Executive Chef Peter Sheedy
...Offering a dining experience that is more than just a vanilla experience.
The Manor On Golden Pond is pleased to welcome aboard our new Executive Chef Peter Sheedy.
Chef Peter is a native of New Hampshire who was born in Bethlehem, a small town high in the White Mountains. His first experience of the hospitality industry was working as a high school student in the busy seasonal restaurants of Wolfeboro, on the shores of New Hampshire’s Lake Winnipesaukee.
Chef Peter continued to work in the hospitality industry all through high school and college, and, after earning a degree in literature from Montreal’s prestigious McGill University, determined that his ultimate calling was to the creative intensity of fine, professional cooking.
Chef Peter’s first fine-dining experience was gained at the Canterbury Shaker Village’s Creamery Restaurant, where he apprenticed for a season under then Executive Chef Leo Cuthbertson in preparation for the next available enrollment period of Vermont’s New England Culinary Institute.
“That was really a great place, at a great time,” recalls Chef Peter. “Chef Cuthbertson was a generous and supportive mentor who went out of his way to prepare me for culinary school, and, being on-site at a working organic farm exposed me to a great range of the freshest whole ingredients imaginable.”
As The Creamery’s season wound down, Chef Peter bid Canterbury farewell, with plans to be retained the following season as the property’s sous chef, and headed to Essex, VT, as a student at New England Culinary Institute.
“NECI’s model is intense. Students are hands-on in their restaurants/classrooms a lot – sometimes ten hours a day, six days a week. Outside the classroom, it doesn’t stop. Everyone is food-obsessed. When I’d get a little bit of free time, I’d be with a bunch of other students, talking about food – new trends, forgotten classics, great wines, whatever bit of information we could get our hands on. Or I’d be experimenting in my little dormitory kitchen, cooking for some other students, getting feedback and trying to impress – which is actually how I met my wife!”
After culinary school, Chef Peter set out, new bride in tow, on a trans-continental journey of culinary discovery. His experience took him first to Portland, Oregon, where, as the Sous Chef of a boutique hotel in the heart of the city, he worked with the abundant produce and seafood of the area. He also spent nights off eating and doing stages – mini culinary apprenticeships in the French tradition – at many of the city’s top restaurants. Volunteering a night’s worth of labor typically won him a free meal and a few words of advice from the Northwest’s leading chefs – Vitaly Paley, Greg Higgins and Corey Schreiber to name a few.
Chef Peter’s next stop was San Diego, California, where he was recruited by a former instructor to help refine a fine-dining steakhouse concept inside the Barona Resort and Casino.
“The best part about working in the casino was that, in most cases, money was no object,” Peter recalls. “Whatever we wanted or needed, it was ours for the asking. We had prime beef, foie gras and produce that would be shipped in overnight from the best farms in the country, not to mention every high-tech culinary gadget a chef could ask for.”
Working with his culinary school mentor in a super high-end kitchen was exciting, but Chef Peter’s ambition lead him to take a new post, also in San Diego, as Banquet Chef of the San Diego Zoo, where he added to his culinary background the administrative and organizational skills necessary to cater large-scale functions in a variety of settings – sometimes remote. This role also gave him the opportunity to cook for a wide variety of visiting celebrities and dignitaries, and, on more than one occasion, for the animals themselves.
After several years settling in to San Diego, Chef Peter once again received a call from his culinary school mentor, who was now the Food and Beverage Director of an Atlanta Marriott hotel and who badly needed a trusted cook to be Executive Sous Chef. In Atlanta, Chef Peter once again worked with his mentor to give a facelift to a lagging food and beverage program with great success. The humble suburban Marriott at which he worked was routinely ranked among the top ten for food and beverage out of all the Marriott hotels in the United States.
Notwithstanding his success in Atlanta, upon hearing of an opening at The Manor on Golden Pond, Chef Pete could not resist the opportunity to return home, be near his family, and cook once more at an intimate, fine-dining property.
“The Manor is such a special, rarefied setting,” says the Chef. “Our guests are all genuinely treasured. Every day my team and I are going to great lengths to really make dining here an unforgettable experience with lots of local flavor and really personalized service.” “The kitchen here has a great tradition of fine cooking, and of using the best local ingredients,” says Sheedy, “maintaining and expanding that tradition is Priority Number One, especially when it comes to ingredients. I think there are even more great local and organic products available now than there were even a few years ago. If I’m not busy in the kitchen, chances are I’m on the road, looking around the state for great stuff to add to our repertoire.”
“Of course, every chef puts a personal spin on his cooking, and I’m also intent on getting the word out that there’s a new voice behind the food the Manor has been known for. The feedback has been overwhelmingly positive. We’ve got quite a talented team and we’re doing a lot of exciting things that are unique in this area. Our formal dining room is offering a tasting menu, and is wonderful for special occasion and destination dining. We have a bistro menu, also, which features a lot of Spanish and Mediterranean influence this season – including a selection of Tapas, which is something I haven’t seen anywhere else in the region. I am looking forward to meeting the many friends and guests that walk thru our door to experience our unique dining experience.”