As we begin to shift our mindsets from pools to pumpkin patches, 21c Museum Hotel’s and Metropole’s new Executive Chef Vanessa Miller is preparing to get you into the autumnal spirit with a fresh seasonal menu, capturing the flavors of fall, available at the end of the month.
After getting her first glimpse into the restaurant industry in her high school job at Dewey’s Pizzeria, Miller never looked back. She attended college in Boston, and following graduation she threw herself head-first into the city’s restaurant scene, learning as much as she could, as quickly as she could, from anyone who would teach her. Within a year and a half she was running her first kitchen at Spanish bistro Noche. In 2013, she picked up and moved to New York City to help open The Dalloway, becoming one of the youngest female executive chefs in the city.
Now, Cincinnati is lucky to have her back. She is scrappy, inspired, innovative, and working to figure out the best way to nourish her customers during a difficult time, whether that be in the dining room at Metropole or in the comfort of their homes with carryout.
When asked why Miller feels that Cincinnati is the best place for her at this stage of her career, she says, “I’ve been lucky enough to have a bird’s-eye view of Cincinnati’s food scene developing over the last 15 years. Every time I’ve come back to visit, there has been a new restaurant to try and a new area to check out. It’s a really exciting thing to be able to be a part of a developing landscape.”
Miller explains that, as she has grown as a chef, she sees the value of taking a minimalist approach to the ingredients she is working with, letting their natural flavors come through and sourcing the best area food producers have to offer. “I’m so excited to get reacquainted with local products and bring my perspective on how best to serve and highlight them to the city,” she says.
The culinary team at Metropole is looking forward to diners trying Miller’s tea-brined chicken with cast-iron kabocha squash, balsamic roasted onions, and toasted farro; fazzoletti with house burrata, short rib Bolognese, and fresh oregano; and hearth oysters with smoked tomato butter, tarragon, and lemon.
“I believe food should be fun and social and is best enjoyed when shared,” Miller says. “And I believe in the power of just a pinch more salt.”
Metropole, 609 Walnut St., downtown, (513) 578-6660