Local Chef Launches ‘Next of Kin’ At Brewery

The Northeast roast beef sandwich is one of the new offerings at Kinship Brewing, thanks to chef Jacob Demars’ overhauling of the venue’s food menu.

Writer: Karla Walsh

If you, too, fell in love with chef Jacob Demars’ innovative flavor combinations and masterpiece plating at R I Restaurant, Trostel’s Dish (briefly) and Marlene’s at Sevastopol Station, listen up. As of Nov. 15, the innovative culinary pro has landed at Kinship Brewing Co. (255 N.W. Sunrise Drive, Waukee) as the head chef of their brand-new on-site restaurant, Next of Kin, where his cuisine is taking a cozy yet constantly changing turn.

Demars says he’s been in talks with Zach Dobeck, the owner of the new-ish Waukee brewery/dog park, since June. “The first thing I noticed about Kinship was the amount of teamwork and passion everyone put into their work,” Demars says. “I also like to be challenged and push myself to learn more about the food industry, and Kinship offers that.”

Case in point: Compared with the almost-too-pretty-to-eat plates he created for other venues, his Next of Kin menu “sits happily next to beer. It’s a classic American bar food menu that’s fun, fast and delicious,” he says. One of his favorites is the Northeast roast beef, which pairs well with the American lager. The roast beef is dry cured in-house, then cut into thin slices. The sandwich is finished with cheese, mayo, barbecue sauce and an onion roll.

While the snack-and-sandwich menu is fairly streamlined for now (burgers and fries join a salmon salad, chicken wings and a cold-cut sandwich as part of the offerings), it will change every three months to a different regional cuisine, Demars says. The first change is set for Jan. 17.

Come early winter through midsummer, Demars plans to integrate different “pockets” within the kitchen to begin making almost all products in-house. Baking and pastry, butchery, cheese and dairy, pickling and fermenting, and more are all part of the plan.

“Not only will these programs be a lot of fun, but everyone involved will be constantly learning new things about how to create and use food completely from scratch,” Demars says.

Kinship Brewing Co. and Next of Kin are open Monday through Thursday from 3 to 9 p.m., Friday from 12 to 11 p.m., Saturday from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. and Sunday from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. The dog park is open until dusk daily.

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