We're really about having fun with food," says Alicia Hansen, events and communications director for The Chubby Cook, a new Beachwood venue that provides healthy catering and prepared meals with an emphasis on fresh, local, and organic ingredients. Chef-founder Scott Groth entered the business after 11 years in the corporate jungle, beginning a global journey that took him to culinary classes and restaurants all over the world. "He wanted to share his love of cooking," Hansen says, "and then he found this space."
The light, airy storefront, with its immaculate kitchen, opened in June, offering healthy "Grab and Go" meals. That includes sandwiches and wraps like the California Veggie (fresh-made hummus and vegetables on tandoori naan) and the Stromboli Hero (cheesy focaccia bread stuffed with Genoa salami, smoked ham, provolone, and pepperoncini).
Salad options include the Ginger Dragon (Napa cabbage and romaine topped with toasted almonds, sesame seeds, flash-seared ramen noodles, and ginger dressing).
And — because you can't eat greens all the time — there are indulgent desserts like the Deep Fudge Brownie and Delicious Cheese Cake.
The Chubby Cook also offers freshly squeezed juices, including its signature Green Snapdragon, made from kale, romaine, apple, lemon, and ginger.
"The emphasis is on a lot of greens: fresh, local, organic produce and the best ingredients we can find," Hansen says. "We pretty much run the gamut from California-style cuisine to traditional homestyle cooking: paprikash, ziti, and all those things Clevelanders love on a cold, blustery day."
Beyond takeout, The Chubby Cook's primary focus is catering. Groth and his staff are expert at accommodating special needs, including vegetarian, vegan, raw, gluten-free, or any combination thereof.
Groth loves to share his passion for cooking by conducting classes and chef demonstrations, and making regular appearances at area food festivals.
"We'll reach out to anyone," Hansen says. "And if we're sharing our love, ultimately you might be inspired to follow that path as well."
Hansen learned that fact shortly after she met Chef Groth, who spent hours on New Year's Eve patiently coaching her via Twitter on what to do with two Maine lobsters that she had suddenly acquired.