Food and Drink International - Winter 2016 Volume 1 - 131

Catering to the Need

M

Maine is celebrated for its picturesque surroundings and sensational seafood cuisine. York Harbor Inn in York Harbor, a certified Maine Green Lodging property, features regional sources
at all three of their dining venues: 1637 Restaurant, Ship's Cellar
Pub, and Tavern at Chapman Cottage. The culinary team also
grows their own herbs and makes their own honey. We spoke
to innkeeper Garry Dominguez about some of the purveyors
the Inn works with and how catering to the needs of their local
community has created a loyal following.
Over the last few years, York Harbor Inn has fostered relationships with
Pineland Farms Natural Meats located in New Gloucester, Maine; Heart
Song Farm in Gilmanton Iron Works,
N.H.; as well as Taylor Lobster Company and Golden Harvest Produce,
both in adjacent Kittery, Maine.
"Pineland is an excellent source for
naturally raised and ground beef, and
has been very helpful in making our
burgers so popular in the Ship's Cellar
Pub," Dominguez shares. "Heart Song
specializes in Goat's Milk Cheese,
which we use frequently in numerous
recipes. We actually named a salad
entree after them that included their
goat cheese, and it became a local
favorite. Taylor Lobster is our main
seafood supplier and has had its roots
in lobstering and seafood since 1954.
Fresh fish is available for daily delivery. They source their lobsters locally
and many of their fish offerings too.
Golden Harvest is also right in our
backyard, so to speak, and frequently
has local produce available from both
Maine and New Hampshire."
According to Dominguez, Inn Chef
Gerald Bonsey (CEC, AAC) searches out sources both near and far in
an effort to keep only the best ingredients on the menus. Oftentimes, information about local foods sources
is passed on within the small circle
of culinarians in the area, as well as

visits from the suppliers themselves,
and tradeshows held in Portsmouth,
N.H. and Boston. "Chef Gerry is his
own local source for fresh honey
from his beekeeping activities both
at home and here on the Inn's property," Dominguez adds. "He currently
maintains three hives here and more
at his home in York, and utilizes the
different seasonal flavored honey
in many of our recipes and specials.
This year he expects to have over 400
pounds of honey from his bees, which
he plans to jar and make available for
purchase in our gift shop."

Loyal Following
Just as sweet as Chef Gerry's honey
is the guest feedback and loyalty York
Harbor Inn has experienced over the
years (from both visitors and locals
alike); so much so, that it prompted
the team to establish its Frequent Diners Club. "Since our original opening
in 1980, we have always targeted our
local community with all of the services we offer. We wanted to, and
ultimately have become, a year-round
community hub for our town and
nearby townfolks' life events, whether it be engagements, weddings, anniversaries, family gatherings, etc.,"
Dominguez notes.
"Our Frequent Diners Club was a
natural extension of this philosophy
and is also a nice way to say thanks to
our most loyal patrons. I was having
dinner at a local year-round restaurant down in Hampton and noticed
their loyalty program on a table tent
and thought it was a great idea."
The Inn started its program late
last year, and it is growing every

>> York Harbor Inn features regional items in all three of its dining venues, and offers a frequent diners program for local loyalty.

food & drink international * winter 2016 volume 1 * www.fooddrink-magazine.com

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