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Side Dishes: Mark Timms, River Garden Café

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Head Chef Mark Timms has tendered his resignation to the Vermont National Country Club. Timms says he'll be moving back to Atlanta, Georgia, to helm the kitchen at a brand-new Four Diamond hotel. "It's an opportunity that's once in a lifetime," he says. "I'd be an idiot to turn it down."

Working at a big-name hotel should bring some big opportunities. Timms mentions that a PR team for the resort is putting together a "cutting-edge" culinary team to compete on "Iron Chef America," and Food & Wine magazine is already planning an October article. Although Timms says he is sad to leave the Green Mountains, he's looking forward to the challenge of preparing ultra-high-end food and indulging in his love for "molecular gastronomy."

Although Timms will be flying back and forth to Atlanta regularly through October, he intends to honor his pledges to Vermont charities and show up at their events. "Once a commitment is made with me, it's made," he promises.

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In early March, an ice jam in East Burke's Dish Mill Brook caused water to pour into basements around town, including the one at the River Garden Café. A month later, the resto's answering machine is still reporting that, "Due to the severity of the flood . . . we'll be closed until further notice."

According to an article in the Caledonian-Record, the café's basement was filled with five feet of water, soaking refrigerators, freezers and food storage containers. No word on whether the eatery's side business as a salad-dressing manufacturer was impacted; River Garden bottles it in flavors such as smoked-tomato vinaigrette and sesame ginger.

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