about


mission

The mission of the Community Table is to prepare the highest quality locally grown and procured ingredients to serve our community in a casual atmosphere.

philosophy

The Community Table’s philosophy is rooted in a profound respect for nature and its seasons. Our restaurant is sustainably conceived, designed and operated. The cuisine is light and healthy, but bold and natural in feel and flavor. Our restaurant is for the community of Connecticut and we strive to make it available to all.

approach

At Community Table, our approach to cuisine is rooted in timeless cooking techniques and methods of preserving foods. Cooking seasonally and only with food gathered from the surrounding environment is our method and responsibility.

Fortunately, Northwestern Connecticut is home to some of the most amazing farms in the United States, with some of the most fertile and nutrient-rich soil anywhere. The bio-diversity in the natural environment that surrounds us here is breathtaking. This natural wealth allows us to obtain the food we serve not only from local farms and our own cultivation, but it allows us to forage for plants, herbs and flowers that have important health benefits and are interesting in flavor. We also do our own salting, smoking, pickling, drying and curing.

By approaching the cooking and preparation of our food in these ways, we hope to bring a stronger, healthier connection to the land and its seasons to the dining experience. Not only is the food healthier this way — richer in nutrients — but it is also more sustainable and lessens the negative impact on the environment. We hope you feel and taste the freshness and quality of Connecticut in our food as we pay homage to the farmers, artisans and land that provide it.

executive chef joel viehland

Born in Chicago and raised in Milwaukee by a mother who cooked and baked, Joel developed a passion for eating and cooking at an early age. While he was young, he studied cooking on his own and at Johnson and Wales Culinary School, and began working in restaurants.

In 1997, Joel moved to New York City and worked at Gramercy Tavern, Chez es Saada and Quilty’s in Soho with Chef Katy Sparks, who taught him how to think and taste.

After spending almost four years in New York and looking for a new challenge, he moved to New Orleans, which he believes is the soul of America. He immediately began working for Chef Susan Spicer and Chef Donald Link at Herbsaint where after several years he became Tournat and briefly Sous Chef. Wanting to develop further, he then went to work for Chef Emeril Lagasse as a Sous Chef and gained valuable management skills. Later, Joel became Sous Chef at Stella in New Orleans. Under Chef Scott Boswell, he honed his skills and developed his own unique style.

After two years, Joel moved to Copenhagen, to work at Noma, a small two-star Michelin restaurant. While he was there, the restaurant was ranked third in the world by San Pellegrino's Top 50 Restaurants in the World, and just this year it was awarded the number one position, topping El Bulli.

After Joel’s return from Denmark, Chef Katy Sparks contacted him about a restaurant that some of her clients were opening, and this is how he became a part of a very special project called the Community Table.