“One of my favorite things at Missouri Magazine is celebrating the people and heart behind so many amazing businesses throughout the state of Missouri. As I type out the interview, I always love reading the inspiration/heart behind their business. From the first time I spoke with Chef Chris Paszkiewicz about his creative dishes and the work he does to make every plate perfect, I could tell he has a passion for each menu he creates to being the best dish to his table. Chef Chris Paszkiewicz has a love for food, giving the best to people while providing a unique experience as you dine at Ivory Grille. It is my pleasure to introduce to you, Chef Chris Paszkiewicz, the four-time award winning Missouri’s Best Chef.” -Cheri Cranford, Founder & CEO of CDM Media Group, LLC.
Missouri Magazine: Tell us a little about yourself:
Chef Chris Paszkiewicz: I’m Executive Chef & Beverage manager this April will be my 6th anniversary with the Ivory Grille. After working 10 years in the Grocery business, I started my culinary career in Florida under Chef Randal white. He began his Own TV cooking show and made me his assistant. I helped prep all of the ingredients and staged for the show. I moved back to Missouri and continued working restaurants moving up every kitchen I worked. Moved to Eureka Springs as executive Sous and by the time I left I was Executive Chef. I’ve been published in multiple newspapers, magazines and online. I truly enjoy what I do!
He has had the opportunity to cook for many prominent customers including Missouri Governor Mike Parson, Lieutenant Governor Mike Kehoe, Jerry Seinfeld, John Travolta and Anthony Bourdain among other celebrities, politicians and people of notoriety.
Missouri Magazine: What do you want to be remembered for?
Chef Chris Paszkiewicz: I’d like to be remembered for being a fair caring & creative Chef & city ambassador.
Missouri Magazine: When did you decide to become a chef? Can you share the backstory of becoming a Chef?
Chef Chris Paszkiewicz: I wanted to be a Chef since I was around 9. My mom would allow me to cook breakfast for her and my dad on Saturday morning.
Missouri Magazine: What is your signature dish?
Chef Chris Paszkiewicz: At the moment? I would have to say Coffee Ancho Filet topped with whiskey pan sauce.
Missouri Magazine: How do you describe your overall cooking philosophy?
Chef Chris Paszkiewicz: Don’t be afraid to try something new! Make it delicious
Missouri Magazine: Name the three kitchen tools you can’t do without?
Chef Chris Paszkiewicz: Chef Knife, tongs & a sauté pan.
Missouri Magazine: What is your favorite or least favorite dish to prepare?
Chef Chris Paszkiewicz: Favorite dish would be any kind of fish, fresh or sea.
Missouri Magazine: What is your favorite wine?
Chef Chris Paszkiewicz: My current favorites are Rombauer Zinfandel & Frank Family Cabernet Sauvignon – both California wines.
Missouri Magazine: Tell us about pairing wine and food.
Chef Chris Paszkiewicz: It’s about balancing flavors of the food and accentuating the wine. Reds are best with fattier meats like steaks if you serve Duck let’s say with a fruit based sauce you would choose a wine to go with the sauce. Fish, pork & chicken definitely a white wine.
Missouri Magazine: What do you find most rewarding about being a chef?
Chef Chris Paszkiewicz: Learning & Teaching! Always strive to improve your staff & yourself.
Missouri Magazine: What do you love most about living in Missouri?
Chef Chris Paszkiewicz: I love the seasons, I lived in Florida for a few years and I definitely missed seeing trees change & occasionally snow! Haha
Missouri Magazine: How long have you worked or lived in Missouri?
Chef Chris Paszkiewicz: I’ve lived most my life here. I spent a few years as I said in Florida but I also lived in Arkansas for a couple as well.
Missouri Magazine: What is your favorite restaurant? Favorite?
Chef Chris Paszkiewicz: Lol, well when I’m not eating at the IG my favorite burger place in Missouri is What-A-Burger. Favorite Italian definitely Jasper’s in Kansas City.
Missouri Magazine: If you could travel anywhere in the world right now, where would it be and why?
Chef Chris Paszkiewicz: If I could I’d like to travel to the Polish border of Ukraine to help feed the refugees!
Missouri Magazine: How big is your family?
Chef Chris Paszkiewicz: My wife and I have 4 sons, 6 brothers, 3 sisters, 15 nieces and nephews & a great niece, just on my side.
Missouri Magazine: What is something on your bucket list?
Chef Chris Paszkiewicz: To hike the PCT out west & the AT from Maine to Georgia!
Missouri Magazine: What are your family’s favorite activities?
Chef Chris Paszkiewicz: Exploring! We love checking out new places hiking, camping and obviously amusement parks!
Missouri Magazine: Where can someone find you when you are not at work?
Chef Chris Paszkiewicz: I’m always on the move lol. I’m on a few city of Sedalia boards the one I spend most time on is the Central Business & cultural district. I’m also the promotion committee chairman for Sedalia Main streets.
Missouri Magazine: What do you consider your greatest professional achievement?
Chef Chris Paszkiewicz: There are so many. Missouri’s Best 4 years in a row is definitely up there!
Missouri Magazine: Do you have a favorite local charity?
Chef Chris Paszkiewicz: Retrieving Freedom is one of my favorites.
Missouri Magazine: What are some of your local favorite places?
Chef Chris Paszkiewicz: Bothwell Lodge, Katy trail, we have two great record stores Jammin Nuggets & Josey records. Ozark Coffee company and my absolute favorite is my place Cow Bird Creamery & Sweets!
Missouri Magazine: What is your favorite quote?
Chef Chris Paszkiewicz: Around here, however, we don’t look backwards for very long. We keep moving forward, opening up new doors and doing new things, because we’re curious… and curiosity keeps leading us down new paths -Walt Disney
Missouri Magazine: What is your favorite music? Name three bands you would like to see.
Chef Chris Paszkiewicz: I like most music! I’d love to see Chris Stapleton, Trampled by Turtles & Nathaniel Rateliff
Missouri Magazine: Tell us about your business adventure.
Chef Chris Paszkiewicz: I created and own Cow Bird Creamery & Sweets in Sedalia Missouri. We offer hand dipped ice cream, my wife bakes all of our cookies & cakes, we also offer unique candies & vintage sodas. I came up with the name Cow Bird because from when I first saw them in Florida I was amazed by the since of community the egrets and cattle have. The cattle protect the birds from land predators and the egrets keep the bugs off the cows backs! That’s how Our motto came about. “Be a good neighbor!” Find out more about Cow Bird Creamery & Sweets here.
Missouri Magazine: Anything else you would like to share with us?
Chef Chris Paszkiewicz: I appreciate Sedalia and Missouri for supporting me as a chef, business owner and community ambassador and I look forward to a long wonderful relationship with our community!
To see what Chef Chris Paszkiewicz has been cooking up lately, you can follow him on Facebook @chefchrispasz