Cassina Brown and Zach Nelson took the reins at Trio this previous winter. Cassie, the new Chef de Cuisine, started at Trio in May 2014, before becoming sous chef two years ago. Sous Chef Zach began his time at Trio in September of 2013. Both learned to cook in kitchens, having graduated from college with journalism degrees.
“I cooked my way through college,” Cassie said.
“Almost every job I’ve had has been in a kitchen,” Zach added.
The small team appreciates Trio’s intimate, Bistro style setting. They both agree that its open kitchen makes it special, as diners are able to see the preparation process at each station on the line. In addition, the pizza station is in close proximity to Trio’s bar, increasing interaction between guests and the chefs. “You can’t have social anxiety on that station,” Cassie says.
In this setting, the Trio menu boasts thoughtful, creative dishes that are a result of a lot of group collaboration. The team works closely with the owners, and aims to keep things as local and seasonally appropriate as is possible in the mountain climate. Working with local ranches, Cassie is excited about the incorporation of fresh, local rhubarb, radishes, and tomatoes in the summer menu items.
“Trio isn’t over the top,” Zach praises, “We can suit a wide spectrum of tourists for any budget or pallet.”
Both chefs have been able to see Trio grow and become a special stop in downtown Jackson. They’ve been given a lot of freedom in exploring a variety of specials and menu items. Currently, they’re most excited about the Jamon iberico on the menu, a pork dish from Spain that comes from free-range pigs that roam oak forests and eat acorns.
Trio is a summer hot spot, allowing Cassie and Zach to enjoy their Jackson winters skiing and snowboarding. During the summers, they both love to frequent the Wednesday People’s Market, and fuel their sushi cravings at King Sushi. For cooking inspiration, they look to classic cookbooks like “The Joy of Cooking,” as well as “Six Seasons: A New Way with Vegetables,” by Joshua McFadden. McFadden is aggressively seasonal in his cooking, an aim of both Cassie and Zach in their cooking.
Trio is now open at 5:00 p.m. daily. From 5:00-6:00 p.m., pizzas are just $10!