Maddest Mad Scientist of Fine Food

Jeremy Umansky

Staff Pick

As the house forager and larder master for Trentina in University Circle, Jeremy Umansky is tasked with gathering and concocting a large portion of the restaurant's ingredients. In the short time he's been involved with Jonathon Sawyer's flagship restaurant, Umansky has unearthed for consumption more than 150 species of wild plants and 70 species of wild mushroom all harvested from Cleveland woods and fields. Those include wild apples, stinging nettle, staghorn sumac, lamb's quarters, purslane, black velvet boletes, lion's mane and chanterelles, to name a few. In the larder, the encyclopedic tinkerer fabricates vinegar, cultures butter and preserves all matter of dairy, meat and vegetables by various means. It is in this gastronomic laboratory that lobster eggs are dried and cured into bottarga, koij-fermented garbanzo beans are transformed into miso, and fish sauce is coaxed out of mussels. It might be months before an item moves from prototype to menu item, but if and when that koji-cultured scallop does make it, we have Umansky to thank.

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