/trip/ verb.
1. an act of going to a place and returning, a journey or excursion, especially for pleasure.

/veel/ adverb.
2. often or much; frequently

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🍴MEET THE CHEF: Andrew Fontaine, Smokehouse at Antrim 1844 Country House Hotel, Taneytown, Maryland

🍴MEET THE CHEF: Andrew Fontaine, Smokehouse at Antrim 1844 Country House Hotel, Taneytown, Maryland

Tripveel sat down with Chef Andrew Fontaine of Smokehouse at Antrim 1844 Country House Hotel in Taneytown, Maryland.

  Chef Andrew Fontaine, Antrim 1844

Chef Andrew Fontaine, Antrim 1844

Tripveel: Tell us about your absolute favorite food and why readers should try it if they haven’t already.

Chef Fontaine: Foie Gras; it is such a versatile ingredient that you can really play around with. The many different techniques used to prepare it can show off so much about who you are as a chef and the evolution of your training.

Tripveel: When did you get your calling to become a chef?

Chef Fontaine: When I was in college, I was studying Economics with plans of eventually going to law school. I was also managing a restaurant and started working in the kitchen when we needed the help and I really fell in love with working on the line. Once you get the itch of working in a kitchen, nothing else can replace it.

Tripveel: What are 3 ingredients you couldn’t live without?

Chef Fontaine: Butter, Crème Fraiche, and Sherry Vinegar. These staples can alter richness, mouthfeel, acidity and the overall end product of what is on a plate.

Tripveel: We love plating. Does designing the perfect dish give you a rush?

Chef Fontaine: Absolutely! You can have an idea of what you want a plate to look like in your head, and then when everything is ready and you go to plate it, you change everything and start from scratch.  When you finish a plate that really inspires you, it can be a really gratifying feeling.

Tripveel: What’s one of the most creative dishes you’ve created?

Chef Fontaine: We have been playing around with making a savory danish to serve as a component with a foie gras torchon where we replace part of the butter used in making the danish dough with duck fat.

Tripveel: Share your most recent awards and accreditations with us!

Chef Fontaine: Best of Award of Excellence—Wine Spectator, Diner’s Choice Award—Open Table 2017, Certificate of Excellence—TripAdvisor 2017, Top 1% of restaurants in North America —DiRona

Tripveel: What’s the latest trend in molecular gastronomy?

Chef Fontaine: Finding ways to incorporate innovative techniques without being there just for show. We don’t play around too much with molecular gastronomy here unless there are particular ways to introduce a component of a dish in an interesting way. For example, if a dish needs a little more fat to help it balance, we may add a powder made from a preserved lemon-infused olive oil, rather than drizzling a fish with extra virgin olive oil.

Tripveel: Where have you traveled that inspires you the most?

Chef Fontaine: My wife, Renee, and I were fortunate to spend some time exploring France. From some of the finest restaurants in Paris, the best farmer’s market I have ever seen in Beaune, and sipping on bubbles in Champagne. It was a truly inspiring trip.

Tripveel: What’s your favorite cocktail?

Chef Fontaine: An Old Fashioned, I am a sucker for good bourbon and rye.

Tripveel: What do you love about being the Executive Chef at Antrim 1844 Country House Hotel?

Chef Fontaine: Our owners and my team. I really love the freedom that I have to express myself through the food here. The trust that our owners have in our team makes me humbled and gracious to be here day in and day out. I wouldn’t be able to do what I do and accomplish the kind of goals that we have set for ourselves without the passion and dedication of the team that I have here.


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5 REASONS TO VISIT GARDONE RIVIERA

5 REASONS TO VISIT GARDONE RIVIERA

🍴MEET THE CHEF: Hugo Lavoie-Drouin, Aux Chantignoles at Fairmont Le Château Montebello, Québec

🍴MEET THE CHEF: Hugo Lavoie-Drouin, Aux Chantignoles at Fairmont Le Château Montebello, Québec