Executive Chef Dave Dunlap of Maple and Pine Restaurant shared his inspiration for the fall menu being rolled out.
"When Summer begins to end, I start to long for the cooler days of Fall. The crisp air that Autumn brings is almost intoxicating for me after a long hot Virginia summer. The change of season and the bounty that comes with it reinvigorate me as a chef. Some of the ingredients I look forward to the most are apples particularly Honey Crisp and Pink Lady, Brown Turkey Figs, chestnuts, squash and Chanterelles. All grow very close to the restaurant and are of the best quality.
I am very fortunate to live in Virginia, which has an abundance of amazing orchards producing some of the best apples I have had. There are so many different varietals in Virginia and we start seeing them as early as mid-August and as late as mid-November. Apples are an amazing fruit due to their versatility. They can be used in sweet or savory applications and be eaten using any number of cooking techniques or - simply raw.
For a sweet variation I like to serve an apple crisp using Honey Crisp apples and pairing it with cheddar cheese ice cream. For the more savory side I will make an apple sauce and add a touch of vinegar and pair it with either pork or venison.
Chestnuts are also something that I love in the later months of the year. At the restaurant in the Fall I serve a Chestnut cream soup with lightly pickled cabbage, smoked bacon, Button Chanterelles and Brioche Croutons. This is one of those dishes I serve every year with little to no changes. It is in my opinion the ultimate Autumn soup, creamy, rich and delicious."