Cooking Show is a video series documenting the preparation of a single dish. From professional chefs to home cooks and everyone in between, we are peeking into Pittsburgh kitchens to watch local experts at work. Watch more in this series here.


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Smallman Galley, the Strip District restaurant incubator, is about halfway through its first 18-month cycle of guiding four chefs through marketing and business management training while they operate their own small-scale eateries under one roof, mess hall style. Each of the four restaurants has attracted critical praise, and patrons regularly fill seats.

For this episode of Cooking Show, we’re following one of the Galley’s first class of chefs: Jacqueline Wardle, former executive chef at Isabela on Grandview in Mt. Washington and today chef and owner of Josephine’s Toast—which has the distinction of being Pittsburgh’s first and only toast restaurant.

First, we’re rolling back the clock to August 2015, to the initial cook-off that saw eight chefs competing for the four initial Smallman Galley spots. We’ll zoom ahead to a pre-opening fundraising event at Wigle Whiskey’s Barrelhouse. And, finally, we’ll end in her Smallman Galley kitchen, just after a recent lunch rush.

Throughout today’s segment, Wardle shares a number of dishes. From the Smallman Galley cook-off event, she calmly assembled two delicious toasts: local tomatoes with goat chevre, arugula pesto, cilantro and duck confit with Pennsylvania black raspberry jam, brioche, red sorrel. At Wigle Whiskey’s Barrelhouse, Wardle and her sister served up an avocado toast with pickled chanterelles and shallots, anise, hyssop. Then, from the cozy confines of the Smallman Galley kitchen, Wardle talks us through a roasted pineapple and cottage cheese toast completed with local honey, sunflower seeds, and pink peppercorns.