Courtesy Mountain Lake.
From my inbox to you:
PEMBROKE, Va. (November 11, 2013) – Mountain Lake Lodge has introduced Michael Rork as its new executive chef, an acclaimed culinary veteran who has led hotel, resort and fine dining restaurants focused on imaginative American cuisine.
Rork comes to Mountain Lake from the eastern shore of Maryland, where he served as executive chef of the Easton Club, a golf resort with restaurant and events center. He has extensive experience developing menus, hiring and managing employees and operating restaurants.
“I just fell in love with the whole scenario of Mountain Lake Lodge,” Rork says. “It’s a gorgeous area. The lodge is spectacular, the people are wonderful and there are so many options here for food and beverage service.”
Rork will lead Harvest restaurant – a comfortable, full-service, dining room – and Stony Creek Tavern, the cozy fireside community gathering place. Both are located inside the main lodge.
Rork is committed to growing the lodge’s use of food from New River Valley farms. The new Harvest menu, for example, includes vegetables from Stonecrop Farm, Kinsinger Farm, Renno Farms, Riverstone Farm and Williams Orchard, among others, along with chicken from Bright’s Farm and bison from Hollow Hill Farm. Rork shops Blacksburg’s co-op market for the freshest local ingredients.
Coming from Maryland, Rork is excited to add authentic crab cakes to the menu, which will continue to change seasonally to deliver fresh, healthy and interesting flavors.
“I enjoy cooking seafood, but farm-to-table is most important to me. I’ve been doing it for 15 years and now, and at the Lodge it fits in well with the inspiration of nature and focus on conservation,” Rork says.
Previously, he helped to open Jimmie & Sooks, a casual seafood kitchen in Cambridge, Md. He also was executive chef and co-owner of Town Dock Restaurant in St. Michaels, Md., a waterfront resort town.
From 1994-2009, he served as a consulting executive chef, creating and implementing menus and recipes for restaurants throughout Maryland. He also served as executive chef at the Harbor Court Hotel in Baltimore. He’s also led restaurants in Arkansas and Texas.
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