The Food Guy, Steven Keith Eating his way through the state, plate by plate

Stonewall Resort Chef Competing in U.S. Cook-Off

In hot news on the state culinary beat, Stonewall Executive Chef Tim White has been selected as one of 11 finalists to compete in the U.S. Copper Skillet Cook-off Competition in Chicago this week.

Stonewall Resort lamb dishWhat got him there was his recipe for Grilled Rack of Mountain State Lamb with Potato and Parsnip Puree, Minted Peas with Spinach, Butter-Braised Baby Carrots and Red Wine Reduction, which he’ll prepare for a panel of judges in the Windy City tomorrow in hopes of bringing home top honors.

“The sweetness from the parsnips and carrots plays well against the richness of the lamb and bitter tones of the spinach,” White said, “and the mint is a classic pairing with lamb.”

Although the dish isn’t currently offered at the resort’s restaurants, a variation of it does appear on conference menus.

Competing in the “Senior Chef” category, White will also have to use ingredients from a mystery basket plus select pantry items to prepare a dish that would be typical at a conference center like Stonewall.

A panel of judges will select one winner, who will then go on to compete at Bonaventure Resort & Spa in Fort Lauderdale, FL, with that winner returning next April to compete in the Global Finals.

Go, Tim, go!


Chef Tim White

Here’s a shout-out to my buddy Paco Aceves, Executive Chef at Stonewall Resort, who is featured in the latest issue of Hotel F&B Magazine, a national publication covering the hotel restaurant industry.

“F&B” is industry-speak for “food and beverage.”

Steve Ludwig, Stonewall’s director of sales and marketing, said the magazine asked Paco the following question: “How do you signal to the guest that you are transitioning from spring to summer ingredients in your restaurant lounge menus?”

His response?

“Our restaurant menus include a changeable backdrop upon which we highlight new items, local ingredients and relay the story of our products and their sources. Additionally, we’ve begun to leverage social media, like Facebook, to communicate menu changes and upcoming events to our patrons,” he said.

“Summer is a wonderful time in West Virginia and the offerings from our local farmers markets really drive the menu. The colors, scents, textures and tastes … really inspire fresh, creative and flavorful menu ideas.  Keeping foods simple and not over powering them with heavy sauces or too many spices keep the flavors true and uncomplicated. Our summertime menu will highlight seasonal fruits and vegetables. They will be incorporated into salads or light soups and lighter entrees.  We’ll do more grilling and sautéing and less braising and stewing.”

In announcing the magazine’s coverage, Ludwig said: “Chef Aceves is a true culinary talent. We’re pleased he’s garnering this type of national recognition.”

Here here!

Chefs plate their creations for guests at Stonewall Resort's West Virginia Culinary Classic. (Photo by Rebecca Devono)

Just when we thought we could eat no more, it was time to sit down to a feast.

The 8th annual West Virginia Culinary Classic wrapped up Saturday evening at Stonewall Resort with a wine-and-cheese reception and live music in the lobby, followed by a gourmet four-course tasting menu in the ballroom.

Guests gussied up in their Sunday best to enjoy:

  • A really nice caramelized scallop with cider-poached quail egg and langostine-crab tamale with a quince gastrique
  • Duck confit salad with chefs greens, toasted walnuts, baby beets and cracklings tossed in a coriander-citrus vinaigrette
  • Roasted lamb loin wrapped in herb pastry with ranchero demi glacé, a meritage of forrest mushrooms, grilled asparagus and mescal bernaise
  • And a TO-DIE-FOR chocolate and Chambord mousse cake with melba sauce and macerated berries, a hazelnut tuile, minted whipped cream and a chocolate cigarette

Everything was good, but Executive Chef Paco Aceves and his crew definitely saved the best for last. People at nearby tables were still talking about that dessert the next morning at breakfast.

If you’ve never been to the Culinary Classic, you have no idea what you’re missing. Next year’s event is set for March 9-12, 2012 – and those who register before March 31, 2011, can lock in this year’s rate of $449, a $50 savings over next year’s cost. Visit for more details.