Three months after moving into the new winery building, owners Clyde and Katie Gill are pleased to announce that a full kitchen has been installed and is now open for business. The kitchen is open during the winery’s normal business hours, plus special events and private parties after hours, and will celebrate a “grand opening” on Saturday, July 14.
To manage the new restaurant, the Gills hired August Rolufs, a native of Rolla, as the new chef. Joining Rolufs is his wife, Endi (Viehman), a Steelville native who is responsible for customer service and restaurant administration.
August is a recent graduate of the University of Missouri with a degree in Hospitality Management. His specialty focused on the food and beverage management side of the hospitality degree. His love for food, however, developed long before college. August cites enjoying new spices and cooking techniques since childhood. A surge of celebrity chefs and cooking shows during his teenage years further peaked his interest and he began cooking at a variety of restaurants, training with both French and Mexican chefs.
August Rolufs, Peaceful Bend’s first-ever chef, works on a meat and cheese board during the winery’s earlier grand reopening weekend.
These days August enjoys traditional southern cooking and combining spices to create dishes rich in flavor. He is also passionate about locally sourcing food as much as possible. Rolufs has featured local Steelville beef producers, Union Missouri chicken, and organic greens from farms in St. James and Rolla.
Endi joins her husband in food preparation, along with the customer service and business management side of the restaurant. She enjoys baking and has been creating a variety of desserts, from red wine brownies to sophisticated pots de creme. Her experience waitressing and working at local resorts has brought an understanding of how to bridge the gap between the customer and the kitchen in creative ways.
Steelville native Endi (Viehman) Rolufs has joined her husband on the staff at Peaceful Bend’s restaurant.
The Gills heaved a sigh of relief when the Rolufs contacted them last fall. “Our customers have been asking for food for years, so we planned a commercial kitchen in the new building,” Clyde explained. “The problem was, we didn’t have any restaurant knowledge or experience. So, we were definitely feeling overwhelmed.”
“The first meal August fixed for us, we knew we were in the presence of not only a professional, but someone who was passionate about what he did,” said Katie, who was quick to add that Endi’s artistry and organizational skills have been a big asset to the business. “I can’t even count all the details that she has taken care of without us even knowing something needed to be done until after the fact.”
Peaceful Bend’s grand reopening was at the end of April, and the Rolufs have been working from an outdoor grill for several weeks. With the recent addition of an exhaust hood, the kitchen is now offering a full menu of appetizers, salads, and sandwiches. This weekend’s festivities to mark the grand opening of the kitchen will include door prizes, wine specials, live music, door prizes, and yard games.
Upcoming plans for the winery include a new brewery offering house-made beer on draft (some already on tap). Also in the works is a deck on the side of the building and an outdoor stage area for live music.