Chef Jeremy Umansky of Larder - Biography

Cleveland, OH

October 2018

Jeremy Umansky fell in love with food by cooking in the kitchen with his grandmother and visiting his local Jewish deli on Cleveland’s east side. He began his formal studies at the Culinary Institute of America but left just shy of graduation to work as the land manager on a 40-acre farm in the Hudson Valley. During this time, he studied under author and fermentation expert Sandor Katz and his passion for culinary preservation was born.

He joined Slow Food Hudson Valley in 2007 as a co-convivium leader, managing community outreach and programming. When his wife, Pastry Chef Allie La Valle, graduated from CIA (where they met), Umansky moved to New York City to work as executive chef at Fairway Market and later at Whole Foods as the prepared foods and produce team leader.

In 2014, a friend introduced Umansky to Chef Jonathon Sawyer. After discussing his background and passion for preservation, Sawyer asked Umansky to assist with the opening of his Northern Italian-inspired concept, Trentina, in Cleveland. Umansky moved back home and began to develop a singular pantry of fermented goods.
 
In 2018, Umansky, La Valle, and Chef-Partner Kenny Scott opened Larder, a from-scratch Eastern European deli focusing on the promotion of local, foraged, and fermented foods and the use of koji and other fungal molds. He will release a tome on koji curing in 2019, and he has contributed to Sawyer’s House of Vinegar and Leda Meredith’s Northeast Foraging and Preserve Everything.