New Chef de Cuisine Peter Heaney, in His Own Words - Pitcher Inn
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New Chef de Cuisine Peter Heaney, in His Own Words

We’re excited to welcome Peter Heaney to The Pitcher Inn as our new Chef de Cuisine. Peter is a New England Culinary Institute graduate who has been cooking in some of the world’s finest kitchens for more than 25 years, and now is sharing leadership-in-the-kitchen responsibilities with Executive Chef Jacob Ennis.

We recently sat down with Peter to talk food–his passion for local, his cooking roots, and his early impressions of the inn. Here, in his own words, is what Peter had to say.

On Local…

Sourcing quality, local ingredients is my passion. What I learned early on in my career was the importance of establishing close ties with local purveyors to ensure the best and freshest ingredients arrived at the back door.

During my time with the Pourcel brothers at Les Jardin des Sens in Montpellier, France, what impressed me the most was the countless individuals who came to the back door selling their just-picked strawberries or their just-caught fish, and how perfectly exquisite the flavors of the ingredients were.

Working with Normand LaPrise at restaurant Toque in Montreal I saw clearly that the passion for the freshest and most delicious ingredients was the driving force behind his success as well.

While at Twin Farms I helped to establish a network of 20-plus local farmers and purveyors who provided incredible ingredients to the kitchen team. At certain points in the summer we could legitimately claim that 80-90% of the ingredients on the plate came from local farms.

On His Cooking Style…

My cooking style is derived from a variety of sources but fundamentally my training is based in classical French techniques.

Having worked in several Relais & Chateaux properties, three-star Michelin restaurants and Forbes five-star resorts, what I have observed is that, by and large, the top chefs have been trained in French classical cuisine. Thomas Keller is a perfect example.

If I were to try and pin myself down to a favorite region, I would have to say Mediterranean. That said, my repertoire is wide and varied and I am experienced in cooking cuisines from many places in the world including Middle Eastern, Asian, Spanish, Italian, French, Mexican, and South American.

At one point during my time at Twin Farms we designed daily menus around different regions of the world to provide a different experience for the guests each day.

I would sum up my cuisine as simple, fresh, healthy and delicious!

On His Impressions of The Pitcher Inn…

I am thrilled to be the Chef de Cuisine at The Pitcher Inn! My enthusiasm for the next chapter of the inn cannot be overstated.

I have been living in Vermont for more than 20 years and have kept a close eye on the inn since it opened in 1997. Had it not been for the wonderful opportunity I had at Twin Farms, I would have likely been working at the inn long before now.

What I see now with new ownership and leadership is a chance to reclaim and surpass the inn’s former glory. The inn and the Warren Store are uniquely situated in what is one of Vermont’s most quintessential villages.

With the leadership team that’s beginning to take form and the commitment and generosity of the new owners, I am confident the inn can be one of the top destinations for travelers and gourmands from around the world.