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Spring Inspires New Menu at the Inn

Posted on 04/22/2014 by Leeann Donnelly

No need to overthink things – the theme of the Inn Dining Room’s new spring menu is … spring. Winter’s heavy soups and stews have disappeared from the menu, making way for plates dressed in the vibrant colors of farm and garden-fresh delicacies.

“Spring is the time of light and healthy,” says Hotel Chef David Ryba. “You’ll see more acidity on plates, young lettuces that you’ve been missing in winter. Overall, everything is more appealing to the eye as well as the palate.” That includes purple hues in the form of Heirloom Cauliflower.

Chef Ryba recently gathered his staff to try all 20 new dishes before going “live” in the Dining Room this week. New items have been in the works for several months, with selections finalized based on what’s abundant this season, and what’s available from area small farm operations, including Biltmore’s agricultural program. 

Not surprisingly, whole eggs star in three of the new selections: Farm Egg in the Bison Carpaccio; a Hen Egg with Baked Asparagus and a Quail Egg served with the Smoked Salmon Caesar cold plate. “Eggs are spring,” Chef Ryba says. The season’s extended hours of daylight impact chickens in a certain way, he says. “They (chickens) just drop eggs. They’re one of my favorite things in the world.”

During the staff session, Chef Ryba and Chef de Cuisine Jacob Crvich thoroughly described each dish, plating each one as they’ll look when delivered to the table. Details about the food’s origins were discussed, as were the secret ingredients and creative cooking methods that make each unique dish even more so. Servers absorbed the details in anticipation of guest questions.

Also debuting this season are Joyce Farms “Naked Chicken,” Rosemary Marinated Filet and Twin Lobster Tail. Memorable dishes from the previous season’s Chef’s Table Tasting Menu often make it to the new menu. A repeater from last spring is Sweet Pea Tortellini with hand-made pasta, ricotta, lemon preserve, mint, pecans and lonza, otherwise known as cured pork loin.

About the photo

Chef de Cuisine Jacob Crvich discusses the Inn's new Spring menu as Chef David Ryba looks on. Dining Room staff members sampled all of the spring-inspired items before the menu debuted to guests this week.

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