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🍴MEET THE CHEF: Justin Dain, PINE at Hanover Inn, Hanover, New Hampshire

🍴MEET THE CHEF: Justin Dain, PINE at Hanover Inn, Hanover, New Hampshire

Tripveel sat down with Chef Justin Dain of PINE at Hanover Inn in Hanover, New Hampshire.

Justin Dain

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

I’m really into our raw bar program at PINE. We’ve been pushing the boundaries on technique and a vast variety of options. Personally, a great crudo or tartare is the perfect start to a meal.  Fresh and clean with a perfect balance of simplicity.


When did you get your calling to become a chef?

I was a bus boy in Stowe, Vermont and a cook called in sick so I was asked to help out in the kitchen. Instantly, after my first day helping out the line cooks I was hooked and had the Kitchen “bug.” There is nothing better than the buzz of a busy kitchen with the team working towards the same goal.

What are 3 ingredients you couldn’t live without?

Sherry Vinegar, Foie Gras and Salt.


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

Writing menus and coming up with plate design is one of the reasons I love being a chef.  Thinking about textures, colors, flavors, shapes of what is going on the plate is very exciting.  

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

We did a dish that had a duck confit and foie gras consommé filled ravioli. We made a super flavorful stock and chilled and portioned into round molds. We then made raviolis with the chilled stock. Once cooked we had a delicious ravioli filled with the then warm duck and foie gras stock.  

Share your most recent awards and accreditations with us!

“Top 10 Best Meals 2018” — Forbes

“Best Brunch” — Yankee Magazine


What are some of the latest trends you’re seeing in top restaurants? What are your thoughts on CBD-infused dishes?

A recent trend I have noticed is some of the top restaurants are incorporating childhood food memories into meals — How amazing and guest focused that concept is! That is pushing and experience to new levels. CBD-infused dishes are great! If CBD can add to the dish or ingredients then I’m all for it.  

Where have you traveled that inspires you the most?

For food inspiration, I enjoy traveling to New York City and Boston. I can be in either city in a few hours and the amazing restaurants are endless in both cities. I enjoy bouncing from restaurant to restaurant having a few bites at each one learning more about the chefs vision on particular dishes.  


What’s your favorite cocktail?

Smoke & Flowers — Tequila, Mezcal, Lavender, Fresh Lime and Smoked Salt. It’s so refreshing on a summer day! This cocktail is an amazing creation by James Ives.

What do you love about being the Executive Chef at PINE at Hanover Inn?

I love working with an amazing team every day that shares the same culinary goals that I do and doing the best we can every day and put out local, delicious, forward thinking food at the highest level. We are very lucky to have the flexibility to be creative and work with amazing products every day in PINE to deliver the best for our guests.