The Biskies™ Best Side Winner: Patrick from Stella’s Restaurant

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Bringing Biscuits into Fine Dining: Meet The Biskies Best Side Winner

In a three-story historic building in the heart of downtown Perrysburg, Ohio, Patrick Lahey serves up from-scratch artisanal meals and cocktails. The town has a rich history and was a key battle site of the War of 1812. But these hallowed streets hold more than history — Stella's Restaurant and Bar has been an institution for nearly 20 years.

The beautiful old building is the perfect setting for Stella’s, which is known for its craft cocktails and original recipes. Now, thanks to The Biskies™ Awards hosted by General Mills Foodservice, more people than ever are flocking to the long-lauded establishment to try Patrick’s winning entry for themselves.

Patrick Lahey’s Roasted Vegetable Nest is the winning entry for the Best Side category in the 2023 Biskies Awards, a contest where restaurant operators must create an original recipe using Pillsburyᵀᴹ Frozen Biscuit Dough Southern Style.

For his winning recipe, Patrick took the Pillsburyᵀᴹ Frozen Biscuit Dough Southern Style and piled it high with fresh roasted vegetables and goat cheese, which he melted in the oven. The recipe quickly picked up the attention of voters on Instagram, and shocked even the chef himself by netting him the $5,000 cash prize for the Best Side Award.

“We submitted [our entry], and I never heard anything, and I figured, oh well, that’s that. And then one day I’m on Instagram, and it says the finalists have been picked. And I scrolled down, and I about fell over backwards.”

Patrick’s win came as a total surprise, and it brought crowds of fresh faces into his restaurant. Now, everyone is clamoring for his new dish.

Man stands on front steps of restaurant holding large black check from General Mills Foodservice awarding $5,000.

“Everyone's been saying, you better get that on the menu, so we're going to as soon as you guys announce it. We’re going to do a special on the weekend.”

Stella’s has been a fixture in this historic town in Ohio for 19 years, and Patrick has been the proud owner of it for seven. He left his corporate career to become a full-time restaurant owner and chef, trading in his PowerPoint and Zoom meetings for aprons and spatulas — and he’s never looked back.

“It's something I've always wanted to do, you know. I wanted to go to culinary school as a teen, and that was before the Food Network, you know, so my parents said, Hell, no, you're going to college, right? So, I did all the PowerPoint and Zoom meetings and all that stuff before this, so it's a different world for me.”

“But I'm the chef now and the owner, and it's a passion for me and my staff.”

Red umbrella covering an outdoor, sunny patio, with a black fence bordering outdoor tables and chairs.

Patrick says that biscuits don’t typically find their way into fine dining establishments like Stella’s, but that they also present a unique opportunity as a blank canvas, a pliable, versatile ingredient that a creative chef can build basically anything on top of.

“My mom used to make a strawberry shortcake with biscuits. If you think about it, you could do a lot of things with biscuits and seafood. We do a walleye croquette — you could do a lot of different things with it.”

Patrick attributes his success at Stella’s to his incredible staff, and the community that has so eagerly supported his restaurant over the years. He gives back to the town he depends on for his livelihood by sourcing local ingredients whenever possible and treating his staff with respect.

“We try to source local products as much as possible, even though we're in the North Midwest here. We do a lot of walleye from Lake Erie, local cheeses, things like that. Our clientele here is very supportive in our town, even though we have a lot of the corporate restaurants that have come in the past couple of years, we have just a great mass of regulars that come in sometimes several nights a week to eat. And so, it really is a community here in town.”

Like most restaurateurs, Patrick has been hit hard by staffing challenges exacerbated by the events of the last few years. It’s been tough to find and keep people on, and he’s had to close for lunch until recently. Inflation and scarcity of help has led to tighter margins, and he’s had to be more careful and strategic than ever as he builds his team, and his menu.

“For me, it’s about treating your staff with respect. I have a really good staff. A lot of them have been with me for a long, long time. If you treat your staff well, they will come through for you. And that to me is the most important thing that we do here.”

If you’re in the mood for local ingredients, an extensive bourbon collection, and an eclectic vibe, check out Stella's Restaurant and Bar. Follow on Instagram to keep up with the latest dishes, cocktails and to get your fill of the delicious atmosphere.