When it came to a career, Chef Tag Grandgeorge couldn't stay away from the kitchen. Armed with previous restaurant experience, Chef Tag joined College Chefs for a year before reopening his restaurant, Le Jardin, in Des Moines, Iowa.
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"I cooked for Sigma Chi fraternity for half the year, then I got a promotion to the Delta Gamma house, both of which are at Drake University," said Chef Tag.
He enjoyed the security and stability College Chefs offered, as well as the freedom he had in creating menus. Plus, he could use his restaurant experience in the chapters he served.
"It's a fine line, working with a budget, buying all your groceries, trying to be frugal, and trying to optimize the utilization of your product," he said. "And it's a challenge to feed 50 girls a fresh lunch and dinner every day of the week."
While working with College Chefs, Chef Tag was also looking for restaurant space for Le Jardin, a restaurant he ran from 2008 to 2011, when it transitioned into a catering business.
"I was on board to start another year with College Chefs, and right at the end of summer I found a location for us to open Le Jardin," Chef Tag said. "So we basically reopened the restaurant, keeping the same brand and menu motif, and we've been having a lot of success ever since."
Chef Tag says that Le Jardin brings a unique, new American-bistro dining experience to a neighborhood that's used to pizza, Italian, and Asian cooking.
"I make different pâtés; we have a cheese program that includes some really dynamite French cheeses," he said. "The wine list is all French, so that's something no one else really offers."
"We have a highly seasonal menu," he said. "Right now the dishes are a little heavy and more slanted toward comfort food, but we'll change the menu mix this spring as we start getting different lettuces and produce to incorporate into the menu." Buying local is very important to Chef Tag, so he participates in a CSA (community-supported agriculture). He also believes in putting the names of the farms he buys from on the menu, so people know exactly where their food is coming from.
And when it comes to College Chefs, Chef Tag says, "I think College Chefs is a really dynamic company. And it doesn't matter what caliber of chef you are, it's a challenging position. It's a job that can help make any chef a little more well rounded."
We at College Chefs want to wish Chef Tag and Le Jardin the best!