Kitchen Shuffles at Olympia Provisions; McMinnville Gets Two New Restaurants

Executive chef Colin Stafford leaves his post for wine country while OP Southeast chef Alex Yoder steps up as head honcho for both restaurants.

By Benjamin Tepler April 1, 2015

Colin Stafford (left), Alex Yoder (right)

Olympia Provision’s Alex Yoder, one of the hottest young talents in Portland, is moving on up. Yoder worked at Café Castagna alongside current Olympia Provisions owners Elias Cairo and Nate Tilden, and under Kevin Gibson, now at Davenport. His style of Spanish and Mediterranean small plates—shrimp bathed in chile oil and chèvre and curls of baby octopus over corona beans and chorizo—has earned the restaurant a reputation as one of the best in the city since 2010.

In January 2015, Colin Stafford, longtime executive chef at the Northwest location, left the kitchen. He masterminded the Southeast standby’s top-tier brunch, and gave the growing salumi brand’s second location its own identity with rotisserie meats and a zeal for fancy hot dogs before it became a thing.

Now Yoder is taking over both kitchens as executive chef while keeping the flavors and menus distinct. Yoder’s new Northwest menu looks familiar: bright salads, plenty of seafood, and whole rotisserie chicken with salsa verde.

Meanwhile, Eat Beat has learned that Stafford has been slotted to helm two new restaurants in downtown McMinnville, The Barberry and The 1882 Grille, both located inside the KAOS building at 645 NE 3rd Street. The building, designed with reclaimed wood, sprawling patio space, and an impressive third-floor balcony, holds seating for a whopping 225 people total.

On the first floor, The Barberry will function as a casual bistro during the day, serving salads, sandwiches, oysters, and ceviche while across the room, The Oregon Wine Village, a collection of 4-6 far-flung Willamette Valley wine-makers, offers tastings. An extensive deli case will stock house-made charcuterie, meat from Olympia Provisions (of course) and Fino In Fondo, cheese, and enough wine for a ready-made wine country picnic.

At night, The Barberry will transform into a refined, high-end steakhouse with ribeye, t-bone, and double-cut pork chops served a la cart. Beyond the bovine, Stafford promises a focus on wild game, fresh pasta from ravioli to cavatelli, and daily fish options. On the third floor, the 1882 Grille (the year McMinnville became a city), will function as a fast-casual bar and grill with hamburgers, pizza, and beer.

Both restaurants are projected to open in the second week of May 2015.

Back in Portland, Yoder has the potential to make a serious name for himself with two restaurants under his command. “Alex has what I love about born-and-raised Northwest cooks,” Cairo tells Eat Beat. “The knowledge to take Portland’s awesome local shit and use it right.” 

Filed under
Show Comments