Meet Victory Brewing Company’s Chef de Cuisine, Owen

The old adage “good things come in small packages” aptly applies to the menu created specifically for our newest brewpub, Victory at Magnolia, in Kennett Square. Look for an early 2015 opening and plan to scope out old favorites and new twists that pair perfectly with our growing beer list.

We caught up with busy Chef de Cuisine, Owen Kolva, to get the inside track on what hungry Victory fans will soon be enjoying at our Kennett Square location.

Victory Pho
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What made you decide to go with a smaller menu?
Owen: We started with tightening up our menu in Downingtown. Our focus is on quality, spending time on each dish and working hard to make each one great. The Kennett Square restaurant mirrors Downingtown in sourcing local ingredients, but we’re taking it a bit more to the extreme at Magnolia.

Extreme, as in no freezer?
Exactly. What others buy and keep in the freezer, we’ll make fresh. It’s a challenge for me and my staff and we’re looking forward to it. We’ll be supporting family-owned farms and those items will truly be going right from the farm to your plate. Our customers are more informed and know food made that way not only tastes better, but is better for you, too.

Did the smaller brewing operation there impact your menu?
No, but it will be a treat to work with some of the more experimental beers we’ll brew on-site that will only be available in Kennett Square. We’ve always kept an eye on beer pairings when developing our menus, and we’ll keep doing that.

There are a lot of old favorites on the menu, and a few new, local treats. Are you having fun with mushrooms?
Mushrooms and Kennett Square go hand-in-hand. You’ll love the Kennett Burger with hormone and antibiotic-free certified Angus beef that’s topped with sautéed cremini mushrooms, pecan wood-smoked bacon and melted Danish bleu cheese on a toasted brioche, and the Kennett Mushroom Sandwich (roasted portobello with spiced eggplant and tomato chutney, Boursin cheese and fresh sprouts on a toasted ciabatta). Of course, you can still get the Hand-Tossed Pretzel, Wings of Victory and other much-loved standards.

Tell us about the daily menu additions. Will they have an international flair?
Absolutely. I love globally-inspired cuisine. It’s the food I eat on my day off. I have great respect for a good burger, but we have so much more to offer. Our daily menu additions whittle down portion sizes so they’re great for ordering a bunch to split with friends. You’re going to find an eclectic mix similar to what’s been happening in Downingtown—cheese, charcuterie, five small plates, five main plates and different styles of mussels—full of big flavors from Middle Eastern, Asian, Spanish, German and other worldly cuisines, made fresh and made authentically. You’d have to go into the city to get the selection we’re offering.

Seems safe to say you’re really excited about what’s happening at Victory, yes?
This is a great opportunity, for me as a chef and for Victory. It’s a chance for us to step up our game and be a serious player in the food scene. Our award-winning beer is made to exacting standards. It’s made with integrity—no compromises. Our menu philosophy is no different. Victory is rapidly expanding and I’m thrilled to be a part of it. Even better, our customers win with outstanding beer and food.

Victory Gnocchi
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About Owen Inspired by his mother and grandmother’s cooking, Owen began to dabble in the kitchen at an early age, leading him to the Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park, NY. His style is rooted in classic French cuisine thanks to an early exposure to it that became the catalyst for things to come. Owen has worked near and far, including stints throughout Pennsylvania and in South Carolina and Manhattan, learning techniques along the way to develop his evolving cooking style and love for global cuisine. A Berks County native, he came to Victory as a sous chef, and took the reins when the head chef job became available. He saw there was room to be more creative and adventurous with the menu, and implemented his vision to focus on locally sourced and house-made; his goal is to produce 98 to 99 percent in-house. In his spare time, Owen plays guitar, fishes for trout and reads. He calls himself “a voracious reader,” enjoying both fiction and non-fiction, but especially gastronomy, owning over 100 cookbooks.

Content provided by Dish Works author Nina Malone.

6 Responses to Meet Victory Brewing Company’s Chef de Cuisine, Owen

  1. Dave Metzger January 2, 2015 at 10:20 AM #

    Owen does phenomenally creative work at Victory, placing it, I think, in a unique position versus other beer/pubs that I have visited. Something very special for suds heads and foodies alike. Some of the creative dishes not on the regular menu that I have tried rank Victory among the area’s best restaurants – quite an accomplishment for “lowly” beer pub grub!. Kolva’s CIA background shows.

  2. Bill C January 2, 2015 at 11:30 AM #

    So ‘tastefully’ written, Nina! (can’t avoid puns… sorry) Thanks for keeping us creatively fed, Owen!

    • Nina M January 9, 2015 at 11:27 AM #

      Thanks, Bill. Happy to “serve up” the good news!

  3. Jimbo January 21, 2015 at 11:45 PM #

    Chef Owen,

    Some additional focus on gluten-free menu items would be welcomed.

    While the boss is resigned to wine, rather than beer, due to celiac disease, I know she’d enjoy something more than salad and bun-less burgers!


    • LCB January 23, 2015 at 9:48 AM #

      Ditto – finding food & beverage options for the gluten intolerant has become a treasure hunt… it would be wonderful if Victory became one of the treasures!

  4. dave March 24, 2015 at 9:54 AM #

    hi… when will you actually be opening the kennett location? i know it was supposed to be may-2014 but delays. thanks

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European Tradition.


American Ingenuity.

The Victory Brewing Story

The story of Victory Brewing Company starts on a school bus in 1973 when fifth-graders Ron Barchet and Bill Covaleski stepped aboard, on their way to a new school. The two became fast friends and remained so, even as they grew up and went to college on opposite coasts. Just months out of college, Bill’s appreciation of good beer and access to his father’s home brewing equipment inspired him to explore the hobby. That same year (1985), Bill gave Ron a home brewing kit as a Christmas gift. With that, both Bill and Ron developed their love of the craft…
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