"Top 10 Columbus restaurant 2004-2011"
-The Columbus Dispatch
"I didn't find a single dish on the menu I could not recommend."
-John Champlin, Columbus Monthly
"Menu shines at the Worthington Inn"
-Gary Seman Jr., Columbus This Week
"Columbus's best emerging chef"
Executive Chef Thomas Smith was born and raised in New Brighton, Pennsylvania, where he discovered his passion for cooking at an early age. Smith recalls being at his grandmother's apron strings while she prepared the family meals.
"Some of my earliest and best memories are of my grandmother preparing glorious, classic French dishes, such as braised salmon with fine herbs and pears poached in red wine," he said. "Those memories still inspire the food I create."
After serving in the United States Air Force, Smith moved to Columbus, Ohio, to begin his professional culinary career. Unlike the majority of chefs who receive training from a formal culinary institution, Smith decided he wanted to obtain his training directly from the kitchens of Columbus's top chefs. He trained at some of the city's best restaurants, such as Lindey's, Rigsby's Cuisine Volatile, and Alex's Bistro.
Smith attributes his accomplishments to the opportunities of working with and for great people. "I was lucky enough to learn from some very passionate men and women who understood the importance of good ingredients,” he said, "I strongly believe in the farmer-to-chef concept and have always ensured that the Worthington Inn features local products whenever possible. We never compromise on fresh ingredients.”
Smith took over the kitchen at the Worthington Inn in 2002, and he describes his menu as "global cuisine” with strong roots in classic French and Italian flavors.