It's more of a family really
Our staff is united in a common love of local food and superior service. We strive to create an atmosphere of comfort and quality and look forward to getting to know you.
Tim & Melissa Hardiman
Executive Chef Tim Hardiman’s restaurant background is as well-rounded as it is brilliant. He earned his degree in Culinary Arts from Paul Smith’s College, and from there traveled abroad to study cooking in Paris and throughout the French countryside and even completed an internship at a vineyard in Burgundy. Tim worked under his mentor, Chef Paul Rivet at Van Aukens Inne in Old Forge, NY after graduating from college. It was there under Chef Rivet that Tim began to develop his simplistic and rustic style of cooking, focusing more on the quality of the ingredient than on flashy presentations. Tim has worked in many great restaurants all over New England and the Adirondacks, both in the front and back of the house. Thanks to his background as both an executive chef and as a front-of-house manager, Tim is highly sensitive to creating the perfect guest experience. But beyond his love for cooking and pleasing his guests, Tim is passionate about local food and the mission of The Tailor and The Cook. ”I’m inspired by the relationship between the farmer and the cook and enjoy the artistry and challenge that comes with creating seasonal and regional dishes,” explained Tim. ”One day I hope we’ll return to what our grandparents had, knowing who produced the food on our families’ tables.”
Melissa Hardiman, Service Director, is in charge of supervising day-to-day restaurant affairs and coordinating special events. On any given evening, you’re likely to see Melissa’s smiling face in the restaurant whether she’s serving guests, acting as hostess, or just making sure things don’t fall apart. Having lived for years in Fort Lauderdale, Orlando, and New York City, Melissa’s background is colored by a diverse repertoire of dining experiences. Her background in business and love of art have been put to great use as we built the restaurant and much of our ambience can be attributed to her aesthetic vision. In fact, “The Tailor and The Cook never would’ve happened without my wonderful wife Melissa’s support and inspiration,” said Tim.
Chris & Tracey Talgo
It was Chris Talgo’s vision that brought The Tailor and The Cook team together and Chris’s get-it-done attitude that kept the restaurant’s momentum going. Chris renovated much of our building with his bare hands, using as many materials as possible from local sources. Known in the area for his other successful bar and restaurant, Nail Creek Pub & Brewery, Chris seems to have a knack for filling gaps in the area’s dining and nightlife. “I try to create the kinds of places that I want to go to,” said Chris. “My wife and I are really into local foods. We started talking about building The Tailor and The Cook because we wanted a comfortable restaurant where we could get a fantastic meal made from fresh ingredients from local farms. And now that place exists.”
Anyone who knows Tracey knows Tracey knows food. Aside from attending culinary school and working in the restaurant/hospitality industry for two decades, Tracey’s Wednesday night dinners at Nail Creek Pub & Brewery have become legendary and she is passionate, vocal, and active in the local food community. “The idea of keeping things local is something my husband and I are very passionate about,” explained Tracey. “The Tailor and The Cook is about more than just a meal – it’s about providing a unique dining experience and educating the community on what a wealth of foods, farms, and options we have in our area. The local food movement is becoming more and more important as unhealthy, corporate growing practices come to light. I’m so proud to be a part of it.”
Planning, plating, presentation. Vince began at The Tailor and the Cook in the position of garde manger and has advanced to Chef de Partie. A graduate of The Culinary Institute of America, Vince originally began his education at a non-foodie college and had an epiphany while cooking for his roommates there: the culinary arts was his true calling. What he appreciates most about working for The Tailor and The Cook is the ability to work with local farms and food producers to benefit the community. Vince supports a well-rounded “head-to-tail” approach to cooking wherein all of the animal and plant are put to good use. A sort of waste not, want not, very green philosophy. Outside of the restaurant, he can be found, well, outside. Gardening, golfing, fishing, and foraging for wild vegetation to incorporate into his own recipes. Speaking of his own recipes, Vince says the weirdest food he’s ever eaten is cured embryonic chicken eggs. Yep, we agree, pretty far out.
With 15 years in the foodie biz, bouncing from Michigan to Virginia to New York, Robert’s nickname at The Tailor and the Cook “depends on the day of the week”, as he puts it. He treasures his coworkers and says Tim is the best boss he’s ever had, bar-none. As the Prep and Dish Dude, he hangs in the back and makes it his mission to inject a little laughter into everyone who enters his lair. He likes to keep the mood light and jovial when everyone’s bustling around all business-like. Robert’s a family man – when he’s out of work, he’s soaking up time with his wife and two kids. If it were up to him, he’d devour The Tailor and the Cook’s filet mignon with chimichurri sauce every day. Something he’d rather not devour every day, or ever again, for that matter? Raw mackerel. He happened to sample some while deep sea fishing recently.
Jim Franco has spent a great portion of his life in restaurants. He grew up in his grandparents’ restaurant and has worked in the business for over 20 years. He loves to travel and has a soft spot for Italian cuisine. On one particular trip to Naples, Italy Jim made Utica proud by trying every pizzeria listed as a must-stop in his guide book. Jim has been with the service staff at The Tailor and the Cook since day one. Jim was actually on board even before opening day, working hard and laying the ground work to open the doors. In the opening stages of the business, as it is now, his attention to detail is an asset to our team. Jim was promoted to Service Director in 2015, and now manages the entire Dining Room at The Tailor and the Cook. Jim leads the way with effortless service and genuine care for all of our guests. When he is not at work, Jim is likely golfing, hunting or enjoying his gardens. He knows a great deal about wine, and is a bonafide expert on all things Paul McCartney and The Beatles.
Joseph James Early (a.k.a. Cool Joe) is our skilled and knowledgeable bar manager. Joe loves food and loves to travel. Once, while in Iceland, he even tried raw shark that he purchased at an open-air market. The shark, he says, was awful but his adventurous spirit has been known to inspire some excellent mixology at both The Tailor and The Cook and The Nail Creek Pub & Brewery.
Former Marine turned Stay-at-Home-Dad by day – Yep, that’s Brent. By night, you can spot him right away – he’s the one sporting suspenders at the Tailor and the Cook. Every. Single. Shift. Brent is thankful for the smallness of the staff, referring to them as family, not coworkers. He’s a people person and a self-proclaimed class clown (or maybe a kitchen clown in this case). When he’s not serving up a side of laughter at The Tailor and The Cook, he’s changing diapers or taking in the outdoor air – hunting, hiking, on the water. Though he’s a sucker for comfort food like homemade macaroni and cheese, The Tailor and the Cook’s West African Seafood Gumbo ranks right up there for his tastebuds. While deployed to Haiti, he sipped goat and pumpkin soup. Says Brent when asked if it was any good, “I had seconds.”
A graduate of Paul Smith’s College Culinary Arts program, which happens to be Owner/Chef Tim Hardiman’s alma mater, Emily offers over 10 years of experience in the restaurant industry. Emily has worked in some of the East Coast’s most prestigious dining rooms, and is well versed in every aspect of guest satisfaction. Her favorite part of working at The Tailor and The Cook? The feeling of being a part of one big, happy family. Oh, and Chef Tim’s scallop creations. When she’s not brightening up the day of those entering the establishment, Emily can be found soaking up the great outdoors, particularly, the Adirondacks.
As a server at The Tailor and The Cook, Chris most admires the depth of thought put into every last detail, from the set-up before each meal to the carefully selected ingredients in the dishes themselves. He brings 12 years of restaurant experience to the table, literally, and is a self-proclaimed “meatarian” – more specifically, a lover of Chef Tim’s lamb and chicken dishes. On his days off, Chris can be found drumming to his heart’s content and, from time to time, performing in local cover bands.
Beth Irons has spent the majority of her years living in the Mohawk Valley, where’s she’s worked in a number of eating establishments. Beth enjoys the simple pleasures in life: reading, nature, hanging with friends, and riding her Harley. Her tastes in food are pretty simple also but thanks her former roommate’s traditional Italian grandmother for expanding her culinary repertoire (she guilted Beth into eating her first tentacles –calamari). Since working at The Tailor and The Cook, she’s experienced many new dining adventures such a trying (and loving) duck. She looks forward to many more.
Although Michelle doesn’t actually work at The Tailor and The Cook, she has played an integral role in establishing the restaurant’s overall identity. Tasked with designing a logo a few years back, her creativity now covers just about everything from menus and signage to advertising pieces. What Michelle has found most rewarding about her work with The Tailor and The Cook is the alignment of her personal design commitment to support the community with that of the restaurant’s. A perfect match. She describes her relationship with The Tailor and The Cook as “A dynamic project, living and growing. A reflection of The Tailor and The Cook’s mission.” Tim pretty much sums up her role when he says “Michelle is an absolutely invaluable part of our team!”