Century House Tavern Logo

125 E. MAIN STREET
DOWNTOWN WOODSTOCK
770.693.4552

Meet the Team

EXECUTIVE CHEF & PARTNER DANIEL PORUBIANSKY
SOUS CHEFS
- ALEXANDER SIMMONS
- BRETT ASHCRAFT
MANAGING PARTNER & GENERAL MANAGER JON HAYANO
MANAGERS
- MANAGER MICHELE COLEMAN
- KATHERINE TANNER

 


 

EXECUTIVE CHEF & PARTNER DANIEL PORUBIANSKY

Chef Daniel Porubiansky came to Century House Tavern in the spring of 2013, leaving the executive chef post at what is arguably the most highly regarded restaurant group in Atlanta, but bringing with him a wealth of experience in some of the nation's greatest kitchens to Woodstock. After a career that has spanned four decades, two continents, a fistful of AAA Diamonds and nearly enough Michelin Stars to require three hands to count them, Porubiansky is bringing his cuisine home.

"The opportunity to be a partner and to have my own restaurant brought me to Woodstock," Porubiansky says of the move from Atlanta's Chulio group, the empire of Anne Quatrano and Clifford Harrison that includes Bacchanalia and Star Provisions. "The bonus is that I live here. Everybody talks local, and what could be more local than in your backyard?"

A deeply ingrained love of fresh ingredients, personal relationships with farmers and decades of experience in German and French kitchens will shape Porubiansky's development of the menu at Century House Tavern, but the basic concept will remain the same.

Porubiansky is a protege of Guenter Seeger, the German chef who helped put Atlanta on the culinary map with his focus on fresh ingredients, masterful technique and a positively Teutonic work ethic. In 1986, Chef Daniel answered a newspaper ad for a kitchen opening at The Dining Room of the Ritz Carlton Buckhead, where Seeger was the Chef. He left school but found his true calling.

"Chef Seeger not only developed me professionally and sent me to New York and Europe," Porubiansky recalls, "he also left me with the two most important lessons I"ll ever learn in a kitchen. First, he taught me to truly respect the ingredients. Gently handle a vegetable, use a piece of fish immediately. Someone took a lot of time and effort to grow it, raise it or catch it - it's my job to respect it and let it shine. Second, he taught me to work hard by working hard alongside me. He was right there sweating with us. Anything we could do, he could do faster and better, but he was always willing to lead by example and always happy to show anyone a new trick."

In 1988, Seeger sent Porubiansky to New York to serve under Eberhard Muller at Le Bernardin, the legendary Michelin three-star French seafood restaurant still to this day ranked as the best restaurant in New York and one of the top 20 in the world. With Porubiansky came away from his nearly two years at Le Bernardin was an intimate understanding of the brigade de cuisine, the old French kitchen system developed by Escoffier, with just as much precision and unflinching hierarchy and plenty of sharp objects to boot. Muller put him through the paces as patissier, garde manger, and poissonnier.

Seeger sent Porubiansky to Michelin two- and three-star restaurants in Germany to apprentice for a year and a half.

After another tour with Seeger at The Dining Room, a stint in Dallas and the top job in the Buckhead kitchen at the brand-new Seeger's restaurant, Porubiansky joined Bacchanalia as chef de cuisine in 2000. There he developed a "fancy" lunch concept and made quite an impression on Quatrano and Harrison, but the post-9/11 mini-recession put the squeeze on high-end everything. Porubiansky returned to The Dining Room for a fourth tour, this time under Bruno Menard. Porubiansky took over as chef de cuisine when Menard left for Japan. He returned to Seeger's, but Quatrano and Harrison offered him the newly created position of executive chef in 2007, where he led operations and staff at Bacchanalia, Star Provisions and Quinones at Bacchanalia.

"I've been making the trek to Atlanta every day for 13 years," Porubiansky sighs. "It was time. I can't thank Annie and Cliff enough. I will never forget my time working with Annie and Cliff."

"What's telling about those two," Porubiansky continues, "is how happy they were for me when I joined Century House Tavern. I'm very excited for all the new possibilities of building this great community right here in my town, but I will miss Bacchanalia."

Porubiansky lives in Woodstock and has four children which at some point or another have all worked at Century House.

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MANAGING PARTNER & GENERAL MANAGER JON HAYANO

Jon Hayano runs the front of the house at Century House Tavern, setting the finishing touches with local art, craft beverages and finely tuned service. Longtime Atlanta diners and restaurant biz folks will remember him behind the bar at Harry & Sons mixing drinks and extending a warm welcome since the Virginia-Highland Asian bistro first opened 20 years ago.

“Woodstock right now reminds me of Virginia-Highland in those days,” reminisces Jon. “It’s a place with a lot of history that was forgotten, and now there’s a new energy and people are scrambling to build this community into a place they and their children will enjoy for a long time.” Jon came to Atlanta in the 1980s from his native Minneapolis to attend art school for design and photography. His eye as a photographer led him to a studio career in New York after graduation, where he spent three years. Feeling the pull of the South, he returned to Atlanta to start his own studio. It was this second tour in Atlanta that introduced him to his wife, Jeannine, also a photographer.

“In the dining room at Century House, one of Jeannine’s photographs is hanging very prominently,” Jon remarks proudly.

Looking for a career change, Jon sold his studio and took an offer from a friend to manage the bar at Harry & Sons, a brand-new Thai/sushi concept opening in the newly hip neighborhood. Jon remained a fixture there from the day it opened until May 2012.

Jon’s influences can be seen in the local art and photography covering the walls of the restaurant; the warm, expert service and the creative drink menu Jon crafts with his bar staff.

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