Peter Glander, a 1997 Greencastle High School graduate, was recently named executive chef at Blackberry Farm, the rural Relais Gourmand destination located in the hills of the Smoky Mountains.
The son of Marilyn Culler of Greencastle, during high school Glander worked at the former Hathaway's restaurant, and was a friend of former Walden Inn chef Matt O'Neill.
After high school, Glander has worked under such chefs as Jean Georges Vongerichten and Alice Waters and received an associate's degree in culinary arts from the Culinary Arts Institute in Hyde Park, N.Y.
Before going to Blackberry Farm, Glander worked with Chef Gabriel Kreuther to open Atelier at the Ritz Carlton Central Park South and The Modern.
Glander said he's looking forward to using the country influence of Blackberry Farm to present unique, seasonal dishes to his guests
"I've had respect for the land since my childhood," Glander said. "Simply put, if I weren't a chef, I'd be a farmer."
Sam Beall, proprietor of the estate, said Glander is truly in his element now.
"Peter's intimate knowledge of the land and his exceptional culinary achievements speak for themselves. He will complement the FarmStead perfectly."
Glander's latest venture takes him to the rolling hills of eastern Tennessee, where childhood summers became culinary foundations during visits with his aunt -- developing his tastes for seasonal, farm fresh cuisine.
"At a certain level of fine dining, it comes down to the freshness of the product," says Glander. "Here at Blackberry Farm, the product is just outside the kitchen door: in the garden, in the pasture and in the mountains."
Blackberry Farm is located in the heart of the Great Smoky Mountains of eastern Tennessee. The 51-room property offers offers an Aveda Destination Spa and a series of annual cooking schools and culinary events featuring Blackberry's own celebrated staff along with other world-renowned guest chefs and vintners.
For more information, visit Blackberry Farm's website at http://www. blackberryfarm.com.