Skip to main content

What's Up Magazine

Front Room at the Imperial Hotel in Chestertown Hires New Chef

May 20, 2010 06:34PM ● By Anonymous

“What I’m trying to do is source as much local product as I can,” he told me during a subsequent phone call, adding that he’d begrudgingly fill in other products through purveyors if necessary. “I sent an email to every farm I could find asking for every vegetable I might want to cook.” He’ll source most of his meats through the Haass’ Family Butcher Shop in Dover, his eggs through an Amish source he found in Cecilton, and his pork through a farm he located in Harford County.

“I’m going to do everything the way it’s supposed to be done. Put an emphasis on cooking right, and using good ingredients,” he said. “I’ll definitely use Sysco less than a lot of places around here do.”

Before coming to Chestertown, Cline was sous chef at Fair Hill Inn in Elkton, Md., winner of Sante Awards for “Culinary Hospitality Restaurant of the Year” in 2009 and “Best Sustainable Restaurant in the Mid-Atlantic” in 2008. Santé is a trade publication for the restaurant industry. He grew up in Cape May, New Jersey, and served in the Marine Corps before attending the Culinary Institute of America. This is his first foray as an executive chef.

“I have to say, my cuisine isn’t necessarily French inspired, but I am classically trained in French cooking. Really, my food is locally inspired. Crab, pork, chicken, beef; it’s an upscale, local menu.”

Under Cline, the menu at the Front Room will change every two months. “That’ll help me keep the produce local, and to see what I can realistically get from people,” he said. “All the farms I’ve been in touch with, they’re into it.”

Cline is excited about a bone-in pork loin dish he has planned for his first menu. It’ll come with at least 6 inches of the rib still attached to the loin, a grilled savory peach from Lockbriar Farms in Chestertown, and a warm potato salad.