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In the Kitchen with Chef Patty Griffey

Gwen Fowler Gwen Fowler
Chef Patty Griffey of Abingdon Manor Inn & Restaurant in Latta

Chef Patty Griffey describes the food she serves at Abingdon Manor Inn & Restaurant in Latta as "primarily continental with entrees such as steak au poivre, lobster thermidor, herb-crusted rack of lamb." Entrees change nightly, she said, and recipes have been updated. She and her staff use fresh local ingredients as much as possible.

Abingdon Manor, which has received the prestigious Four Diamond rating for 12 straight years, is on the National Register of Historic Places. The Greek Revival-style mansion was built as a private residence in the early 1900s. Griffey and her husband, Michael Griffey, bought it in 1995, renovated it and opened it as a luxury inn.

Q: What are your favorite fall and winter ingredients?
A: Squash in both soups and pasta, brussel sprouts and apples.

Q: Which chefs inspire you?
Pierre Franey, Lidia Bastianich and Alice Waters.

Q: What's your prediction for the next big food or restaurant trend?
Updating the "classics."

Q: Which three cooking gadgets or tools are your favorites?
Quisinart food processor, Kitchenaid pasta attachment for the mixer, melon baller for removing seeds from pears and tomatoes.

Q: What was your first job in food? What did you learn?
Being self taught, I don't really have a backgound in restaurants and kitchens, but lots of experience in home entertaining. I have learned to look for the freshest ingredients and to follow the flavors in recipes.

Q: What would your dream meal be?
Anything Italian served on a patio in Tuscany overlooking the countryside and vineyards.

Q: What's the best tip you can give a home cook?
You can make mashed potatoes (white or sweet) hours ahead of time and hold them (with a little drizzle of cream on top, covered in plastic wrap) in a 200-degree oven. When ready to serve, just remove the wrap and stir.

Q: Even chefs don't eat gourmet every night. What is your ultimate comfort food or quick meal?
Cornish game hen baked in fat-free chicken broth with lemon, thyme or rosemary with onions, potatoes, brussel sprouts and mushrooms. When ready to serve, remove the ingredients and reduce the liquid to make a glaze for the hens.

Gwen Fowler
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