Chef Brady’s career began in Chicago more than two decades ago. He worked in everything from pubs and hotels to a barbeque joint, gala caterings, cafeterias, and restaurants, gaining experience while looking for just the right fit. Brady found fine dining to be the most frightening and thrilling and fulfilling of them all. He found the artistry and the purposeful use of each ingredient exciting, so he set his heart on that.
As he continued his culinary journey, Brady was exposed to philosophies and ideologies that became foundational. These perspectives started mingling with his desires to challenge conventions and perceptions.
“Loving the eclectic, embracing the paradoxical, believing the ONLY failure is giving up. Seeking constant balance between my heart and my head to cook and live from a place of passionate thoughtfulness… and sincerely caring about the people I am blessed to work with and to feed.”
After relocating to Ft. Lauderdale, FL, with his family, Chef Brady became the Executive Sous Chef at a private downtown business club. It was here that he first found real freedom in the kitchen, under a chef who would go on to become one of his dearest friends. A server once asked the Executive Chef, "Why are you doing it like that?" Without skipping a beat he replied, “Because we can." That phrase sticks with and motivates Brady to this day.
Sarah’s love for baking began with her grandmother; she has many happy memories of the two of them baking pies, rolls, and formal cuisine together. She followed her passion into adulthood, experimenting with different types of cuisine at home, everything from the classics to the exotic. She expanded her knowledge during her six years as a restaurant owner in Lexington, Virginia, which has served her well since coming on board as the Pastry Chef at The Black Hen Restaurant.
“Food - eating and cooking – has been a source of community for me.”
From following her grandmother around her kitchen to experimenting at home on her own, baking for college classes and pot lucks, and then as a restaurant owner, Sarah’s experience and desire to learn more has always been fueled by those around her.
“I love to create recipes and experiment.”
Sarah especially loves that they aren’t limited to a certain style of cooking at The Black Hen; she can let her creative spirit run free for a truly unique fine dining experience.
Justin has been a chef in Blacksburg for the past 12 years. Originally from Christiansburg, he didn’t initially set out to be a chef. Justin got a job at a restaurant after attending college and realizing he wanted to pursue another career.
“When I started cooking I was really intrigued by how everyone was working as one and how efficient they were. I fell in love with the heat, the fire, the yelling. All of it made me want to be the one doing it.”
Justin was hooked; “… I loved the fast pace of it all and decided to do it full time.”
Turns out he was a natural; Justin’s specialties include fusion cuisine, grilling, and barbecue – the man is a true Pitmaster. But his absolute favorite thing to cook is Southern/Soul Food, making him a unique addition to the Black Hen family.
Justin’s favorite thing about The Black Hen Restaurant?
“We buy all local food. Chef Brady has a real knack for coming up with new creations, and our desserts are the best in town in my honest opinion.”
Straight from the Sous Chef’s mouth; join us for a meal to see for yourself why The Black Hen is New River Valley’s #1 fine dining restaurant.
Why make it taste better? Why make it more beautiful or artistic? Why try harder? Why do it different than everyone else? Why ... anything?
Because we can.
Chef Brady brought that sentiment with him when he and his family moved back to his hometown of Christiansburg 12 years ago. It has guided him every day since, as he works to create the most unique, inspiring, and artful cuisine that Blacksburg has ever experienced.
The exotic. The avant-garde. Contemporary American dining at its finest. That is Chef Brady, that is The Black Hen & Bar Blue.
Though she loves all baking and cooking, breakfast is her favorite. Eggs, biscuits, muffins, coffee cakes, tea, coffee, it’s an opportunity to begin your day with something special. Now the only question is: dinner, dessert, or weekend brunch? Enjoy Sarah’s delicious creations in beautiful Downtown Blacksburg for an experience you are sure to delight in!