The current marriage pairing of Intuition Ale Works and Black Sheep brings new excitement to the Doro District. Local brews and great food go hand in hand. I was fortunate to catch up with Joh Keeley, the Chef that will be in charge of bringing the same quality to this restaurant he did at Black Sheep’s 5 Points Location.
What would you like us to know about Jon Keeley?
I have lived in Jacksonville for ten years and recently married. I spend most of my time reading about what is going on in the industry, in an attempt to keep up with new trends in an ever changing industry. For relaxation, I play golf, but for the most part, the job keeps me totally engaged.
What brought you to Jacksonville?
Whim! I realized that I needed to make a change, so I left St Louis my hometown and moved to Jacksonville. Once I found the Riverside Murry Hill area I knew I had found my spot.
Can you give us an overview of your professional history here in Jacksonville?
I opened Taverna working for Sam Efron for about three and a half years, the food scene in Jacksonville was beginning to take hold, so I got in on the ground floor. The next opportunity took me to Restaurant Orsay when the Orsay group asked me to help with the opening of Black Sheep in Five Points, so I moved to that location. It has been go, go since then and now I am here opening Black Sheep Downtown in conjunction with Intuition Ale works.
How long have you been cooking professionally?
Professionally fourteen years. I did some cooking here and there when I was in school, then covered the front of house work, I worked just about every station except bartending.
Where did you train?
I have no formal culinary degree, other than on the job over the years. My official training came at a country club in St Louis, the chef a certified master chef was teaching old school European style of cooking.
How would you describe your style of cooking?
It changes from where you are working and adapt to what they are doing. I have done many styles, Italian and Spanish, French in St Louis and at Orsay and the New American at Black Sheep. I have fallen in love with this New American, it allows for experimentation. There are so many cultures that impact our food; we may not realize it.
Tell us about the relationship between Intuition and Black Sheep. How it will work and what is your role?
Essentially it is a symbiotic relationship; we will feed off each others brand. They have an ideal brand for their beer, and we have a great brand for the food around town. Combined it will be used to attract people to the downtown area.
Will the menu be the same as Five Points?
Some of the items will be shared but mostly unique to this location. Comfort Pub Food.
Mac and Cheese with Poutine
Po Boy with Fries