The Taste: Knoxie’s Table & The Market At The Inn at Chesapeake Bay Beach Club
Oct 13, 2017 12:00PM
Knoxie’s Table & The Market At The Inn at Chesapeake Bay Beach Club
180 Pier One Road, Stevensville | 410-604-5900 | Baybeachclub.com
I’m not a fancy guy,” says Paul Shiley, setting the tone for several conversations we had—one on the phone and one on his home territory at the luxurious Inn at the Chesapeake Bay Beach Club. As the property’s executive chef, Shiley, 62, has a challenging job—functioning as the head of a team responsible for the food service at the beach club (a venue for weddings and corporate meetings) as well as Knoxie’s Table (the Inn’s full-service restaurant), the Market (a tiny gourmet shop for breakfast and lunch) and catering for small and mid-sized meetings at the Inn. The unassuming Shiley leads a staff that understands the true meaning of excellence in both product and service. Listen in to our conversations, edited for clarity. “You really had to be there,” as the saying goes.
What is your work history and how did it prepare you for this job?
I grew up in Baltimore and began working in the kitchen of the Baltimore Hilton Hotel, where my uncle was a chef, when I was 14 years old. I started at the bottom, eventually learned to cook and came to love the business. After high school, I attended what was then called the Baltimore Culinary College and then worked in several high-end Baltimore restaurants, among them the former Brass Elephant on Charles Street—recently reopened as The Elephant. We moved to the Eastern Shore in 1990, where my wife and I raised three kids. I was chef at the Narrows for 18 years, then at the Tidewater Inn in Easton for five years, before coming here when the Inn opened in November, 2015.
Tell us about the Inn at the Chesapeake Bay Beach Club. Some people are confused about the complex and what is open to the public.
This is a first-class development—with each of its various components complimenting each other. Owner John Wilson takes a personal interest in the day-to-day operation and takes pride in how it looks and feels. He opened the Chesapeake Beach Club about in 1999, eventually phasing out the restaurant to concentrate on making it a special events venue. When he decided to expand on the property, Mr. Wilson hired the best architects and landscape experts to create a luxury resort that is near a golf club, a marina, and a small airport—and located halfway between Baltimore and Washington. We are a work in progress when it comes to the gardens. We are growing some herbs and greens and experimenting with growing hops and maybe eventually have a brewery here. We welcome the public to our property—and even have an Open House every Saturday from 9-10 am. I suggest you call first.
You have said several times that you are only as good as your staff–and likened it to a baseball team. Who are some of your key players?
We have a great staff here, some of whom are long-term. The Beach Club’s original chef, Chris Roy, is back as my sous-chef at the Inn. Bryan Darr oversees The Market, a gourmet food and retail shop just off the Inn’s lobby, open for breakfast and lunch. Knoxie’s Table is our formal restaurant, adjoining a spacious terrace complete with an outdoor fire pit and a bar-lounge area with comfortable couches and chairs. Emily Jones, formerly of The Tidewater Inn, is our restaurant director. Our pastry chef is Kelly Germanhauser. a baker with a passion for pies that are somewhat of a trademark here and a favorite of Mr. Wilson’s wife, Deidre. Her nickname is “Knoxie” and we have a special red chair for her in the restaurant. As for the “team captain” – that’s Mr. Wilson. And the MVP is Derick Janes, his right-hand man who oversees all of the properties.
How do you train your staff and nurture the team concept?
We don’t have formal staff training. We find the “shadow method” works well—having the new hire follow an experienced person through the day and learn from him or her. That way they come to know the style of our kitchen and how it works.
Any advice for young people who are thinking about a career in the restaurant business?
Work in restaurants and learn to cook first—that’s what my uncle told me when I was a kid. And don’t waste a lot of money paying tuition at a fancy cooking school unless you have a passion for your profession and are willing to start at the bottom of the ladder, put in long hours and have a limited social life because chances are you’ll be working while your family and friends are playing.
What do you like best about your job here?
It is nice to work for someone who takes such a personal interest in the property and who cares about the staff and the property. It makes you proud to come to work. My traditional Southern style of cooking works well here and sometimes I feel like Billy Joel, who has done the same thing for 20 years and just keeps doing it a little better all the time.
Knoxie’s Pork Tenderloin Medallions
Small pork tenderloin (12-14 oz.) cut into 4 equal medallions
- 1 cup dried porcini mushrooms
- ¼ cup salt
- ¼ cup sugar
- 1 tsp black pepper
- 1 tsp crushed red pepper
Finely chop mushrooms until they turn to dust and combine with rest of ingredients to create a bone-dry rub. Dredge medallions in mushroom rub and sear in hot oil in oven-proof pan. Finish in 350-degree oven until meat registers 130 degrees on meat thermometer. Note: Rub may be made ahead and keeps for several weeks in covered container. Do not refrigerate. May be used on steak, veal chop, chicken or pork.
Red Wine Glaze
- 1 quart dry red wine (may use good jug wine)
- 1 tbsp chopped shallots
- 1 tbsp chopped garlic
- 1 bay leaf
- ½ tsp dried thyme
- ½ tsp black pepper
- 1 cup demi-glace (available inspecialty food sections)
- 1 tbsp olive oil
Lightly brown garlic and shallots in oil. Add wine and herbs. Boil until reduced by half. Strain and add the demi-glace. Simmer on low heat for about 30 minutes until reduced again to a thickness that can coat the back of a spoon. This sauce lasts about a month in the refrigerator or may be frozen.
Grilled Seafood Platter with Crab Risotto
- ½ 10-ounce Maine lobster tail
- 4 large dry scallops (under 20-count per pound)
- 4 large gulf shrimp (under 12-count per pound)
Cut lobster tail in half, lengthwise. Lightly season seafood with blackening seasoning. Arrange on broiler pan, brush seafood with olive oil, and broil or grill for about four minutes or until seafood is white.
Risotto(makes 8 portions and may be held in refrigerator for a week)
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 1 ½ cups Arborio rice
- 1 cup dry white wine
- 4 cups chicken stock
- ½ cup diced onions
Sauté onions in oil until translucent. Add rice and sauté about two minutes. Begin adding wine, stirring with wooden spoon until absorbed. Now add chicken stock, one cup at a time until absorbed. This takes about 30 minutes. Let rest while you make the crab risotto.
Crab Risotto(2 portions)
- 10 oz of prepared risotto
- 4 oz heavy cream
- 4 oz jumbo lump crab meat
- 1 cup fresh spinach, wilted
Heat risotto and heavy cream together in sauté pan. Once warm, gently fold in crab and spinach.