An upscale, 15-room country inn and fine dining venue in Woodstock, VT, The Jackson House Inn & Restaurant, has garnered a reputation for attracting and grooming rising star chefs from culinary capitals around the US. Named as one of the “World’s Best Places to Stay” by Condé Nast Traveler in 2004 and touted as preparing “some of the country’s most creative food” by Food & Wine the Jackson House has become a true epicurean destination showcasing some of “the best aspects of modern New England and American cuisine” notes respected food writer John Mariani.
The Inn has also been home to outstanding young chefs who have worked in some of the world’s most renowned venues, including Todd English’s Olives, Alain Ducasse’s Le Louis XV in Monte Carlo, Hubert Keller’s Fleur de Lys of San Francisco, Joachim Splichal’s Patina in Hollywood, Charlie Trotter’s Trotter’s and Rick Tumanto’s TRU in Chicago. As of September 2004 the list also includes LON’S at the Hermosa where the Jackson House?s newest chef, Jason Merrill, oversaw the kitchen for half a decade.
“Jason’s arrival signals another progressive elevation in our continuing passion for providing one of the finest dining experiences in the Northeast, while maintaining the understated casual elegance that is our hallmark,” said Carl Delnegro, proprietor.
Chef Merrill, reared in the Green Mountain State, moved to Arizona and returns home with accolades from his most recent position as Chef de Cuisine at LON’s at the Hermosa, Scottsdale, a Zagat “top 25”. His experience includes the kitchens of such luminaries as Alessando Stratta at the Phoenician and Michael’s at the Citadel where celebrity Chef Michael DeMaria masterfully plies New American fare at his eponymous restaurant and catering company.
Working under the tutelage of maestro chef and cookbook author Fernando Divina, Merrill has helped advance the Valley’s most aggressive ecological-based culinary program, drawing inspiration from the mantras of Slow Food International and Chef’s Collaborative, of which he is an active member. Merrill assertively supports the concepts of kitchen gardening, seeking locally foraged and grown foods, both in abundance in Vermont where he is bound to celebrate the State’s regional flavors.
Joining Chef Merrill will be Sous Chef Lynette Mosher. Lynette, most recently Executive Chef at Kennebunk, Maine’s, On the Marsh, is a magna*censored*lade graduate of Johnson & Wales. She has held this position at Rockport’s Emerson by the Sea (Yankee Magazine’s Editor’s Pick), and Zephyr on the Charles in Cambridge, MA (Chef on the Rise, Boston Magazine, 2002). Additionally, her work at Flash’s in Boston garnered a Food & Wine citation as Best New Cocktail Lounge 2001.
Charles “Skip” Symanski, who oversees the Wine Spectator “Award of Excellence” wine cellar, notes that “this is one of the most talented culinary teams I have worked with in 30 years of restaurant management experience.”