8 Blue Ridge Chefs on the Move for 2022
Despite the uncertainties of 2021, the locally sourced culinary scene is still going strong. Here are 8 Blue Ridge chefs who were on the move in 2021. Some top kitchen talent relocated to fantastic restaurants. And some chefs fulfilled that lifelong dream of opening their own place. Others expanded their offerings to area foodies and even celebrated important first year milestones.
8 Blue Ridge Chefs on the Move
2021 has been quite a year for these 8 chefs on the move. In the face of staffing shortages, supply chain issues, and the spectre of Covid-19, these leading regional chefs looked to the future and the farm-driven food movement. Find out who went where, who took the plunge, and what’s ahead for these Taste of Blue Ridge Chefs.
Taking Talent to New Turf
#1 One of America’s oldest “farm to table” restaurants took on a new chef in 2021. Chef Vincent Badiee joined The Restaurant at Patowmack Farm in Lovettsville and embraced all the locally sourced goodness grown there.
“I grew up eating foods at their purest and most honest form,” explains Chef Vincent. “I guess you could say I was raised on ‘farm to table’.” Chef made his Taste of Blue Ridge Top Chef debut at Root to Table’s “Grilling & Chilling” dining experience last July at The Bavarian. His cremeux made from Patowmack’s fresh blueberries was the perfect ending to the meal. And his talents were on display at Root to Table’s “Four Chefs at Patowmack” earlier in December.
More Chefs on the Move
#2 Just over in Charles Town, WV, Chef Jan Van Haute, formerly of Middleburg’s Goodstone Inn, joined the team at the charming Hillbrook Inn & Spa. A strong supporter of farmers and local food artisans, Chef Jan is bringing his Belgium roots to locally sourced fine dining in the Eastern Panhandle. He’s the newest Taste of Blue Ridge Top Chef and made his Root to Table debut at December’s “Four Chefs at Patowmack”.
“I want our guests to come to Hillbrook not just to eat a meal, but to enjoy an experience,” says Van Haute. “My goal is to work with local farmers, craftsmen and women. And we will grow our own produce at Hillbrook in the future.”
#3 2021 saw new adventures for Root to Table favorite Chef Marcus Repp. The talented and fun loving chef left Lansdowne Resort to take a new culinary path with Noble House Hotels and Resorts. Chef Marcus is now the Corporate Director of Food & Beverage for the curated collection of upscale hotels and resorts. But don’t fear foodies, this Taste of Blue Ridge Ambassador Chef is sure to drop in at Root to Table in 2022.
Taking a Chance, Living the Dream
For two Taste of Blue Ridge Chefs, there was no time like the present to open their own businesses. One went the restaurant route while the other stayed true to catering. And both are champions of farm-driven food.
#4 Chef Steve Ferrell is the “OG” of Root to Table. This fall Chef Steve opened Firebox 55 in Martinsburg, WV. After cooking at prestigious country inns, including Hillbrook, Chef Steve decided to take a more accessible approach to his food. He’s now serving delicious sandwiches and barbeque using top local meats and artisan breads.
“I want to be able to cook for the people I love and the people that live around me for any occasion,” says Chef Steve.
#5 Over in western Loudoun County, Chef Jose Marty, formerly of special events venue Celebrations at Whitehall, branched out with his own catering concern LoCo Kitchen. And he’s also hard at work on a meals to go menu, a line of all natural food products, and a food service division for fellow culinary pros.
“I want to showcase the highest quality local and regional ingredients while creatively layering their flavor profiles and varied textures,” promises Chef Jose.
Ever forward, ever onward
Not only did these Taste of Blue Ridge chefs survive, they thrived in 2021. A popular Winchester area restaurant expanded its following with a new concept. A Food Network competitor celebrated his savory restaurant’s 1st anniversary. And a farm-driven caterer took hospitality by storm.
#6 Executive Chef Jason Von Moll has been treating diners to his southern leaning menu at Paladin Bar & Grill in Stephens City and Front Porch Market & Grill in The Plains for the last few years. In 2021 he added Paladin2 at Woolen Mill in Clearbrook to his plate.
#7 Meanwhile, Food Network competitor, restaurateur and Executive Chef Santosh Tiptur celebrated the first anniversary of his gourmet tacos and tapas restaurant La Prensa in Sterling. And he’s still going strong with The Conche in Leesburg, serving up brunch, dinner, and decadent chocolates. Chef Santosh was a Taste Guest Chef at Root to Table’s Night of Fire & Ice in 2019, showcasing his amazing chocolate skills.
“Polished” Farm-Driven Catering
#8 Wrapping up Taste’s 8 chefs on the move is Executive Chef Erik Foxx-Nettnin, Owner of The Polished Foxx. His farm-focused catering company embodies the locally sourced food community. And he’s an ever-popular Root to Table Top Chef.
Whether it’s family holiday dining or gala events, Chef Erik brings fine farm-driven food to all of his catering experiences. “All our offerings are aimed at those who appreciate fine foods, quality experiences, and being a positive part of the local fabric,” assures Chef Erik.
Congratulations to these 8 chefs on the move. Check out their dishes with Taste of Blue Ridge on Instagram and Facebook. Keep up with them, as well as other top regional chefs, and get the latest news on the 2022 Root to Table dining series with Taste’s Foodie News.