Meet Chef Jon and visit us this Fall a the Combine Café

posted on Wednesday, September 27, 2017 in Blog

From tenderloins to biscuits and gravy – the Combine Café has it all! Now open Saturday's this fall, stop by the Café located at the Reynolds store in Atlanta, IN to enjoy a cup of coffee, weekly specials and great conversation with Chef Jon! 

A local "legend" from Lapel, IN, with a notable culinary resume to match, Chef Jon also makes for a fun interview  Get to know his eclectic American cooking and personality as he answers a few questions for us…

What are your background and career journey:
I am from Lapel, Indiana where I attended high school.  Later, I attended the International Culinary School at the Art Institute in Indianapolis, followed by cooking and restaurant positions at the Meridian Hills Country Club, Plow and Anchor The Local.
Who encouraged you to pursue the culinary arts?
My wife, who I met during his sophomore year in high school.  She is the reason I followed my dream of becoming a chef.  She motivated me to attend Culinary School and put up with the long hours!  (Jon's wife Michelle, works alongside him at the Café.) 
What was your first position in the kitchen?
When I was 16, I was a sandwich artist in Lapel.  (Jon worked at Subway)
What is your first food memory?
Cooking with my mom when I was a little boy.  She really taught me how to make something out of nothing.  She would take random ingredients and turn them into a satisfying meal.  Her meatloaf and goulash are still things I make today.
What ingredient is always in your fridge?
Hot sauce, Cholula – it’s one of my favorites.
What dish is always better “old school” rather than updated or “improved?”
Meatloaf, my mom, and Michelle make the best meatloaf ever.
What is one thing that many don't know about the Combine Café?
We are striving to be local.  I am on a mission supporting our local farmers.  Because of this, the Combine Café is beginning to source produce from our local Reynolds customers.
Why did you choose the Combine Café?
Being local, Reynolds has always been in my life.  I truly appreciate the morals and values this company possesses and I realized that the opportunity of being the Combine Café’s chef was a no-brainer.  Serving others is extremely important to me. So, one of my goals for the Combine Café and Reynolds is to continue giving back to the community as much as possible through events, donating to food banks and charity. 
Five Favorites:
Combine Café Meals:  Breaded Tenderloin. The Summer Rueben. Michelle's Cookies. The Breakfast Farmers Platter. Burritos.
Kitchen Gadgets:  Knives, Knives, Knives. Robot Coupe Food Processor. Flattop Grill. Garnish Set.  Spoons - for tasting!
Comfort Food:  Meatloaf. Chicken and Noodles. Pot Roast. Pizza. Tacos.
Desserts:  Cheesecake. Banana Splits. Michelle's Cookies. Crème Brûlée. Italian Ice.
The Combine Café is located at the Reynolds store in Atlanta, IN and NOW open during the fall season Monday - Friday from 7:30 AM to 2:00 PM.   Be sure to follow us on Facebook to be in the know with Reynolds Farm Equipment and to see Chef Jon's weekly specials.