A graduate of CIA, Jenny Treantafilos began her culinary career at Blue Hill at Stone Barns, where she received her first introduction to fine dining kitchens. From there, she worked in kitchens of top New York restaurants including Dove Tail and Gramercy Tavern as Chef de Partie and further honed her skills at Chef's Table at Brooklyn Fare, working as both a line cook and as a server. Prior to joining the opening team at Olmsted, Jenny took a year long break from restaurants and became a personal trainer at Equinox, but still continued cooking for private dinners and events. Jenny currently works under Chef Greg Baxtrom in her first Chef de Cuisine role.
How did you get into the industry?
I was drawn to the kitchen as a way to spend time with my mother and my love for cooking developed around wanting to be closer to her and provide for my family like she did.
Any emerging industry trends?
Instagram has changed the game so much. Branded cuisine is now a thing.
Inspiration for the business idea, and your vision for the Business?
For Olmsted, Chef Greg was inspired by his past in fine dining and wanted to offer that in a more approachable, neighborhood-style restaurant that could feed everyone. The price point is low and the food is elevated. We use what’s in season and let that influence the menu. It’s a technique base cuisine that doesn’t take itself too seriously. We try to have fun with it and let the guest enjoy themselves too.
What's next for the Business in the near future?
We just expanded the garden which I am most excited about! We already have broccoli rabe and green garlic popping up. Since we opened, its tripled in size.
Your key initiatives for the success of the Business?
We tend to use instagram in our thought process when creating new dishes and it helps reach our followers quickly, regulars come in and comment that they saw new dishes on their feed and are here to try them.
Your most difficult moment at the Business? (and what did you learn?)
Having enough time to get dirty in the garden and get as involved as I like to with the sustainability aspects of the restaurant. I am always relearning that patience is a virtue.
Ideal experience for a customer/client?
We try to create an experience here at Olmsted, from the moment you walk through the door we want to take you on a journey. Start in the garden with a cocktail and a few snacks and move inside for dinner. Head back out to the garden to finish with smores’, a froyo with whipped lavender honey and cuddling up with friends. Ask for a garden tour if you'd like to learn more about what we have planted!
How do you motivate others?
Sharing my own experiences with cooking and staying positive.
Career advice to those in your industry?
Seize opportunity and rise to the occasion first.