Myah Greene was born and raised in Columbia, Missouri – what folks in the college town refer to as a "townie." She's spent time in well-known restaurants across Columbia, working at the now-shuttered restaurants Boone Tavern and The Wine Bistro and Cellar, and she spent five years as a manager at Addison's. Her most recent gig was a two-year stint at Barred Owl Butcher & Table. Now, as the executive chef at Park Restaurant and Bar, she is taking what she's learned from so many great chefs in Columbia to forge her own path.
Look for Korean chicken wings, poke, burgers, a pork porterhouse and more.
Greene has been with Park since the restaurant first opened in December 2018. The menu is generally American with some Asian inspiration, courtesy of a trip to Asia that Greene had recently returned from when she began working at Park. Those dishes are what keep diners coming back to the restaurant; Greene says that the most popular menu items include the coconut-encrusted salmon with sriracha aïoli, the Korean beef nachos and the tacos, which are available stuffed with chicken, Patchwork Farms pork, bulgogi steak or sushi-grade raw ahi tuna.
We caught up with Greene on salt, pork belly ramen and learning to make a French omelette.
What is your favorite ingredient to cook with and why? All food is my favorite to cook with. I can’t just pick one; being able to make something new each time is what I love about food. There are so many endless possibilities, so it is very hard for me to choose a favorite.
Do you have a secret weapon spice/ingredient/technique? Salt. I know that is it something so simple but the amount of salt can make or break a dish.
What's your perfect day of eating in Columbia? My perfect day eating in Columbia would be enjoying a nice dinner at Flyover or Barred Owl. I love how they are so creative and always bringing something new to the table.
How has the local food scene evolved over the past year? The local food scene in Columbia has evolved so much in the past few years becoming so innovated and daring.
Who are Columbia chefs you admire at the moment? Ben Parks and Josh Smith [of Barred Owl Butcher & Table] and Adam Wells-Morgan [of Flyover].
What concepts or styles of cooking do you hope to see added or expanded in Columbia? I would like to see more traditional Southern and soul food flair.
What do you like to cook at home or on your day off? I cook whatever I see at the store that day that inspires me to create.
What’s your favorite comfort food? A nice pot of gumbo with chicken, shrimp and sausage.
If you could tell home cooks one thing, what would it be? Try to make something new that pushes your culinary boundaries.
What is your first food memory? My first food memory is my father teaching me how to make a French omelette. I remember having so much joy as a child knowing that I executed it almost perfect.
What’s the most intriguing dish you’ve made recently, and why? Smoked pork belly miso ramen. The balance of the pork smokiness and miso gave the dish a well-rounded flavor.
What inspires your cooking? How do you approach R&D at your restaurant, and what inspires that process? The inspiration for my cooking at Park was my travel to Asia; being able to try so many new and different flavor profiles. When returning back to the states, I used a combination of new and familiar flavors to turn Park's menu into what it is today.
What are your future plans? I plan on traveling abroad to find inspirations to create new and innovative food.
Park Restaurant and Bar, 4380 Nocona Pkwy., Columbia, Missouri, 573.554.1955, dineatpark.com