Good to the Bone

Beef—and bone—from Swan Terrace named Dish of Hampton Roads



Swan Terrace

There wasn’t a lot being said around the table. “Mmm” was the closest word uttered for a bit. In front of each judge was a plate featuring a dish with multiple components, each beautiful on their own but together creating a perfect storm of flavor. Although other plates that night would wow and delight the palate, this one came out on top.

It was crowned The Dish of Hampton Roads by a panel of food critics and professionals at the annual March of Dimes Signature Chefs Auction last October, and it was crafted by Executive Chef Scott Simpson of Swan Terrace at The Founders Inn and Spa.

There are exact criteria for a plate to win such an honor at the event. The rules say it must be “a dish that captures the unique regional flavor of Hampton Roads through ingredients, preparation and/or imagination.” The panel of judges felt that Simpson’s offering fit the bill.

It was a beautifully composed dish with many facets. Simply titled Beef & Bone, its more florid subtitle whets the appetite: Grilled Certified Hereford Beef from Virginia topped with Graham Rollins Red Crab Claw and Chesapeake She-Crab Beurre Blanc with Hubbs Farm Peanut Crusted Bone Marrow and Bees Knees Apiaries Honey Roasted Local Root Vegetables.

“Our goal was to showcase our new Swan Terrace menu, which we feel is something Hampton Roads can be proud of,” Simpson says. The new Swan Terrace Grill is an American grill house featuring choice steaks, the freshest seafood and locally-sourced seasonal ingredients from Virginia’s best artisans.

“We felt Virginia has so many other amazing products that deserve to be in the spotlight, but we know that seafood and pork consistently get their fair share of attention. Therefore, we chose a flavorful Virginia beef entrée from our new menu.”

Simpson joined The Founders Inn team in the summer of 2011 following the transition of ownership from Benchmark Hospitality International to the Capella Hotel Group.

A graduate from Culinary Institute of America, the chef also trained at Giuliano Bugialli’s Professional Culinary School in Florence, Italy. Simpson began his culinary journey in the 1980s.

The California native has worked at resorts worldwide, with locations as varied as Arizona, Bali, Ecuador, India and now Virginia. Just prior to coming to The Founders Inn, Simpson worked in Jamaica, where he was on the board of the Culinary Federation of Jamaica, in charge of all culinary education programs.

“I was surrounded by delicious food since childhood growing up in a wonderful Mexican and Italian heritage. I quickly discovered that I loved cooking in my first restaurant job, and thankfully, my passion was developed by many generous chefs and professional mentors,” Simpson says.

The chef has fostered that fervor, which shows in nightly dishes at his restaurant, and on plates put out for competition, like the March of Dimes Signature Chefs Auction.

“When they called our name as winners of The Dish of Hampton Roads, I felt jubilation for the entire team whose hard work paid off. When Swan Terrace was called at the final moment it was dramatic and emotional for our entire team, who had worked so passionately,” he says.

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Swan Terrace
Inside The Founders Inn and Spa

5641 Indian River Rd.,
Virginia Beach
757-366-5777
www.FoundersInn.com

A Tasty Mission
Chefs auction raises funds, awareness for the march of dimes

The 20th annual March of Dimes Signature Chefs Auction was held Oct. 6 at the Founders Inn and Spa in Virginia Beach to raise money and awareness for the mission of the group, which is to improve the health of babies by preventing birth defects, premature birth and infant mortality.
It was also an evening of sampling outstanding dishes from some two dozen of the area’s top chefs. The event featured live and silent auctions, too. Organizers say that $74,722 was raised.

Here is a lineup of the winners:
Best Decorated Booth:
Swan Terrace at The Founders Inn and Spa
Executive Chef
Scott Simpson

Best Presentation:
Atlantic Shores Retirement Community
Executive Chef
Eric Doarnberger

Best Dessert:
The International Culinary School at the Art Institute of Virginia Beach
Chef/Instructor
Melinda Wilkins

Best Sustainable,
Organic, Local:

Swan Terrace at The Founders Inn and Spa
Executive Chef
Scott Simpson

Best Taste:
Mannino’s Italian Bistro
Chef/Owner John Mannino

Chef’s Choice Award:
Burtons Grill
Executive
Chef Tyson Lord

People’s Choice Award:
Mannino’s Italian Bistro
Chef/Owner John Mannino

Dish of Hampton Roads:
Swan Terrace at The Founders Inn and Spa
Executive Chef
Scott Simpson


All participating restaurants/chefs were:
Croc’s 19th Street Bistro
Executive
Chef Matt Knack

The Westin Virginia Beach Town Center
Executive Chef
Rocco Montini

Fusion at the Sheraton Virginia Beach Oceanfront
Executive Chef
Kevin Sharkey

Passion The Restaurant
Executive
Chef Garrett Barner

The International Culinary School at the Art Institute of Virginia Beach
Chef/Instructor
Stephen Gellas

Sonoma Wine Bar & Bistro
Executive Chef
Mackenzie Hess
Executive Sous Chef
Jeff Ullom

Lemongrass Grille
Chef/Owner Rob Brennan

Chops
Executive Chef
Mackenzie Hess
Executive Sous Chef
Tomas Carroll

TradeWinds Restaurant
at Virginia Beach Resort and Conference Center
Executive Chef
John McClure

RSVP
Look for more information about the March of Dimes Signature Chefs Auction events in Coastal Virginia and on the Outer Banks at
www.HRSigChef.com.

 

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