Chef Mykel Winterstine
Pastry Chef at The Restaurant at Patowmack
Chef Winterstine brings a love of food and dessert to the award-winning Restaurant at Patowmack Farm
Guilty pleasure snack: “French fries that are very crisp and fluffy on the inside. Lots of ketchup. Any chef who neglects their French fries is no chef at all. ”
Favorite meal: “A really good cheeseburger, not a date night cheeseburger, a messy one. The meat has to be at leaast a 75%/25% ratio. The bun has to be not too soft, lightly crispy. When I bite into the burger, the juice doesn’t make the bun soggy. Cooked to medium, caramelized onions, cheddar cheese, pickles and yes, ketchup.”
“Can’t live without” ingredient: “Salt – it brings food to life. Without it, the world is a sad and boring place.”
Most essential kitchen item: “My brain and my hands”
Get to know Pastry Chef Mykel Winterstine
My mother loved to cook and she tried to pass that love to her kids. My sisters tried it once and that was enough for them. When I was 2 years old, my mother put me on the step stool and we made a snack cake together. My mother premeasured everything and put the ingredients into the bowl and my job was to keep stirring. But I wanted to do everything including adding each ingredient and cracking the egg. My mother showed me how to crack an egg and it was a disaster since I just scrunched it between my baby hands. These days, I can to it with one hand.
When I was in culinary school, we did a section on bread baking and I fell in love working with dough. To this day, I love working with dough. As I was completing my courses, I thought I would stay and take the baking and pastry courses as well and that turned into my love.
What’s Special about Patowmack?
Being able to walk outside, get eggs from the chickens, get berries from the bushes and pick edible flowers from the garden. I’m allowed to use the very best ingredients; quality is considered before price.
Locally Sourced = Transparency
People need to think before they put something into their mouths and that’s when I do when I’m preparing a dish. Did these eggs come from a hen that was happy and allowed to scratch around for bugs as well as eat the provided grain? Was anything sprayed on the strawberries? How were the cows treated and fed before they entered the milking parlor? How is the milk treated after it leaves the milking parlor? In order to know the answers, you need to know the farmers and we get to do that when they’re all local.