Radius and Ashmont Grill alum John Rush became the new chef at Church this month, replacing Jon Gilman, who is heading up to Burlington, Vermont, reportedly to start a brewery or open a restaurant. A native of the Allentown area of Pennsylvania, Rush grew up with Pennsylvania Dutch cuisine, beginning work in the industry at fourteen years old as a dishwasher in a German restaurant. He later graduated from the Culinary Institute of America before beginning his career in Boston with a three-and-a-half year stint at Radius. Most recently, he worked at the Ashmont Grill in Dorchester, where he reinvented the weekend brunch menu.
When he debuts a new menu at Church next week, the German influence from Rush's early years will be readily apparent; his favorite upcoming dish, for example, is panko-crusted haddock with a roasted mushroom puree, spaetzle, Brussels sprouts, and a tomato bacon vinaigrette. Classic Allentown cuisine also has some Eastern European influences, so don't be surprised if homemade pierogi make an appearance on the menu, which is slated to roll out next Thursday. While the menu will retain its long-time structure such as the "From the Sea" and "From the Farm" categories, most of the dishes will be completely new; rest assured, however, that the classic baked mac and cheese isn't going anywhere.
· All coverage of Church on Eater [~EBOS~]