What the Chef: Josh and Amanda Montague
by Jane Snow
Life is sweet these days for Josh Montague. The 38-year-old chef has a thriving Tremont-area chocolate shop, a chef-partner who is also his wife and, as of February 12, a baby son.
Gibson is Josh and Amanda’s first, the latest and best in a string of firsts for the couple. Another: Their 3-year-old shop and tasting bar, Lilly Handmade Chocolates, was just voted best local chocolatier by Cleveland magazine.
“We’ve been very fortunate,” Josh says.
The chefs met while working at the former Lockview Tavern in Valley View.
They originally wanted to open their own restaurant, “but it costs a million dollars,” Josh jokes. Instead, they poured their hearts into creating a chocolate shop with killer truffles in tantalizing flavors such as Red Planet—wine-soaked strawberries in dark chocolate with a dusting of raspberry powder. They have stools and tables to accommodate tastings, and craft beers and wines for matching to the chocolates.
Josh takes care of the books and oversees the kitchen, while Amanda handles the sales and comes up with the flavors. A year ago they thought life was good, but it can’t compare to life now that the baby has arrived.
“It’s already gotten better,” Josh says. “We’re thrilled.
Lilly Handmade Chocolates is at 761 Starkweather Ave. in Cleveland. The phone is 216-771-3333, and the website is LillyTremont.com.