Smallman Galley, the popular Pittsburgh restaurant incubator, is announcing a new group of chefs and concepts that will soon take over the food hall space located in the Strip District.
The four new chefs bring with them a range of culinary and geographic backgrounds. Each will have the opportunity to showcase their restaurant ideas, which range from pan-Latin American cuisine to Detroit-style pizza. The new class will set up shop this summer, beginning a 12-month residency.
Meet the new chefs:
Originally from Vietnam, Hoa Le will present her restaurant concept called Banhmilicious, which she describes as Vietnamese cuisine with a modern twist. Le developed her cooking experience working in her family’s restaurant in Vietnam and is eager to share what she learned there with Pittsburgh diners. “I grew up surrounded by family and delicious food,” says Le, adding, “Smallman Galley is giving me the opportunity to explore something I have always had a passion for, and share that with the Pittsburgh community.”
Pete Tolman, a native of Pittsburgh, will launch his concept appropriately called Iron Born. It will feature American cuisine including Detroit-style pizza, which is typically a square-shaped deep dish pie with a crispy crust. Tolman worked at both Alinea, the three-star Michelin rated Chicago restaurant, and at Lautrec, the fine dining establishment at Nemacolin Woodlands Resort.
Ryan Peters will showcase a menu featuring locally-sourced ingredients and approachable fine dining with his concept called Brunoise. Ryan is an alum of the much-loved, now-closed Salt of the Earth, and most recently worked at the Ocean Reef Club in Key West. He’s gained formidable experience interning with Chef Brad Kilgore at Alter in Miami and with Chef Thomas Keller at The French Laundry in Yountville, CA.
Jesse Barlass previously worked as the sous chef for one of Smallman Galley’s first group of restaurants, Carota Café. He will be opening Colonia, which will feature the many diverse cuisines of Latin America. Before coming to Pittsburgh, Barlass worked as the sous chef at The Wallace in Los Angeles.
“The next class is bringing a great deal of energy and experience to Smallman Galley,” says co-founder Tyler Benson, adding, “The diversity of their menus will provide uniqueness in terms of cuisine choices. We are excited to help them build and grow their new businesses and we can’t wait for the community to experience their talent.”
Smallman Galley began in 2015 as a launchpad for new restaurant concepts in Pittsburgh. The idea was put together by Benjamin Mantica and Tyler Benson, two former U.S. Navy Lieutenants. Chefs chosen as part of the incubator program are given access to fully outfitted kitchens. The food hall can accommodate more than 200 guests and also features a full-service bar and coffee/espresso bar. Each chef is provided with professional mentorship through the program with the hope of giving them the tools necessary to carry their concept to the next level.