Meet South Franklin Circle Executive Chef Kevin DeLargy

What does it take to put out a delicious dish? For Radius Restaurant’s executive chef Kevin DeLargy, the key is contained in just three words: people, process and product.

“Product — or quality ingredients — is vital, of course,” says the veteran chef. “And having an efficient, effective operating process is important too. But you can’t do any of that without the right people. And I am very proud of the team we are building at Radius.”

For the gregarious chef, that includes everyone from in-house pastry chef Ariel Galun (whom he calls “a real asset”) to outstanding local vendors like Blue Ribbon Meats, Premier Produce and Orlando Baking Company. “I believe in local products and I support local vendors whenever possible,” he says. “I appreciate the way they stand behind their goods and the hard work they put into them.”

A Cleveland native, Chef Kevin credits his upbringing for much of his culinary philosophy. “I’m one of five children, and my mother cooked nearly everything from scratch. In fact, cooking with my mom was the way I got into this business: I was the one kid in the family who was always interested in knowing where my meals came from!”

That interest quickly turned into a career. Following a 1986 apprenticeship at Cleveland’s groundbreaking Sammy’s, the talented young cook headed to a community college in North Carolina for culinary training. While there, he found a valuable mentor in an instructor who was also on the admissions committee for New York’s prestigious Culinary Institute of America. “With his encouragement, I started at the CIA in 1989 and completed my degree in 1991,” he says.

Since then, his path has taken him to restaurants, caterers and country clubs throughout Ohio and Florida. Yet it was the demands of a young family that eventually lead him into the world of senior healthcare. “I realized that communities like Judson are in need of talented people who are passionate about putting out good food; yet the work schedule still gives me time to be a father to my son.”

Chef Kevin was previously employed by North Royalton’s Royalton Woods Retirement Community, where he oversaw all aspects of the food-service program. He has been at the Radius helm since June. He promises his new menu will be designed to focus on the basics: “simple, clean flavors with fresh ingredients that make sense. I hope when guests leave here they will feel satisfied that they enjoyed familiar foods done well.”

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The chef also intends to incorporate plenty of local favorites. “For instance, I may pair some panko-crusted walleye with pierogi, and serve it with caramelized onions and a quenelle of sour cream on the side.”

Grilled and roasted meats, pears, pumpkins and crisp Ohio apples “sweet as candy” are other favored ingredients that will likely find their way onto future menus. “I would also like to bring in some Florida flavors, with grouper, mahi mahi or even pompano, which is a really delicious fish.”

Like many accomplished chefs, Chef Kevin’s artful eye extends beyond the kitchen. He’s a fan of classic rock (“Bad Company is my rock hero!”) and appreciates visual beauty in all its guises. “I think life is art,” he says. “The years go by so quickly, it’s really important to stop and look around.”

With that, he gestures toward the verdant, rolling landscape outside the Radius windows. “Do you see how beautiful it is out here? There’s your canvas, right there.”

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