Chef Sylvia Awald began her culinary career in 2017 as a line cook at West on Warren Gallery + Grill in Middlebury.

At the time, she was studying for degrees in Culinary Hospitality Management and Pastry from Ivy Tech Community College.

While Sylvia spent time in the kitchens of places such as Aunt Karen’s Cafe, Das Dutchman Essenhaus and Elkhart Meadows, her interest in food was sparked as a 10-year member of 4-H through baking.

She’s come a long way since those 4-H days. On March 26, 2024, Sylvia was one of three featured chefs in Culinary Crossroads’ latest On the Road Dinner at Elcona Country Club.

Based on West on Warren’s standing as one of the finest restaurants in Elkhart County and Sylvia’s impressive body of work, she was invited to collaborate on a unique dining experience for 80 diners from the South Bend Elkhart region.

Working with a blank canvas, the three chefs (including Chris Janowsky of Artisan and Robert Standen, most recently of Ruhe152) designed a memorable menu of culinary delights, from four appetizers that were shared during an opening reception to a four-course meal that included dessert.

Chef Sylvia Awald prepping for a dinner

Sylvia’s contributions included the first course, a grilled peach and Halloumi salad on house ciabatta with sesame roasted Brussels sprouts, maple-tahini vinaigrette, candied walnuts and pomegranate seeds.

Using her pastry experience, Sylvia’s dessert of a violet éclair with marzipan pastry cream, ruby chocolate ganache, blueberry coulis, almonds, meringue and spearmint was the perfect close to the evening.

The dinner audience included several representatives of Ivy Tech Community College, from which Sylvia graduated from the culinary program in 2020. Since then, she worked her way up at West on Warren to sous chef under Tony Nafrady.

Sylvia has been the head chef at West on Warren Gallery + Grill for the past two years. In April 2023, Sylvia helped to establish West on Warren’s sister restaurant, State and Main, which is only a couple blocks away.

To savor Sylvia’s culinary talents on a daily basis, make your way to West on Warren. Owners Carrie Boyer and Brittney Lehman have created an inviting atmosphere where culinary arts and visual arts come together. West on Warren is open for lunch and dinner Tuesdays through Fridays, and dinner only on Saturdays.