Edourado Jordan, chef de cuisine at Bar Sajor, recently announced he’s opening his own restaurant, Salare. Jordan has an extensive background in both French and Italian cuisine where he’s worked at top notch restaurants such as Per Se and The French Laundry. He also lived in Parma Italy for a month where he worked alongside a family of ninth generation butchers and pasta makers.
Jordan gives Eater the scoop on his current thinking around the menu, what he plans on growing in his restaurant’s garden, why he chose Ravenna to be the site of his modern day mom-and-pop concept, and why he’s launching a Kickstarter campaign today.
What made you decide to open your restaurant in Ravenna?
I wanted to open my restaurant in a neighborhood, a place where the community can come out and support. Ravenna is a beautiful family neighborhood and I knew once I visited the area this was going to be where I opened Salare. I’m looking to build a restaurant where parents can enjoy a stellar meal, drink a glass of wine and don’t feel uncomfortable bringing their kids. At the same time I also want to create a restaurant that couples, food enthusiasts and tourist seek out.
What’s the focus of your restaurant? Is it nose-to-tail?
I’ve always been interested in primal preparation as utilizing every single part of an animal was a way of life for people for centuries. You’ll definitely see cured meats on the menu and not just your typical prosciutto. I started the cured meat program at The Herbfarm and love working with all types of meat. Expect to see bresaola (air-dried, salted beef) and potentially hard-to-find culatello (a are cured meat that is seasoned and lightly salted, stuffed into a pig's bladder, tied to give it a pear-like shape, and then hung 8-12 months to cure) at some point on the menu.
As much as I meat, I also love stews, vegetable dishes and pasta. I’m not looking to pigeonhole myself as the nose-to-tail restaurant or the pasta joint. There are plenty of great restaurants that do that already. I view my restaurant as a modern day mom and pop concept where my food will reflect what I love.
What’s another example of a dish you’re planning on including in your menu line-up when you open?
I plan on having fun with my take on many classic dishes such as "fried chicken livers & waffles with aji dulce peppers," "the Salare burger," and handmade pastas. It’s hard to pin down one item…my brain and palette don’t work that way.
I hear you’re planning on growing some interesting spices and herbs in your garden.
I’m working with Sarah Farr, owner/tea maker of Harbor Herbalist. She’s an herbalist and ecologist who’s helping me design my garden. I’m looking to grow herbs you don’t see every day such as geranium, English thyme, different basil and verbena varietals.
You’ve worked at some pretty incredible spots – Herbfarm, Sitka and running the kitchen at Bar Sajor. Are you going to miss working at Sajor?
Sajor will truly be missed. I found my voice at Sajor plus I became pretty lethal with the wood-fire! We built a strong family at Sajor. I had some really committed cooks and staff working with me and I am grateful for their time and dedication. We could not have achieved any of the recognition without their efforts.
Tell me about your Kickstarter campaign.
This was hard for me. I am not the one to ask for much but I came to the realization that I can’t do this project alone. There are so many moving pieces when trying to open a restaurant and this is the struggle of why so many young chefs are not able to turn their dream into a reality. Salare is very much a modern day mom & pop, and with the help from a couple friends and family, I was able to secure a small SBA loan to get the business off the ground but the loan covers only so much. I’m reaching out on Kickstarter because there are a number of things needed to make this restaurant functional and successful. Without community sourcing Salare will not be the home I would like to welcome everyone into. The funds from Kickstarter will be used to purchase necessary equipment, cover the cost of added construction, build an outdoor garden, obtain décor, and lighting to name a few. I am offering some great incentives for those who are able to support. I think it takes a community to raise the restaurant.
How do you juggle being a dad and a chef?
It’s easy, I just sleep five hours a day. It’s a real balancing act, especially with opening a restaurant. I use to spend my down time hanging with my family, playing with my son but currently any extra time I have is dedicated to getting this business off the ground. My son has become my business partner. I take him to all my business meetings and call him "the negotiator."