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New Culinary Experiences: Basin Harbor’s 2013

Posted on February 6, 2013

New Culinary Experiences: Basin Harbor’s 2013

Contemporary American Cuisine, Gastro-Tavern and even more local sourcing.

Inspired and exuberant” best describes the energy Executive Chef,  Christian Kruse will bring to his kitchen this summer at Basin Harbor.

I sat down with Chef Christian and his Sous Chef, Harley LaRocque, to get a taste for the excitement and quality that surrounds the 2013 menus. I immediately felt the duo’s determined and excited energy which will undeniably translate into a memorable culinary experience this summer.

Even more local.

It is not just a culinary trend for us.” Chef Christian understands the importance of supporting local growers and farmers, and also knows that sourcing foods from nearby provides for a more authentic culinary experience for our guests. “The local movement has really inspired me…Vermont probably leads the country when it comes to supporting local” says Chef Christian.  He said that this year Basin Harbor will be working with even more local farmers and growers than in the past, many from right here in Addison County. Local farmers such as Bob Bruce, Bella Farm, Lalumiere Farm, and Pete’s Greens to name a few. “It is my goal to be an example of a resort who supports local farmers and sustainability while maintaining affordable food costs” says Chef Christian.

Fourth Generation Owner, Pennie Beach reiterates Basin Harbor’s commitment to local food sourcing: “as the food scene continues to evolve at Basin Harbor, the one constant is the importance of very local food…Vermont is truly the epicenter of the Localvore movement.”

Yet, local ingredients would be nothing without the talent to cook and the creative drive behind the pan. Chef Christian is looking forward to working with Basin Harbor’s other talented Chefs; Chef Jane of the Ranger Room, Chef Cori of the Bake Shop and Chef Juan of The Red Mill.

Chef Christian has been a part of the Basin Harbor culinary team for eight years and has earned the coveted role of Executive Chef at the resort. He says he is “excited to now take the opportunity to share his knowledge and ideas”. His vision is to provide more options and variety in the Main Dining Room. He describes the cuisine as “Contemporary American cuisine with New England and Vermont influences”. The Red Mill will also see a shift in style this year becoming more of a Gastro-Tavern Cuisine, with continued incorporation of products from nearby farms.

LaRocque says that he likes the fact that he and Chef Christian bring a young energy to the kitchen. Kruse agrees, and adds “it’s my generation of chefs that are left to get into the new things; like molecular gastronomy and new cuisines, whereas the chefs before us left traditions and fundamentals”. LaRocque remarks that “I don’t ever want to fit a mold about what kind of Chef I am”, the two undoubtedly will keep things exciting, modern and delicious! Pennie adds that “[Chef Christian] has a fresh take on fresh and local, and our mouths are watering just reading the menus”.


More from the interview

What can our 2013 guests get excited for?

Chef Christian: New, creative menus, more local ingredients. I want people to eat a meal at Basin Harbor and say ‘yes, this is Chef Christian’s food’. It is about creating the best food possible.

Where do you draw inspiration?

Chef Christian: I got the opportunity to go to Florida in December to shadow some chefs down there. I was able to visit The Everglades Club, Ibis Bau Beach Resort, Orchid Island and Gasparilla Inn. At Gasparilla, I had the wonderful opportunity to work with Certified Master Chef Peter Timmons and Chef Kono, the Executive Sous Chef. I gathered inspiration from their food, their organization and structure in the kitchen.

Also, Chefs Brian McCracken and Dana Tough are two big inspirations to me, owners of Spur and The Coterie Room in Seattle Washington.

What are your favorite restaurants?

Chef Christian: Best restaurant I’ve ever eaten at was Morimoto’s in NYC. Vermont favorites include Kitchen Table in Richmond and Hen of the Wood in Waterbury. Hands down the best in Vermont.

We’re all looking forward to enjoying the foods of Basin Harbor in 2013!