Foodies know fire food & drink executive chef Doug Katz as "the Alice Waters of Cleveland." Fresh? Always. And, local whenever possible. Lucky for Katz there's a farmer's market right outside the restaurant's front door in Shaker Square.
Prepare to enjoy the natural flavors of grass-fed beef, hormone-free butter, organic produce and syrup tapped from local maple trees. (Yep, Katz trained in Portlandia.)
The Cleveland Heights native graduated from the Culinary Institute of America, then worked at The Little Nell Hotel in Aspen and Wildwood Restaurant in Portland, Oregon, where he learned to use a tandoor oven and appreciate the benefits of locally produced food.
Katz returned to Ohio in the late 1990s and went to work as executive chef at Moxie in Beachwood. The restaurant earned a spot on Esquire magazine's "Best New Restaurants" list under his direction. And Reader's Digest named Katz a "Rising Star of American Cuisine" around the same time.
In 2012, 11 years after opening fire, Katz teamed up with the Cleveland Museum of Art to overhaul the museum's food options. Provenance restaurant, café and catering follows fire's lead by offering fresh, seasonal and local food.
Most recently, the chef opened The Katz Club Diner in a restored metal diner in Cleveland Heights.
From his re-use of historic buildings to his support for thoughtful fishing and farming practices, Katz bleeds sustainability. The Entrepreneuars for Sustainability group even recognized his efforts in 2011, naming him a "Champion for Sustainability." Somebody make that guy a cape from local arugula leaves.