Some things remain classics, while others continue to evolve. Such is life. One can easily bring to mind great sports cars, like the Ford Mustang, that have seen many changes over the years, but still retain their essence. As we grow and evolve, we keep the best and upgrade the rest.

At The Desmond, we go through change, too.

For instance, we’ve updated our restaurant space. It’s taken some time (change is a process), but we’re pleased with the results—and we know that you’ll be, too. We’ve even done a little name change with one of our eateries—and all will be revealed soon! What hasn’t changed, though, is our wonderful staff and unwavering commitment to offering the finest cuisine. You’ll still find those familiar smiles and favorite menu items.

Our team is the heart of The Desmond, and it’s through them that we’re able to give all of our guests unparalleled service from the moment they walk in the door. Whether it’s a weeklong stay or an evening out, we’re here to make you feel at home.

Home keeps you coming back, and just like some of our “regulars,” some of our staff members have been calling The Desmond home for decades. In fact, we’re so proud to have such an amazing, talented and caring bunch that for this blog post, we wanted to focus on them. Meet Jackie, Collin and Michael—a few of our team members who help make every day special. Read on to hear their thoughts on the new space and life at The Desmond.

Jackie Fong

Jackie has been a server at The Desmond for 21 years, and has an incredible memory for your preferred beverage! Her favorite part about the new restaurant space? “It looks bigger and there’s more light,” she says with a smile. Jackie’s motto is to “treat others how you want to be treated, and you’ll never be wrong.” We couldn’t agree more! “Comfort” is how Jackie sums up being at The Desmond. “Everyone who walks in is more than our guest; they’re family. Even if we don’t have it on the menu, if it’s in the kitchen, it’s yours.” Jackie’s favorite foods at The Desmond? “So hard to choose! Our crab bisque is the best, and everyone can’t get enough of our award-winning mushroom soup and famous bread pudding.”

Collin Walters

Collin has been a server with us for 27 years! He describes the updated style, color and furniture of the new restaurant space as “modern and inviting.” How would Collin describe working at The Desmond? “Stress-free, service-oriented and fun.” He cites the standout quality of visiting The Desmond as “the positive connection that is established between us and our guest.”

Michael Ryan

“Most of the restaurant staff have worked at the Desmond for 5 or more years,” said Michael, who has been a server for 13 years. “I love how we work together and get along like family. Guests notice this and compliment how they feel right at home from the moment they check in until they check out.” His favorite part of the new space? “The colors—they really brighten up the room and makes it appear more open. I also love the new chandeliers and the design of the ceiling.”

We hope you’ll visit us soon to see what’s new—and what’s not—and let our servers welcome you like family.

 

For 25 years, The Desmond Hotel has earned a reputation for superior hospitality and comfort. We boast 194 well-appointed nonsmoking guest rooms and suites with modern amenities and hotel-wide free Wi-Fi. Our luxurious property offers three onsite dining options, two bars, indoor and outdoor fitness and beautiful grounds. We have the perfect setting for you—no matter the occasion. The Desmond is ideal for corporate meetings and retreats, wedding receptions and any kind of celebration. Events of all sizes welcome!

Nathan Greenwood

Featured photo: CVC Construction; text photo: The Desmond

When life winds you up, it’s important to take the time to wind back down. Sometimes you just need to sneak off and take a break from the daily grind. Wouldn’t it be nice if you could get away without having to hop on a plane? Here at The Desmond, we specialize in creating options for you to do just that! Whether it’s a long weekend or an overnight stay, we’ve got everything you need for fun and relaxation without the travel fare. You can even book a reservation online any time of day—or night. It’s just one more way we’re here to serve you as the area’s finest full-service hotel.

Indulge in Luxury

Like being pampered? We do, too! That’s why we strive to offer the best amenities and cuisine for a superlative guest experience. Get comfortable in our well-appointed rooms, where room service is just a ring away. Relax on our triple-sheeted bed boasting fine linens, hypoallergenic pillows and blankets—with down pillows available upon request. Plug in (or not!) to a home docking station for your mobile device.

Dine in any of our restaurants, where our culinary team showcases only the finest seasonal ingredients from near and far with modern flair. Choose from the elegant newly renovated dining room, the casual but charming Fox & Hounds Pub or, in fair weather, our al fresco Sunset Grille. You’ll enjoy executive chef Chris Calhoun’s exquisite dishes at all three venues.

Get Moving

Feeling sporty and need to get outdoors? Enjoy our walking and jogging trails, completely renovated indoor fitness center or convenient bike rentals. Make a splash any time of year with our indoor pool and hot tub. You can even count on us for complimentary local transportation to stops of interest close to the hotel.

Location, Location, Location

We’re in Malvern, at the center of many of the Brandywine Valley’s unique attractions and just minutes from the rest of the Main Line and Philadelphia. This means that you’ll find fun in any direction you head. Local wineries, great shops and tranquil spas are all within reach when you stay with us. Check out all the things to do in the area.

Our convenient guest room packages combine the best local attractions with our hotel’s world-class conveniences. Select from a diverse roster of experiences that you won’t soon forget or for the perfect gift this holiday season! Each package includes a stay with us and some local adventures—perfect for a romantic getaway or a weekend with the girls!

Our packages include:

  • Pink Out Overnight Package
  • Sip, Savor and Stay
  • A Night on the Bridge
  • The Romance Package
  • The Escape Package
  • The Shop N Stay Package
  • QVC Studio Tour

Stop thinking about getting away and make it happen! Make a reservation online or call us at 800-575-1776.

For 25 years, The Desmond Hotel has earned a reputation for superior hospitality and comfort. We boast 194 well-appointed nonsmoking guest rooms and suites with modern amenities and hotel-wide free Wi-Fi. Our luxurious property offers three onsite dining options, two bars, indoor and outdoor fitness and beautiful grounds. We have the perfect setting for you—no matter the occasion. The Desmond is ideal for corporate meetings and retreats, wedding receptions and any kind of celebration. Events of all sizes welcome!

Nathan Greenwood

Photos: The Desmond

“Talent wins games, but teamwork and intelligence win championships.”

–Michael Jordan

In business, just like on the court, team building is important. Whether it’s a small company of just five individuals or a large corporation with hundreds, teamwork is a success essential that must be honed. There’s no doubt that companies are seeing the value of team building now more than ever. From seminars to best-selling books, the world’s experts are telling us to invest in teams to maximize business.

So how do you build your team up? Simple: visit us. We can help! When you host a team building event, you need to pick the right place, atmosphere and activities. Here’s why The Desmond should be the venue for your next team building retreat:

IACC

These are the four letters to look for whenever you’re considering a business venue for your next event. The IACC certification is prestigious and indicates a standard of nonpareil quality. All members conform to a comprehensive global set of criteria and quality standards surrounding the physical meeting room design, refreshments and service. The Desmond is an IACC-certified venue that provides world-class accommodations to the Philadelphia Metro area.

Collaborative Space

As the saying goes: location, location, location. It’s as true for real estate as it is for typing up an important report. When you need the right space for a team building retreat, we answer the call with a floor plan that boasts rooms for every activity and group size. In addition to large conference spaces, there are ample breakout and break rooms, too.

Engaging Activities

Change only comes about through action—all great team building events need an exercise or activity! There’s nothing like rolling up your sleeves and enjoying a new experience alongside your peers. That’s why we offer a number options for you and your team.

Our culinary team building activities are unique and fun! When guests attend one of our dynamic culinary events, they’ll notice that we put the focus on working together in an enjoyable environment. Each event is designed to encourage creativity and team connection, with great food and drink to boot. Culinary events include:

  • Chili Cook-Off
  • M & M Cocktail Party
  • Mystery Basket
  • Kitchen Workshop Clinic

Feeling more crafty? Try our Paint & Sip event! Show off your artistic prowess, or just have fun putting brush to canvas while enjoying drinks in a team setting. Your team gets to express creativity with colors and form, and take home their creations. Request a proposal to find out more about customizing your next team building experience.

Great Food

Even teams have to eat. Make sure you’re running on the right fuel! Our award-winning restaurants provide amazing cuisine that showcases the best ingredients from near and far. Whether it’s a nibble during a conference or a full-on luncheon, we can cater to groups from 5 to 300.

Central Location

Our full-service hotel is nestled in scenic Chester County, close to the Pennsylvania Turnpike, the regional rail and the Philadelphia International Airport. Our location is equally convenient for guests travelling locally or from abroad. We also offer guest room blocks in comfortable lodging—perfect for multi-day conferences and out-of-town guests.

When you’re planning your next team-strengthening retreat or activity, consider all that The Desmond has to offer. Our IACC-certified venue is perfect for groups of all sizes, and has everything you need for next-level team building retreats. Our business is to help you strengthen your business. You can request a proposal anytime online, or give us a call at (800) 575-1776.

 

For 25 years, The Desmond Hotel has earned a reputation for superior hospitality and comfort. We boast 194 well-appointed nonsmoking guest rooms and suites with modern amenities and hotel-wide free Wi-Fi. Our luxurious property offers three onsite dining options, two bars, indoor and outdoor fitness and beautiful grounds. We have the perfect setting for you—no matter the occasion. The Desmond is ideal for corporate meetings and retreats, wedding receptions and any kind of celebration. Events of all sizes welcome!

Nathan Greenwood

Featured photo: Pictures by Todd; all other photos: The Desmond

Ever wish you could get a recipe for your favorite restaurant dish? Us, too. That’s why we caught up with executive chef Chris Calhoun for the details on this delicious starter from our menu.

Spaghetti squash is abundant in late summer and early fall. In this recipe, he’s amplified its natural sweetness by roasting it with honey. Then he’s dressed it up with citrus juice to counter the sweetness and to match the acidity of the goat cheese and balsamic walnuts. The ingredients are simple, the flavors are complex and the presentation is impressive. Try this for your next dinner party, or stop in to dine with us and chef Chris can make it for you.

Spaghetti Squash Salad with Goat Cheese, Balsamic Walnuts and Sprouts

Serves 4

 

Ingredients:

  • 1 spaghetti squash
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 sprig rosemary
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • 4 ounces fresh goat cheese
  • 2 ounces heavy cream
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 2/3 cup balsamic vinegar
  • 1 pinch salt
  • 1 cup walnut halves
  • Grapeseed oil, to taste
  • Lemon juice, to taste
  • Salt and pepper
  • Sunflower sprouts, as desired

Special equipment: 4”–6” ring mold

Method:

Squash:

  1. Preheat oven to 375°F.
  2. Split squash in half and remove seeds. Drizzle interior with honey and olive oil. Place rosemary sprig in each half and season with salt and pepper.
  3. Place in shallow baking pan, shell side down, with the interior facing up. Add an inch of water to the pan and cover with foil.
  4. Bake at 375°F for 60 minutes.
  5. The strands of squash should just start to pull away from the shell when scraped with a small fork. If so, keep covered with foil and set aside to rest for 60 minutes as it cools.
  6. If the squash is still extremely firm, cover with foil and cook an additional 30 minutes.

Goat cheese:

  1. Soften goat cheese to room temperature.
  2. Stir in heavy cream.

Syrup:

  1. Add sugar and vinegar into a small saucepot. Boil down to a warm syrup.
  2. Add walnuts and salt.
  3. Cook together, stirring constantly. Continue until walnuts are well coated and most of the syrup is reduced and clinging.
  4. Scrape nuts out onto waxed or oiled paper to cool.
  5. Crush the nuts gently when cool.

The finished dish!

  1. Scrape the flesh from the cooled squash into a mixing bowl. Season to taste with grapeseed oil, lemon juice, salt and pepper.
  2. In a ring mold, use the squash mixture as the base. Cover with a layer of goat cheese, smoothing it with a wet spoon.
  3. Remove ring and repeat process for each guest served.
  4. Garnish plates with sprouts, walnuts and additional olive oil as desired.

 

For 25 years, The Desmond Hotel has earned a reputation for superior hospitality and comfort. We boast 194 well-appointed nonsmoking guest rooms and suites with modern amenities and hotel-wide free Wi-Fi. Our luxurious property offers three onsite dining options, two bars, indoor and outdoor fitness and beautiful grounds. We have the perfect setting for you—no matter the occasion. The Desmond is ideal for corporate meetings and retreats, wedding receptions and any kind of celebration. Events of all sizes welcome!

Nathan Greenwood

Featured photo: The Desmond; other photos, top to bottom: Bigstock; The Desmond

Naturally, you want your event to go off without a hitch, whether it’s your wedding, an important fundraiser or an all-day business conference. At The Desmond, that’s our specialty.

As a full-service hotel and conference center, we’re known for hosting gatherings of all sizes for guests from around the world. We give the same level of attention to your board meeting, your bar mitzvah, your bridal shower, your holiday party and your corporate retreat. If location—and what’s available at that location—is everything, then we have you covered!

We’ve been a first-class events destination for 25 years and counting. Check out why:

1. Easy Access

We’re just one mile from the Pennsylvania Turnpike, and positioned close to SEPTAAmtrak and the Philadelphia International Airport. That means that guests from near and far will always find it easy to make their way to Malvern’s premier hotel. Once you’re here, we make it easy to stay. We offer guest room block rates so attendees can take the elevator “home” and enjoy one of our luxurious rooms or suites. Our goal: To make things easy for you, starting with contacting us online for a proposal.

2. The Space

Our IACC-certified conference center is the best place for your next event. It boasts 26,000 square feet to accommodate groups of all sizes. Looking to hold a meeting or conference? We have 16 newly renovated meeting rooms, plus smaller rooms for breakout sessions. Presenters will love our 111-seat amphitheater and the AV system that goes beyond the norm with microphones in the ceiling for in-room sound reinforcement, an HD projection system for crystal-clear images and a simple, in-room touch control system.

Need some play along with your work? We have it all, whether you’re looking to relax or enjoy a workout. Overnight guests can jump in the pool, hit the gym, shoot some hoops or grab a racquet for a game of tennis. Plus, a walk around our property is a great mid-event option for all guests. We also provide complimentary transportation for conference attendees to local malls and more.

Your special day deserves a special destination. At The Desmond, we’re known for our indoor and outdoor weddings. Our elegant ballroom and beautiful property set on the Main Line make every wedding picture-perfect. We pride ourselves on our attention to detail, and that’s appreciated by brides, wedding planners and your guests. Our wedding and events specialists are standing by to provide you with more information.

3. New Digs

Renovations mean that there’s even more to love at The Desmond. You’ll notice a modern take on traditional decor reflected in new carpets, wall coverings, artwork and in guest rooms. We’ve also upgraded our pool and fitness center. More than $5 million worth of renovations will happen in 2017 and 2018 to give our property a fresh, new look to go with the service you’ve come to expect. Stop by for a visit to see how we’ve made our timeless property even better.

4. IACC Certified

Our facilities are IACC certified because we’ve met rigorous international quality standards for superior meeting venues. All IACC members conform to a comprehensive global set of criteria and standards for meeting room design, food and beverage, and service. This certification places The Desmond among the best meeting venues in the world and means that meeting planners can book with confidence. Our attendees agree!

5. The Food

Our IACC certification—and our guests’ feedback—confirms that when you book an event at The Desmond, you can be sure that the food will be stellar! Executive chef Chris Calhoun, along with our talented culinary team, prepares everything from breakfast to dinner in-house. Just like our restaurants, our events venue offers classic dishes with modern flair. You can choose from a menu of options or we can work with you to customize.

Let’s Get Started!

Our commitment to excellence is overarching, and as a true full-service hotel, we can offer that for events and banquets of all kinds! We invite you learn more and to contact us for a proposal.

 

For 25 years, The Desmond Hotel has earned a reputation for superior hospitality and comfort. We boast 194 well-appointed nonsmoking guest rooms and suites with modern amenities and hotel-wide free Wi-Fi. Our luxurious property offers three onsite dining options, two bars, indoor and outdoor fitness and beautiful grounds. We have the perfect setting for you—no matter the occasion. The Desmond is ideal for corporate meetings and retreats, wedding receptions and any kind of celebration. Events of all sizes welcome!

Nathan Greenwood

Photos: CPS Photography & Design

 

We love sharing amazing food and wine with our guests, and especially love pairing them together. The best food and wine pairings are transcendent, and that’s why we’ve come up with these must-try pairings below. Make a reservation to come try them for yourself!

For White Wine Lovers

Pub Special Croque Monsieur with Spy Valley Sauvignon Blanc (Marlborough, NZ) 2016

The very best from near and far. Our croque monsieur features local portabellas and a wild mushroom béchamel along with ham, prosciutto and a blend of savory cheeses. The crisp sourdough bread adds a slight tang to this rich and earthy sandwich.

Notes of grapefruit and a pleasant brightness characterize the Spy Valley Sauvignon Blanc. The wine’s acidity cuts through the creamy, richness of the croque monsieur, creating contrast for a full-flavored duo of complementary flavors.

For Red Wine Lovers

Dinner Special Wagyu Beef Sirloin with Vinaceous Cabernet Sauvignon (Barossa Valley, AU) 2014

The perfect combination of savory and sweet. Meltingly tender Wagyu beef sirloin is seared and served alongside roasted sweet potato, broccoli puree, cinnamon butter and a Shiraz reduction.

Ripe flavors of black currant and cassis from the wine pair beautifully with the meaty Wagyu and rich wine reduction. The fine oak nuances in the cabernet match the char on the steak and highlight the woodsy cinnamon flavor of the butter, while fruit-forward notes harmonize with the sweet potatoes. This pairing brings new meaning to steak and potatoes!

If these pairings sound good, we assure you they taste even better. So why not visit us and try them for yourself? You can reserve a table now or call us at (610) 296-9800 to make reservations for lunch or dinner. We’d love to show you just how much our restaurants have to offer.

For 25 years, The Desmond Hotel has earned a reputation for superior hospitality and comfort. We boast 194 well-appointed non-smoking guest rooms and suites with modern amenities and hotel-wide free WiFi. Our luxury property offers three onsite dining options, two bars, indoor and outdoor fitness and beautiful grounds. We have the perfect setting for you—no matter the occasion. The Desmond is ideal for corporate meetings and retreats, wedding receptions and any kind of celebration. Events of all sizes welcome!

Nathan Greenwood

Featured photo: picjumbo/Victor Hanacek; other photos, top to bottom: The Desmond; Barn Images/Roman Drits

Cheers to our director of restaurants, Chris Yamamoto, who directs The Desmond’s craft beer program. Through some painstaking tasting sessions (a tough job, but someone’s got to do it!), we’re able to provide the best the industry has to offer. Be sure to try some (or all) of these brews for the ultimate in seasonal craft beer offerings.

Pilsner: Two Roads Brewing Company’s Ol’ Factory Pilsner

We love the pun in the name, and we love the flavors in this beer even more. This traditional pilsner has extra aroma from the unconventional use of dry hops. Two Roads uses a combination of classic German as well as American hop and malt varieties. The result is crisp, refreshing and refined.

Wheat Beer: Avery Brewing’s Liliko’i Kepolo Witbier

This Belgian-style wheat is infused with a copious amount of passion fruit, making it more tart than sweet, and undeniably delicious.

Shandys and Radlers: Great Divide Brewing Company’s Roadie Grapefruit Radler

The grapefruit’s acidity makes this combination surprisingly refreshing on a hot day. It’s perfect as a session beer.

Sour Ale: Brewery Ommegang’s Pale Sour Ale

A fantastic example of the style, with an ideal balance of souring acidity, sweetness and a clean finish. This ale has a soft mouthfeel, delicate body and a bright, clean finish, making it a great choice for rookies and seasoned veterans of the style.

India Pale Ale: Levante Brewing’s Going Guava! IPA

A fruity lactose IPA brewed with Nelson Sauvin, Galaxy, Motueka and Mosaic hops, and fermented with guava puree for an intensely juicy aroma and flavor.

How to Make a Beer Cocktail

One of Chris’ personal favorites is the Beer-mosa. “The best style of beer for the job, in my opinion, is either a witbier (where the sweet and sour citrus juices can complement the beer’s character) or an IPA (where the added sugars from the juice can balance the aggressive hop notes),” Chris said. “My personal recipe is 6 ounces Liliko’I Kepolo, 5 ounces fresh squeezed orange juice, and 1 ounce of pineapple juice (peach puree also works nicely) in a stemmed glass with a fresh orange slice.”

A great beer program is just one reason to visit The Desmond. Make your reservation today! Come have a drink, stay for a meal and see why our guests keep coming back!

For 25 years, The Desmond Hotel has earned a reputation for superior hospitality and comfort. We boast 194 well-appointed non-smoking guest rooms and suites with modern amenities and hotel-wide free WiFi. Our luxury property offers three onsite dining options, two bars, indoor and outdoor fitness and beautiful grounds. We have the perfect setting for you—no matter the occasion. The Desmond is ideal for corporate meetings and retreats, wedding receptions and any kind of celebration. Events of all sizes welcome!

Nathan Greenwood

Photos: Ed Williams

Imagine a restaurant where you could choose from three different menus, eat in three different settings (from casual to high end) and stroll beautifully landscaped grounds after the meal. Sounds good? It’s not a dream!

We are more than just an award-winning hotel in Malvern; we’re a destination for some of the best cuisine in Chester County. From the moment you step inside the door, it becomes clear that we’re on a mission to provide the very best service. Whether you’re staying the night or just spending a few hours here to dine with us, you’ll know there’s something special about visiting The Desmond. Come see what’s different! You owe it to yourself to discover the culinary treats that await you inside our one-of-a-kind hotel.

Hunt Room

Chef Chris Calhoun’s menu elevates the experience at our elegant dining room. The focus here is on great steaks, seafood and creative pasta dishes. There’s something for everyone on our menu that encompasses the freshest American Regional Cuisine.

The Hunt Room serves breakfast, lunch and dinner … not to mention an unequivocal Sunday brunch. In fact, OpenTable diners voted our brunch one of the 100 Best Brunch Restaurants in America for 2017! Make a reservation and come see why for yourself.

Fox & Hounds Pub

When you need to keep it casual, this is the spot to go. In the tradition of great pubs everywhere, Fox & Hounds brings a comfortable barside retreat to Malvern. Cozy up to wonderful plates like a classic Maine lobster roll or a house ground angus burger. Our pub lets you enjoy the flavors of world-class dining in a more relaxed setting. Grab a craft beer, glass of wine or a handsome cocktail to go with your meal! Whether it’s lunch, dinner or happy hour, the Fox & Hounds Pub is a charming escape from the bustle of the everyday.

Sunset Grille

When the weather cooperates, the Sunset Grille is open and offers picturesque al fresco dining at its finest. Love live music? So do we! Enjoy a rotating list of bands during the summer season that play all your favorites. Dining on our deck is the perfect mix of festive entertainment and quiet seclusion. Sit close to the band and dance the night away, or pick a table farther back where you can savor both the meal and the conversation.

The Sunset Grille is perfect for a night out with friends or a fun-filled date night. Delve into our full menu of inspired American cuisine in addition to a wide selection of your favorite drinks. When it’s too beautiful to be stuck inside, come join us at the Sunset Grille for lunch, happy hour and dinner outdoors.

Beer, Wine and Cocktails

Sometimes you just need to unwind. We’ve got you covered! Whether it’s craft beer, select spirits, fine wine or an expertly made cocktail, every one of our restaurants at The Desmond has just what you’re looking for. Enjoy happy hour with us in our pub at Fox & Hounds or outside on our deck at the Sunset Grille! Drink, food and daily specials await you every Sunday through Thursday. Come on and check us out! You know you want to.

Fine dining is just one of the many reasons for you to visit us at The Desmond in Malvern. Make your reservation today! Come eat, stay for a drink and see why our guests keep coming back!

For 25 years, The Desmond Hotel has earned a reputation for superior hospitality and comfort. We boast 194 well-appointed non-smoking guest rooms and suites with modern amenities and hotel-wide free WiFi. Our luxury property offers three onsite dining options, two bars, indoor and outdoor fitness and beautiful grounds. We have the perfect setting for you—no matter the occasion. The Desmond is ideal for corporate meetings and retreats, wedding receptions and any kind of celebration. Events of all sizes welcome!

Nathan Greenwood

Featured photo: The Desmond; other photos, top to bottom: The Desmond, Alexandra Whitney

Whenever you dine with us at The Desmond, you’re experiencing the handiwork of executive chef Chris Calhoun and our talented kitchen staff. Chef Chris brings culinary creativity and a level of execution that only experience can produce to every item on our menus. We caught up with Chef Chris to hear more about how he brings award-winning cuisine to each of our restaurants.

Unmatched Quality

As Chef Chris put it, “The overriding factor is to source food that’s as untouched as possible. Whether it be whole fish or whole cuts of meat … we want it pass through as few hands as possible before it gets to our kitchen.” This ensures fresher ingredients by limiting the amount of travel and storage that the food experiences, which can impact quality.

“Especially with meat, air is important, and so is temperature,” he added. Here again, careful sourcing and meticulous handling at the restaurant are key.

“Take oysters, for example. They can only survive in one orientation. They should be packed that way,” Chef Chris explained. With him at the helm, every important measure is taken.

“We get seafood deliveries four to five times a week. It’s common for other restaurants to get them maybe twice. The benefit is high quality,” he said. We work with Mattes Seafood, which gives us access to amazing quality seafood selections as they come in season. Among Chef Chris’ favorites are line-caught black sea bass, bay scallops and whole Maine lobster.

Solid Relationships

“It is very important to have a strong relationship with our purveyors,” Chef Chris related. “I like to talk to someone when I’m ordering.” Having close relationships allows us to successfully source the perfect ingredients for every dish on the menu. It also gives us access to select—and highly seasonal—products that can be hard to find and procure.

“Sometimes you order the same thing from seven different people until you find the one that will offer the consistent quality you’re looking for,” Chef Chris added. Once that gem of consistency is found, it sparks a relationship. We work with a number of wonderful purveyors including Evergreen Lane Farm, Subarashii Kudamono Gourmet Asian PearsManicaretti (for Rustichella d’Abruzzo pasta) and FarmArt Produce.

One of Chef Chris’ favorites: locally grown Asian pears from Subarashii Kudamono. “They’re the best Asian pears I’ve ever tasted,” he said. “I’m a big proponent of fruit. I’m not saying I want to replace vegetables with fruit on the plate, but I often do.” The effect is something delightfully different that helps set his cuisine apart.

The Best of Both Worlds

The menus at our restaurants feature a diverse array of carefully procured ingredients. “One of the beauties of food now is the variety. I love using local honey, but there are also honeys from around the world that are amazing,” Chef Chris noted. Focusing on the best as the bottom line means that we can offer the finest seasonal foods from Pennsylvania and abroad. Our plates might feature wild caught salmon from Alaska alongside locally grown fruits or vegetables. The end result is a collection of menus for each restaurant that are enticing, modern and broad enough to please any palate.

The Dish is in the Details

There’s something extra special about all of our dishes at The Desmond—it’s the kitchen’s attention to detail that makes for a revelatory dining experience. That means a lot of work in house. We get whole product straight from the purveyor and break it down in the kitchen so no crucial steps are missed.

“How was the animal raised? Was it fed a proper diet? Was it harvested humanely? We cut all of our own black angus tenderloins in house. It’s a tremendous amount of work. When you put all this effort into one component of a dish, it shows,” Chef Chris remarked. “The same is true for picking out what wine you’re cooking with. How do you cut your shallots? Did you peel them in house?” Chef Chris’ eye to detail elevates every plate that leaves the kitchen.

Fish are given great care in the kitchen. “We scale them, clean them, fillet and pinbone them all in house. In between steps, we rinse them in iced salt water. It helps keep the fish cold and free of scales,” Chef Chris explained. “I was taught to fillet fish a little differently. I place value in the presentation of the cut. There’s a balance to strike, too, because when it’s filleted properly, it will cook properly.”

See Chef Chris in Action

Chef Chris is an amazing member of our team who helps us put our best culinary foot forward. Sheer quality will always be the proverbial proof in the pudding. All the finest things are handcrafted, hand-selected and thoughtfully procured—whether it’s a bespoke tailored suit, a cashmere shawl or a world-class dinner. The subtle touches of quality and skill that go into these items are what make them so special. This is exactly the kind of care that you will find when you visit any of the restaurants at The Desmond. From hand-carved beef tenderloin to pristine seafood and well beyond, The Desmond works closely with the best purveyors to get the very best of what’s around!

For 25 years, The Desmond Hotel has earned a reputation for superior hospitality and comfort. We boast 194 well-appointed non-smoking guest rooms and suites with modern amenities and hotel-wide free WiFi. Our luxury property offers three onsite dining options, two bars, indoor and outdoor fitness and beautiful grounds. We have the perfect setting for you—no matter the occasion. The Desmond is ideal for corporate meetings and retreats, wedding receptions and any kind of celebration. Events of all sizes welcome!

Nathan Greenwood

Featured photo: The Desmond; all other photos: Rebekah Ulmer Photography

Here at The Desmond, we love great food, and love sharing it with you. That’s why we’re excited to share a step-by-step recipe from our kitchen to yours for you to enjoy! This easy-to-make chilled soup is a favorite of executive chef Chris Calhoun. Chef Chris loves this chilly soup because “it features some of summer’s freshest produce plus orange’s bright notes.”

The addition of freshly squeezed orange juice creates a playful and refreshing twist on the classic Andalusian dish. Blending the dish emulsifies the oil, creating a silky-smooth mouthfeel. Fresh herbs like parsley or basil make a wonderful and traditional garnish, or you could opt for something more modern. At the restaurant, we accent the soup with lemongrass creme fraiche, diced beet, cucumber and fresh basil oil. You can keep it simple at home with a dollop of plain creme fraiche or even fresh goat cheese placed in the center of each bowl.

Looking for your new favorite recipe? Try this at home!

Summer Tomato Orange Gazpacho

Ingredients:

  • 2 cucumbers
  • 4 oranges
  • 12 plum tomatoes
  • 3 bell peppers
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1 cup olive oil

Method:

  1. Peel cucumbers.
  2. Remove 6 strips of zest from oranges.
  3. Rough chop tomatoes, peppers and cucumbers.
  4. Squeeze juice from oranges over all vegetables.
  5. Add salt, pepper, sugar and juice of oranges.
  6. Mix all ingredients together (except olive oil) and marinate for one hour.
  7. Puree in blender with olive oil.
  8. Chill and serve (strain if desired).

 

For 25 years, The Desmond Hotel has earned a reputation for superior hospitality and comfort. We boast 194 well-appointed, non-smoking guest rooms and suites with modern amenities and hotel-wide free WiFi. Our luxury property offers three dining options, two bars, indoor and outdoor fitness and beautiful grounds. We have the perfect setting for you—no matter the occasion. The Desmond is ideal for corporate meetings and retreats, wedding receptions and any kind of celebration. Events of all sizes welcome!
Nathan Greenwood

Photos: The Desmond