Mayflower Inn & Spa, Auberge Resorts Collection announces Cortney Burns as Inspiring Chef - Insights
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Mayflower Inn & Spa, Auberge Resorts Collection announces Cortney Burns as Inspiring Chef

Cortney BurnsMayflower Inn & Spa, Auberge Resorts Collection has announced the appointment of Cortney Burns as inspiring chef. At once a student of naturopathy, herbology and anthropology, a professional chef and James Beard award-winning author, Chef Burns’ philosophy uses food not only as medicine for the body and soul, but also history as a springboard for creativity.

She will oversee the culinary program at The Garden Room, The Tap Room as well as unique on and off-property epicurean experiences. Deeply inspired by the grassroots of New England’s culinary traditions, Chef Burns will lean into her global adventures and decades of fine dining experience as she curates the cuisine at Mayflower Inn & Spa, Auberge Resorts Collection with an ethos that explores the aesthetic importance of food as it relates to all cultures and employs conscientious sourcing as critical to the end product.

“We are thrilled to welcome Chef Burns, who brings a wealth of culinary knowledge of the local area, to the Mayflower family,” said Mohit Girdhar, general manager, Mayflower Inn & Spa, Auberge Resorts Collection. “Her renowned reputation speaks for itself, having worked with some of the most prestigious chefs in the country and impacting the culinary space with her accomplishments and accolades. Chef Burns will be a powerful force as we illuminate this next epicurean phase for Mayflower Inn & Spa.”

Chef Burns is the third woman and newest addition to Mayflower’s inspiring chefs program, an ode to its promise to deliver transformative dining experiences and world-class cuisine from top-tier talent. Using the destination as her muse, she will allow the bounty of Litchfield farmers to inspire her dishes, intuitively and intentionally positioning peak season ingredients center stage. Her priority is to consciously source from local purveyors with quality of endeavor, good practice and ambitions to heal the land and community—in tune with the Inn’s pillars of wellness and critical to her own well-rounded cooking style. With a deep understanding for how New England’s farmland plays into the culture of its food, Chef Burns is inspired, not bound, by its historically minimal growing season. Her creativity will engage the probiotic-rich fermentation practices for which she is well known as well as employ a myriad of other preservation techniques to capture the seasons for later use. 

In addition to launching new menus across all restaurants, Chef Burns will elevate epicurean experiences to immerse guests in the area’s deep-rooted history and many cultures that call it home. Mixology classes will showcase the land’s fruitful flavors, bonfire experiences will explore New England’s cross-cultural culinary history, and onsite picnics will be inspired by the centuries-old tradition of gathering and dining in nature. In collaboration with THE WELL at Mayflower Inn, the property’s holistic wellness space, Chef Burns will curate healthful tinctures and tonics from its fresh garden to enhance the wellness experience and connect guests to the local land.

“I’m delighted to have the opportunity to work with the Auberge Resorts Collection brand and  introduce inspired dishes for the property that will weave together my adventures around the world and my knowledge of naturopathy and herbology,” said Cortney Burns, executive chef, Mayflower Inn & Spa, Auberge Resorts Collection. “The history of New England is my culinary muse and I’ve spent decades honing what has become my cooking style: using history as a springboard for creativity while drawing on my own culinary knowledge and nutrient-rich approach to lead the way.” 

Burns will unveil an a la carte menu for breakfast, lunch and dinner as well as a chef-curated, family-style dinner experience at The Garden Room. Her signature breakfast dishes will include Rye-Anise Waffles with rhubarb compote, sweet ricotta and maple, Dutch baby pancake with poached apricots, green almonds & Noyaux cream, Pastured Egg ‘Shakshuka’ with chickpeas and sprouted lentils, preserved tomatoes, feta, spinach & griddled whole wheat pita bread and a  Matcha and Ashwagandha Tusol Smoothie designed to reduce stress, promote gut health and stimulate detoxification. The lunch menu will include Salmon Tartine on caraway sourdough, salmon rillette, dill cream cheese and crispy capers, Grilled Petite Poussin with spring onions, romesco and a fine herb salad, Le Grand ‘Garden & Sea,’ a seasonal recipe with market vegetables, poached shrimp & tarragon aioli. She will also relaunch The Tap Room’s dinner menu in collaboration with the Mayflower culinary team. The speciality dishes will feature a Seared Atlantic Salmon dish with spring onions, lacinato kale &, sauce gribiche, Roasted Hen of the Woods with chickpeas & sprouted lentils, spinach and gremolata, Devils on Horseback with baked dates, bella Bantam cheese and speck, and Saffron Arancini with garlic almond sauce.

A native of the Midwest, Chef Burns developed an interest for food at an early age during childhood outings to the market for comfort foods, like warm corned beef and Muenster cheese. Burns earned degrees from the University of Wisconsin- Madison  in cultural anthropology and south Asian studies with a focus in Tibetan language. Her studies took her to Nepal and India, where she fell in love with the region’s exotic spices and flavors. Upon graduation, Burns moved to Australia and began to cook professionally. When she returned to the United States, she spent many years working with prestigious names in San Francisco’s celebrated kitchens, like Quince, Café Rouge and Boulette’s Larder, before becoming Nick Balla’s co-chef at Bar Tartine and eventually headed east to open Tourists, a 55-acre hotel property in North Adams, Mass. She is the co-author of “Bar Tartine: Techniques and Recipes,” which won James Beard Foundation and IACP awards, and sole author of “Nourish Me Home.”

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