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The region’s best chefs come together for a weekend of amazing food, world-class wines & spirits, camaraderie, and more

 


In 2021, Spruce Peak welcomed five chefs from across New England to showcase their passions, skills and dedication to culinary excellence.

Host Chef

chef sean blomgren

The Lodge at Spruce Peak | Stowe, VT

Chef Sean Blomgren's passion for food and hospitality began early on, cooking holiday meals for his family in Lowell, Massachusetts. Driven by his passion for creating new dishes and the reaction from his family, at age 21 he enrolled in the famed Le Cordon Bleu.

Full Bio

Host Chef

Chef Jessica Quiet

The Lodge at Spruce Peak | Stowe, VT

Chef Jess Quiet began her pastry journey by competing in national baking challenges, taking home first place for her home state of Vermont and fourth overall. A Silver Key Dean's Society graduate of Johnson & Wales University, she led pastry teams for years in properties across the east coast.

Full Bio

Guest Chef

Chef Kevin Des Chenes

Private Chef | Newport, RI

"Top Chef" by Las Vegas Food & Wine
Winner of "Top Celebrity Chef Showdown"

"A Taste of New England is a spectacular event in a glorious setting. The best chefs from various parts of New England converge at Spruce Peak for a celebration of Food, Wine & Spirits. I am honored to be among those invited for this amazing gathering. The culinary collaboration, complete with spot on wine pairings is second to none. I am now forever a fan of the "Spruce Life"!"

Full Bio

Guest Chef

Chef Steve DiFillippo

Davio's | Boston, MA

Massachusetts Restaurant Hall of Fame
2014 Restaurateur of the Year

Steve DiFillippo is the consummate restaurateur. With his award-winning Davio's brand firmly established in Boston's Back Bay, Foxborough...

Full Bio

Guest Chef

Chef Tatiana Rosana

Para Maria | Boston, MA

Two-Time Food Network Chopped Champion

"A Taste of New England is just that. A taste of hospitality, generosity, family, and friends. The opportunity to come together as a community of chefs and show the fruits of our labors and our gorgeous region. With the green mountains of Stowe and the picturesque backdrop of Spruce Peak, this event is truly pure perfection."

Full Bio

Guest Chef

Chef Brendan Vesey

Botanica Restaurant & Gin Bar | Portsmouth, NH

Steel Chef 2020, NH Food Bank, Champion
Best New Restaurant, NH Magazine

"Spruce Peak is a top-notch destination in one of the most beautiful places in all of New England. To experience the natural beauty with all the amenities and hospitality was an experience I won't forget."

Full Bio

Guest Chef

Chef Douglass Williams

Mida Boston | Mida Newton

Photo credit: Chris Churchill

"Participating in Spruce Peak's A Taste of New England Weekend in Stowe, VT was a highlight of the fall for my family and me. The team at Spruce Peak made me feel like part of their family; we were so happy to be there and I look forward to returning. Everything was topnotch, from the organization leading up to the event, to working with the culinary team, to the weekend itself, it surpassed my expectations in every way. Thank you and we can't wait to return in any season!"

Full Bio

Chef Sean Blomgren
The Lodge at Spruce Peak | Stowe, VT
HOST CHEF

Chef Sean Blomgren's passion for food and hospitality began early on, cooking holiday meals for his family in Lowell, Massachusetts. Driven by his passion for creating new dishes and the reaction from his family, at age 21 he enrolled in the famed Le Cordon Bleu. While on externship in Westchester, NY, Blomgren sought opportunities to further develop his own knowledge, taking monthly trips to Manhattan to experience the global food scene.

Blomgren's culinary repertoire flourished after graduating, first at the Five-Diamond Mandarin Oriental in Boston, MA where he was exposed to a vast array of different ingredients, techniques, and cultures. An opportunity arose to move to Colorado and assist in opening Chef's Club by Food & Wine in the St. Regis Aspen. This first-of-its-kind concept incorporated Food & Wine's Best New Chefs together on one menu. There, he also had the chance to work with Michelin-Starred chefs Mathieu Pacaud and Cyril Lignac of Paris, among other world-class chefs from around the country. He then went on to become Chef de Cuisine at the prestigious Kiawah Island Club on Kiawah Island, SC. This move really solidified his commitment to sourcing great products and presenting them with minimal intervention.

In 2015, Blomgren returned to the Mandarin Oriental group as Chef de Cuisine at the brand's iconic property in Washington, D.C. under the watchful eye of Chef Adam Tanner. Reconnecting with this globally-iconic brand allowed him to travel back to Japan and dive deeper into his love with Japanese cuisine.

The allure of the West once again lead Blomgren to accept his first Executive Chef role at the Madeline Hotel & Residences, Telluride, CO, the only Four-Diamond Full-Service resort in one of the most captivating towns in the world.

A true New Englander, Blomgren and wife Casey decided to return to the East Coast, specifically Stowe, Vermont to settle down and raise a family. He is currently the Executive Chef at the Lodge at Spruce Peak's Alpine Hall and Tipsy Trout restaurants. Upon arrival, he re-concepted all menus to focus on locallysourced and farm-driven cuisine, building relationships with local farmers and vendors.

Chef Jessica Quiet
The Lodge at Spruce Peak | Stowe, VT
HOST CHEF

Jessica began her pastry journey starting in high school by competing in the SkillsUSA baking challenge, and walked away with first place for her home state of Vermont. She then competed in Kansas City, and place fourth in the Nation. She attended Johnson & Wales University, majoring in Baking and Pastry, and graduating Silver Key Dean's Society and member of the ACF.

Jessica found a home in the hotel industry fresh out of college, where she began work at the Charles Hotel, in Cambridge, Massachusetts. A year later, she was ready to challenge herself even further, and move on to Orlando, Florida. Here she began work at the Swan and Dolphin Resort under two-time World Pastry Champion Laurant Branlard. She soon progressed on to becoming the chocolatier for the property, customizing in chocolate garnishes, bon bons and truffles, and life sized chocolate showpieces/replicas. She began entering in Chocolate Showpiece competitions, and took first place at the Festival of Chocolates with her five foot "History of Chocolate" themed showpiece.

At this time, an offer was made to move on to the Orlando World Center Marriott, a 2,004 room property, and largest non-pillared convention center in the world. She began as the resorts Chocolatier, executing personalized three-foot-tall chocolate showpieces by the hundreds for groups in house. It is here that she learned the art of mass production, and worked under the World Pastry Team Competition Judge, Felchlin Ambassador Chef Ramon Ramos. She began doing custom wedding cakes, breads, sugar work, and drover her pastry team to success by executing banquets by the thousands. She has assisted the Corporate Pastry Chef at Felchlin Switzerland, Pastry Chef of the year, Chef Anil Rohira with a few of his demos.

After 8 years in Orlando, Jessica further moved her career to the Twin Cities, and became the Pastry Chef for the JW Marriott. At the same time she gained culinary insight/experience in her dual role as the Assistant Sous Chef, and gained television experience being featured on "The Jason Show", and Minnesota's own "Kare 11 News".

Jessica recently has moved her career back to her home state, right here to the Lodge at Spruce Peak team, joining in February 2019 as the Pastry Chef. She works on a daily basis to bring her knowledge, experience, and passion to ensure each guest has a unique, special New England inspired experience.

Chef Tracy Chang

GUEST CHEF

Tracy Chang is the chef/owner of PAGU restaurant in Cambridge, MA. She is a Boston College alum, with a B.S. in Finance. She holds certificates in pâtisserie from Le Cordon Bleu Paris. She trained with three star Michelin chef Martin Berasategui in San Sebastian, Spain, and worked on his television programming, Robin Food, communications and public relations. She is also a teaching fellow at the Harvard Science & Cooking Program, founded by Chef Ferran Adria. Priorto PAGU, she founded a pop-up restaurant, Guchi's Midnight Ramen and hosted events with restaurants, startups, nonprofits, and universities. She is an alum of the James Beard Foundation Bootcamp for Policy & Change, James Beard Foundation Womens' Entrepreneurship Leadership Program, and a 2020 James Beard Best Chef Northeast nominee. She is also a 2020 Star Chefs Rising Stars Game Changer.

During Covid-19, she co-founded two nonprofit initiatives, Off Their Plate (OTP) and Project Restore Us (PRU). OTP serves meals to healthcare workers in Covid-19 wards, while providing economic relief to restaurant employees. The initiative expanded to nine cities nationwide, raised $8+ million, and restored $4+ million for essential hospitality workers. The standard operating procedures (SOPs) she created for her restaurant PAGU, as well as for Off Their Plate, have been compiled into a comprehensive guide by the James Beard Foundation, World Central Kitchen and the Aspen Institute.

Project Restore Us employs restaurant essential workers to pack groceries for essential worker families in high covid, low income neighborhoods of Boston. The groceries are safely delivered to each home with a network of volunteer drivers. To date, PRU has delivered over 500,000+ lbs of food to 5000+ households and restored 5000+ shift hours. Chang's work with OTP and PRU has garnered her international recognition, as the Basque Culinary Center named her thetop 10 nominees of the Basque Culinary World Prize.

Chef Colin Wyatt

GUEST CHEF

Colin Wyatt returned to Maine after twelve years working in New York's DANIEL and Eleven MadisonPark, where he led the team awarded the accolade of "The World's Best Restaurant" in 2017. A veteranPortland chef, the natural beauty, vibrant culture, and passion of Maine's growers and creativesultimately called him back to open the doors of Twelve. "Maine has always been a place I wanted toreturn to. As beautiful as it is, I think it's the people that attract everyone to the state. This is why I cameback and why I wanted to start this restaurant. Twelve is a way for us to be a part of this community andhopefully, add our own voice to it."

Chef David Vargus

GUEST CHEF

David Vargas, Chef/Owner, Vida Cantina brings his Mexican heritage and appreciation for local seasonal New England product to every plate at Vida Cantina in Portsmouth, NH. A James Beard nominated chef, (2022, 2020, 2019) David grew up in Southern CA and has spent a lifetime learning, living, celebrating and sharing his Mexican heritage. David's mother is from Guadalajara, his father from alisco; in CA together his parents owned a taqueria and both were CA police officers. David grew up in the family's taqueria cooking family recipes with fresh local ingredients, while learning all he could about his Mexican culture. It was important to David's parents that he appreciate his Mexican heritage. Appreciate it he does indeed at Vida Cantina, where with each dish he is "elevating our understanding of what Mexican food is or should be, while elevating our understanding of what New England cuisine is or should be" The Portsmouth Herald. According to The Boston Globe, David prepares "the best Mexican food north of the MA Border" and is nearly evangelistic about using local ingredients." Boston Magazine declared "David Vargas, a James Beard award-nominated chef is making some of the best Mexican food on the East Coast at Vida Cantina in Portsmouth, NH." Locally, regionally and nationally, the critics agree that Chef David Vargas is shining a bright light on Mexican cuisine, and his dishes at Vida Cantina are definitely "worth the drive" to Portsmouth, NH.

Chef Mark Ladner

GUEST CHEF

Award-WinningChefMark Ladner is the Executive Chef and Partner at the soon-to-open Bar Enza inside the Charles Hotel in Cambridge. The James Beard Award-winning Chef is a native of Belmont, MA and is also a Michelin rated chef who earned a four-star review from the New York Times while serving as the Chef de Cuisine at Del Posto. He was in NYC for the past 25 years where he worked alongside some of the world's most respected chefs in the world.

Chef Mark Ladner began his cooking career in Harvard Square at a restaurant called Café Fiorello on Church Street. He then pursued his culinary education at Johnson & Wales before moving to Boston to cook with Todd English at the original Olives in Charlestown, Massachusetts. While at Olives, Ladner worked alongside Barbara Lynch, Mark Orfaly and English.

Ladner then moved to New York City where he worked for several years with Scott Bryan and Jean Georges Vongerichten before openingBabbo, Lupa and Otto. As head chef of the critically-acclaimedDel Posto, Ladner received numerous awards and accolades and became amentor for some of the country's most talented chefs, including Mario Carbone, Tony Scotto, Justin Urso, and Michael Lombardi.

Chef Chris Viaud

GUEST CHEF

Chris Viaud, most recently known for competing on Season 18 of Top Chef and being named as a semifinalist for the 2022 James Beard Awards, is the chef and owner of Greenleaf and Ansanm, both located in Milford New Hampshire. Chef Viaud's food is rustic in its approach, yet refined, by classic techniques. Focusing primarily on seasonal products, most of which grown locally, helps to fuel his passion when creating menus. He plans and executes a balanced meal that incorporates different flavors and textures that entertain the palate which allows for a unique dining experience each time.

Upon graduating from Johnson and Wales University, he moved to Boston where he spent three of his most formative years at Forbes Four-Star rated restaurant Deuxave in the back bay, where he worked his way to Sous Chef. Since his time in Boston he has been an essential part of multiple restaurant openings in the Greater Boston and New Hampshire area.

Chef Viaud has continually been working throughout the years to challenge himself by pushing the boundaries and constantly taking himself out of his comfort zone to hone in on his craft. He is constantly exploring new ideas, styles, trends and concepts to keep fueling his passion and believes that everyday there is the opportunity to learn something new.

Chef Richard Chen
Red 8 | Everett, Ma
GUEST CHEF

Only Michelin Star Chef for Chinese Cuisine in North America

US-based, Taiwan-born, Chef Richard Chen began his career in 1986 as the chef at the La Vista International Hotel, also formerly known as the Marriott World Trade Center. After strengthening his culinary skills in New York and Chicago, Chef Chen became the executive chef at Wing Leilocated inside Wynn Las Vegas. During his time in Las Vegas, he helped Wing Lei earn a Michelin star for two years in a row, positioning them as the only Chinese restaurant in North American to receive this honor and awarding Chef Chen his Michelin Star status.

Chef Kevin Des Chenes
Private Chef | Newport, RI
GUEST CHEF

"Top Chef" by Las Vegas Food & Wine
Winner of "Top Celebrity Chef Showdown"

"A Taste of New England is a spectacular event in a glorious setting. The best chefs from various parts of New England converge at Spruce Peak for a celebration of Food, Wine & Spirits. I am honored to be among those invited for this amazing gathering. The culinary collaboration, complete with spot on wine pairings is second to none. I am now forever a fan of the "Spruce Life"!"

Chef Steve DiFillippo
Davio's | Boston, MA
GUEST CHEF

Massachusetts Restaurant Hall of Fame
2014 Restaurateur of the Year

Steve DiFillippo is the consummate restaurateur. With his award-winning Davio's brand firmly established in Boston's Back Bay, Foxborough, Chestnut Hill, Lynnfield, Braintree, Boston Seaport, Logan Airport, Atlanta, King of Prussia and The Colony, TX, DiFillippo has tackled the modern Italian restaurant. DiFillippo's reach continues to expand as his locations continue to garner critical acclaim and destination status.

Chef Tatiana Rosana
Para Maria | Boston, MA
GUEST CHEF

A first-generation Cuban-American, Chef Tatiana Rosana grew up in Miami in a traditional Cuban family where food always took center stage. It is these traditions that pushed Chef Rosana to pursue a career in the culinary industry. Inspired by her wife's Korean heritage, her own Cuban background, French training and New England experience, Chef Rosana is guided by her curiosity and openness to new cuisines. Since joining the team at The Envoy Hotel, she has competed on various nationally televised cooking competitions including Food Network's Beat Bobby Flay, Chopped and Chopped Champions Tournament winning twice and earning the title of two-time Chopped Champion. When she's not in the restaurant she is sharing her dishes on her Instagram (@chef.tatiana), and spending time with her wife, Alexis and their son, Arlo.

Chef Brendan Vesey
Botanica Restaurant & Gin Bar | Portsmouth, NH
GUEST CHEF

Steel Chef 2020, NH Food Bank, Champion
Best New Restaurant, NH Magazine

"Spruce Peak is a top-notch destination in one of the most beautiful places in all of New England. To experience the natural beauty with all the amenities and hospitality was an experience I won't forget."

Chef Douglass Willliams
Mida Boston | Mida Newton
GUEST CHEF

It is an extraordinarily challenging time to be a chef in the kitchen, and somehow Chef Douglass Williams continues to inspire and bring people to the table.

Honored by the James Beard Foundation as a nominee for OUTSTANDING CHEF in the country, one of highest honors in the culinary world, Williams is known for his bright smile, generous hospitality and creative talent in the kitchen.

Already a Best New Chef, Food & Wine Magazine honoree and Best of Boston,Best Chef General Excellence, Boston Magazine - the nomination by the James Beard Foundation recognizes Williams' talent and leadership in the culinary world on a national level.

“For our team to still be standing together and for this community to have supported us through such difficult times, that is what I am most grateful for” says Williams. “When I learned about this honor I immediately shared it with my teams at MIDA South End, MIDA Newton and APIZZA -because it means we are doing something right. We hopefully have provided a safe and delicious haven to people in as many ways as we could imagine.” Williams kept his award-winning restaurant MIDA South End running and feeding the community, while opening two more restaurants: MIDA Newton and APIZZA Boston during the pandemic.

In perpetual motion, you will find Williams on the line leading his teams at MIDA South End, the brand new MIDA Newton, or at the lively new APIZZAin Boston's Hub Hall. Known for his deft technique with hand-made pasta, a spirit of generous hospitality, and a smile that lights up the room, Williamsis committed to making a difference in the kitchen and the community.

Diagnosed with Crohn's disease as a teenager, Williams' path took a left turn, as he learned how to heal himself through food. His journey brought him from his hometown of Atlantic City, NJ to culinary school and then to traveling the world learning from the best. From Thailand to Paris, New YorkCity to Boston, he worked and staged at some of the best restaurants, including Radius and Coppa/Boston, Corton/NYC and Akarme/Paris.

While cooking at Coppa, Williams would cycle down Mass Ave where the South End meets Roxbury, and all he saw was opportunity - for change and the chance to create something meaningful. At the corner of Tremont Street and Mass. Ave., he created his first restaurant, MIDA South End, a neighborhood restaurant inspired by the simplicity of classic Italian culinary traditions. MIDA is one of the city's favorite restaurants, earning top honors for “Best Restaurants in Boston” and “Best Pasta” and is a must-visit when in Boston.

In June 2021, Williams opened his second restaurant, MIDA Newton, just outside of Boston, in a beautiful new space with the same soft glow of MIDA South End. The space is double the size of the original MIDA, with just more to love. In the new restaurant, Douglass prepares not only his famous hand-made pastas, but also a whole new selection of New Haven inspired pizza.

Boston Magazine honored Williams as one of Boston's Top Influencers in 2022. Williams shares, “To be a Black chef/owner here in Boston is an honor and a responsibility I take very seriously. I am fortunate to have successful restaurants, an incredible team and supportive community. I have things to say and share; I try to do it every night through delicious and beautiful dishes at MIDA. And by giving my time and energy to the neighborhood and those around me. I put my passion for story-telling and teaching to use by building bridges in the community through food and conversation. I truly believe the world can come together over a delicious bowl of pasta.”

Media Contact:
Martha W. Sullivan, Sullivan Communications, 617.835.2264, Martha@SullivanCommunications.com

Keep In Touch:
IG: @midaboston @douglasswilliams

Save The Date: A Taste of New England Returns August 26-28, 2022

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