Meet the rising star chefs in southern Missouri who are doing extraordinary work at every station in the kitchen, from executive chefs who are poised to make lasting impacts on their local dining scene to the line cooks who will soon be doing the same.
13. Zach White, The Order
Dec 23, 2016
Skimming the dinner menu at The Order inside Hotel Vandivort in Springfield, Missouri, diners are tempted with hearty dishes like pillowy rosemary gnocchi, tender duck breast, pork belly sliders and plump diver scallops. But look a little closer and you’ll also spot dishes like mushroom farrow, a vegetarian special this past fall, or the rotating wild game special of the week. This balance of familiar and unexpected defines the cooking style of executive chef Zach White whose work has been influenced by several chefs and family members. White grew up on his mom’s pot roast, mashed potatoes and fried chicken (always made on a cast-iron skillet with plenty of Crisco). He learned knife skills at Clary’s Restaurant in Springfield, where he sliced his way through boxes of mushrooms and learned to make souffles, peel tomatoes, break down chickens. The executive chef at Clary’s was eager to teach him about flavor and technique – something White, in turn, strives to share with his cooks today. When White was offered a sous chef position in the Caribbean, those pot roasts and mushrooms were traded for fresh fish and seafood; the impact of that experience is apparent on White’s menu at The Order , where red snapper, halibut and scallops top the list of best-selling entrees. As for White’s Missouri roots and rib-sticking, home-style cooking, he uses his mom’s recipes for ham glaze: brown sugar, lemon juice and horseradish.