SARATOGA SPRINGS – On Dec. 12, the owners of four popular Saratoga County restaurants officially announced the hiring of a new culinary director to oversee operations and build upon the group’s brand name.
Colleen and Tim Holmes have welcomed Chef Chris Dore to serve as culinary director for WOW Restaurants Inc. Since last June, Dore has completed a focused training of a new restaurant team at 2 West Bar and Grille on West Avenue in Saratoga Springs, the most recent addition to the WOW Restaurants Inc. quartet.
The group’s other establishments include Wheatfields Restaurant and Bar on Broadway; Wheatfields Bistro and Wine Bar at the Crossings in Clifton Park; and BWP Beer Wine Pizza, located at 70 Weibel Avenue.
A native of Saratoga Springs, Dore’s professional career began in a kitchen at age 15 when he took a job working under Executive Chef Fabrizzo Bazzino. Two years later, Dore attended the Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park, New York.
Dore returned to his roots in Saratoga Springs where he helped open the Forno Toscano and Max London’s restaurants. Dore took the position of Executive Sous Chef at Sperry’s Restaurant under Certified Master Chef Dale Miller. His culinary journey next led him to Druthers Brewing Co. where he met his wife of three years. Dore then went on to work for Mingle on the Avenue and the Gideon Putnam Restaurants.
As culinary director of WOW Restaurants, Dore is developing a specific plan for each establishment. Focused first on 2 West, Chris has worked closely with Chef de Cuisine Nicholas Fredenburg to create a new menu filled with a selection of American comfort foods influenced by both chefs’ heritages and made with “clean products.” Together Dore and Fredenburg infused the techniques of fine dining in every dish with an appeal to reasonable price points so families can easily afford dinner.
When asked to describe the food served at 2 West, Dore commented, “We take a clean, creative approach to the foods we serve. There’s a lot of preparation that goes into the cooking that happens here.” Dore brought up his personal favorite menu item, the “Black N Blue Burger,” made with blue cheese roasted pork belly, house turmeric pickle and signature steak sauce. “The beef is a New York farm signature blend and the taste is extraordinary,” Dore said. He continued, “The 2 West menu selections of Bouillabaisse and Beef Stroganoff are tried-and-true recipes that come from as far back as my great-grandmother. Every menu item has an interesting story of origin behind it.”
“The macaroni and cheese dish on the menu is the type you would bring to a potluck,” said Fredenburg. “It’s definitely a crowd pleaser. It’s made with basic ingredients and the taste definitely ‘brings you back.’ There have been raves about the new menu. Patrons recognize a creative aspect to the food and the love behind it as well as the hard work that went into preparing it. We want them to enjoy sitting down at our table each day, showcasing to them who we are and letting them know that we’re so glad they enjoyed dinner with us,” added Fredenburg.
Fredenburg is among the class of 2018 Rising Star Chefs. Following in the footsteps of Chef Dore, who achieved Rising Star Chef recognition in 2015, Fredenburg will be taking part in the Albany Chefs’ Food and Wine Festival in January.
Other members of the new 2 West team include Sous Chef Derek Adams; Director of Operations Carey Armstrong; and 2 West General Manager Matt Gabriel, among others.
Dore’s vision for all four WOW restaurants is similar to what he has established at 2 West. Wheatfields in Clifton Park and Saratoga will focus on their Italian heritage and the deep roots of authentic Italian food that brings back memories. Dore shared remembrances of making homemade ravioli with his Italian grandmother as a child and how those memories continue to inspire him as he refreshes the menus at both Wheatfields restaurants in the area.
For more information, visit the website http://2westbarandgrille.com/.
In photos below: Culinary Director Chef Chris Dore of WOW Restaurants (at left in gallery); and Chef de Cuisine Nicholas Fredenburg. Photos provided.