Indiana’s Top Chefs Spotlighting Chris Eley at Goose The Market

Quality. High quality. And when possible, partnered with local and fresh. It’s the trifecta of culinary excellence championed by today’s chefs for today’s discerning consumers.

Chefs in tried-and-true restaurants with comfort foods like Grandma’s, or chefs in modern digs with evolving recipes, or chefs who aren’t even in the kitchen any more. Their uniforms are anything but uniform.

Prime example? The guy at the meat counter at Goose The Market in Indianapolis, sporting a plaid flannel shirt and baseball cap. But make no mistake: Chris Eley is indeed a chef.

Here was no childhood interest in the culinary arts. Eley found his passion in high school, when he worked at Sahm’s restaurant in Fishers. He went on to earn a degree in restaurant management from Purdue and worked as a chef in the Caribbean and in Chicago.

When he and his wife, Mollie – a.k.a. Goose (because she was the youngest child inher family and was known as Caboose, which she couldn’t quite pronounce) – returned to Indianapolis, they missed the neighborhood markets they’d grown to love in the Windy City. Thus was born Goose The Market, a specialty food and wine shop in Fall Creek Place at 25th and Delaware. It’s the retail outlet for Smoking Goose, where Eley makes his meat products – more than 50 different products – which are sold at the store as well as shipped all over the country. He also offers meat-cutting classes to the public.

And while Eley has left the kitchen and is no longer a chef in the typical sense, he continues to promote the features that correspond to excellence. His market offersrecipes and guidance along with the high quality foods his customers take home to their own kitchens. There’s also a small bar downstairs with wine, beer and small plates. Eley’s suggestion? “Keep an open mind,” he says. “Try something new.”