Kent Rigsby - Honest Service

2010 marks the 25th anniversary of Rigsby’s Kitchen, an achievement many restaurant owners only experience in their dreams. Namesake owner and celebrated chef, Kent Rigsby, gives the Final Word this month. With a recent James Beard Award nomination in his pocket, we couldn’t wait to stir this local icon’s mind. Dig in!

What meal would you make for Queen Elizabeth?
Cream of mushroom soup with chive oil, bangers and eggs, Oeufs à la neige.

Your namesake restaurant’s 25th anniversary is this year. To what or whom do you owe most of the credit? To the spirit of good, honest food, nice atmosphere and friendly service.

What is your Death Row dinner?
Fresh oysters on the half shell, caviar, whole-wheat spaghetti with sea urchin roe, and a Dove Bar.

What dish would you love to see come off all Columbus menus? Caesar salad.

Define beauty.
Beauty is a cool, clear spring morning with a flowery crab apple in bloom as I sip a mimosa.

You were nominated as a semi-finalist for a James Beard Foundation Award this year. Where does that sit on your totem pole of attributes?
Flattery and the highest honor from the food world and industry.

What are two pairs of ingredients that should never go together?
MSG and corn syrup. Good, honest food!

What family tradition have you passed down to your children? Coming together at the table and having a discussion about anything over a nice dinner.

Reflect on your fondest memory growing up.
Trecking up to Mount Katahdin in Maine.

If you could change one thing about Columbus, what would it be?
The perception that Rigsby’s is a fancy restaurant.

What is your absolute dream car?
Alfa Romeo Giulietta.

What is more important: talent or creativity?
Natural talent with a sprinkle of creativity and hard work.

What is something few people know about you?
I am really very shy.

What pisses you off? People who drive the speed limit in the fast lane.

Kids are ____ and must never be made to ____?
Kids are human beings and must never be made to be animals.

If you could be anywhere in the world, where would you be?
A villa on a hillside in Tuscany.

What makes you get out of bed?
The alarm and the smell of bacon.