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New Chef at Shed Restaurant

Todd Richards brings his signature and stamp to Grant Park eatery.

There's a new cook in the kitchen at the .

The Grant Park restaurant, which is owned by Cindy Shera and Todd Martin, hired Todd Richards as executive chef.

Richards was chef of the Oakroom at the Seelbach Hilton in Louisville, the only five diamond awarded restaurant in Kentucky.

He replaces Lance Gummere, the Shed's longtime chef, who left to partner with Shaun Doty in his new chicken venture, .

"We're entering a new chapter," Martin, who hired Richards eight weeks ago, said.

Richards, a Chicago native, officially took the reins Aug. 4.

In one way, it's a homecoming of sorts for Richards, a long time customer of the Shed.

The first time he dined there was 2008, where met up with a couple of friends, Richards recounted.

"Next thing you know, I'd been there for six hours," Richards said.

"It's really something when you can get great food in your own neighborhood."

With his arrival comes a revamping of the menu to reflect his style.

A key part of that, which also is part of the Shed's philosophy, is getting food that's close and locally grown and in season.

"I'm an American chef who likes to cook with the ingredients of the area that I'm in."

While some menu favorites will remain menu fixtures, such as the Shed's sliders, Richards plans to create some new dishes.

One new addition: Hamachi fish and muscadines with soy sauce.

Other plates he plans to bring to table include duck- and salmon-inspired dishes.

Cooking has long been a passion of his since childhood, as he grew up inspired by both parents who cooked, Richards said.

Each dish, each creation takes him back to those days, he said.

"Every day that I cook, I'm going back to the point in time where I was in the kitchen, cooking with my mom."

Jackie M August 23, 2012 at 05:45 PM
Loving it. Can't wait to eat at the Shedd. Jackie M.

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