By MATT LINDSEY
BRASHER FALLS -- A Brasher Falls graduate and executive chef is finally getting a chance to create his own menu from scratch at a new restaurant in Oregon.
“It’s fun cooking a meal that customers don't expect to be as pretty, detailed and good tasting,” Nick LaShomb says about why he enjoys his job.
Lashomb cooks for Troutini’s, located in the small town of Troutdale, 25 miles away from the city of Portland.
Troutini’s is a French-inspired martini bar that seats 44 people and serves high-class food. They opened Feb. 14 of this year.
“I’ve wanted to cook since I was maybe 12 or 13 years old when I toured Paul Smith’s College,” LaShomb said.
LaShomb says he attended SUNY Potsdam while working at Maxfields and The Hop in Potsdam.
“I was putting in 64 hours a week, getting deeper into debt and getting mediocre grades,’ he said.
It seemed time for a change.
A friend called him and landed him a job at a summer camp for special needs children at Lake Lazerne near Lake George.
It was there, while supervising the kitchen, that he met his wife Shannon. Shannon. An AmeriCorps volunteer at the time, she finished up with AmeriCorps and graduated from college soon thereafter.
While waiting for Shannon to finish school, LaShomb gained more culinary experience working at The Inn at Erlowest, a fine dining turn-of-the-century Queen Anne stone castle located on Lake George, as well as various restaurants and pizza parlors.
“I told her I would go wherever you want to go,” LaShomb said. The couple wed in New York before moving out west to be closer to her family.
Once in Oregon, LaShomb landed gigs in various kitchens starting from the bottom and working his way to running the kitchen in each place he worked at.
“I had a few bad experiences with employers…one closed his restaurant without notice,” he said.
While surfing ads on Craigslist, LaShomb caught a break when he came across a listing for a chef of a restaurant that would be opening soon near his home.
“Their kitchen was only partially built so I was unable to show them what I could do. I invited them over to dinner at my house for my job interview,” he said.
LaShomb made pan seared scallops with beets served with wine the meal.
“We like to joke that I got the job by getting them drunk,” he said.
LaShomb is changing his menu June 6.
“I like to use fresh, local ingredients taking advantage of the seasons,” LaShomb said.
It has been a couple years since Lashomb was in the area. “I try to get back every couple of years…Around the holidays,” he said.
He is the son of Jay and Clair LaShomb of Brasher Falls.