An appreciation for locally grown food is in Chef Travis Myers’ blood. Growing up with parents from agricultural communities naturally instilled certain values in Travis and his sisters: Use local ingredients and respect the hard work that farmers put into their craft.
Today, Chef Travis gets to maintain those values in his own trade. He and his business partner, Ryan Oberle, opened Six Hundred Degrees in the Innovation Quarter in early 2022. The restaurant is centered around a live-fire grill, a duty to deliver an unparalleled eating experience and the celebration of quality ingredients produced by local hands.
Chef Travis shares why he wanted to open a restaurant in the Innovation Quarter, the story behind his pull-apart rolls and the unique restaurant culture of Winston-Salem.
Innovation Quarter (iQ): Why did you think a restaurant like Six Hundred would be a good fit for Winton-Salem?
Chef Travis: Ryan and I have worked together for a long time. We have the same goals regarding staffing, customer service and quality food presented and served in a non-stuffy environment.
After I won the North Carolina Restaurant & Lodging Association Chef of the Year in 2018, Ryan and I started working on something that Winston has not had in a long time: A new, hot, attractive, local food, farm-to-table restaurant.
“Our city has many amazing restaurants, and most can be considered our competition. However, we all agree on the same thought, ‘a rising tide raises all ships.'”
Our city has many amazing restaurants, and most can be considered our competition. However, we all agree on the same thought, “a rising tide raises all ships.” We’re establishing more than our footprint; we’re helping to shape the footprint of the city. We’re charged with the common goal to bring more people to our city and help it grow. With that said, we built this restaurant to be a standing legacy to downtown’s food movement.
iQ: Why did you choose the Innovation Quarter as the location for Six Hundred?
Chef Travis: We knew that if we wanted to be Winston’s most innovative local restaurant, we needed to settle in a place that fits our core values and represents our brand. We are proud to be a part of the Innovation Quarter culture. We enjoy the view of Bailey Park and having the space to host large events.
“We knew that if we wanted to be Winston’s most innovative local restaurant, we needed to settle in a place that fits our core values and represents our brand.”
iQ: How’s the Innovation Quarter different from others in Winston?
Chef Travis: The wonderful thing about our city is that we are broken up into some unique sections, each with its own identity—West End, downtown and 4th Street, to name a few.
Bailey Park in the Innovation Quarter is a breath of fresh air to aid our city in pushing the envelope of food and culture. I am so glad we have a place to showcase our food and culture, but it’s only a single piece of the pie that makes up our remarkable town.
iQ: What should people know before heading to Six Hundred?
Chef Travis: We put our service first and foremost. Make reservations early because we are constantly booked, especially on weekends. We also have free valet parking on Thursday, Friday and Saturday. All you need to do is pull up to our front door, and we will take care of the rest.
“All you need to do is pull up to our front door, and we will take care of the rest.”
iQ: What’s your favorite item currently on the menu at Six Hundred?
Chef Travis: The one item that personally means more to me than any is our “Pull-Apart Rolls.” This is a recipe from my great-grandmother.
It took my Pastry Chef, Susan Peele, a hot minute to re-engineer the method. My great-grandmother made these on a cold oven stove. The flour, lard and yeast were completely different at the turn of the century. Also, ovens have advanced in so many ways. But in the last hour, Chef Susan nailed it. Today, I can honor my Myers family.
iQ: What vision do you have for the Winston-Salem food scene?
Chef Travis: We will continue to push the boundaries for local and small businesses. The most important part of our town is that everyone is hyper-focused on our local community. If you want to survive in Winston-Salem, you need to ensure that some part of the business model focuses on local businesses. We are a tight community, and we all share the same goal—raising all ships.
About Six Hundred°
Named for the temperature at which wood in a fire turns to embers, Six Hundred° is a restaurant paying homage to the locally sourced ingredients and the hard-working hands that produced them. At the center of Six Hundred° sits a wood-burning grill that produces everything from chicken wings to roasted carrots. Guests are invited to enjoy southern-inspired food, an extensive wine list and some of Winston-Salem’s finest hospitality.
To view the menus or make a reservation, visit https://www.sixhundreddegrees.com/.
Photos courtesy of Six Hundred°