Tripveel sat down with Chef Zach Ohly of Cameo Restaurant at the Castle, Minnesota.
Where did you grow up and/or where have you traveled to that has helped inspire and shape your cooking philosophy?
I grew up in Rochester, Minnesota. After turning 18 I lived in Duluth, Minneapolis, Denver and San Francisco. Being exposed to many different cultures and cuisines in San Francisco and Denver especially were influential in my repertoire of flavor profiles.
Tell our readers an interesting fact or two about yourself.
Interesting fact about myself, I have never been a runner, but I finished Grandma’s Marathon in 2017 which I am very proud of. I am going to get back into running this year with my daughter.
Tell us about your absolute favorite food and why readers should try it if they haven’t already.
My absolute favorite food would be the lemongrass beef pho from Pho 95 in Denver, Colorado. So much depth and perfectly refreshing flavors. If you haven’t tried pho, go try out your city’s favorite spot!
What are three ingredients that you simply couldn’t live without?
Three ingredients I couldn’t live without would be butter, salt and champagne vinegar.
We love the art behind plating. What do you love about designing the perfect dish?
People eat with their eyes first, so plating is such a crucial point of food. Finding the perfect plating technique is incredibly satisfying. As a chef, food is my art and plating is my canvas.
Tell us about one of the most creative dishes you’ve created?
One of my most creative (and difficult) dishes was my Spring Asparagus Salad. Blanched and grilled asparagus and shaved fresh asparagus with lemon zest, sliced jamon iberico, iSi charged mozzarella foam, toasted hazelnut, banyuls vinegar and fleur de sel.
Share your most recent awards and accreditations with us!
My most recent accomplishment would be being nominated for “Best Restaurant in Rochester” after only 6 months of being open. I’m incredibly humbled and proud to work with such a talented group of people.
What are some of the latest trends you’re seeing in top restaurants across the globe?
Fermentation has been quite big in recent years as has Asian flavors making their way onto menus.
What’s your favorite cocktail or liquor?
I have always enjoyed a nice bourbon and fernet branca.
What do you love about being the Chef at Cameo at the Castle?
What I love about being the chef at Cameo is the ability to change our menu quickly to adapt to the desires of our community. Also being located next to Mayo Clinic it’s incredibly gratifying to be able to give people who are in town for treatment solace and a feeling of home.