Metropole Announces New Executive Chef

David Kelsey brings years of experience from 21c and Taste of Belgium.

Following the departure of longtime executive chef Jared Bennett this fall, downtown restaurant Metropole (located at 609 Walnut St. within the 21c Museum Hotel Cincinnati) has announced the hiring of its new executive chef David Kelsey.

Photograph Courtesy of 21c Museum Hotel Cincinnati

Kelsey brings three years of experience with 21c, having started with the company in 2016 and serving as corporate sous chef from 2017–2019. Prior to joining 21c, he was executive chef of Taste of Belgium and was integral to the restaurant’s expansion beyond Over-the-Rhine.

Since officially taking the reins at Metropole in November, Kelsey has revamped the menu, applying his perspective on New American cuisine, which encompasses a contemporary take on old-world techniques and a focus on nourishing food.

The menu features homages to local farmers and producers, highlighting less-frequently used ingredients such as parsnips and duck, in addition to a wide array of mushrooms. New dishes include a charred pear and beet salad with cheese curds, watercress, and MadHouse vinegar; garlic butter shrimp with garlic confit, grilled lemon, and toast; duck breast with parsnips two ways, charred cranberry relish, and cocoa; and pan-seared monkfish with smoked celeriac, kohlrabi, radish, dashi, and chili oil. (Don’t worry; that famous burnt carrot salad isn’t going anywhere.)

“Working with the team at 21c has brought me great joy in my own personal journey and culinary career,” Kelsey says. “I look forward to continually striving and inspiring the minds of diners by bringing the best ingredients and the most thoughtful cooking techniques to the forefront of Cincinnati’s burgeoning culinary scene.”

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