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Cowford Chophouse Construction Update: August 2016

Active construction has resumed at the Cowford Chophouse, following a brief intermission after Danis Construction’s appointment as the project’s general contractor May 31.

Over the past several weeks, Danis worked closely with Jacques Klempf (owner of the Cowford Chophouse) to develop a strategy for finishing the project. Those discussions resulted in updates to the master design, including enhancements to plans for both of the restaurant’s kitchens. The restaurant is now on track for completion in 2017.

“This transition period has been necessary and productive,” said Klempf. “The Danis team needed time to assess the project’s status and present their recommendations for finishing the job. Together, we have made strategic changes to improve the restaurant from an operational standpoint. We look forward to unveiling the results of their work next year.”

The following tasks have been completed since May 31:

  • Finalization of master design documents for the restaurant and its second-floor kitchen in the Holmes Building.
  • Removal of the interior partition wall between 107 and 109 E. Bay Street.
  • Demolition of the concrete floor at 107 E. Bay Street, where the restaurant’s first-floor kitchen will be built.
  • Installation of wood beam supports between 107 and 109 E. Bay Street, and structural tube steel around the elevator shaft and stair tower.
  • Restoration work on the historic windows and cornice continued according to schedule.

In the coming weeks, contracts for fire, mechanical and electrical subcontractors will be finalized; concrete and masonry structures will be installed to support larger beam installation at the site; structural steel setting at the roofline will continue; and structural support columns will be added to existing walls.

For behind-the-scenes progress photos, follow the Cowford Chophouse on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

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Father’s Day Gift Ideas from Executive Chef Ian Lynch

Father’s Day is just around the corner, and we know Dad would love nothing more than a big, juicy steak to celebrate. Unfortunately, you’ll have to wait until next year to celebrate with us. (Rest assured, though, we’ll have the chops and whiskey ready for Father’s Day 2017!)

If you’re still scrambling to find a gift for the food-loving father in your life, look no further. Our very own Executive Chef, Ian Lynch, just so happens to be a father himself. He recently teamed up with Edible Northeast Florida, a publication that highlights the best of our region’s food and dining community, to share his tips for delicious Father’s Day gifts any dad would love:

For the kitchen king: A high-quality cast-iron skillet

At home I have a cast-iron skillet, which I use almost once a week. It is great for searing just about anything. I love cooking burgers on it because you get a nice crust on the outside of the burger. I use it to sear steaks, too — again, you get a great crust on the outside and it is nice and tender inside. It is just like going out to a restaurant without leaving your house. You can also sear fish, scallops, crab cakes…. The more you use the cast iron skillet, the more seasoned it gets and it adds more flavor to everything you cook with it.

For the grill master: Himalayan salt block

Another favorite gift that my wife, Ashley, bought me for Father’s Day is a Himalayan salt block. This is great because you can cook on it, but also use it at room temperature to season certain items. I use it to season foods that I eat raw, like beef and tuna. I bought one of these for my father; he loves placing it on a hot grill and searing steaks and scallops. It adds a nice mild salt flavor to whatever you cook on it.

For the herb enthusiast: Spice blends and fresh herbs

I will often make my own spice blends, but we have a couple of great places in the area to get pre-made spice blends, Fresh Jax and Green Man Gourmet. Around my house, I have many herbs and vegetables growing. I will pick different herbs and ask my children to smell them and explain what herb they have. So when we make dinner, I ask them to go get some basil or oregano and they are able to differentiate the herbs.

To see more of Chef Ian’s full list of gift ideas, visit Edible Northeast Florida’s website.

Happy Father’s Day from the Cowford Chophouse!

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Introducing our Executive Chef, Ian Lynch

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If you’ve ever dined at our sister restaurants Ovinté, Bistro Aix, or Il Desco, Ian Lynch may look familiar to you. He’s been a key member of the Forking Amazing Restaurants family ever since our first concept, Ovinté, opened in 2012.

ian lynchSince then, Ian has served as the Executive Chef of all our restaurants over the last four years. In addition to shaping the culinary programs of each concept, he has trained and supported our group’s many Executive and Sous Chefs.

When asked about why Ian is the right man for the job, Jacques Klempf — a founding partner in Forking Amazing Restaurants and owner of the Cowford Chophouse — had glowing remarks:

“Ian has been an integral part of our team since 2012, and has taken an active role in all of our concepts to date. Through the years, we have had the privilege of supporting his talent, professionalism and passion with new opportunities as our portfolio grew. He is the very best person to lead the culinary program at the Cowford Chophouse, and we look forward to toasting his success when it opens this fall,” he said.

Ian, who previously served as the Executive Chef for the entire restaurant group, will transition into his new role this summer.

“I am excited for this new opportunity to expand my creativity, and also humbled by Jacques’ confidence in me to lead the culinary team at the Cowford Chophouse,” he said. “It’s an honor to be part of such a great company and I can’t wait to help give Jacksonville the local steakhouse it deserves.”

Curious about how Ian plans to build the Cowford Chophouse’s menu over the coming months? Read his interview with Alexa Epitropoulos of the Jacksonville Business Journal.

Congratulations, Ian!

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