Hudson Valley native and rising culinary talent Thomas Burke will lead the kitchen of the soon-to-open Mirbeau Inn & Spa Rhinebeck, including its just-announced signature restaurant, Willow by Charlie Palmer. The gifted chef has honed his skills at some of the most prestigious restaurants in the U.S. and joins the Mirbeau team from Connecticut’s award-winning Tavern at GrayBarns. Burke was tapped for his new role by world-renowned chef Charlie Palmer, who, in his first upstate New York venture, will oversee all food and beverage operations at the 50-room resort, from Willow to in-room dining, the light-fare venue Aqua Terrace, Willow Bar, and catering
“We’ve put together a great team for this project and are thrilled to become part of this community. Our executive chef, Thomas Burke—a Westchester native—and I are looking forward to showcasing all that the Hudson Valley’s farms have to offer,” said Charlie Palmer.
Before his two-year tenure as chef de cuisine of Tavern at GrayBarns, Burke served as chef de partie of three of the most lauded restaurants on both coasts: most recently The French Laundry in Yountville, California, preceded by Le Bernardin in midtown Manhattan and Boulevard in San Francisco. From 2012 to 2014, he was executive sous chef of Purdys Farmer and The Fish in North Salem, N.Y. He launched his career as sous chef at BRIO Tuscan Grille in Danbury, Conn.
“We’re delighted to welcome Thomas to the team. His impressive skills, experience and local roots make him the ideal choice to introduce both the Charlie Palmer and Mirbeau brands to the Hudson Valley culinary scene as he shepherds our most ambitious culinary program to date,” says Michael Dal Pos, chief executive officer of Mirbeau Hospitality Services. The company also operates Mirbeau-branded resorts in Skaneateles, N.Y. and Plymouth, Mass., as well as a day resort in Albany, N.Y.
Willow by Charlie Palmer will showcase its namesake chef’s signature Progressive American Cuisine, with products from local Hudson Valley farms taking center stage. Among the menu highlights will be whole grilled Maine lobster with an assortment of farm-stand sides, Hudson Valley foie gras, steak au poivre sourced from Hudson Valley farms, and Hudson Valley summer corn pancakes. The menu will also include several Mirbeau signatures that guests will recognize from its sister resorts, including grilled oysters and the Mirbeau burger. A deep wine list will complement the menu and a separate wine bar menu of lighter fare and appetizers will be available for guests seated at the bar. In a region known for its flourishing food scene, Willow will set itself apart as the place to go for Rhinebeck’s most buzzworthy breakfast, while its lunch program will cater to Mirbeau’s spa guests with a more casual focus.
Located on the first floor of Mirbeau Inn & Spa Rhinebeck, Willow is an easy walk from anywhere in the village. From its open-air back deck, guests are treated to forever-wild forest views dotted with willow trees, the inspiration for the restaurant’s name. In fact, willow trees are a signature of all Mirbeau resorts, inspired by those at Claude Monet’s Giverny. Willow’s interior will feature a chic and comfortable design aesthetic. Seating 70 at the restaurant and bar, Willow will be open for breakfast, lunch and dinner daily to the public as well as resort guests.
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