Not many chefs in Columbus have a resume as accomplished as William Fugitt, who began his career working under acclaimed French chef Jean-Louis Palladin at the Watergate Hotel in Washington, D.C.
From there, he’s worked in kitchens including the James Beard Award-winning Equinox, Tru in Chicago, and The French Laundry in Napa. Fugitt landed in Columbus after Jack Nicklaus talked him into cooking at Muirfield Village Golf Course, and he later worked in the kitchens at local destinations like Rigsby’s and Gallerie before joining the team at White Rabbit.
Fugitt can’t wait to immerse himself in the world of modern cooking as co-executive chef at White Rabbit. Read on to learn why you're going to notice so many menu items incorporating truffles.
What attracted you to White Rabbit?
I love Erik and Lisa, and their style and comfortable approach to food and beverages. This being a modern-driven concept played a big part, too. I like the idea of being part of a restaurant that’s going to set trends and be groundbreaking for this city.
You and Erik are listed as co-executive chefs. How have you worked together in planning the menu?
We threw out ideas and bounced them off each other. Honestly, Erik is one of the only guys in town where I feel like I can throw something out and he can come back with a focused and detailed menu item that’s ready to go. We work very well together that way.
How often will the White Rabbit menu change?
The standard evolution will be eight times a year. But everything will change seasonally. We won’t be serving morels after April. And we’re going to source as much as we can locally. We’ll be using lamb from Elysian Fields in southwestern Pennsylvania, beef from the OSU agricultural program, pork from Sweet Meadows.
What do you bring to the White Rabbit team?
I have a lot of high-end restaurant experience. Matched with Erik and Lisa’s approachability, it’s going to be great. I’ve helped them put together two tasting menus and a really stellar a la carte menu. From A-Z, the approach is going to be mind-blowing.
You own your own truffle farm, right?
Yes, about two hours away from Columbus. I have 400 trees on 10 acres. I go out there about twice a month. I have 10 guys on staff and 10 dogs. The truffles that don’t make the cut, we use to make our own dog food. That’s how our dogs get a taste for truffles.
NOTE: White Rabbit is set to open in September in the Brewery District in Columbus, Ohio.
456 S. Front St., Brewery District