Sanderling Resort, the AAA four-diamond property that re-opened May 1 in the Outer Banks, North Carolina, welcomes new Chef de Cuisine John Lawrence to helm Kimball's Kitchen, the resort's award-winning dining establishment previously known as Left Bank. Open this month, in conjunction with the debut of Sanderling’s multi-million dollar redesign, Kimball’s Kitchen channels a classic American steakhouse with strong coastal influences.
At Kimball’s Kitchen, Lawrence exhibits a muted convergence of flavor profiles and skills acquired from various kitchens over the years. While he focuses on serving straightforward dishes to showcase the quality of the ingredients, such as New York Strips, Heritage Pork Chops, and an array of fresh seafood sourced throughout the Atlantic, Lawrence also adds subtle touches of distinction that pay homage to his family.
“Cooking was inevitable, it’s in my lineage,” says Lawrence. “My father hails from New Orleans, where gumbo and slow-roast barbecue became his signature dishes. My mother, a Virginia native, specialized in baking and canning.”
With items like daily onion bacon jammade with Applewood smoked bacon to accompany the steaks; Smoked Trout Fritters with Paprika Aioli; Crispy Pork Belly Steamed Bunswith chow chow and Sriracha BBQ sauce, and his great grandmother’s watermelon pickles to garnish the oysters, Lawrence embraces his roots as well as the bolder palates.
Prior to joining Kimball’s Kitchen, Lawrence worked as Chef de Cuisine of Tides Inn near the Chesapeake Bay, where he developed a heightened level of expertise with steak and seafood menus over a 10-year tenure. His finesse in fine dining resulted from his positions at iconic New Orleans establishments Le Meridian and the Windsor Court Hotel. Before Louisiana and Virginia, Lawrence launched his culinary career in Florida at the Ritz-Carlton Hotel in Amelia Island and Palm Beach, respectively.
Lawrence received a degree in Culinary Arts from the New England Culinary Institute in Burlington, Vermont.