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13 Questions with Metropole Executive Chef Vanessa Miller

Posted on Thursday, Sep. 3, 2020

There’s a new chef in town and her name is Vanessa Miller. She’s a Cincinnati-native who’s as talented on the basketball court as she is in the kitchen. Get to know her and get excited for her food.

Where were you previously?

I’ve been in the Northeast for the last 14 years so this is kind of a homecoming for me. Most recently, I spent the last 5 years in NYC in various culinary roles.

What’s the last meal you ate?

Meatball pizza from Dewey’s Pizza, where I had my first restaurant job when I was in high school.

What’s your favorite recipe to cook at home?

My go to is to make a quick tomato sauce with lots of garlic and fresh cherry tomatoes. I love adding a little bit of heat to it with red chili flakes, bulking it up with some greens and chickpeas. Its like a light but hearty stew.

What’s your favorite dish at a local restaurant?

I’ve had a lot of really excellent dishes at Please in OTR, too many to pick the best one.

At the top of your list to try locally? Nationally?

I really want to check out Dear in Hyde Park.

Ingredients you can’t live without?

Salt. Lemons. Fresh herbs. Salt.

What 3 things are always in your fridge?

Hebrew national hot dogs, cheddar cheese, butter.

Who’s a chef that inspires you?

Missy Robbins in NYC. She spent years working her way up the fine dining ladder, then decided to go off on her own, committing to making incredible food while ALSO having a balanced life where she lives on no one’s terms, but her own. There is so much that needs to change about this industry, and I admire people like her who are making the changes they want to see.

What 3 words would you use to describe the current dining scene in Cincinnati?

Young, scrappy, innovative.

Currently in heavy rotation on your playlist?

Anything and everything Maggie Rogers. She is a national treasure.

What drink starts your day? Ends your night?

Always start with a double shot of espresso, always end with a cold Miller High Life, bottled not canned.

What can we expect from the menu at Metropole?

My goal is to make the food at Metropole fun and communal. I want people to see the menu and think that they better come with a few friends so that they can share and order everything. Food should be fun, and bright and social.

Any dish you are particularly excited about?

We’ve started working on some menu development for the Fall menu, which should roll out by the end of September. I’m very excited for that menu in general, and to be connecting with local producers and suppliers to serve the best of what the region has to offer.