Although the chef's journey since moving from L.A. to Spokane in 2017 has taken him from running a local hotel kitchen to consulting with other restaurants for food service company Sysco Spokane, he's now ready to branch out on his own.
Next up for Webster is Rind and Wheat, a specialty bread, pastry and cheese shop near downtown Spokane (exact location to be announced), set to open sometime this fall. To help the project get off the ground, Webster launched a Kickstarter campaign to raise $12,000 and which runs through Friday, Sept. 4.
In between his professional culinary duties, which has included constructing a life-size gingerbread house in the lobby of his former employer Hotel RL (now the Centennial Hotel), Webster was crowned champion of two major network TV baking competitions; he won Hallmark's Christmas Cookie Matchup last year and Food Network's Christmas Cookie Challenge in 2018. Webster and a baking assistant, Megan Gaines, also competed on Food Network's Holiday Gingerbread Showdown in 2018, and Webster has been a two-time finalist (2019 and 2020) for the national Real California Pizza Contest.
Earlier this spring when he was temporarily furloughed from his role as Sysco's business resource manager, Webster began putting together a business plan for Rind and Wheat. Besides a curated selection of specialty cheese from around the world, fresh-baked breads and pastries, Webster plans for the shop to sell locally made beer, wine and other artisan products that showcase the region's bounty.
While the future of public dining experiences remain shaky amid the global pandemic, Webster envisions several ways to stay viable and keep customers safe in the meantime through subscription services, online ordering and wholesale accounts.