As the executive chef of El Segundo in the Short North Arts District, Bradshaw Cunnington enjoys keeping up with new culinary trends and working hard to ensure an amazing guest experience. He began his culinary career learning from talented mentors and teachers at Columbus State Community College (CSCC). The valuable connections he made at CSCC led to his first position with Cameron Mitchell Restaurants (CMR) at Martini Modern Italian as a pantry cook. He was able to gain experience in every heart-of-the-house position as he worked his way up into a supervisory role.
Chef Cunnington has spent more than 12 years with CMR and has developed a deep passion for cooking as well as for the company itself. He has had the privilege of working at a variety of specialty concepts during his career including Hudson 29, The Avenue and more. He joined El Segundo as the sous chef when it opened in 2021 and quickly moved into his current role as executive chef. He looks forward to continuing to evolve the concept.
“I love that I got to be a part of all the new phases of opening a new restaurant,” said Chef Cunnington.
Chef Cunnington grew up in Bexley and now resides in Victorian Village. He claims he is never without hot sauce and a sharp set of knives, and his family and friends look forward to his Christmas dinner he cooks every year – a beef tenderloin with a red wine demi glaze, parmesan risotto and a peppermint ice cream cake with chocolate ganache and marshmallow fluff.
He encourages new chefs in the industry to be hardworking and continue learning every day.
“The industry is always evolving,” said Cunnington. “Keep up with new trends and continue to expand your culinary knowledge. Be the hardest working person in the kitchen and it will pay off.”
Vanessa Forrester, general manager of El Segundo, joined Cameron Mitchell Restaurants (CMR) in 2018, but she started in the restaurant and hospitality industry years prior just to prove a point. A friend told Forrester that she would be a terrible server, so she got a job as a server to prove him wrong, and the rest is history.
“Genuine hospitality goes a long way,” Forrester says when asked what advice she has for those interested in pursuing a career in restaurants and hospitality. “You can make mistakes, but as long as you genuinely care, the guest will always have a wonderful experience.”
A native of Wooster, Ohio, Forrester earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in English from Ashland University. Her favorite CMR dish is the Flatiron Pot Roast from Cap City Fine Diner and Bar.
“I am looking forward to all the new aspects I am going to learn, setting new goals, and continuing to grow with the CMR family,” Forrester says when asked what she is most looking forward to and hopes to achieve in her new role.
Forrester currently resides in Reynoldsburg, Ohio, with her three children, Oliver, Benny, and Dexter. Outside of work, she enjoys crocheting, reading, and hanging out with her kids and her dog.