The exquisite and pastoral Lake Placid Lodge in Lake Placid, N.Y., is proud of its relationship with the local farming community and the symbiosis with the guests coming to their destination, and nowhere is this more evident than in their Teaching Kitchen and Chef’s Garden. On previously unused land at the lodge, chef Nathan Rich created a 60-by-40-foot garden to develop the land and the soil by planting and harvesting. Heirloom tomatoes and edible flowers (nasturtium, strawberry blonde calendula), Swiss chard, and Sivan melons from the garden are featured on menus at the lodge's Artisans and Maggie's Pub.
"I appreciate that chef Nathan Rich goes to great lengths to bring locally sourced food to the kitchen," said guest Larry Luckwaldt in a note to The Daily Meal. "By bringing the farm so close to the kitchen's door in his Chef's Garden, he effectively removed the truck/transportation aspect, making each plate true farm-to-table."
Guests can also fish for their own perch and smelts and then have it cleaned and made in the Teaching Kitchen, which utilizes the Chef’s Garden often.
"My husband Sean and I have had the utmost pleasure to experience the Teaching Kitchen at the Lake Placid Lodge twice," said guest Tracy Flaherty, also in a note to us. "It was so much fun to cook with chef Nathan. He is funny, energetic, and quite frankly one of the best chefs I have ever had prepare a meal for me. Most recently during a New Year's Eve getaway we learned how to prepare a mushroom risotto with freshly shaved black truffles, a slow-cooked lobster with cauliflower cream and Brussels sprouts and a dessert that was like nothing I have ever even imagined. We decided it was the most delicious meal we had ever had and an experience beyond our expectation."
Best of all, everyone who works in the Teaching Kitchen for a class gets to take home their own personalized apron.
Said Rich, "I am just a firm believer that when the guests come and we show them how fresh the garden is, they realize that in this day and age people just don’t get to pull carrots out of a garden anymore and see how beautiful they can be."