On a beautiful September morning we sat down with Owner Ali Cohane and Executive Chef and Partner Ben Westenburg of Jackson's newest downtown restaurant, Coelette.
We walked into the hustle and bustle of the staff preparing for lunch and followed Ali upstairs to the bright and breezy second-story deck.
Ali and her husband Kevin are the owners of Persephone, Persephone West, Picnic, and now Coelette. It could not be more fitting that they met while working at The Blue Lion—Ali was a waitress and Kevin was in the kitchen. They moved to Paris so Kevin could go to culinary school and together to Chicago for big restaurant experience. Fast forward to 2009 and they were Jackson Hole restaurant owners.
Ben has been in the foodservice industry for 20 years, working across the western states and even the Caribbean. Having lived in Jackson years before, Ben returned in spring 2019 to open Persephone West and has since moved fully over to Coelette.
"We want to represent place with Jackson Hole by highlighting snow-line cuisines and the resources we have here, like utilizing as much local produce and farms as possible. We've seen an explosion with local farmers and people's markets, farm stands, and movements like Vertical Harvest and Slow Food in the Tetons in the past ten years. We strive to emphasize Jackson's food culture, featuring local foods and being as creative as possible," he said.
We got the “dish” on what you must order, whether you're a bar lover, a foodie, or both.
From the bar: Autumn Spritz, the fall rendition of their seasonal spritz is what Ali describes as "fall in a beautiful glass." It features flavors like anise and Aperol and is something we would savor YEAR-ROUND.
From the menu: Anything seasonal is a go-to in addition to what Ben describes as the menu' staples: Cabbage Confit, Farcement Savoyard, and Kaiserschmarrn.
As much as the food is a delight, so is the space itself. The design and atmosphere are a product of local Jackson Hole collaborators. The inspiration for the building started with Ali, Kevin, and Ben. It came to life through the help of locals Nona Yehia of GYDE Architects, contractor Adam Connor of Remedy Design Build, and John Frechette (Chamber of Commerce Board member) & Christian Burch of MADE & Mountain Dandy.
It is beautiful, warm, and complex given all the interesting materials and art…it’s intriguing really. There are lavish chandeliers. A restroom with a darker, more masculine feel and one with a lighter, more feminine feel. A cherub that sits above the bar. There is a bust of the famous Zeus. Did you know that Zeus is Persephone's father? Neither did we.
We couldn’t agree more with Ben who said, "there isn't a bad seat in the house." We picked two seats at the bar to enjoy some bites (and cocktails) for ourselves. They were delicious. It’d be our pleasure Ben assure you there is no bad seat in the house. We’d love to work our way through each and every seat.
Coelette serves brunch, lunch and dinner. To see the menu or make a reservation at Coelette, visit HERE.
This story is a part of our #humansofjhchamber campaign, which focuses on the faces of our local businesses and nonprofits. Learn about their inspirations, why started in their industry and more! Find the Chamber on Instagram at @jhchamber. For information about the program, please contact Communications Manager, Andi Gollwitzer, email@example.com.
This blog was written by Communications Manager, Andi Gollwitzer and edited by Elisabeth Rohrbach.