Chef Jon Cropf, previously of fine dining restaurant The Drawing Room in Charleston, South Carolina, will take over the kitchen at Trummer’s on Main in Clifton beginning Sept. 27. He replaces chef Austin Fausett, who started cooking at Proof in May.
Cropf originally hails from Fallston, Maryland, just north of Baltimore, but the Johnson & Wales culinary school grad has worked his way through restaurants from Lake Tahoe to Charleston. His most recent gig at The Drawing Room was at an art-themed hotel. “It was cool that I got to mirror my food after the artwork in the hotel.”
At Trummer’s on Main, the 33-year-old hopes to bring similar artistic presentations as well as continue working with local farmers to make the menu highly seasonal. One of his signature dishes is “a study of heirloom beets” made up of several different preparations of beets—raw, roasted, pickled, and juiced for a vinaigrette—as well as smoke goat cheese and a licorice “soil.”
“It gives you all those different textures and flavors—sweet, salty, savory,” Cropf says.
Cropf is also looking forward to building up the garden at Trummer’s. He’s interested in using herbs grown there, like lemon balm and mint, to make teas. He’s an avid fisherman too.
In addition to the regular menu, Cropf will update the tasting menu—and kid’s tasting menu. “I don’t know of any other restaurants that offer that. It’s something that’s exciting for me too,” he says.
While Cropf was drawn to Trummer’s for its surrounding agriculture, beautiful building, and stellar wine room, owners Stefan and Victoria Trummer were a big part of what sold him on the job. “When I interviewed with them, one of the big things that really drew me was they said, ‘We don’t want an executive chef. We want a family member,'” Cropf says.