Rising Star Chef Brett Sawyer of The Plum - Biography

Cleveland, OH

November 2016

Early on, Brett Sawyer’s career revolved around one of two gigs: serving or bartending. Years of that were enough to send him on a little soul-searching journey, specifically in the direction of Pauillac, France. That’s where Sawyer lived on an island on the Gironde, learning about dry-curing hams and processing foie gras. It’s hardly the worst way for a chef to find himself. But for Sawyer, it wasn’t just an exercise in the sublime classics. He was discovering what authentic food really is, and what it would mean to him as a chef.

Back stateside, Sawyer did a one-eighty and cooked at a vegan restaurant in Akron, Ohio, learning about the pleasures of soulful food in an animal-free setting. The goal for Sawyer wasn’t so much the category of cuisine as the honest flavor, which is why he was able to go from a vegan kitchen to Three Aces and Publican in Chicago.

Returning to Ohio, Sawyer worked with Jonathon Sawyer (no relation) at Cleveland’s Greenhouse Tavern and at Trentina, where he continued to hone his voice. Expressing itself as strongly in protein as it does in produce, Sawyer’s voice is loud and clear at The Plum, which he opened in mid 2016. At Plum, he’s fulfilling his creative path as both chef and partner and introducing Cleveland to his own brand of whimsy and imagination, and cooking food worthy of a 2016 StarChefs Rising Star Award.