We’re thrilled to announce David Kelsey as the new executive chef of Metropole. David has been a part of the 21c family since 2016, first serving as a sous chef and then shining as our corporate executive sous chef from 2017-2019. To get to know David (and his new menu), we joined him for lunch at Metropole.
Q: What’s your favorite thing to cook at home?
A: Breakfast burritos. When I have a day off, it is my go-to for starting my day.
Q: How do you approach writing a menu?
A: Honestly, it is different every time. Inspiration comes from so many different places. It could be from something I ate or saw… an ingredient I want to work with. Sometimes it comes from what I have laying around.
Charred Sweet Potatoes with sorghum, cheese curds, and Korean chili flake
Q: What has surprised you about Cincinnati?
A: The live music scene here is legit. You can find all styles of music every night of the week.
Q: Who have you worked with that’s most inspired your style/technique?
A: The list is too long for this. Definitely, my first experience with Chef Thom Milliken filled me with great nuggets of wisdom. I have been fortunate to work with eight different chefs throughout the 21c properties. I took a little something from each one of them. I am truly blessed to have worked with so many great chefs and people, generally speaking.
Duck Breast with parsnips two ways, charred cranberry relish, and cocoa
Q: What item is always in your pantry or refrigerator?
A: All natural crunchy peanut butter. I can eat it from a spoon.
Q: What ingredients are you looking forward to using this spring?
A: I love mushrooms. I have not really had the chance to work with them much so I am really excited for them to come in season.
Wild Mushroom Toast with Blue Oven bread, ricotta, and mushroom gravy
Q: What kitchen tool can you not live without?
A: Obviously a knife, but I use my spoons a lot.
Metropole Candy Bar: layers of peanut wafers, caramel, chocolate mousse, flourless chocolate cake, and peanut sauce
Q: If you could have a meal with anyone, who would it be?
A: My mom. We only had fifteen years together but the knowledge she passed to me has really made me who I am. I would love to cook a meal for her and enjoy dinner together.