Our Chef partner, Alan Pyles, fills us in on eating and living it up in the state of Virginia. 

Q: Chef Alan, what would you consider Virginian cuisine? Is there such a thing?

A: Since Virginia is essentially in the central east coast of the United States, you can find just about anything. We like to focus on southern cuisine. Spice friendly meats and seafood. The influences that we notice in Virginia’s cuisine come from New Orleans, Charleston and Maryland (thank you Old Bay!)

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Q: We were curious what your favorite local ingredients are, especially those one would find on your daily menus?

A: Our focus is about sourcing the best proteins that we can find as a way to anchor any dish that we create. We look for local, seasonal produce to always complement our dishes. But that said, the core of our menu hasn’t changed much over the years because we’ve developed a following of customers who come in because they love and expect our classics. That said, we do run specials and this is always an opportunity for us to create new plates with whatever is local and seasonal.

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Q: What do you love most about Virginia?

A: This may sound like a cliche, but I really love that we have four seasons. Each season is awesome in my opinion, and one always allows me to appreciate the next. We’re a state known for our colorful foliage but also for the starkness of our winters, which I find beautiful. Then obviously I adore the fresh growth of spring and we have the hottest summers; perfect for frequent rafting and canoeing on the many rivers in our beautiful state.

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Q: We know you have a great passion for cooking and you just mentioned some outdoor activities in the summer months. What are some of the favorite outdoor sports that you like to do with family and friends or even alone?

A: Well, as I mentioned before, I simply love being outside in central Virginia. We are less than 10 minutes from the world renowned Skyline Drive, which provides travelers with some of the east coast’s most spectacular views. Also, I love our local historical sights like Monticello and Montpelier. Local vineyards are some of our best attractions too. Wine tasting is after all a part of my job, and I owe it to my guests to stay informed.

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Want to taste what Chef Alan is cooking at the Lafayette Inn? Check out our Chef for a Day package, an exclusive weekend of food and drink like nothing you’ve ever experienced.

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Hungry? Click here for one of Chef’s special recipes and give it a go!

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Rocky Casale