Preparing Meals at Seyon Lodge State Park

By Tiffany Soukup

Tiffany Soukup spent last summer working as an innkeeper and cook at Seyon Lodge State Park in Groton, Vermont. She shared some of her experiences harvesting and serving locally-sourced food to guests with us:

Living in the Pilbara, about 2000 kms north of Perth in Western Australia I worked as a barista and my husband Chris in the kitchen of an old train car called the Silver Star. Little did I know my choices over the past year to live remotely in the dusty mining town of Port Hedland, Australia would help prepare me for my role in Vermont State Parks this season as the Inn Keeper at Seyon Lodge State Park.

Now I live (perhaps not quite as remotely) at the end of a dirt road, nestled next to Noyes Pond in the 27,000 acres of Groton State Forest. Just as my head cook used to call out to me if I grabbed a plate too quickly to get back in the kitchen, our team members have stopped dead in their tracks hearing me yell, "Wait! Get back in here! That plate doesn't have parsley or pepper on it!" I would quickly grab a sprig of parsley to strategically place next to the entree and crack fresh ground pepper around the edge of the plate. I didn't think much about the cook fussing over the plates at the time, but now as managers, cooks and Inn Keepers at Seyon Lodge I am keenly aware of how each plate looks before we serve it to our guest. 

In my role I've had a chance to learn more about organizations like Vermont Fresh Networks, Black RiverProduce, our own organic garden and shopping practices. Seyon has worked hard over the years to show case high quality Vermont products exemplifing healthy, local, organic foods as much as possible to our guests. People have come to know, appreciate, respect and seek out the menu choices we offer.

Here is an inside look at gathering and serving food at Seyon this season:

The ability to both purchase and make healthy food is not to be taken for granted nor exist everywhere in the world. One of the reasons I love living in Vermont is because of organizations like Vermont Fresh Food Networks that are so strong and help make it easy for me as a consumer to feel my dollars are going to businesses I want to support. Throw in that Vermont has this amazing gem of an Inn and there is so much support to showcase the food we purchase. When it comes down to the food I try to both eat and serve there are really two questions: 1.) Do I know the farmer, and, 2.) Does it have fresh cracked pepper on it?

Which farmer are you going to support for your next meal?

To learn more about Tiffany’s adventures, visit her blog, Vagabond Way.


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