Executive Chef/Partner,Hospitality Group
Before relocating to Grand Rapids, Justin Large was famed Chef Paul Kahan’s second in command in Chicago. Which means, he worked side-by-side with Kahan creating the dishes that came out of each of One Off Hospitality Group’s restaurants; Avec, Blackbird, Publican, Dove’s Luncheonette, PQM Butcher Shop, Big Star Bucktown, Violet Hour, and NICO Osteria.
Moving from Intern to Line Cook to Sous Chef to Chef de Cuisine to One Off’s Director of Culinary Operations, Large spent his time going from restaurant to restaurant fine-tuning their back of the house operations. Operations that have won multiple James Beard Awards, and regularly grace the pages of Food & Wine, Bon Appétit and Travel + Leisure.
Add to his accolades a degree in Economics from the University of Florida, a degree from New York’s Culinary Institute of America, multiple appearances on Food Network’s Iron Chef and PBS’ No Reservations, and his position as a founding member and board member of Pilot Light, a non-profit that provides Chicago public schools with knowledge and skills for healthier cooking and eating.
Ultimately, Large wants his food to deliver a deeper sense of nourishment. “Of course I want my food to be delicious and beautiful, but even more than that I want it to tell a story. There is a narrative to the menus I write. Whether it’s a trip to northern France, the Ligurian Coast of Italy or Big Sur, I want diners to feel that connection. I want my food to take people places.”
In 2015, Large moved to Grand Rapids Michigan to help a family friend revitalize the menu at Vander Mill Cider in Spring Lake and create the new dining program for their recently opened Grand Rapids restaurant. He is currently Executive Chef for the Meritage Hospitality Group, based in downtown Grand Rapids.
Large lives in Grand Rapids with his wife Molly and their son Auden. When he’s not in the kitchen, Justin can be seen bicycling, tinkering with his boat or trying to perfect the perfect gin martini.