Adam Donikowski started at Ella’s American Bistro in September 2014 as sous chef under Chef Kenneth Kunz. Upon Chef Ken’s departure in August 2015, he appointed Adam as his replacement. Taking Ella’s classic French ingredients and techniques, and utilizing locally and seasonally sourced goods whenever available, Adam keeps his creativity flowing and his knife sharp. Here are five things to keep in mind about the chef and his menu the next time you dine at Ella’s.
1. Ella’s is a scratch kitchen. Everything you see on the menu is made inhouse by Donikowski and his team, including the house cured charcuterie, pâtés and house smoked salmon.
2. He likes to change the menu frequently. Donikowski likes to use only ingredients that are inseason, which affects the menu and the specials. “I have made changes two to three times in a week before, so it’s hard to say how often I change the menu, but it does change for the seasons,” says Donikowski, who expects to use a lot of root vegetables and heartier game meats like bison or wild boar during the winter season.
3. He likes to show his creativity with the specials. “The specials are when we like to get creative, and you’ll see that in the plating,” says Donikowski. A recent halibut special was served with roasted beets, frisée and caviar vinaigrette. The halibut was poached in olive oil with some burgundy truffle, and the dish was finished with shaved burgundy truffle.
4. He doesn’t take all the credit. “Our team in the kitchen is remarkable and willing to make sure we send our guests nothing but the best,” he says. The plating and presentation speaks for itself.
5. He believes in teamwork. Donikowski likes to involve everyone—from the front of the house to the guests—when it comes to planning the menu. “I feel it gets everyone excited about the food, and they feel confident in cooking it, selling it, presenting it, and talking about it,” he says. “It makes for a great team of people that work here—and without them, I couldn’t do it.”
Ella’s American Bistro is planning a winter truffle dinner for December. It will feature bison strip, duck egg soufflé, beef tartare, and grouper cheeks. A light dinner is also being planned for January to help guests keep their New Year’s resolution of healthy eating.
Ella’s American Bistro
214 Sugartown Road, Wayne