Chef Drake Tillman is keeping busy. Last year, the Springfield, Missouri, chef announced plans to open Elkhart and The Robberson, a vegetable-forward dining concept in Springfield’s historic Commercial Street district. While the restaurant’s opening date is still uncertain, Tillman has a new project on the way: ViaSGF, a mobile catering business focused on wood-fired foods, primarily Neapolitan-style wood-fired pizzas.
ViaSGF is a collaboration between Tillman and another Springfield chef, Donny Jay Cummings. For Tillman, it’s a passion project. “I learned to make real pizza and cook in a stone pizza oven at a restaurant in St. Louis when I was 19,” Tillman says. “I ran the station by myself, which got overwhelming at times – but [it] was one of my favorite experiences cooking I’ve ever had.”
The experience ignited Tillman’s dream to open his own Neapolitan-style pizzeria. “That probably won’t happen all that soon,” he says. “Until then, this is what I want to do: to be able to offer something real to Springfield while taking myself back to a formative part of my cooking career.”
ViaSGF will travel to various events in the Springfield community, slinging 12-inch pizzas for between $7 and $8. While the focus will be on classic Neapolitan-style flavor combinations, Tillman also plans to center the menu on local, seasonal ingredients like produce and eggs. “A wood-fired pizza with a perfectly runny egg cooked on it is a magical thing,” he says.
ViaSGF will set up shop at Urban Roots Farm (823 W. State St., Springfield) on April 26 and 27. Interested in booking ViaSGF at your event? Email firstname.lastname@example.org, or connect with the project on Instagram at @viasgf.