FARMINGTON, PA (May 9, 2018) – One of the best parts of travel – whether you’re going around the world, across the country, over the state line or just down the street – is enjoying the freshest local ingredients and discovering all the ways that innovative chefs can incorporate them into clever menus and craft them into the most memorable dining experiences.
It’s with that truth in mind that Nemacolin Woodlands Resort proudly unveils a new culinary philosophy that includes new chefs and even an entirely new restaurant concept. The resort-wide farm-to-table philosophy – which celebrates the bounty of the Allegheny Mountains and the prowess of an award-winning culinary team – will be in place by the start of the busy summer travel season, officially kicking off for Memorial Day weekend.
Leading the resort’s commitment to finding and serving the best local foods is Executive Chef Stephen Strickland, who joined the Nemacolin team a few months ago. Strickland brings more than 2o years of experience, including stints at several Ritz-Carlton and Waldorf Astoria properties, and he most recently served as the Executive Chef at the legendary Arizona Biltmore. “Our entire culinary team is focused on two key elements, food and service,” Strickland says. “Our eclectic collection of inventive restaurants is dedicated to helping guests truly enjoy the talents of our chefs, but we also want to draw attention to our local partners who are the very best at what they do – whether that’s growing greens, making cheese or baking bread.”
In summary: Nemacolin is serving up a lot of delicious changes. Here are the featured specials:
Among the biggest changes guests will notice is an entirely new restaurant, Rockwell’s, a classic steakhouse located in Nemacolin’s Lodge. The restaurant’s name pays tribute to the Rockwell family, which opened the original hunting lodge on the property. That Lodge, which this year is celebrating its 50th anniversary, was later purchased by Joe Hardy, the modern resort’s founder. Guests of that original Lodge used to spend their days in the Laurel Highlands, hunting, fishing and foraging. At night, the chefs transformed the day’s harvest into delicious meals. Honoring that tradition, Executive Chef Patrick Duffy, who has spent the past two years running the resort’s popular Aqueous restaurant, will prepare the finest cuts of beef, wild game and local fish along with fresh-from-the-garden produce that has been picked on Nemacolin’s 2,000 acres or delivered by local farmers and growers.
Aqueous Gets in Touch with Nature
At Aqueous, a new chef is taking the helm. Erling Berner, who graduated from the New England Culinary Institute and who has worked in the kitchens of such illustrious restaurants as Commander’s Palace in New Orleans and Gramercy Tavern in New York, is now leading the culinary team in the dining room at Falling Rock, Nemacolin’s Frank Lloyd Wright-inspired hotel. Those familiar with Wright’s work know that his chief inspiration was nature ... and the same is true for the menu at Aqueous, which features everything from local lamb, beef, poultry and rabbit to hand-selected cheeses and fresh-picked greens. The restaurant’s walls of windows look out over the mountains, offering a perfect and beautiful backdrop to this excellent dining experience.
Take It Away
The resort’s sundry shop is getting a makeover, too, transforming into The Pantry. Located in the Lodge, the new gourmet-to-go café will offer everything from locally sourced coffees at Rockwell’s Express coffee bar, to a full array of wines, beers and other beverages. Guests can stop in for a quick bite, grabbing sandwiches, salads, cheeses, pastries and breads. In addition, the shop will serve as a local grocery store, allowing guests at Nemacolin’s townhouses and private homes – all of which feature their own kitchens with refrigerators and ovens – the opportunity to stock up on local ingredients so they can try their hand at their own culinary creations.
Lautrec Will Always Be a Favorite
There are plenty of changes within Nemacolin’s culinary scene, but some things will remain unaltered. Lautrec, which continues its reign as one of just 30 restaurants in the entire world to earn five stars from Forbes and five diamonds from AAA, will continue to be the go-to restaurant for special occasions and unique dining adventures. Executive Chef Kristin Butterworth has been a pioneer in the region’s farm-to-table movement, and she’s spent years forging relationships with local farmers and purveyors who know that Nemacolin wants the finest ingredients for its guests and never settles for second best. “We love that guests look at the resort as a ‘dining destination,’ whether they’re coming for a weeklong stay, a weekend getaway or a nice dinner out,” Butterworth says. “Nemacolin is about expecting the unexpected, and the entire culinary team – at every restaurant here – is committed to helping guests enjoy a culinary adventure each and every time they visit one of our venues.”
The Tavern, New Wheels and Great Meals
As one of Nemacolin’s more casual restaurants, The Tavern will feature classic cocktails, local craft beers and a gourmet gastropub menu. Even Nemacolin’s food truck – the first such dining option in Fayette County when it debuted last year – will serve local, housemade specialties to the golfers and others participating in the resort’s many outdoor activities.
It All Starts with the Farmers and Growers
Guests in Nemacolin’s dining rooms won’t just see the names of each restaurant’s chef on their menus; they’ll also see the names of the people and farms that partner with the resort. Local favorites like Footprints Farm in Gibbon Glade, Pennsylvania, and High Country Creamery and Market in Grantsville, Maryland, are featured alongside such purveyors as Sechler Sugar Shack in Confluence, Pennsylvania; local forager Hayley Ryczek from Fayette County; and Robin’s Holistic Garden, located right at the resort.
Locally Grown in Every Way
Nemacolin isn’t just keeping it local by sourcing foods from the region; its chefs are home-grown, too. Duffy hails from Pittsburgh, Berner is an alumni of Sewickley Academy in Pittsburgh, Strickland earned his culinary arts degree from the Pennsylvania Institute of Culinary Arts in Pittsburgh, and Butterworth graduated from Indiana University of Pennsylvania. All have traveled, learned and worked in different states, territories and countries, but they’ve come home to celebrate and redefine Pennsylvania’s culinary culture.
All of Nemacolin’s restaurants are open to resort guests as well as day guests, so visitors can enjoy these culinary experiences whether they’re staying for a week or just stopping in for a one-of-a-kind meal.
For more information about Nemacolin’s memorable dining experiences, to make a reservation at one of the resort’s restaurants, or to book a stay, please visit www.Nemacolin.com.
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Tucked in the Allegheny Mountains of Pennsylvania, Nemacolin Woodlands Resort is a four-season playground nestled within 2,000 acres. Nemacolin offers diverse lodging options, including the AAA Five-Diamond Falling Rock boutique hotel; an impressive assortment of dining outlets, including the Forbes Five-Star, AAA Five-Diamond Lautrec; and an art collection of various mediums. The adventurer may choose from a range of activities: Pete Dye-designed golf, fly-fishing or off-road driving. The Zen-seeker may find serenity in the Woodlands Spa or balance at the Holistic Healing Center. Nemacolin also boasts 32,000 square feet of space for meetings and special events, making this resort the ideal choice for everything from weddings to corporate retreats. For more information, please visit www.Nemacolin.com.
Mindy Bianca Public Relations