By Kevin Chap
Photographs by Michael Fisher and Aron Meinhardt
Stylist Jennifer Rutherford
The Dorset Inn
Chefs Jon Gatewood and Neil Philip together make an extraordinary team at the longest-running inn and restaurant in Vermont, The Dorset Inn. Constantly reminding patrons that they are only just the current caretakers of the 250-year-old, historic property, the two chefs work together like a beautiful wine pairing. Both being accomplished anglers and foragers themselves, they can walk you through the inspiration behind a dish as easily as a walk through the woods. What they witness in their free time becomes the inspiration for their cooking.
Chef Jon’s current take on classics such as filet and mash or prosciutto-wrapped scallops take on new meaning when coupled with the iconic surroundings and the impeccable service. These guys may not be serving royalty, but you’ll certainly be treated like it with the approachable yet sophisticated menu of old world classics that have been developed and presented in fresh and innovative ways.
There is a reason why this has been a mainstay of Vermont cuisine since the late 1700s—they do it right. With more than 90 percent of ingredients sourced from within 20 miles (many of them direct from the field or farm), there is no need to overinundate the menu with unknown flavors and unapproachable presentation. What has worked in the past keeps this kitchen present and also very down to earth.
Clean the trout by removing the head, fins, and skin. Lightly grill the seasoned ramps with a little olive oil, salt, and pepper. Roll a grilled ramp in each trout fillet. Melt some butter in a pan with some chardonnay and a little salt and pepper. Add the trout roulades and cover.
Place in a 425-degree oven for about 15 minutes. In another pan over medium-high heat, add a little olive oil.
Toss in a handful of morels cut into halves or quarters and sauté briefly. Add a little chopped-up ramp, season with salt and pepper, and deglaze with chardonnay. Reduce slightly and stir in some unsalted butter to form a sauce.
FOR THE POLENTA
1 part cornmeal to 4 parts vegetable stock. Cook over medium-low heat stirring occasionally. Once polenta is cooked, fold in butter and Consider Bardwell’s “Danby” cheese. Adjust seasoning.
To serve, spoon polenta in center of plate, place trout roulade on that, and spoon sauce over the top. (garnish with a little spinach-herb oil and a sprig of microgreens).