Chef Sean Studds of Homegrown Gastropub in Reno produces healthy fare with a Southern twist.
Written by Katie Keever
It all started with a spaghetti sauce. That got Sean Studds, executive chef of Homegrown Gastropub in Reno, into the kitchen at a young age.
“I just thought, You know, I think I can do this better,” Studds says. “One day I said, look, Mom, step aside, I’m going to take this over.”
From there, Studds started his journey to become a chef.
Studds received his B.A. from the University of Carolina at Chapel Hill, where he double majored in international studies and French. He lived in the South of France for a couple of years and while he was surrounded by Mediterranean cuisine, he got the bug to become a chef. He then attended the California Culinary Academy in San Francisco where he specialized in regional Italian cooking. He now is the chef at Homegrown Gastropub in the heart of Midtown Reno.
“Since I grew up part of my life in the South, in North Carolina, I’d always had a really big preference for Southern food,” Studds says.
He explained how he enjoys cooking Southern comfort food with an upscale twist and a healthier style. He and Spencer Shea, owner of Homegrown Gastropub, share similar ideas on this style of food.
“Spencer introduced me to the whole organic scene here” Studds explained, “because I didn’t know any of that before I moved to Reno.”
When asked how the extensive menu was formed, both Studds and Shea say they worked hard on the menu. They wanted options for everybody.
“I want to make everybody happy, for the most part,” Shea says, “and then I want to hit all the different types of food that people want.”
The duo is proud of the high-quality food products they have and where they are sourced. The first page of their menu shows they dedicate themselves to serving quality, organic, and local foods.
“We do diner-style dishes, which a lot of people eating late like, but we also have some healthy salads, Studds says. “All the ingredients are natural. There are healthier ingredients with no additives or anything like that.”
Since the restaurant is relatively new and the business is settling into a great rhythm, Studds can now take a breath and freshen the menu.
“Now that things are running smoothly,” he says, “I can have more time to do seasonal specials and doing more things with that.”
When asked about the food scene in Reno compared to other places Studds has lived and worked, Studds says, “I thought Reno would be a lot different, but because it’s so environmentally conscious, the local food culture is huge in Reno.”
Homegrown Gastropub started as an idea, which led to a food truck, and now a restaurant that has quickly grown to become one of the top hot spots in Midtown Reno. As for the future of Homegrown Gastropub, both Studds and Shea agreed that they want to continue crafting dishes with all-organic produce and meats.
For details, visit Homegrowngastropub.com