The future home of Oak + Reel, a seafood-centric Italian restaurant from lauded chef Jared Gadbaw, on East Grand Boulevard in Detroit’s Milwaukee Junction neighborhood on Friday, Nov. 22, 2019. (Photo: Mark Kurlyandchik, Detroit Free Press)
Yet another high-profile chef is trading the Michelin stars he helped earn in a bigger city to come set up shop in Detroit instead.
Garden City native Jared Gadbaw left Michigan 18 years ago to pursue his culinary ambitions in New York City, where he trained at the French Culinary Institute after spending most of his youth working at a Dearborn car dealership with his father.
“You’re young and you think this’ll be easy,” Gadbaw, 40, recalled of his big move. “I thought I’ll learn to cook in two years and go back to Michigan to become a smashing success.”
Those callow dreams gave way to a star-turning two-decade run through some of the Big Apple’s best restaurants, first on the hot line at fine-dining gems like Esca and Eleven Madison Park. But in 2007, Gadbaw answered a Craigslist ad that would set the course of his life for the next 10 years.