Stowe Mountain Lodge’s cornerstone restaurant, Solstice, is without an executive chef after the departure of chef Tiffany Sawyer. The gap is being filled by two chefs working in tandem — or in competition?
Sawyer joined Solstice last October. She left three months later, saying she wanted to be closer to an ailing mother, but she also cites the cold, cloudy local weather as a factor in her departure.
In her wake, Solstice’s sous-chef, Brent Black, has stepped up as one of two chefs at the top of the line. The other recently moved north from Austin’s Driskill Hotel (a sister locale to Stowe in the Destination Resorts group). “These two gentlemen are going to present the very best they have to offer [so we can] see if it is what we are looking for,” says Dean Abell, food and beverage director at the resort. “They’ll bounce back and forth off of each other.”
Abell says the menu has undergone a face-lift in the last few weeks, with the inclusion of upscale comfort food items such as risotto cakes, New York strip steak, and a steelhead trout served with fried artichokes and hazelnut romesco. “We’re still maintaining the farm-to-table concept as much as we can,” says Abell.
He adds that, despite the new arrangement, the search for an executive chef is still officially on.
Shelburne eatery Kong Chow has closed its doors. Owner Linda Lung says she needs to spend more time in New York City with her mother, who has health issues. Though fairly new to Chittenden County, the Chinese restaurant was a Rutland institution for 70 years before its move north.
Last week, CNBC crowned Burlington one of 10 top “foodie cities” in America. The Queen City scored high on a matrix of factors that included the ratio of local to chain restaurants; the density of locally oriented food stores, farmers markets and CSAs; and the number of craft breweries and wine bars.
Flattering as the honor is, the survey write-up cites Taste as bolstering Burlington’s food cred. That waterfront eatery closed two years ago.
Other regional winners: Portland, Maine; Boston, Mass.; and Providence, R.I.