chef doug katz unveils provenance at cleveland museum of art

Doug Katz, chef-owner of Fire Food and Drink at Shaker Square, has partnered with Bon Appetit Management Company to open Provenance, a new restaurant and cafe at the Cleveland Museum of Art that blends locally sourced food with world cuisine.

"The name is so perfect for what I'm trying to create here," says Katz. The word provenance refers to the history of the ownership of an object. "We want to know where our food comes from just as the museum knows the lineage of its art, where it comes from and its authenticity."

Katz, whom museum head David Franklin calls CMA's "curator of food," says that Provenance actually is two venues in one. The 200-seat cafe offers quick service, while the 76-seat restaurant next door is a fine-dining establishment. Yet both offer made-to-order items carefully orchestrated by the celebrated chef.

The restaurant offers a limited menu of seven items emphasizing world cuisine. For instance, in tandem with CMA's exhibition "Wari: Lord of the Ancient Andes," Katz has designed a three-course prix fixe menu of Peruvian dishes. The cafe features world cuisine as well, but with a decidedly local flair. Right now, for example, visitors can order a Moroccan skewer platter with autumn vegetables. The chef makes a concerted effort to source much of his produce from area farmers.

The pastries are made from scratch by Luna Bakery, and Rising Star provides the coffee. "We're able to do all these things fresh, yet also support local businesses."

When asked about the source of his inspiration, Katz says, "We want it to be the quality of the Museum of Modern Art in New York City, or of some European cafe somewhere. Yet I don't think there's a concept like this anywhere, to be honest."

The cafe's sleekly designed interior is attractive, but likely the best seats are at the tables near the museum's vast new atrium. "It's like a town center in University Circle. To see it come alive, it's such a great community spot."

Source: Doug Katz
Writer: Lee Chilcote
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