Culinary director and executive chef hired for Garage Bar, Graydon’s Crossing

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Joe Peebles Courtesy Garage Bar

A new culinary director and executive chef from the East Coast was hired to expand and refresh the Garage Bar and Graydon’s Crossing concepts.

Garage Bar & Grill and Graydon’s Crossing owner and operator Kevin Farhat hired Joe Peebles to oversee all culinary operations for the two concepts, as well as serve as general manager at Garage Bar’s new Ada location, set to open in downtown Ada this fall.

Peebles, who joined Farhat’s team in May, will hold the title of culinary director and executive chef of Garage Bar & Grill and Graydon’s Crossing, and general manager at the Ada Garage Bar.

Farhat said he is excited to welcome Peebles to the new roles.

“Chef Peebles is very creative, so I’m eager to introduce his reimagined menus to our customers,” Farhat said. “No frozen food here, just fresh ingredients that arrive daily from our local suppliers.”

Peebles began his career as a garde manger and pastry cook at age 14 in Charlottesville, Virginia. During his early years, he was mentored by top chefs in the mid-Atlantic region as he moved from restaurant to restaurant, learning to cook European, Mediterranean, Asian and American cuisine.

“Growing up cooking old Virginia family recipes with my mother and working in kitchens near the Chesapeake Bay gave me a passion for southern coastal cuisine, utilizing locally harvested livestock, seafood and produce,” Peebles said.

At age 19, he was recruited for the sous chef position at Market Fare, which was a top boutique fine dining location in Port Norfolk, Virginia. At 23, he accepted his first executive chef position at Europa Tapas Restaurant in Richmond.

More recently, Peebles received accolades for his menus at The Alchemist Gastropub in West Palm Beach, Florida, and Max’s South Seas Hideaway in Grand Rapids.

Now, with more than 23 years of professional cooking experience under his belt, Peebles said he is committed to producing wonderful food that almost always has a connection with his upbringing in the culinary industry and childhood favorites that were prepared by his mother and grandmother.

“Kevin and I have been friends for a few years and have been talking about doing a restaurant project together for a while. The pandemic gave us the opportunity to work together,” Peebles said.

“At Garage Bar, we will be making small improvements to the staples at the downtown location and expanding the selection in Ada to include more ‘center of the plate’ proteins, homemade seasonal desserts, a new signature cocktail menu and improved wine list.”

Peebles added the menu at Graydon’s Crossing will pivot from its “British pub” theme and move toward what he calls “eclectic American gastropub” with higher standards than what has previously been offered at the Creston neighborhood establishment.

“I’m excited to have Graydon’s under my watch so I can feed my creative, fine dining side and flex some culinary muscles a bit,” Peebles said. “I look forward to showing our patrons and neighbors at Graydon’s some creative, delicious food and cocktails in a warm, welcoming atmosphere.”

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