A Conversation with Tim Moore, Executive Chef

A Conversation with Tim Moore, Executive Chef

Posted on March 12, 2020

I recently sat with Executive Chef Tim Moore to learn more about his vision for our culinary program in the Tasting Room and for private events. Since joining Early Mountain from The Inn at Little Washington in June of 2019, Tim has embraced the vision of Our Virginia Table, traveling throughout central Virginia to source directly from artisan farms in our rich agricultural region. Come visit us soon to taste how he captures the essence of the season in his layered and wine-enhancing dishes.

Aileen: You’ve shared that you have a vision to bring the Early Mountain menu to 80% local sourcing. What has been the progress to that vision?

Tim: It’s a challenge, to be honest. I’ve been at Early Mountain for 9 months and I’m still nurturing the farmer/grower relationships and traveling the back roads to find the farms that are a good fit for us. Quality is paramount, but quantity is also critical. We host 150-300 guests on a busy Saturday and we don’t want to create a dish and not be able to fulfill orders. So for example, in our Bison Bone Marrow dish, the Bison is locally farmed at New Frontier, the baguette is local and organic from Albemarle Baking Company, the vinegar is from Lindera Farms but the hedgehog mushroom are organic from a high quality commercial purveyor. But we have made incredible progress and with the spring and summer menu I anticipate achieving 80% local sourcing across the board if not higher.

Aileen: I know the integral role and positive impact culinary programs can have for our local growers. What farmers are you most excited to be partnering with?

Tim: There’s so many great folks that we’re working with right now – our friend David Collins of Moonlight Farms in Madison is growing microgreens specifically for Early Mountain. We’ve played with radish, beet, cilantro, and lentil microgreens. We have pea shoots coming this Spring. Microgreens are such an important component of the finishing flavor profiles that we’re working with.

Lakota Ranch is another example. Jeremy Ing is the owner and the whole family is involved. They have grass fed Devon beef that we’re working with. We get our chicken eggs from them. My father-in-law is the chicken man there so I had a bit of an “in”. The chickens are totally free range, non-GMO. We use those eggs for Gnocchi, pastry cream, for clarifying our chicken consommé, and for our house made pasta. I’m proud that we don’t have any store-bought eggs in our restaurant.

Aileen: Many wineries offer a charcuterie and cheese board – what approach do you take with the board at Early Mountain?

Tim: This is a place where our focus on local really differentiates. We have such talented producers around us, there’s no reason to go further afield for a great board. Right now we feature MeatCrafters Salami from Landover, MD, Firefly Farms goat cheeses, 20 Paces sheep & goats milk cheese as well as cheeses from Meadow Creek. We pair it with housemade mostarda and Windsong Apiaries honey.

We developed a killer dish with the birch wrapped Comte rounds from Firefly – it gets baked with garlic and herbs and served warm and fragrant with ABC’s baguette. So satisfying and such a classic preparation that elevates a stunning cheese.

Aileen: If there’s three words you want people to use to describe EM’s dishes, what would they be?

Tim: Honest, Fun, and Delicious.

It’s honest to what we’re doing. We’re not doing anything to fit in. Fun (relaxed and playful). And Delicious – we want people to walk away satisfied and thinking about the interplay of flavors and the thought between our dishes and our wines.