Greenbrier Valley Quarterly: A Portrait of a Pastry Chef

The Greenbrier Sporting Club’s Executive Pastry Chef Amy Mills recently discussed with Greenbrier Valley Quarterly about her journey to becoming the talented chef she is today. She recalls her time at Johnson & Wales University and working with renowned Master Chef Peter Timmins at The Greenbrier – and knew this was the place she wanted to remain to practice her rather “sweet” art.

Read more by clicking on the image below!


chefamy cake

Chef’s Corner


Thanks to The Farmers Market of Downtown Lewisburg West Virginia & Jaime Wykle Photography for the image.

Well, spring is officially over and we are in the middle of everyone’s favorite season–summer. It’s always a joy of our culinary team to start reaping the bounty of our local farms; and the Farmers Market in Lewisburg is in full swing.

The Farmers Market operates every Saturday and is located on Route 219. It boasts a bunch of great items. If you are cooking at home, we urge you to take the opportunity to enjoy some of Pam West’s tomatoes or Redwing Farm’s delicious beets. You can also feel good knowing that the items you are preparing are locally grown and use no pesticides or chemicals. Buy local, eat local, and support our local economy.

For those mushroom seekers out there, the chanterelle will still be available at the beginning of this month. Be on the lookout for those yummy orange mushrooms and don’t be surprised to see them on the menu here at The Club. Hopefully the timing and the weather will be just right and there will be chanterelles in our baskets. Happy hunting!

Here in the Culinary Department, we are proud to have you enjoy our food and the dining experience. We are always seeking to entice your palette and create marvelous food with care and thought. And, at the same time, we support our farmers by including local meats and produce on the menu. At The Club, we wholeheartedly support our farmers and their hard work.

Wishing you safe travels as you head home to West Virginia and we look forward to seeing you this summer.


Beautiful Gingerbread Sleigh Graces Sporting Club

Amy Mills, [former] Executive Pastry Chef for The Greenbrier Sporting Club, has always created a spectacular holiday season gingerbread house…usually a replica of one of The Club’s many landmarks throughout the property. This year, Mills broke out of her mold and instead designed and built a magical gingerbread sleigh full of vintage gifts of yesterday—an homage to the spirit and togetherness this time of year beckons in all of us. Amy took a moment to sit down and share some of her ideas in the short Q&A below:

What made you decide to create a Gingerbread Sleigh this year? In the past we have created The Equestrian Center and The Members’ Lodge, The Summit Activities Barn and Summit Lodge and we have also done a couple villages, so this year we wanted to do something different. We really didn’t want to limit ourselves to doing just gingerbread houses so we thought about some different avenues. We asked for input from our fellow departments and team mates for the ideas we had in mind and it was a toss up between The Old White Hotel, which was the beginnings of what The Greenbrier is today, Whoville from The Grinch, or a sleigh filled with our fondest memories from childhood. The sleigh won unanimously and as soon as we started asking for ideas for the sleds contents, you could see the excitement in their eyes as they would tell of the toys that would occupy their time on cold winter days, not necessarily Christmas morning, but their favorite toys in general.

What kind of message does this year’s creation convey? We don’t at all want to emphasize that the meaning of Christmas or the holidays is all about toys, because it isn’t. We just want you to look at our gingerbread display as just that, an awesome smelling, edible centerpiece that will bring back memories of holidays past and our childhood.

How did your team go about developing this sleigh? As soon as our concept was apparent, we looked for pictures of sleds that could be built with structural integrity and to hold a lot of gingerbread, fondant, chocolate and royal icing decorations. We needed to decide on a size of our showpiece and decided to go big for a dramatic effect and also to incorporate many items to place inside the sleigh. We took our picture and drew out to scale and then fit all of the pieces together to make sure of a sturdy design. After that it was off to our wonderful maintenance department who then helped out with bracing our piece. 20 sheet pans of gingerbread were rolled out and cut to the exact dimension and glued into place with chocolate. The sled was decorated with royal icing and placed on a board covered with royal icing “snow.” That seemed to be the easy job only taking a few days, but the intense part was about to begin.

And how long and how many people does it take to pull something like this off? Staff from both The Lodge and The Summit kitchens was eager to lend a helping hand in recreating their favorite toys. Most all of them brought back memories for me and I was so excited to see in them what I feel everyday when I get to create. It was a lot of hard work and many hours spent, but I believe it is something we are all proud of as a team and something our members will enjoy to look at and smell this holiday season. It took over a week to complete the project, some items taking as much as 8 hours each. Twelve chefs and kitchen staff participated.


The Greenbrier Sporting Club Won Grand Champion at 4th Annual Cast Iron Cook-Off

January 27, 2009 – White Sulphur Springs, W. Va. – The Greenbrier Sporting Club proved its culinary clout at the 4th Annual Cast Iron Cook-Off held this weekend at the Charleston Marriott Town Center in Charleston, WV. The sporting club conquered the culinary competition, winning Best Use of Locally Grown Protein, Best Menu and Grand Champion overall!

The annual cooking trade fair showcases West Virginia’s culinary talent and attractions and this year’s Cook-Off marked the first appearance by The Greenbrier Sporting Club. The winning sporting club team was comprised of seven participants headed by team captain, Greenbrier Sporting Club Chef de Cuisine, Frank Paris. Paris was joined by Hannah Reid, lead chef at the sporting club’s Summit Lodge, and Greenbrier Sporting Club members; Harry Bell, Stephanie Giatras and guest, Mimi Imbrogno and Rob Stepp and guest, Mike Owens. The sporting club beat out 12 other teams spanning West Virginia, Maryland, Pennsylvania and Washington, D.C., including last year’s champions, West Virginia’s own Bridge Road Bistro and Stone Wall Resort.

“Winning the whole thing was the icing on the cake for the members who participated,” said Frank Paris, Chef de Cuisine, The Greenbrier Sporting Club. “It felt good to reinforce to them, that when they come to dine at the Sporting Club, they are in good hands.”

The sporting club team prepared four courses including an olive oil glazed Lindside trout with bacon and bread dumplings and braised collard greens, an Almost Heaven farm fresh egg with Reeds Mill grits and Reid Farms fingerling potatoes, a coffee dusted Highlander beef tenderloin with Half Mountain Farms Celeriac and white chocolate puree and Reeds Mill Buckwheat Johnny Cakes with Morgan Orchard Apples, cinnamon Mascarpone cream and smoked Maple syrup for the final course. At least one component of each course was cooked in a cast-iron pan. Each course was reviewed by a panel of judges including celebrity judge, Lee Ann Wong formerly of Bravo’s Top Chef, and a selection of local culinary heavyweights.

“I can’t emphasize enough what a great place The Greenbrier Sporting Club is,” says Harry Bell, member at The Greenbrier Sporting Club. “Chefs, Frank and Hannah, deserve so much credit and Harmony Kopelov did a wonderful job with the wines at dinner and training the Marriott servers. We all had a great time and can’t wait until next year!”