After many years as a corporate chef for Kroger and making the rounds at many of the top kitchens in the city, chef Baron Shirley has finally landed in a place of his own with his brand new Inspirado at Madison Gallery in downtown Covington, and it’s so much more than a restaurant.
As the name suggests, the Madison Avenue restaurant/gallery offers diners a chance to enjoy their meals while surrounded by changing local art displays.
Inspirado is Spanish for “inspired” or “full of inspiration,” which is evident in the form of Shirley’s super-eclectic menu. The vast array of dishes is inspired by the way he likes to eat. “One of the first things I wrote in my business plan is, ‘I love Mexican food and my wife doesn’t,’ and I wonder how many times that conversation takes place each night,” he says. “ ‘What do you want for dinner tonight? I want pizza, I don’t want pizza, I want Chinese, or I want Italian.’ You know, why can’t those cultural influences coexist on a menu? I love food from all over the world, so I wrote a menu to encompass a whole lot of different countries — food from all over the world.”
Music by Ike Wilhelm.