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

We all want more. More fun. More food. More drinks. So how do you get more? Take a look beyond the neighborhood restaurant! Instead of your usual weekend hangout, why not stop in a place that has it all: restaurants, bars, entertainment, alfresco and the option to make it an overnight (or a weekend)? This weekend, explore a full-service hotel property like The Desmond in Malvern. Here’s five great reasons to book your reservation today!

1. A Trio of Great Restaurants

Most hotels showcase several restaurants to satisfy any craving for food and fun. The Desmond specializes in next-level food and drinks at prices that are impressively accessible. Whether you’re in the mood for casual, alfresco or elegant, you’ll find it courtesy of award-winning chef Chris Calhoun and his talented kitchen staff.

  • The Hunt Room serves up regional American cuisine for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Choose this fine dining venue when you’re hungry for unparalleled steaks and seafood with modern flair.
  • The atmosphere is comfy at the Fox & Hounds Pub. Experience a modern interpretation of the everyday community-gathering place, where chef Chris’ cuisine is served in a cozy setting. Seasonal salads, filling sandwiches and hearty entrees await.
  • In warm weather months, the Sunset Grille is alfresco dining at its finest. Much of the same fare that delights in our other two restaurants is available, but we think the whole Maine lobster (available Wednesday and Saturday) is particularly delicious when presented outdoors. Stop in for outdoor dining any day of the week and also for live music under the stars Wednesday through Saturday nights, or choose the quiet serenity indoors.

2. Mixologists to Match

Don’t feel like noshing, but want to start the weekend with a drink? We also offer several bars so you can mingle with your crowd in a quiet space for conversation or an upbeat scene with entertainment. Drinks are the main event, and we’re proud of our selection of craft beer, creative cocktails and wine selection. There’s nothing like drinks at the Sunset Grille during nice weather, or stay inside for a retreat from the busy everyday.

Still want more? Our happy hour offers wallet friendly food and drink specials that will help you unwind and start your evening off right. Check our latest $5 draft beers, $5 house cocktails and $7 house wines along with delectable small plates like burrata and tomato with black olive, basil and grilled sourdough.

3. Beautiful Inside and Out

What’s more lovely than an intimate lunch or dinner with your favorite people? Gorgeous paths to stroll with your companions after the meal. Another benefit of our suburban hotel is its manicured grounds punctuated with water features and tranquil gardens. When you’re done, relax and lounge on our comfortable desk or retire to our home-away-from-home lobby. Stay awhile and unwind.

4. Overnight Options

When you don’t want the music to stop, or the party to end … then don’t! Starting your weekend at a hotel’s restaurants and bars means you can decide to extend your stay. We have 194 guest rooms with all the amenities, meaning you can lounge in luxury on the spur of the moment. Enjoy indoor and outdoor fitness as well as a pool, hot tub and much more. In the morning, pop down for breakfast at The Hunt Room or just order in and room service will bring the food (and coffee or tea) to you.

5. Scout Out Your Next Special Event

Good news: The buck doesn’t stop with great food and accommodations. We still have more to offer. From weddings to corporate retreatswe cater to groups big and small with the same attention to detail that goes into our manicured grounds and award-winning food. If you’re looking for a full-service venue for your next gathering, look no further.

A bar or restaurant is just one place, but The Desmond Hotel Malvern is a destination. Find your way to fun and call us to book your getaway.

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, top to bottom: Ed Williams, The Desmond, Alexandra Whitney (last two photos)