OWNER, SAL BAGLIAVIO
Sal Bagliavio was the primary chef at Bailey’s Backyard from the day he opened the restaurant in October 1999 until he hired the restaurant’s new executive chef, Forrest Pasternack, in February 2013. Before there was a Bailey’s, Sal owned a pizzeria in Danbury. He learned his craft mostly on the job and also from his Italian-American grandmother growing up in Babylon, Long Island.
One day Sal took a drive around scenic Ridgefield and fell in love with this picturesque village. He opened Bailey’s in what was a closed-down coffee shop; renovating the space himself. His focus then, as it is now, was on casual, New American cuisine. Sal has decided he would like to spend less time in the kitchen and more time with his three young children. In addition, for a long time he has wanted to convert Bailey’s into a true farm-to-table restaurant saying: “In Forrest, I have found someone I can stand with and carry out my goal,” Sal will work the front of the restaurant and as he likes to say: “Forrest will be executive chef, and I will be executive taster.”
EXECUTIVE CHEF, FORREST PASTERNACK
Born and raised in Western Connecticut, Forrest and his family would often spend their days at local farms picking vegetables for the family table. Summers were spent on Cape Cod fishing the waters of Nantucket Sound, the National Seashore as well as digging clams in Chatham, Mass. He spent his formative years in Ridgefield, CT and graduated from the prestigious Culinary Institute of America, where he honed his passion for food graduating with honors.
Forrest has worked with many of the best modern chefs at some of New York’s finest restaurants, including: Zoe with Chef David Honeysett, the BLT Restaurant Group with Chef Laurent Tourendel, and Chef Jeremy Spector of Eats on Lexington, Employee’s Only and The Brindle Room.
He developed menus and farm-to-table purchasing for large hotels like The SOHO Grand Hotel in lower Manhattan before returning to his home state of Connecticut, becoming the chef of Terra Restaurant in Greenwich, CT. While at Terra, his focus was on local, seasonal and sustainable ingredients.
Along with a love of music (also an accomplished guitarist), Forrest fuses solid technique with modern flourishes, striving to keep diners on the edge of their seats.
Bailey’s Backyard opened in October 1999 in what was a closed-down coffee shop. The mission then, as it is now, was to offer refined, New American cuisine in a polished, relaxed atmosphere.
The next logical step in the popular restaurant’s evolution – taken in spring 2013 – transformed it into a true farm-to-table restaurant. The mission was expanded to include a commitment to creating a menu based on the freshest and finest local food sources: Meat and poultry from Shelton, Roxbury, Bridgewater and Newtown, produce from Ridgefield and neighboring farms, and fresh seafood from waters off Connecticut, Massachusetts, New York as well as from the Chesapeake Bay.
Owner Sal Bagliavio shares his goals for Bailey’s with his Executive Chef, Forrest Pasternack, who has worked with some of the best modern chefs in the country.