The Storm Café in Middlebury has brought on not one, but two new chefs, and that's just one of the recent changes at the restaurant, which bills itself as serving "innovative American cuisine." Talmage Jestice, 37, and John D'Avignon, 35, will relieve owner John Hughes, who has been running the kitchen for the past nine years. "It's to get fresh faces and ideas," says Hughes, who has shifted his focus to the front of house. "These two gentlemen enjoy what they do and bring exciting new recipes."
Since the two joined the kitchen, Jestice in November and D'Avignon in January, they've made small changes in procedure. The Storm Café has a new focus on making ingredients in-house — pancetta, sauerkraut and cream cheese, for example, says Hughes. And on April 28, the team will roll out a new spring menu. Favorites such as the Berber (an African-spiced salmon sandwich) and the penne carbonara aren't going anywhere, Hughes assures, but they will be joined by new items such as a Cuban sandwich and swordfish served with homemade ramp pesto and grilled asparagus.
Another change? Breakfast has done so well on weekends, Hughes says, that he's now trying it out on weekdays, too (except Monday).
Finally, the Storm Café just secured its liquor license. "We're pretty proud of our Bloody Marys," says Hughes, adding that the restaurant's fresh-squeezed orange juice makes a nice screwdriver.