Who Cooks For You?

We are inspired by the Barred Owl, who famously poses the question Who cooks for you?


Perhaps through this rhetorical pondering the nocturnal sage is challenging us to eat wisely; to consider the source of our sustenance and the motivations of those with whom we entrust the responsibilities of raising and preparing our food...


Benjamin Parks

Owner/Chef/Chief Maintenance Engineer

Being a glutton, both of food and for punishment, kitchen work was a natural fit for Ben. He fell into it by chance, answering an ad in the back of the local paper for a fry cook and never looked back. Over the years he was lucky enough to attend a great school and work with some even better chefs. Like a lot of restaurant people, Ben found himself gravitating towards butchery, charcuterie and the romance of kitchen culture. Great food starts with great products but he knows keeping an open, positive vibe in the back of the house is crucial. He's not a father but possesses a deep appreciation of dad jokes.  


Brandy Hughes | Barred Owl Butcher & Table

Brandy Hughes

Owner/Problem-Solver/Queen B

Some might accuse Brandy of being a perfectionist. That might not be possible working with Ben and Josh, but she does her best to keep the inmates from running the asylum, the trains on time and whatever other clichés you can come up with for the person who gets the thing done. Ultimately she's the host, the party planner, and the mama bear who wants to make sure Barred Owl is for our guests what she would want for herself. Ask her about the food; ask about the wine, beer and cocktails; ask her to rank every Pauly Shore movie while you're at it.

Josh Smith | Barred Owl Butcher & Table

Joshua Smith


A wise Columbia chef once said of Josh, “what this guy can do with a pig and a box of salt will make you willingly forgo all your possessions, disown your friends and family and be perfectly content subsisting on whatever tasty bits fall through the cracks”. Okay, those words weren't ever said exactly, but the guy makes some of the best meat products we (and hopefully you) have ever had. To listen to him talk about his craft, one can imagine him as a benevolent caretaker of the world's tasty animals whose ultimate purpose in life is to transform them in the most delicious things possible. Whether he is obsessing over heritage breed pigs, Spanish hams, Italian wines, or the substantial garden and orchard he tends to with his wife, Josh's passion for thoughtful and skillfully-crafted food and drink is omnipresent. He also enjoys a well-crafted pun.

Andrew Ruth of Barred Owl Butcher & Table

Andrew Ruth

Bar Manager/Spiritual Advisor/Court Jester

Armed with a heart full of passion and an infectious personality, Andrew has likely never been accused of being shy. An engaging and humorous conversationalist with a wellspring of knowledge on topics as broad as literature, fatherhood, discgolf, cooking, drinking, floating rivers, sports-ball and the Zen Buddhist subtext of the late 90s cult classic “The Big Lebowski,” Andrew is the dude behind the drinks. A bartender's bartender, Ruth crafts everything he possibly can, from bitters and cordials to tonics and sodas, from scratch and with the respect for locally sourced ingredients that should be expected from a rural Missouri hippy kid that grew up eating fresh from his family's bountiful gardens. He loathes pretentiousness and whether you enjoy light beers or imperial stouts, sweet wines or dry, he wants the bar to be a cozy place for you to laugh with old friends or for you to make new ones.

We're even better in person. Come visit the Barred Owl crew in our natural environment.