Meet the Team Behind Omaha’s Kitchen Table | #BuildingOmaha

June 30, 2017Add a CommentPosted By

Colin and Jessica Duggan are the humble founders, owners and masterminds behind Omaha’s Kitchen Table. Since opening in June of 2013, the restaurant has been serving slow food fast the only way they know how — from scratch with fresh, local ingredients, innovative flair and a strong community focus.

“[Kitchen Table has] really become our family — from the team and farmers we work with to the regular customers who hang out with us every day,” said Colin. “One of the great things about [the restaurant] is that things are constantly changing and yet we are able to consistently produce a familiar environment where people feel comfortable, accepted and taken care of.”

Kitchen Table Colin and Jessica Duggan

Photo courtesy of Kitchen Table

And when Colin says people are taken care of, he means it. Partially motivated by Jessica’s plant-based lifestyle, many dishes can accommodate vegetarian, vegan and gluten-free diets. This is part of the reason Kitchen Table made our list of Omaha’s best vegan and vegetarian-friendly restaurants —and because their plant-based meals don’t skimp on flavor!

“Making everything from scratch allows us to be very versatile in accommodating special diets, food allergies and preferences,” Colin explained.

Kitchen Table Vegetarian Options

Photo courtesy of Kitchen Table

As a result of the inspirational kitchen and atmosphere, both meat-based and plant-based dishes at Kitchen Table are full of exciting surprises. And, according to Colin, they look for inspiration whenever and wherever it strikes. “Inspiration comes from everywhere,” he said. “Mostly from the truly great ingredients we’re lucky enough to work with, but it’s not uncommon for a regular customer to sit at the counter and throw out a great idea!”

The inspiration doesn’t stop at the counter. “I have ideas and Colin makes them come to life,” Jessica explained. “Along with our amazing team, we work hard to include daily vegetarian options that can be spun vegan and many items have a gluten-free spin so all guests can come in and have options to enjoy. We don’t want anyone to have to settle because of a dietary restriction.”

Jessica and Colin learned much of their flair for plant-based cooking while living in San Francisco. “[In the city, we learned] that good vegetarian options can exist aside from a small salad,” said Jessica.

Colin went on to explain, “Kitchens can be very repetitious places. The most inspiring thing about working in San Francisco was the opportunity to create and innovate, and that comes from working on dishes backward: starting with great local and seasonal ingredients and allowing that to dictate the end result as opposed to imagining a dish and then searching for the ingredients to create it. We learned to let the ingredients teach us how to prepare and present them.”

Kitchen Table Menu and Happy Hour

Photo courtesy of Kitchen Table

Now, after moving back to their hometown of Omaha, they create the menus at Kitchen Table based on the fresh, local and seasonal ingredients they have, not the other way around. This results in an ever-changing, always mouth-watering, array of options.

“The core menu is relatively stable,” said Colin. “There are a few items — the meatloaf sandwich, the whole bird, Smoked Steelhead and deviled eggs — that have been on the menu since day one. We always have a pork sandwich, a vegetarian “jam” sandwich and the PB and J that change with the seasons along with the salads and snacks. The daily sandwich specials are constantly changing; we always have a meat and a vegetarian option that can usually be spun vegan and very rarely repeat exactly.”  

Kitchen Table Omaha Local Restaurants

Photo courtesy of Kitchen Table

The dinner menu is where Jessica and Colin get even more creative — and if you don’t believe us, you should follow them on Instagram. “Dinners follow a nightly theme,” Colin explained. “Again, they always have a meat and a vegetarian option that can usually be  made vegan.” You’ll find juicy burgers on Tuesday, focaccia pizza on Wednesday, tacos on Thursday, and pasta on Friday. According to Colin, this basic structure allows for a scratch-made blank canvas every night of the week. Using seasonal ingredients from local purveyors and farmers, a new creation can be reinvented each evening.

The scratch-made mentality is constantly evinced in the team’s commitment to making all the bread in-house. Order any sandwich on the menu and you’ll get a taste! “The house bread is levain which is kind of a whole wheat sourdough with a hearty crust and dense crumb,” said Colin. “It’s probably my favorite [to make], but I always enjoy experimenting with different flours and styles.”

Kitchen Table Omaha Local Restaurants

Photo courtesy of Kitchen Table

As much as Colin, Jessica and their hard-working team love creating in the kitchen, the most important aspect of Kitchen Table is the community of Omaha. Jessica explained, “[We love] working with so many wonderful people who share the same amount of passion that we do — people who want Omaha to be the best it can be and who always want to be growing and creating.”

Colin agreed, “We are proud to call Omaha home and we take a lot of pride in knowing that we have made an impression, however small, on the community that helped shape the people we have become.”

 

Need more Kitchen Table?

If you want to stay up-to-date on the happenings at Kitchen Table, follow the restaurant on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. There, you’ll also be able to see each night’s dinner special along with plenty of other irresistible plates.

To learn more about the restaurant and other Omaha foodie destinations, check out The 15 Best Meals Under $10 in Omaha, 21 Vegan + Vegetarian-Friendly Omaha Area Restaurants You Need To Try, The 14 Best Lunch Spots in Omaha and The Best Date Night Restaurants in Omaha — all featuring Kitchen Table!


NP Dodge

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