Shafer Wins Top Chef Award
Christmas Farm Inn & Spa Chef, Stan Shafer, was recognized as the Chef of the Year by the American Culinary Federation on Friday. Mr. Shafer was voted top chef by his peer group of cooking professionals and other members of the White Mountain Chapter of the ACF. Chapter President, Gary Sheldon, presented the award to Shafer, and recognized his contribution to the profession, as well as his culinary skills. As an organization, the ACF sets national standards and benchmarks by which culinary professionals are measured, and provides training and accreditation. Said Sheldon, “Stan Shafer personifies the good traits of a chef dedicated to their profession. He sets high standards for himself and his kitchen.”
Originally from New York State, Shafer has worked in the Mount Washington valley for 9 years, after honorably serving in the U.S. Marines and graduating from the renowned Culinary Institute of America. He has been the head chef at the Christmas Farm Inn & Spa since last May and is working closely with innkeepers Gary and Sandra Plourde to position the restaurant as a country-style dining experience. He and his team also prepare food for the Cabana, a licensed pool-side bar, the inn tavern, and for weddings and events for up to 200 at the historic Jackson inn. Shafer lives in North Conway with his wife Sara and daughter Caleen.
Shafer says that he has a wide spectrum of culinary influences resulting from his formal training and ongoing curiosity, “I like discovering new ideas and continuously experiment with new recipes. In the last few months, I have worked with our suppliers to source natural and organically grown meats and produce to incorporate into our new menu. Our grass-fed beef has already been a big hit - you can really taste the difference.”
“We are very proud of Stan and congratulate him on his achievement,” said innkeeper, Gary Plourde. “Our guests rave about his cooking and we have a loyal local following.” Plourde believes, “You are what you eat, and we aim to deliver freshly prepared, country comfort food that is healthy for the heart and the wallet. We try to source things locally, where available, and we have gluten and allergen free options available.”