A life-long passion for food and wine led owner and wine geek Jill Davis to open Toast in 2013. The idea behind Toast was to open a restaurant serving up food made from the freshest locally sourced ingredients, creative cocktails, and a diverse and edgy wine list, all in Cleveland's most happening neighborhood. Jill likes to stock the wine cellar with excellent examples of popular grape varietals, albeit usually with a twist, as well as those that might push you out of your comfort zone. She received her Level III Certificate with Distinction from the Wine and Spirits Education Trust (WSET). By day, she is an attorney with the Federal Public Defender. Jill lives in the Detroit Shoreway neighborhood with her husband Jeff Kelleher, dogs Alice and Rory, cats Kima and Omar, and a couple chickens at any given time.
Chef Joe Horvath grew up in Chagrin Falls, Ohio. His love for cooking began at a young age while helping his father cook dinner for their family. Horvath was eager to move across the country and learn from some of the nation's best. In Miami, he worked at Karu Restaurant & Y, then moved a few miles north to work at Chops of Buckhead Life Restaurant Group, and later The Boca Raton Resort, a Waldorf Astoria Hotel. While Chef Horvath got some great experience in Florida, he was ready to move back home with his family and wanted to be involved in the rapidly growing food movement in Cleveland. Horvath landed a job at The Greenhouse Tavern, where he would soon become sous chef learning under Chef Jonathon Sawyer. While working under Chef Sawyer, he had the opportunity to stage at some of the nations top restaurants including Chef Marc Vetri's Vetri, Chef Michael Solomanov's Zahav, and Chef Jonathan Waxman's Barbuto.
It was at The Greenhouse Tavern where Chef Horvath met his wife Jennifer. Later, the couple met Toast owner Jillian Davis and opened Toast. Chef Horvath and his wife, Jennifer, were jointly awarded Restaurant Hospitality's "Rising Star Chefs". He was also recently nominated for Star Chef Magazine's "Rising Star."
Moving back home and getting back to his roots helped Joe realize that he wanted to connect with the farming aspect of food. While Horvath sources most of his ingredients from local farmers that he has built relationships with over the years, he enjoys planting and harvesting in his culinary garden across the street from Toast. In his time away from the restaurant, he loves hiking with his wife Jennifer & his dog Copper and serving in the kid's ministry at his church.
Bar Manager John Mcelhattan, a native of Pittsburgh, was drawn to northeast Ohio for its local food and agriculture scene. He worked as a cheesemaker handcrafting artisan goat and sheep milk cheese for Lucky Penny Farm while also managing a small farm to table restaurant in Alliance, Ohio. Three years ago, he moved to Cleveland for its beautiful lakeside climate and joined our team at Toast. Starting with little experience crafting cocktails, he was quickly smitten with the wide world of wines and spirits. John honed his skills through years of crafting "The Bartender's Choice" for our guests, and he now works with fellow bartenders Amy Williams and Joy Valentine to curate thoughtfully selected menus that reflect the seasons.