On The Green New American Cuisine is the second location that I’m judging food at for the 2015 Dine Iowa Grand Tasting Gala event.
This is my second year of judging for this event.
During the next couple of weeks, leading up to the September 24th event, we have 8 different restaurants to visit. These restaurants are all across Iowa.
On The Green
It takes a lot of work to open a restaurant, but it takes even more work when you want to open a restaurant AND win Iowa’s Best Bite. Chef Pam Oldes won the 2013 Best Bite Challenge securing a $153,000 prize. It’s truly a great accomplishment. Also, you could say it’s a win-win because a chef gets to continue their dream and Oskaloosa earned a great, new restaurant. On The Green took over the spot where Dr. Salami’s used to be. As you can see from the photos, there was some major work that went down.
I couldn’t think of a better spot to wind down after a round of golf. The views, food and available beer and cocktails are just the thing to celebrate a great round ( or get over a poor round) of golf.
You could also say that it’s the ultimate Sunday golf and brunch outing.
The Chef at On The Green in Oskaloosa
Chef Pam Oldes is the head chef and owner at the On The Green in Oskaloosa.
Since this contest is about the chef and their skills, I wanted focus on them a little more by asking some questions. Here are 7 questions with Chef
- How Many Years Have You Been A Chef?
I’ve been a chef for about 9 years. I started my career as a Personal Chef in D.C. and moved to Iowa in 2011. Worked at Sodexo in Des Moines, until opening On the Green.
- Where did you learn to become a chef?
Stratford University in Falls Church, Virginia. I went to night school while I worked in the Retirement Investments field full-time and worked part-time at Starbucks. It was a lot to juggle and my friends would say “how can you manage all that.” I now know, it was just getting me ready for the long hours of owning a restaurant!
- Do you have a chef that you look up to?
I look up to all Chefs/Cooks in this industry. I think everyone has some piece of knowledge that will be useful. I have worked with Chef Carly Groben, she has been a help. I also look up to my wife’s brother Brian. He is an executive chef in North Carolina. He has worked in the industry for a long time and is willing to help out anytime needed. When we first opened he came out for a week to help me with my line. He was a great help and someone I can always call to ask a question to.
- The best thing about being a chef is __________.
Teaching. I get a lot of cooks that come in that have never stepped foot in a commercial kitchen. Since we make a lot of our sauces and dressings in house, it gives me the opportunity to teach. Don’t just open a container of chicken base and call it chicken stock. We make it from scratch and regardless of the direction my cooks go in later in life, they will always know how to make a real chicken stock.
- The best playlist for cooking has to include (artist, song etc.)
Adele, Rolling In The Deep.
- What’s your favorite thing to cook outside of “the office”?
Take-out! haha. I honestly don’t cook much outside of work. I love eating Thai, Indian, and Sushi, when I am not cooking.
- What or who inspired you to become a chef?
I am not sure if I can pinpoint one person or one thing that inspired me to become a chef, but I think I have always had cooking in the back of my mind. When I was in junior high, I would cook for our family during the summer months. When I was cooking, I would always pretend I was on a cooking show. I would talk to the “camera” and demonstrate my dish, step by step. After graduating from Coe College and moving to Washington D.C., I knew I didn’t want to sit behind a desk for the rest of my life. I really enjoyed cooking and started to looking to culinary schools in the area. After some encouragement from a few of my friends, I decided to take the jump and attend culinary school.
Rules: With this event, each competitor will prepare a main entrée recipe utilizing Braveheart Black Angus Beef Top Sirloin, donated byPerformance Food Group (at least six ounces of cooked beef must be used). Additionally, each competitor will prepare a Tofu (soft-silken or water packed) side dish or sauce (at least a 1⁄4 cup of tofu must be used).
Chef Pam recreated one of her mother’s recipes. A beef stroganoff. It was really fun to see her being her mother’s cooking and share part of her family with us. It was presented to us neatly and was a little different than what normal stroganoff would look like – usually it’s a creamy color. Pam’s recipe features a red sauce
We’re in a competition so it’s fun to see chef’s bend the rules of what you would normally expect.
Noodles were covered in her homemade stroganoff recipe topped with delicious little onion ring bites. The batter she used was so delicious. Although, she only gave us minor details about what was it because it’s a secret recipe – it’s worth a visit just to try these flavor bombs.
Chef Pam Oldes displayed a wonderful plate. She should be proud of her presentation.
Contact On The Green in Oskaloosa
2214 S 11th St, Oskaloosa, IA 52577
Phone: (641) 676-3737
Monday thru Thursday 11-9, Friday & Saturday 11-10pm and Sunday 11-8pm
I’m so excited for the next couple of weeks and I am eager to see how creative the competing chefs can be!