Caleb Fischer is the executive chef at Bow and Arrow, a Texas-style barbecue restaurant located on East University Drive.
Last year, he made it to the finale of Food Network’s “Spring Baking Championship” but fell just short of the $50,000 first prize.
He’s been busy ever since. Shortly after the show aired, he began working full time alongside Stephen Price to prepare for Bow and Arrow’s opening in fall 2018. Price and Fischer now manage the restaurant.
“We were pretty much here every day doing walk throughs of the construction, looking at equipment we needed to buy, smallwares we needed to buy and figuring out how the menu was going to be laid out,” Fischer said. “Even though we weren’t open, it was pretty much a full-time job. Stephen and I got in every morning pretty early and spent every day in an office, which was weird for me, being used to being in a kitchen.”
After months of hard work, Bow and Arrow opened on Nov. 7.
One of Fischer’s favorite things about the restaurant is the fun, relaxed environment.
“The style of restaurant being counter service allows us to all be very relaxed,” Fischer said. “Very rarely do any of us really get upset with each other.”
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As the executive chef and pit master, Fischer spends only a small portion of his time in the kitchen baking as he did on the show.
However, Fischer said the competition taught him lessons he applies to his job, like the ability to work under pressure.
“I think it’s funny how many times I reference that I made a cake, a three-tier cake, in two hours,” Fischer said. “The things that I before looked at like big tasks, you are able to kind of compartmentalize it and plan out steps of how to achieve it more efficiently.”
Patrons who recognize Fischer from his experience on Food Network often expect intricate cakes and ornamental baked goods for dessert.
Instead, dessert is usually something simple like a slice of pie, cake or a brownie. While this may surprise some customers, Fischer said once they try it, they understand that a simple dessert can be as satisfying as anything else.
When he isn’t at work, Fischer likes to spend his time in the woods hiking with his fiance, Allison, and his dog, Olive. They also tend to their chickens and work in their garden at their home in Macon County.
As for future plans, Bow and Arrow plans to ramp up to full-scale catering in the future and possibly even a food truck.
“We’ve joked about doing a food truck,” Fischer said. “It’s something we’ve always talked about doing that this concept represents very well. We don’t know if that will happen or not.”
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