In this week’s video, Wendy chats with Michael Kramer, Jianna’s executive chef, about Jianna’s first year, his culinary inspirations and his love for cycling.
Jianna’s First Year
When asked to describe Jianna’s first year in business, Kramer replied:
I think insanity is probably the operative word. I think we were just really blessed to be sort of at the right place at the right time. The weather was great. The patio was open, so that was always helpful and uh, you know I think people were just starving for some great oysters and fresh house-made pastas.
Jianna has been well received, both within the community of Greenville and outside it, since its opening in March 2017. Both its remarkable menu and scenic location have dubbed it an absolute must.
Kramer’s Culinary Story
For someone who didn’t like food much as a child, Kramer has done quite well for himself in the culinary world. After graduating from high school and attending community college for a bit, Kramer studied abroad in England where he opened his eyes to different types of foods. After working in the restaurant business there as a pizza deliverer, Kramer came back to the states to attend culinary school and the rest was history.
“I feel like with Jianna, I cook food that I’d like to eat everyday,” said Kramer when asked what his favorite thing to make is. “You’ll find that most chefs cook the food that they like per say.” Kramer previously did a lot of four and five-star cooking from caviar to truffles to foie gras. Even though he stills loves these foods, Kramer feels like there’s just something about a home-made bowl of pasta that strikes a chord. (side-note: Jianna goes through roughly 300 pounds of flour a week)
Kramer is an avid cyclist who insists that in some sense it saved his life; keeping him away from the late-night eating and drinking scenes. “It keeps me fit, it’s good for my thought process and it kind of helps clear the cobwebs if you will,” said Kramer. “You know, it’s a good place to think out on a bike and of course Greenville is such an amazing place to ride.”
While enjoying cycling as a hobby, Kramer also keeps involved in the cycling community through his cooking. Kramer is always a featured chef at the Gran Fondo Hincapie Celebrity Chef Dinner in Greenville and he took part in this year’s Chef Cycle event - 3 days of 100 mile per day rides - in Sonoma that raises money for No Kid Hungry.
Did you know Kramer also hosts super secret pop-up dinners around Greenville that benefit Chefs Cycle? If you want to know how to “get in the know,” watch the rest of the video! If you’re interested in donating to Chefs Cycle, head over to Kramer’s Chefs Cycle donation page.