Dining » Dining Lead

In Good Hands

A top chef steps aside to make room for the young gun.

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Chef Andy Strizak knows he has big shoes to fill in the kitchen at Parker's New American Bistro (2801 Bridge Avenue, 216-771-7130). But if anyone can carry on Parker Bosley's tradition of lovingly prepared natural foods, it's the 25-year-old Strizak. The chef, a 1998 graduate of the culinary arts program at Johnson & Wales University, shares Bosley's passion for working with the freshest, purest products -- culled almost exclusively from the gardens, greenhouses, and pastures of a network of small local farmers. Also, for a young guy, he's clocked some pretty heavy experience, including stints with Steve Parris, back in the days when Parris was rockin' the Fulton, and with Doug Katz, the innovative chef-owner of fire. And of course, Bosley has been his mentor for a number of years. "He's an incredibly talented young man," says the elder culinarian. "I told him a few years ago that whenever he was ready, he could have a free hand in the kitchen here."

Bosley, meantime, hopes to devote himself to strengthening the ties between small, independent farmers and health-and-quality-conscious consumers. "The demand for these farmers' products far exceeds the supply," he says. "People want to know how they can get access to them, and the farmers need a liaison to help them get those products to market."

Also, as he approaches his 65th birthday, the master chef says he's simply looking forward to spending more time among the region's small farms. "That's the type of community I grew up in," he says fondly, "and it's going to be fun to get back there."

Scrubbing the Grill . . . Chef-owner Dino Tsarnas is hanging out the "Closed for Remodeling" sign on his Cleveland Grill (3359 West 117th Street, 216-251-1025) starting June 23, but it's all good: When the place reopens on July 9, it will feature updated decor, a newly installed bar, and an all-Ohio beer and wine list. Tsarnas says that when he opened his homey eatery in 2000, his focus was squarely on creating good food, and he figured that spiffy decorating touches could wait. But now, with business humming -- and the unending West 117th construction finally approaching his doorstep -- the time seemed right for a beautification break. Still, those with a jones for Tsarnas's eclectic, homemade food needn't go cold turkey: Carryout and delivery services will be available throughout the remodeling period.

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