THE ARTISAN
A GREAT CHEF IS
always inspired
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THE GREY PLUME
Clayton Chapman

Having begun his culinary career at the tender age of 14, Clayton Chapman’s kitchen artistry continues to know no bounds. Multiple awards and James Beard nominations later, Chef Chapman continues to garner national attention for his artistic presentations and fine American cuisine. His restaurant, The Grey Plume, located in the heart of Omaha, Nebraska, has become a local mainstay known for its unwavering commitment to locally-sourced ingredients. Here Clayton leads a kitchen staff of young guns that all share the same passion -- to elevate the art of cooking.

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Meet the Artisan

With the birth of my first child a light went off. This really forced me to look at the way we were living our lives, what we were eating and where it was coming from. The longtime chef mentality of putting more thought into technique and creating a dish was overtaken by caring more about sourcing the best possible ingredients that were grown using good practices and highlighting those ingredients; it really transformed my approach to food.

 

Clayton's required reading

The French Laundry Cookbook by Thomas Keller "Since the first time I opened the cover, I have always been drawn to The French Laundry Cookbook. This was one of the first major cookbooks I purchased as a young cook; I was enamored.The philosophy, technique and presentation was way ahead of its time and provided so much inspiration into what food could be when you have the ability to approach food as both a craft and an art."

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Source of inspiration

"I draw inspiration from all around me and in my normal day-to-day life. Much inspiration comes from just being outside, whether it be going for a walk in the woods, visiting one of the local farms we partner with or just taking my kids for a walk in the park. A lot of inspiration comes from seeing our beautiful raw ingredients come through the restaurant door. Many of the ideas for new dishes just sort of come to us naturally.”

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Clayton's recommendations
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Classic
Carving knife 23 cm / 9"
The Ham Slicer has earned its name: its shape and sharpness are designed to cut very thin slices of hard ingredients, especially from hams. These qualities make this knife ideally suited to fruit and vegetables and other meats too, as well as for carving roasts.
Classic
Cook's knife 20 cm / 8"
The all-rounder in the kitchen: the most important piece of basic equipment for every hobby and professional chef, the Cook’s Knife is suitable for most tasks in the kitchen, for the widest variety of cutting and gripping techniques, it makes food prepping a pleasure.
Classic Ikon
Paring knife 9 cm / 4"
Small, versatile knife with slim blade and plain edge: this Vegetable / Larding Knife is made for cutting onions and herbs and is also useful for chopping, cleaning and decorating fruits and vegetables. With its sharp, pointed blade, this Vegetable Knife also works well as a larding knife.
Classic Ikon
Cook's knife 20 cm / 8"
The all-rounder: for mincing, chopping or cutting meat, fish, fruit and vegetables. This Cook’s Knife is an active participant in many kitchen tasks, makes food prepping pleasurable and is part of every professional and hobby cook’s basic equipment.The half bolster, the junction between handle and blade, reduces the weight of the knife, making it easier to handle. It also allows the entire blade to be sharpened more easily.
Classic
Utility knife 12 cm / 5"
Small, versatile knife with slim blade and plain edge: this Vegetable / Larding Knife is made for cutting onions and herbs and is also useful for chopping, cleaning and decorating fruits and vegetables. With its sharp, pointed blade, this Vegetable Knife also works well as a larding knife.
Classic Ikon
Bread knife 23 cm / 9"
WÜSTHOF's precise, double-serrated edge makes a clear difference with this bread knife: in contrast with a single-serrated edge, this knife has serrations within the serrations, meaning that it remains sharp for longer, requires less pressure and is suitable for very precise, smooth cuts. Bread with a hard crust is not crushed when sliced with this double-serrated blade, while bread with a soft crust is also sliced cleanly, without any tearing of the delicate surface.
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Advice for aspiring chefs

"I would recommend for those starting or thinking of starting in this industry to work for those who inspire them. Find a Chef who you can learn from and thrive, work for free at some point because this is often the best way to get others to share their skill set with you. Culinary school certainly has its place in our industry and if you attend the right one, it will provide you a great foundation."

Clayton on chefs

"I think a truly great chef is simply a great leader. A great leader has the ability to inspire those around them, is driven, leads by the right example, is empathetic, disciplined and consistent."

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