Foodie: Brad Gates, The Big Cheese

Call him a caterer. Call him a chef. Just don’t call Brad Gates a man without big ideas. He may be working in one of his smallest kitchens yet, in a corner of City Market, but Gates is putting his highly refined palate to work on catering, to-go lunches, and one of Indy’s best cheese cases, stocked with up to 40 selections.

Gates’s resume beyond Indianapolis includes stints at NYC’s Union Square Cafe and Atlanta’s Blue Ridge Grill. Working for Myriad Restaurant Group (parent company of Nobu and Tribeca Grill) refined his skills in food-cost consulting, which eventually landed him a stint at Britney Spears’s short-lived Manhattan restaurant, Nyla.

For now, Gates is content going small, with wife Meggin handling the business end of his catering outfit; doing smaller-scale corporate luncheons and in-home dinners; and providing the bar snacks at Ball and Biscuit and small-plate dishes for the Tomlinson Tap Room. Being his own boss has given him the clarity to sharpen his focus and plot his next move. Bet on it being something big.





(1) North Carolina’s Outer Banks. “The whole family goes almost every year.”
(2) Shagbark hickory syrup from Hickoryworks.
(3) Michigan football. “My dad and his brothers went to U of M law school.”
(4) Simple Cuisine, by Jean-Georges Vongerichten. “It inspired my love of simple flavors.”

Photo by Tony Valainis.

This article originally appeared in the June 2012 issue.

A graduate of IU’s Master of Fine Arts program in creative writing, Terry Kirts hails from a town in Illinois so small it didn’t have a restaurant until he was in the 8th grade. Since 2000, he’s more than made up for the dearth of eateries in his childhood, logging hundreds of meals as the dining critic for WHERE Indianapolis, Indianapolis Woman, and NUVO before joining Indianapolis Monthly as a contributing editor in 2007. A senior lecturer in creative writing at IUPUI, Terry has published his poetry and creative nonfiction in a number of literary journals and anthologies, including Gastronomica, Alimentum, and Home Again: Essays and Memoirs from Indiana, and he’s the author of the poetry collection To the Refrigerator Gods, published by Seven Kitchens Press in 2011.