Douglas Paine appointed chef de cuisine of Hotel Vermont in Burlington

-A A +A
Wed, 04/03/2013 - 8:26am -- tricia

Hotel Vermont in Burlington has announced the appointment of Douglas Paine as Chef de Cuisine. A native of the Green Mountain State, Paine is a seasoned professional with over 10 years of experience leading local restaurants. He will oversee culinary operations at the new hotel, including Juniper, the hotel bar and restaurant, in addition to the banquet service for onsite meetings and special events.
Juniper will serve breakfast, small producer coffee, afternoon tea, and light fare in the evening, as well as farm-inspired "carbon-negative" cocktails made from many of Vermont's distilled beverages. Limited-production beers and wines will complement the service offered in a welcoming locally designed, contemporary setting, including an outdoor terrace with fire pit.
"Douglas is a true culinary leader who enjoys working closely with his team," said Hans van Wees, General Manager of Hotel Vermont. "We're delighted to have him on board. With his impressive expertise and deep connection to Vermont, he's an exciting addition to our team."
Born in the small town of St. Johnsbury and raised in Waterford, Vermont, Paine spent his early childhood hunting, fishing and foraging. He realized at a young age that the Vermont culinary scene was a true asset, and dreamt of becoming a chef. He can still recall a school history lesson that had him tasting pine sap gum, birch twigs and maple sap. "It only dawned on me later in life how much these things truly shaped my culinary viewpoint," Paine said.
The bulk of Paine's training took place in Vermont. He started at the bottom and quickly worked his way up at Mr. Pickwick's in 1997. Mark James provided an opportunity on the line despite Paine's very little experience, and Sam Palmisano taught that it was okay to be creative as long as the end result dazzled the palate. Following this experience, Paine learned the fine points of European cuisine from head chefs Michael and Laura Kloeti at Michael's on the Hill in Waterbury Center. As an Executive Sous Chef, he was educated even more on the importance of attention to detail and shared their belief in local and sustainable food producers.
When he decided it was time for something a little different in his career, Paine became co-chef at Kingsbury Market Garden and Farm during the growing season of 2012. His responsibilities included cooking, preparing foods for sale in the market, menu planning for catered events, and preserving foods for future use. It was a great way to combine his passion for cooking with his desire to learn more about local agriculture.
Through this work came Paine's realization that there is a hard-working and humble person behind every great Vermont product. "You appreciate the product more when you learn that a farmer narrowly avoided the loss of an entire crop to frost by staying up all night and spraying water on a field by hand because his pump had broken down."
In his most recent position at Amuse, an intimate dining venue in The Essex Culinary Resort and Spa, Paine oversaw the creation of a nightly a multi-course tasting menu. He was given total creative freedom, and with diners watching his every move he learned to appreciate the positive aspects of client interaction.
"My philosophy on food is pretty simple," Paine continued: "Find the best ingredients possible and make them into something fresh and delicious. I also believe that as a chef, I have a responsibility to seek out ingredients that are good for guests, the environment, the community, and future generations of Vermont."