A Culinary Journey from the Queen of Lakes to the King of France
Article by Christina Richards, vice chargée de media sociaux
Photos by William Harris, bailli
Chevalier Victor Gush had raved about the food at the Lake George Club, a venerable private club on the shores of Lake George, and this enticed us to make the hour and a quarter journey north to see what all the fuss was about. An enthusiastic Tony DeStratis, the longtime Executive Chef at the club, promised a culinary journey from the Queen of Lakes to the King of France; he did not disappoint. Chevalier Victor Gush had raved about the food at the Lake George Club, a venerable private club on the shores of Lake George, and this enticed us to make the hour and a quarter journey north to see what all the fuss was about. An enthusiastic Tony DeStratis, the longtime Executive Chef at the club, promised a culinary journey from the Queen of Lakes to the King of France; he did not disappoint.
The adventure set sail aboard the beautiful waters of Lake George. Nestled inside a spacious 1909 Clubhouse tucked away in white petunias, we were warmed by multiple fireplaces and a profusion of dark wood surrounding us. The flowers that coddle the clubhouse are a tradition honoring its founder, Mr. Emil Strand, for his lengthy and dedicated service. He and his wife welcomed guests, opening the club’s doors on August 14th 1909. The Lake George Club was intended to provide a space where visitors might meet for opportunities of pleasure. The Albany Chaîne event on October 22nd, 2017 was just that for the 51 in attendance.
Winding through the back roads of the Adirondacks we were captivated by the brilliant fall foliage that set the stage for the enchantment that was to follow.
A tea stained scroll revealed the treasure map with the menu details adorned on it. It seemed only fitting Chef Tony and his team would start our meal with a catch from the nearby waters. Met with approval, the local catch was teamed up with a 92 rated New York State Riesling from the Finger Lakes Region. Our first course was a winner setting the precedent for the matchups to follow.
Even without compasses in hand we could tell we were headed north, perhaps to the deep wilderness of the Adirondacks or even Canada. The chef’s full utilization of the indigenous game in a tarte was as perfect as a Mozart symphony finishing with a strategic harmony of game glace drizzle. Continuing across the Atlantic we sampled a delectable Sturgeon, followed by dishes from Spain and a main course featuring English mutton, which was actually a double cut loin, enhanced by Moroccan seasonings.
All good things must come to an end. The wind slowed on our sails as we coasted into France. Dessert was the creation of Pastry Chef William Whitty – a port poached pear that was as lovely to gaze upon as it was to consume. A 10 year old tawny made for the perfect pairing and a fitting conclusion to our journey.
Chef DeStratis and his culinary team, which included Chef Rôtisseur Tim Warnock, General Manager William Finnen, and the excellent service staff, received a rousing round of applause from our appreciative members. It was truly an extraordinary culinary experience.
From the shorelines of the Queen of Lakes to the coast of France our culinary journey presented us with the presents of the land and sea. Until we meet again, bon voyage.