- Sally Pollak
- Galen Sampson of Philo Ridge Farm
Philo Ridge Farm, the 400-acre diversified farm at 2766 Mount Philo Road in Charlotte, has hired a culinary director to oversee all aspects of the food operation.
Galen Sampson, who comes to Philo Ridge with a broad background in farm-to-table cuisine, assumed the position on January 28. His experience ranges from owning and operating the farm-to-table Dogwood Restaurant in Baltimore with his wife, Bridget, to working on an organic farm in Charlottesville, Va.
Most recently, Sampson, 50, was general manager and executive chef at Beaverkill Valley Inn in Lew Beach, N.Y., in the Catskills, he told Seven Days.
At Philo Ridge, Sampson will manage the operations of the farm market, which sells farm-raised meat and produce and value-added products; and the café, which serves soups, salads, sandwiches and baked goods. He will also direct the food and beverage program for the farm's special events.
The farm hosts private events, such as birthdays and anniversaries, as well as events for local organizations. Concerts where food and drink are served are held periodically at Philo Ridge, as well.
"When I first [visited] Philo Ridge, I was just overly impressed by the operation and their commitment to regenerative agriculture," Sampson said. "The foundation they have built is very strong. It's a beautiful, warm, welcoming place for someone to experience what an active farm is like."
Sampson will work with Kevin Sprouse, who starts this week as chef de cuisine. Sprouse has worked with the Farmhouse Group since 2012, including about five years as chef at Farmhouse Tap & Grill in Burlington, according to the company.
"He's a really good guy," Sampson said of Sprouse. "We're excited about having him come on. We can build everything together."
Sampson said he's looking forward to working with "raw product, right from the fields."
"We plan to expand our offerings to more diverse menus," he said, adding that the farm will also offer cooking classes in the future.