With the currently airing season of Bravo’s Top Chef being set and filmed in Wisconsin, our state’s culinary scene is attracting worldwide attention on a whole new level. Featuring renowned restaurants to iconic Wisconsin products like cheese, cherries, and beer – this season is all about celebrating Wisconsin’s unique flavor.

Join us as we highlight some of Janesville’s own culinary stars and how their one-of-a-kind experiences, unique style, and love for cooking are being infused into each and every dish.

Meet Nicholas Morris at Lark:

Amazingly, Nicholas Morris’ career actually started as an optician crafting giant optics for telescopes for large Department of Defense and NASA projects in Arizona. A love of space prompted his first career. A love of food drove his second. He moved to New York City to attend the International Culinary Center, then went on to work at renowned restaurants in New York City, Mexico City, and Montana. Originally from Rockford, Nicholas moved back to the area in 2020 and was hired as Lark’s new Executive Chef in March.

Lark recently reopened after a short closure over the winter season with a brand new, seasonally inspired food and drink menu created by Chef Nicholas and the talented staff at Lark. Hear from Nicholas as we chat about these delicious developments happening over at Lark.

1. Tell us about your journey as a chef and how your experiences have shaped your approach to cooking.

Nicholas’ answer: I was working in manufacturing most of my life and then changed careers. The only thing I ever really wanted to do was cook. I went to culinary school in New York City, and ended up working for some really great restaurants in New York. I was able to to stage in Mexico City at some really incredible restaurants with some chefs that I really wanted to work with. I helped open a restaurant in Montana and then after the pandemic, I found myself back in the area. My family is all here, so here I am.

2. As a newcomer to Janesville, what drew you to the area and what are you most excited about in terms of contributing to our city’s culinary landscape?

Nicholas’ answer: I’ve always loved Wisconsin, I grew up in northern Illinois, so Wisconsin was always a place to go on weekends or on vacations to be in nature. I’ve always been drawn to Wisconsin, I have a great time here and I’m still close to home.

3. Top Chef judges often looks for chefs who can showcase local ingredients and flavors in their dishes. How do you plan to incorporate locally sourced ingredients into your menu offerings at Lark?

Nicholas’ answer: We are going to be very seasonal. We want ingredients that are at their peak and we want to showcase that on the menu. When that ingredient goes out of season, we’ll change to the next thing. I want to be able to find what’s local and what’s at its peak for freshness.

4. Describe Lark’s refreshed menu for us in three words.

Nicholas’ answer: Elegant, seasonal, and innovative.

5. What do you hope guests will take away from their dining experience at Lark?

Nicholas’ answer: I hope they have a good experience and get to try menu items that are very seasonal to appreciate the quality we’re going to offer.

6. What new Lark menu item are you most excited to make and share with dinner guests?

Nicholas’ answer: I’m excited about the whole menu. The entire menu is brand new. There’s a lot of favorite ingredients there with spring. I have an asparagus okaki which is a Japanese rice cracker on the asparagus that people probably have not seen here before.

More about Lark:

Lark focuses on seasonally driven dishes made with high quality, locally sourced ingredients that reflect the wide influences that drive American cuisine. Lark’s bar features classic and original craft cocktails made with fresh ingredients and artisan spirits, as well as a variety of craft beers and wines by the glass and bottle.

Address: 60 S Main Street, Janesville, Wisconsin

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Date Posted | April 30, 2024