016 – Dean Maupin, C&O Restaurant

 

11855855_980453055339882_2564575762477091910_nC&O Restaurant has been a landmark for almost 40 years. Such a landmark if you mention Charlottesville to anyone from someplace else, they will probably talk about it in the same breath as Monticello or the UVA Lawn. So what happens when a longtime owner passes the keys to a new steward? I talked to Chef Dean Maupin to find out.

I’ve been in love with C&O’s bar since first venturing down the stairs late one night many years ago. The vibe, the wood, you feel like you’re someplace else. Someplace older. In Europe. The food is amazing, the service exemplary, and the atmosphere down to earth. Sometimes rare in fine dining. And something owner Dave Simpson wanted to preserve when he gave ownership to Chef Maupin years ago. What did that feel like? Why does Chef Maupin consider it a stewardship rather than ownership?

How does the nurturing environment within C&O’s walls help to foster new talent in the culinary industry? How did Chef Maupin get his start with an apprenticeship, something many young cooks bypass today in favor of culinary school? What was that like?

We talk about it all including how the C&O helped foster development along The Downtown Mall and where The Mall is headed. Is Charlottesville a world-class tourist destination that could sustain a restaurant on par with Magnus Nilsson’s Fäviken? Is there still room for tasting menus or is fast casual becoming the norm?

I’m so glad I had the chance to talk with Dean and I know you’ll love it. And folks, you have permission to stop into C&O in your jeans just for a few apps and a glass of wine so you don’t break the bank. Chef Maupin has given you permission and I would guess a lot of other fine dining restaurants in the area would agree with him. So get out there! Don’t save it for an anniversary or birthday. Make Tuesday night special.

SHOW NOTES – Links to items discussed within the episode:

This episode is sponsored by In A Flash Laser Engraving.

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