Joe Ogrodnek and Walker Stern
Joseph Ogrodnek and Walker Stern, chef-owners of Brooklyn’s popular Battersby and Dover restaurants, first met as classmates at the Culinary Institute of America, then became friends when they worked together in the kitchen of Alain Ducasse at the Essex House in New York City. Both trained at acclaimed restaurants early in their careers: Ogrodnek, a Philadelphia native, at Union Square Cafe and Tabla in New York City; Stern, who grew up in California and Atlanta, at La Folie and The Dining Room at the Ritz-Carlton in San Francisco, and at Alain Ducasse’s Mix restaurant in Las Vegas. After the two classmates reconnected at Alain Ducasse in New York City, Ogrodnek worked at Gramercy Tavern, then became chef at Anella in Brooklyn, while Stern cooked at Blue Hill and was the opening sous chef at 81 on Manhattan’s Upper West Side, before taking over the kitchen at The Vanderbilt in Brooklyn.
In 2011, eager to have greater control over their futures and explore their own culinary style, Ogrodnek and Stern decided to collaborate on a restaurant, pooling their resources, talent, and creativity to open Battersby on Cobble Hill’s thriving Smith Street. When the restaurant debuted in fall 2011, accolades followed almost immediately, including a place on Bon Appétit’s list of the top five best new restaurants in the country. In 2013, the duo opened their second restaurant, Dover, also in Brooklyn, and in 2014, Food & Wine named Ogrodnek and Stern to its prestigious Best New Chefs list.
Stern and Ogrodnek both live in Brooklyn, New York.