Caleb Warr leaves his post at Tavola and other food and drink news

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Dylan Allwood, current chef de cuisine at C&O Restaurant, says he’s excited to explore his passion for Italian food as Tavola’s new head chef. Photo courtesy of Natalie Jacobsen. Dylan Allwood, current chef de cuisine at C&O Restaurant, says he’s excited to explore his passion for Italian food as Tavola’s new head chef. Photo courtesy of Natalie Jacobsen.

After showcasing his mastery of Italian cooking at Tavola, Caleb Warr is leaving his post as the eatery’s head chef. Dylan Allwood, current chef de cuisine at C&O Restaurant, will take his spot.

Warr, a Louisiana native, arrived in Charlottesville seven years ago with a desire to cook. He didn’t attend culinary school, but with dedication and hard work, he won spots in some of Charlottesville’s best kitchens—Zinc, The Rock Barn and Mas among them—and is in the running for the coveted title of best chef in our 2017 Best Of C-VILLE poll.

Warr’s last day at Tavola (which is co-owned by C-VILLE arts editor Tami Keaveny) will be June 10, after which he’ll relocate to Cape Cod with his family and run the kitchen at an athletic center while getting to know New England food and culture before deciding what’s next. He says he’s proud of what he’s accomplished at Tavola, most of all passing knowledge along to other hard-working cooks.

“I’ll miss my staff the most,” says Warr. “General manager Priscilla Martin and owner Michael Keaveny and I have developed something very special recently. Walking away from this was not easy, but I leave it in very great hands between them and my kitchen staff in conjunction with Dylan. I will also miss other chefs and cooks in this town—there are too many to name, but a few are very special to me.”

Allwood feels similarly about his departure from C&O. The restaurant “has an extremely talented team…some of the best in the business,” Allwood says, both in the front of the house and the kitchen and bar. “It’s very much like a family, and it will be difficult to leave—even for such a great opportunity.”

Allwood got his first kitchen job when he was 15, washing dishes at a local restaurant in his hometown of Locust Grove. He eventually worked his way up to line cook, then attended the Culinary Institute of America and worked at the Clifton Inn and at Lemaire in the Jefferson Hotel in Richmond before cooking at the now-shuttered Brookville Restaurant. After serving as sous chef to Brookville’s Harrison Keevil, Allwood was sous chef and later executive chef at Rocksalt Charlottesville before landing at C&O.

“I’ve always had a passion for Italian food but have never had the opportunity to explore that in any of the kitchens I’ve cooked in previously,” says Allwood. “And this is my chance to explore that passion with some of the best in the business.” Plus, “Tavola has some of the best food in Charlottesville. I’m looking forward to being part of that tradition,” he says.

Breaking bread

Throughout the month of June, the Charlottesville chapter of the Rumi Forum for Interfaith Dialogue and Intercultural Understanding will hold a series of cultural Ramadan Iftar dinner programs that are free and open to the public.

During Ramadan, a holy month of prayer, introspection and fasting for followers of Islam, Muslims abstain from eating and drinking from sunrise to sunset; at sunset, they break their daily fasts by sharing a meal with friends and family.

“It is the meaning of Ramadan to share the food, promote friendship and give charity and foster social harmony wherever you live in the world,” says Charlottesville Rumi Forum volunteer Omer Faruk of the group’s community Ramadan dinners, which will serve a mélange of Turkish cuisine, such as meat-based main dishes, rice, mezes, salads, pita bread, borek (a baked filled pastry), fruit and two kinds of desserts.

That deeper sense of understanding that comes with sharing a meal is part of what prompted the organization to sponsor the community iftar (“breakfast” in Arabic) dinners, says Faruk.

“The idea is a very simple one: loving one another is as easy as breaking bread,” says Faruk.

Register online for the meals, which will take place from 7:15 to 9:15pm Friday, June 2, Tuesday, June 6, Friday, June 9, Friday, June 16, Sunday, June 18 and Friday, June 23. Email cville@rumiforum.org for more information.

Eater’s digest

Carpe Donuts can now be ordered on Amazon.com. According to a post on Carpe Donuts’ Instagram account, the donuts—both the apple cider cinnamon sugar and plain options—are sold in batches of 24, 48 or 72 and will be made fresh in Charlottesville and delivered via expedited shipping throughout the continental U.S.

Starr Hill Brewery’s Grateful Pale Ale will taste a little different this summer. According to a press release, the brewery has updated the beer “with an enhanced recipe” that “showcases a fruitier hop aroma, more citrus hop flavor and a smoother, fuller body.”

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