The Silverspoon Restaurant Welcomes Executive Chef Owen Kolva!
Wayne, PA - December 2019
For Owen Kolva, it all started with his paternal grandmother. Owen spent a lot of time with her as a kid at her home in Chester County, and together they’d make things, like Sunday breakfast and holiday cookies at Christmas time.
The appreciation for scratch-cooking is woven into Kolva’s childhood memories, a feeling that, once it took root, has never left him.
“From a very young age, like seven or eight, I can remember a strong pull toward food,” he says. “When other kids were watching Saturday morning cartoons, I was watching Great Chefs of the World, Frugal Gourmet, Julia Child … all those public-access cooking shows in the mid-’80s.”
As a teenager, Kolva would read through cookbooks instead of novels or comics and, at age 14, he decided he wanted to be a cook when he grew up.
Kolva attended high school in Mohnton, Pa. (about 15 minutes outside Reading in Berks County), and through a family friend, his dad helped him get a job as a dishwasher on evenings and weekends at the Green Hill Inn.
“[It was the first place] I encountered the family team environment, and I was drawn to being part of a group,” Kolva says. “I started busting suds, and as I was washing dishes, I weaseled my way into prep tasks, like peeling garlic, shrimp and onions.”
By the time he graduated from high school, he’d been promoted to a line cook and his dad encouraged him to apply to culinary school. He got into the prestigious Culinary Institute of America (CIA) in Hyde Park, New York, in the baking and pastry arts program.
During his time at the CIA, Kolva landed an externship at Marcus Samuelsson’s super-hyped Nordic restaurant, Aquavit, in Manhattan.
“That was a grueling experience,” he recalls. “For six months, I worked 100 hours a week, experienced the cutthroat side of the industry …. at a top-10 restaurant in NYC.”
After he received his Chef degree, Kolva moved back to Berks County and gigged around at a couple of local restaurants before making the move to Chester County in 2002, where he worked in the kitchens of Chester County mainstays like The Whip Tavern, and Vickers Tavern, mastering every station on the cooking line as he worked his way up to Sous Chef and then in 2009 as Head Chef at French Creek Golf Club in Elverson.
“I think food is art, and what better art is there? You get to make people happy,” Kolva says. “That, plus the fast-paced environment and the team, and you never stop learning and creating.”
Before joining The Silverspoon in November 2019, Kolva was Chef de Cuisine at Kennett Square's Victory Brewing Company,prior to their corporate acquisition.
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Contemporary American Cuisine & BYOB
Silverspoon offers contemporary American food. We strive to use the best seasonal and sustainable ingredients available to create a delicious delight for all your senses; including produce, eggs, cheese, and comestibles from nearby farms and friends.