The Lodge at Woodloch , an exquisite retreat for nutrition-conscious travelers, embodies the culinary philosophy that food not only fuels our bodies but ignites passions and nourishes minds. Nestled in the pristine Pocono Mountains – less than two hours from New York City – the Lodge at Woodloch believes that food that is good for you can also be creative, artfully presented and graciously served. Executive Chef Josh Tomson and his team hand select naturally raised meats and fish along with organic, locally grown vegetables. With three kitchen gardens on the property, guests are assured that fresh, natural flavors are highlighted.
After years of developing innovative recipes which demonstrate that food can be used for healing, beauty, energy and nourishment, the food and nutrition experts at the Lodge have published a cookbook, “Nurture with Nature.” Expertly photographed by Andrea Killam, the cookbook is full of delectable and nourishing recipes that can only be found at the Lodge. BELLA recently spoke with Chef Tomson about the cookbook.
What inspired the cookbook?
I give a lot of credit to Brooke Jennings our Director of Marketing. Without her knowledge and her eagerness to make this happen, the book most likely would just still be a thought. Like any other chef, I think it is a dream to have your own published book. You really need to be fully committed and flexible with changes during this process. Cookbooks take a lot of time. However, in the restaurant business time is not always there. We have a great team at The Lodge at Woodloch. We all pitched in to do our parts, and the book really came together.
How did you select the recipes that were included?
It was fairly simple. I always cook with the seasons, and I used recipes that can be easily prepared at home.
Did you create the majority of recipes?
I did. With over 20 years of experience, I have learned a great deal over the years. I try to stick with recipes that work well. At The Lodge at Woodloch, I had to adapt my French cooking style to be more health conscious.
Describe the process of creating an original recipe.
When working on recipes, I use an old formula that one of my mentors inspired me with. Salt–Acid-Fat-Texture. All Components in which you need to create a great dish.
What led you to your interest in nature-inspired foods?
I love being outdoors including time spent in the garden. One of my favorite things is foraging and wildcrafting. Picking ramps, wild greens and mushrooms are a great interest of mine.
How do your guests benefit from these foods?
Most of the recipes in the book are health inspired, like most of the food at our resort. We try to find ways to cut calories without sacrificing quality.
What are some of your favorite recipes from the cookbook?
I am a huge fan of the summer, so the Swordfish recipe or the cedar plank grilled salmon are nice to do off the grill. However, I really like the versatility of the gilfeather turnip soup or the celery root puree, both of which can be altered to become sauce bases for pasta dishes.
How can people order a copy of the cookbook?
The cookbook can be ordered through our gift shop at our property or on Amazon.