Each month, we ask one of Pittsburgh's chefs: What do you do and how do you eat when you're out of the kitchen?

Dennis Marron

Chef/Owner,  Merchant Oyster Co,  http://www.merchantpgh.com
Live: Lawrenceville
Work: Lawrenceville
How Long: Six Months

How long have you worked in your position?
6 months for my latest project…or my whole life pending on what you consider a chef.


What do you cook at home?
I love to cook at home and usually keep it simple. My go to is a whole roasted chicken, I love the way it makes the house smell…like home.

When you’re out of the kitchen, where do you like to dine?
I try and visit all the locally owned restaurants and spread the love to all my peers like Smallman Galley, Umami, Morcilla, The Vandal and Station.  And since I am not full time in a restaurant now and working from home, I eat every almost every lunch from Deli on Butler.

Where do you go for a drink?
My girlfriend (Jessica Lewis) is a chef/owner as well (Carota Cafe) and always working I usually go see her at Smallman Galley…and they have the best local/craft beer list in the city! When we do have time off together we love the negronis at Grapperia and the micheladas at Round Corner Cantina.

Where do you spend your days off?
Day off…what is a day off. Trail running in Frick Park or hanging with my daughter.

What would you do if you had a weekend off and it wasn’t a holiday?
I’m heading to the beach.  There is a reason I’m opening up an oyster bar.  I love the shore.

What made you decide to be a chef?
I spent most of my young life (and old life) working in kitchens and restaurants and fell in love with the atmosphere, the food, the creativity and the hard work. For a young age, there was nothing I wanted more than to be a chef and own a restaurant.

What has you most excited at work right now?
The design and build out my new restaurant, Merchant Oyster Co.  I am having a great time going through the design process for the first time totally on my own.  I have opened restaurants prior (most notably in PGH The Commoner), but Merchant is my first foray into my own space.  It has been really interesting going through the steps to create the space; it’s like writing a movie. You cast the people, the sets, the look/feel to bring together a project that you hope people love.

*** Want to check out a preview of Chef Marron’s new concept, Merchant?  He’s hosting a farm dinner at Root & Heart Farms next Sunday featuring an all you can eat pig roast, clam chowder and roasted oysters alongside local brews.  Tickets and more details can be found here! ***