Meet the 5 Newest Taste of Blue Ridge Top Chefs

Taste of Blue Ridge is pleased to introduce you to 5 new talented Chefs that are committed to locally sourced food while providing fantastic dining experiences. Learn more about these culinary wizards, find out their restaurants’ latest dining options, and discover a new way to eat locally sourced dinner at home.

These chefs are ready to take you on a Blue Ridge culinary journey. Experience fine dining and get to know the chefs who support the locally sourced food movement.

Chef William McNeill, George Washington Hotel –

Chef Will finishing a scallop dishOriginally from Georgia, Chef William McNeill was raised on a farm. And after a storied career in both hospitality management and the culinary arts in metropolitan areas, he was ready for something new.

“I quickly found after several years that the big metropolitan grandeur had worn off,” says Chef William. “The traffic was terrible and I really missed the time with my son. These foothills of the Appalachian mountains remind me a lot of southern Georgia. The farms and vineyards just felt like home to me.”

At the George Washington Hotel in downtown Winchester, Chef William fuses southern style cooking with a French flair. “It’s my upbringing in the South – but from my work with other chefs, I have gained a French influence.  Southern Georgia and North Alabama – the slow low country method of cooking. It’s a wonderful smell. I love pork – ribs, bacon, and a pork roast. The French influence simply refines the cuisine.”

Restaurant Info: The George Washington Hotel offers two dining options. George’s Food & Spirits is currently open for breakfast Saturday and Sunday, 6:30 am – 12 pm. The Half Note Lounge is open for dinner Tuesday – Saturday, 5 pm-10 pm. George’s will have a grand reopening on August 14th.

Chef Lawrence Kocurek, Hunter’s Head Tavern –

Chef Lawrence KocurekIf you’re looking for a locally-sourced gastropub experience, try a meal from Chef Lawrence Kocurek. His farm to table specials at Hunter’s Head Tavern in Upperville is known for their Ayrshire Farm proteins along with produce from nearby farms. In addition to his kitchen duties, Chef Lawrence is also the restaurant’s general manager.

“Sourcing products from our own farm allows us to have control over the quality of the meats we serve as well as a direct connection to the local community and agriculture,” says Chef Lawrence. “Virginia has a great local food scene!”

Chef Lawrence’s childhood definitely influenced his career choice. “My family always cooked, my grandfather and father taught me to hunt and fish, clean, cook, and smoke meats,” says the Texas native. “We also gardened and canned our own vegetables.”  Today he and his wife are passing down some of those traditions with their own garden.  “I, unfortunately, don’t get to work in the garden as much as I would like, but my wife and three kids tend to it quite well.”

Restaurant Info: Hunter’s Head Tavern is open 11:30 am-9:30 pm Sunday – Thursday and until 11 pm Friday and Saturday. Enjoy late summer nights on the pet-friendly patio with a delicious new summer menu.

Chef Jeremiah Brooks, Hamilton’s Tavern 1840 –

Chef Jeremiah BrooksChef Jeremiah Brooks has been a busy man. He recently presented an outstanding course as a Guest Chef for Root to Table. And his Harpers Ferry, WV restaurant, Hamilton’s Tavern 1840, just celebrated its first anniversary.

“Our cuisine is elevated, fresh, nearly farm to table, but it’s approachable, relaxed, and unpretentious,” says Chef Jeremiah of his restaurant’s menu. Hamilton’s Tavern 1840 is a place where “Craft meets casual.”

Chef Jeremiah has made some great connections on the locally sourced food scene. “I like to source my produce from local farmers for sustainability, support of local business, and also because using local produce is the best way for my guests to experience the true terroir of our region.”

Favorite locally sourced ingredients: Shepherd’s Whey Creamery, Young Harvests Farm, Orr’s Farm Market, and  Bolivar Bread Bakery.

Restaurant Info: Hamilton’s Tavern 1840 is open 4-8 pm Monday, 12 pm-8 pm Wednesday & Sunday, 12 pm-9 pm Thursday – Saturday. Reservations are highly encouraged. Be sure to check out the brunch menu.

Chef Jeremy Thrasher, West End Wine Bar & Pub –

Chef Jeremy Thrasher of West End Restaurant and Wine BarChef Jeremy Thrasher at Purcellville’s West End Wine Bar & Pub is the future of locally sourced dining. Not only does he use “farm to table” products, but this chef also practices the real food movement by foraging mushrooms and keeping bees.

“My cooking style is local, seasonal, good food, “ says Chef Jeremy. “The vast majority of the things we use in my kitchen are locally sourced. I’ve been working in restaurants in this area for a long time and have been able to build relationships with a lot of farmers around here.”

Like Chef Lawrence from Hunter’s Head, Chef Jeremy’s career choice stems back to his childhood. “My love of food definitely came from watching my grandmother cook and helping her when I was old enough to stand on a stool and reach the counter.”

Favorite locally sourced ingredients: WhiffleTree Farm, Martin’s Angus Beef, Spring House Farm, Feathered Fletch Farm, Baker’s Farm, Endless Summer Harvest, Franklin Sustainable Farms.

Restaurant Info: West End Wine Bar & Pub is open for patio and indoor dining Tuesday-Thursday and Sunday, 4 pm-8 pm, and 4 pm-9 pm Friday and Saturday.

Chef Patrick Evans, Dine One-One –

Chef Patrick Evans plating foodIf Chef Patrick Evans can feed 2000 people, he can definitely feed your family. This 30-year culinary veteran was responsible for the menus at the Philip Morris Operations Center in Richmond. During his time in Virginia’s capital, he also created memorable dishes at the Country Club of Virginia, the Jefferson Hotel, and The Dominion Club.

After moving to Winchester, Chef Patrick did a stint at the George Washington Hotel and then started a restaurant consulting business. Now he’s on a mission to bring good food to area residents with Dine One-One. Chef Patrick gives a new flavor to dining classics. For example, he recently showcased his take on fried chicken and biscuits with gravy at our most recent Root to Table event.

Located at The Bright Box Theater, Chef Patrick’s Dine One-One features healthy comfort cuisine using local and organic ingredients. “I develop menus based on seasonal ingredients and what’s available at local farm markets,” says Chef Patrick. “Every week, a new menu for the upcoming work week is posted by noon on Friday.”

Busy families, new parents, and even seniors “retiring” from the kitchen enjoy meals from this personal chef. Dine One-One also caters private events. “I take the headache out of planning and preparing your next party,” says Chef Patrick. “You and your guests will enjoy the freshest food possible – with the added entertainment of a live, professional chef.”

Dine One-One Info: Online orders accepted 12 pm Friday – 9 pm Sunday for the upcoming work week. Pickup is 4 pm-6:30 pm (select your time). Select a single meal on a particular day or place multi-day orders.

Visit Our Newest Chefs!

Skillful preparation, attention to detail, and a passion for locally sourced food are the hallmarks of these 5 new Taste of Blue Ridge Top Chefs. Enjoy a meal prepared by one of them and get a taste of REAL food in the Blue Ridge.

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