By Emma Kent
Dillon Han is the chef of City Bagel Café in Starkville. He started his career at the kitchen table with his grandmother, chef and mentor Virginia Lynn. Han, 32, graduated from culinary school in 2008 and has worked with chefs from New England to Mississippi.
In 2017, Dillon took the position of Chef de Cuisine at City Bagel Café for a chance to showcase the diverse and flavorful ingredients of Mississippi. After his wife, Emily Lloyd, was accepted into veterinary school at Mississippi State University he decided to join Ty Thames and the Eat Local Starkville group in Starkville.
According to Han, the drive of the restaurant is to create a laid back and familiar atmosphere. Han tries to strike a balance with the menu, making City Bagel a place for all types of people. House-made bagels and creative coffee drinks are served during the day, while nights introduce an Italian-inspired bistro with dishes that include house-made pasta, fresh coastal fish and personal pizzas all using local ingredients.
“Italian food is so simple, and that’s what we’re trying to create,” Han said.
Han particularly enjoys making the homemade pasta.
“There’s a zen to it, and I’m always trying to make it better,” he said.