hotel downtown? I just read that the executive chef will be Jeff Guinn of MU’s Hospitality Management program. From the renderings posted on Facebook it will be like nothing else in Columbia, at least from a visual standpoint.

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