The Roanoker September/October 2017 - 76
interview process, chef candidates cook a five-course
meal using whatever is in the kitchen. Morrisette says
he's never interested in how fast a chef can turn out a
dish; he cares only how well he or she turns out a dish.
Just as Morrisette will never rush guests through a meal
(they plan for two-hour dining experiences, but guests
often stay hours longer), he never wants his chefs to rush
through food preparation, either.
As for what's in the kitchen, imagine the essence of
Floyd: native, homemade, unpretentious, pure. Chateau Morrisette either grows or co-ops regionally for all
its produce, meats and grains. It cooks its own stocks,
salsas and jellies from scratch. Just as in the old kitchens of French peasant homes, a pot is always boiling
on the back burner of the Chateau Morrisette stove. It
produces its own cheeses and yogurts using cream from
goats raised on Morrisette's personal property. The Chateau even grinds its own grain for the flour used in its
pastries and breads.
Here is where Chateau Morrisette speaks to me;
speaks to my soul. I enjoy many types of cuisine and
restaurant experiences. But it is the pure, local earthiness
of farm-to-table I love most. At Chateau, this experience
finds its apex. It is a place gorgeous in views, delicious
in tastes and generous in spirit. When my husband and
I dined at Chateau Morrisette, we started with a small
76 | SEPTEMBER/OCTOBER 2017
plate of the Charcuterie and Cheese. The cheeses were a
fine mix of creamy and smooth, to assertive and sharp;
coupled with the tantalizing saltiness of cured meats. But
it was the Morrisette Farms Wine Jelly that had me in
rapture; a perfect sweet tartness, harmonizing the plate's
distinctive flavors. This small plate acted the way a first
course should: awakening my taste buds and exciting
my senses for what is to come.
For our main course, I enjoyed the Lamb Shank
paired with Chateau's Archival wine. My husband dined
on Shrimp and Grits paired with Our Blue Dog. Both
dishes presented and tasted true to Morrisette's vision:
simply prepared dishes, giving emphasis to the food's
natural offerings. It is food that reflects the open-handed
nature of the land and its people; inviting and rewarding your careful attention. It begs of you: Slow down.
Notice the textures. Savor each flavor. Taste this land's
bounty in every part of your palate. Be connected to
this local terra firma.
Like a glass of fine red wine, it is an experience, and
Chateau Morrisette operates on a seasonal schedule.
for current restaurant hours and menu.
thedogs.com; 540-593-DOGS (3647)
287 Winery Road SW, Floyd
Local, fresh ingredients
and a steady rotation
of chefs keep things
interesting and delicious.