Culinary Creations: An Interview With Skytop’s Chef Chris

Apr 25, 2024

We’ve sat down with Skytop’s very own Chef Chris! With a flair for flavors and a knack for culinary innovation, we’re pulling back the curtain to chat with Chef Chris about his journey, inspirations, and the delicious dishes that make Skytop a culinary destination. 

How did you get your start in your culinary career, and how did your journey lead you to Skytop Lodge? 

Chef Chris: My culinary career began in high school. I took a home economics class, with the intention to meet girls. The class and the teacher turned out to be great, and I made some friends too. The teacher took a few of us who were interested, to the Culinary Institute of America on a field trip. It was that trip that solidified my career choice. 

Unfortunately, I did not get to attend the CIA for my initial culinary college, but later did take several continuing educational courses there. I attended culinary school in Pittsburgh, PA at The Pennsylvania Institute of Culinary Arts. After culinary school I worked in hotels and private clubs, working my way up the ranks, and after a several decade long career proudly found myself as Executive Chef at Skytop Lodge.

Can you share a favorite dish or menu item that embodies the essence of Skytop? What makes it special? 

Chef Chris: We change our menus often, but we do have a few menu items we consider to be anchors and will remain staples as long as I remain Executive Chef. In our main dining room, the Windsor, we have our Beef Wellington for two. We ask the guest to give us a 24-hour notice, a preorder for this particular dish. It is a center cut beef tenderloin, layered with prosciutto ham, spinach and mushroom duxelle. We wrap it in puff pastry and the end result is visually stunning and it is enjoyed by our guests regularly. This dish is a classic, it is also elegant and refined, which I feel embodies Skytop’s essence.  

The culinary scene is constantly evolving. How do you stay innovative and keep up with emerging food trends while maintaining the charm of Skytop?

Chef Chris: One of my favorite things about being in this field is that it is always evolving. Learning new things is inevitable. We are fortunate to live so close to NYC, so I often visit different restaurants in the city. I also go to professional trade shows and classes.  

How does the surrounding landscape influence your menu development and ideas? 

Chef Chris: Standards. Skytop is so well maintained, there is a standard you witness when you arrive. So I feel it is important to carry this standard into our kitchen. 

Sustainability and farm-to-table practices have become important in the culinary world. How does Skytop prioritize sustainability in its dining operations?

Chef Chris: We love to support our local and regional community, and source as much product as possible from these farms. We also have our own bees that produce raw honey and will be reopening our garden this upcoming season. 

How do you accommodate menu items for guests with dietary needs and restrictions to make it memorable for all who dine at Skytop? 

Chef Chris: Over the last year, we have created an entire roll for our allergy specialist, Zoe. When a guest makes a reservation, and has a request for a special diet, they are contacted by Zoe. She then relays the information she gathers to the kitchen and each need is handled thoughtfully by our staff. 

For the guest who might be just dining with us, we have allergy cards they can fill out at the table and give to the server, to give to the kitchen to execute.  

What do you find most rewarding about being a chef in such a unique and beautiful setting? 

Chef Chris: If you explore the property, especially the Lodge, you will see many old photographs, perhaps you can get the chance to go on a property tour with our in-house Historian. You will come to learn that Skytop Lodge is rich in tradition and history.  I consider myself blessed to work in an awe inspiring setting alongside great management and caring staff, who together make memories for our guests to take home with them for a lifetime. 

To try one of Chef Chris’ culinary delights, visit us at to find your next culinary adventure.