Benjamin Maides: Head Chef at Casa Bovina
Nationally Recognized by the James Beard Foundation, Chef Benjamin Maides is bringing his talent to Casa Bovina. Originally sparking an interest in cooking as a child watching his mother and grandmother cook in Switzerland. One of his main memories from spending his earlier childhood there is the wood fire that his grandmother used to both cook and heat her home. His passion for quality ingredients grew there as well. Swiss cuisine focuses on having the highest caliber of products to go into their food, while steering away from anything processed. This philosophy has left an impact on Chef Ben's cooking career and life.
Chef Ben attended culinary school in Omaha from 2004-2006. After working in some seasonal restaurants in Aspen and Vail, Chef Ben was given the opportunity to train at Bouchon in the Napa Valley. Bouchon is owned and run by Thomas Keller, a world renowned Chef that Chef Ben says he looks up to, especially when it comes to philosophies about food.
To expand his culinary expertise, he continued around the country and the world working for highly rated restaurants in California and Italy. These are the places where he broadened his horizons on fine dining, tasting menus, and fresh pasta. Chef Ben then came back to Omaha, where he opened Au Courant Regional Kitchen, to showcase his own personal style of cuisine.
He focuses on finding the best and most quality ingredients to feature in his dishes and that is one of the reasons he enjoys cooking. Chef Ben also enjoys creating an enjoyable experience for diners.
Using this quality farm to table approach is an aspect that Chef Ben brings to both his personal and professional lifestyle. He and His family apply this lifestyle through their farm, where they live in Omaha. On their farm they mainly focus on tomatoes of the heirloom variations, and the varieties they most enjoy growing are the ones that are most uncommon. They would like to continue to grow and expand into even more uncommon and the less well known varieties. Above all, their focus is the way their products are being produced.
Chef Ben is now excited to be the Head Chef at Casa Bovina serving Certified Piedmontese. Casa Bovina will bring the flavors of a modern Italian Steakhouse in a rustic and refined atmosphere. It will bring together the prestigious meats of Certified Piedmontese with other quality ingredients that Chef Ben either makes or spends time finding. To get these other artisan products Chef Ben sorts through research, connects and communicates with local producers, and tastes and works with products; all before deciding whether or not to use them in his cooking.
When it comes to the dining experience Chef Ben doesn't just care about the food, he also cares about the furniture. In his free time, he also enjoys woodworking. Chef Ben's passion for this is creating functional furniture that will be well used, and could enhance the experience of a meal, like a dining room table. His favorite type of wood to work with is locally milled Black Walnut.
For the home chef, he recommends this advice: "cooking is repetition, the more you do it, the better you get at it"
With all of this we know that Casa Bovina, is getting a well-recognized Chef that will only serve the absolute best food possible.
If you are in or around the Lincoln area, Casa Bovina is a private dining restaurant that is by reservation only.