Tilia's atwitter with new chef de cuisine, menu changes, and T-shirt contest
Tilia's New Coconut Brioche French Toast
The trees have lost their leaves, the mercury's dropping, and we're bracing for the cold days ahead. As part of our annual autumn ritual, we're starting to slow down, hunker down, and hibernate.
Everyone, that is, but Tilia.
Nestled in the heart of Linden Hills, Steven Brown and Jörg Pierach's neighborhood hot spot continues to buzz with activity. Brown, the executive culinary director, recently named a new chef de cuisine and shuffled the menu. And the restaurant is hosting a T-shirt design contest to benefit the local farmers market.
Last month, Brown bestowed the honor of chef de cuisine on David Dahmes, a post that had been vacated earlier in the fall by Sam Miller. (Miller reunited with another Tilia alum, Michael Fitzgerald, at Fika, the American Swedish Institute's Scandinavian eatery.)
A member of the team since day one, Dahmes literally helped build Tilia from the ground up. "David has been here since pre-opening, doing whatever it takes--laying tile, hanging lights, staying all night to do the first brunch," says Brown. "David's got Tilia in his blood."
With previous stints at Vincent and Bar La Grassa, Dahmes is excited to take on his new role. "I really enjoy leading people, and the people at Tilia are great to work with, personally and professionally. We have all been through a lot together and have stuck it through, like a marriage," he says. "There is never a dull moment."
In addition to promoting Dahmes, Brown is also offering a slew of new dishes--a trend we'll see more of in the future.
"During the first year it was a challenge to do the daily prep and make changes to the menu simultaneously," Brown explains. "Now we definitely have our sea legs and look forward to more frequent, small, incremental changes that can reflect the best of what we can get and [let us] flex a little more muscle culinarily with some daily specials."
Recent newcomers include the hearty American Cassoulet (which is spiked with porter beer and features bratwurst from Butcher & the Boar) as well as the El Sapo en la Cubano (a breakfast version of the traditional pork and ham sandwich topped with cumin pickled peppers and an egg sunny side up).
On the sweet side, Brown serves up a coconut brioche French toast: a buttery house-made bread drizzled with a maple syrup beurre and served with caramelized pineapples, toasted coconut, and a pineapple-coconut milk "whipped cream."
Since opening in 2011, Tilia has not only focused on food, it has also taken an active role in the community. Last summer, Brown and Pierach helped the Linden Hills Farmers Market get up and running, and now they're doing even more to support the cause.
Through November 21, fans and foodies alike are invited to participate in the "Tee is for Tilia" T-shirt design contest. The design that best captures Tilia and its mantra "good food tastes good" will be sold during the holidays, with all proceeds going to the farmers market. The winning designer will be treated to a chef-prepared dinner for six, and two runners-up will receive $50 gift certificates to the restaurant.
While it may seem like an extracurricular activity, Brown and Pierach believe efforts like this are worth their weight in gold. "Knowing the good, or seeing the joy [that volunteering] can bring to others, so far outweighs everything else that it seems strange to think of it as giving," Brown says, "because we get so much in return."
Good food tastes good--and does good too.
For contest details, visit Tilia's website
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