Chef John Leonard

Executive Chef of Hunter’s Head Tavern

Chef John is intertwined in the local food scene of Loudoun County and brings locally sourced cuisine to Upperville.

Chef John Leonard of Hunters Head Tavern

Chef John Leonard’s Foodie Bites

Guilty Pleasure Snack: Peanut butter and jelly on potato bread with Doritos. Don’t knock it ‘til you try it.

Favorite Meal: Breakfast, hands down, because I usually never get to eat it. Give me some chipped beef gravy – any type of gravy, really – and a starch, and I’m happy.

Most Essential Element / Equipment in the Kitchen: A sharp mandolin is a highly underrated tool. You can get super thin cuts, and the consistency is always there no matter what you’re prepping. 

One Condiment/Herb/Spice you can’t live without: Sriracha – That stuff is the bomb! I put it on everything.

Meet Chef John Leonard

Executive Chef John Leonard joins the Hunter’s Head Tavern as a veteran of the local food scene, having spent several years at the Ashby Inn, the Goodstone Inn and other Loudoun County restaurants over his career. He has also worked at restaurants in Washington, D.C., New York, and Asheville, N.C. Equally comfortable with French classics and Southern fare, Leonard brings a passion for regional cuisine to the Upperville gastropub that’s renowned for sourcing local ingredients – most notably Certified Humane and Organic heritage breed beef and pork – from Ayrshire Farm, its parent company just down the road in Upperville.

Finding a Love for Food

My grandmother’s kitchen. One of my favorite memories is making banana bread with her. That’s also where my love for breakfast comes from. We’d eat grits all the time.

Favorite thing about Hunters Head

My favorite thing so far about Hunter’s Head is our wonderful guests. It’s been a pleasure getting to know everyone.

How do you feel about the locally sourced movement?

I’m all for it! We should be sourcing everything as locally as possible. If more people embraced that mindset, it would improve the environment, the economy, our health – there would be so much less waste. It could change the world.

Learn more about Hunter’s Head Tavern >>

Meet our favorite locally sourced farmers >>

Experience the other great chefs of the Blue Ridge >>

Braised Pork Shoulder from Hunter's Head Tavern

Shrimp and Pasta at Hunter's Head Tavern

seafood and rice from Hunter's Head Tavern