Meet the Chefs for the 2nd Annual Open Air Summer Feast

From the Blog

Meet the Chefs for the 2nd Annual Open Air Summer Feast
By  •
Culinary Trail, Go Blue Ridge Travel

We have so much great talent right here in the Shenandoah Valley! Located just an hour outside of Washington D.C., you’ll find our latest installment in our culinary series – Root to Table! This farm to table atmosphere features a menu crafted by five locally and world renowned chefs that utilizes the freshest locally sourced ingredients we could find. From the pork entree right down to the last veggie appetizer, these ingredients are proof that the Shenandoah Valley is the East Coast’s newest foodie destination.

We went ahead and got the information you want and put it all in one place, for your convenience. Read on for delicious menu details to a night you won’t want to miss.

Questions for the Taste of Blue Ridge Chefs

What are you bringing to the menu?

What are you most looking forward to?

Chef Erik Foxx-Nettnin |Cold Appetizer

Loudon Summer Bounty Salad – Radish, Beet, Tomato, Fresh Cut Sweet Corn, Vegetable Sprouts, Cucumber, Local Grapes, Baby Greens, Local Feta and Peppered Cider Vinaigrette. Tranco Farm and Shilo Farm helped them to grow this fresh burst of the season.

“[Looking forward to] Cooking shoulder to shoulder with the other chefs and seeing enjoyment on the faces of our guests.”

Learn more about Magnolias at the Mill.


Chef Marcus Repp |Hot Appetizer

Taste of Blue Ridge Marcus Repp“I’m going to do a Gaucho style steak – kind of like Argentinian inspired. The meat is coming from Audley Farms [Berryville, Virginia]. I’ll be looking for mushrooms, locally sourced, and will pair it with pickled garlic.”

It’ll be Chef Marcus’ first time collaborating with chefs in our area! “What I’m most looking forward to is the collaboration with other chefs, being outside – cooking outside, and being a part of Taste of Blue Ridge and this event, in general. Also, being right there with the guests and able to get feedback, and so on. I think it’s going to be a great evening!”

Learn more about Lansdowne Resort and Spa.


Chef Steven Ferrell |Entrée

“I will be in charge of the main course which is the whole pig that is getting roasted in the earth at Hillbrook, the whole Whipped Chef Steve Ferrellprocess will take two days but it is truly one of the best ways to cook a pig, tender, juicy and smoky with a crispy skin.  Once cooked chef Damien from the racetrack and I will have two different preparations of the meat, I am making Chinese style steam buns and chef Damien is making tacos.”

“I am looking forward to cooking with the other chefs.  This event was so much fun last year getting a look at how the other chefs approach local products and the techniques they used.”

Learn more about our host site, Hillbrook Inn and Spa.


Chef Damien Hinck |Entrée

“We’re going to dig a hole and cook an entire pig in the ground, over coals.” He joked, but technically speaking, that’s exactly how the pork is going to be prepared! More specifically, you can look forward to pork tacos with fresh tortillas, pickled red onion, refried peanuts and salsa made with produce from the Hollywood garden.

Aside from being excited to collaborate with the other chefs, he mentioned an interesting details about the pig they’ll be cooking. The pig is actually from Spring House Farm. You can’t get much more local than that!

Learn more about Final Cut at Hollywood Casino at Charles Town Races.


Chef Abby McAllister |Dessert

“I will be preparing a caramelized peach cornmeal cake, paired with my buttermilk ice cream.  The cake will be cooked outdoors over the coals in a cast iron skillet, served family-style.  I will also be making the table bread for this event, though we haven’t decided yet what bread will pair best with the overall menu.”

“I love using locally sourced ingredients, and of course the idea of utilizing the coals outside.  On the pastry side of things, you don’t often have the opportunity to work on such a surface- even a grill.  But, I’m excited to see this pit/hot coal theme woven through several dishes on the menu.  The sense of togetherness, not just between chef and guest, but between chefs, will be truly unique.  The outdoors has a way of connecting us all on a very human level already, but to partake in preparing food for a group in this style, gives the event a very harmonious feeling.”

Learn more about Schenck Foods Co.

2nd Annual Root to Table Summer Dinner | Taste of Blue Ridge

The best part of these events are getting to be involved with a community of food lovers who are just as passionate as you are when it comes to using the right ingredients. Fresh, locally sourced products are one of the only ways to ensure a sustainable approach to your lifestyle, heritage, and longevity. Join us on August 24th for an unforgettable approach to Appalachian cooking.

Purchase tickets here

Read more about this event:

The Best Food Event Outside of D.C.! 

Last year’s event:

Friday Night Cocktails Introduce Our First Ever Root to Table

Root to Table – Round Two!

Chef Erik to Display the ‘Kobe Beef of Pork’ at Root to Table