Local Boy Starwalt Comes Home to Two21


Published on December 4 2013 8:06 am
Written by Greg Sapp

Two21 Restaurant and Pub recently hired a new Chef and General Manager, who will be introducing a new menu and raising the level of service at the local restaurant.

Chef Travis Starwalt has accepted the position as Executive Chef and General Manager at Two21, located on Jefferson Avenue in Downtown Effingham. “We are very excited to welcome Chef Travis as part of our management team, and we are confident his extensive culinary background will move us forward and take the restaurant to the next level,” said Margie Henderson, co-owner of Two21. “Travis is driven, dedicated and determined – three things we were looking for when filling the position.”

Growing up in Effingham, Starwalt took an interest in cooking as a young child. His love for cooking led him to pursue a degree in Culinary Arts at Kendall College in Chicago, followed by coursework in a wide array of programs to advance his culinary skills. After culinary school, he held a variety of positions in restaurants in Chicago and Miami where he has held numerous titles, including Sous Chef, Executive Chef and Kitchen Manager. While in Chicago, he aided in the opening of Marion Street Cheese Market, and in Miami, he made vital contributions as an integral figure in the opening of Norman’s 180, the Miami Culinary Institute and Tuyo. “This was obviously the career choice I was born to follow,” said Starwalt. “I have a passion for creating dishes and discovering food in unique and interesting combinations.”

Fundamentally, Starwalt is a strong advocate for the slow food movement, which is an international movement to promote an alternative to fast food by preserving traditional and regional cuisine and by encouraging farming of plants, seeds and livestock characteristic of the local ecosystem. He has a genuine passion to share the knowledge of sustainability and locality to a greater percentage of the United States.

“Through my abilities as a cook, I want to push the knowledge of proper sustainability and locality throughout our region,” said Starwalt. “It is important to support the growers in our community and to use local ingredients to sustain local farmers.”

Two21 Restaurant and Pub, located right in the middle of historic downtown Effingham, offers a casual fine dining experience with its daily lunch and dinner specials, as well as, an exciting nightlife atmosphere.

Visit Two 21's website here, or follow them on Facebook.