Comfort gourmet foods

by Betty Wrenn Day - Posted on Jun 06, 2012 - 04:07 PM

Photo: Very seldom do you find Chef Chris McBurney on the front porch of the White Dog Inn. Six days a week, he’s in the kitchen preparing those gourmet dinners. Photo by Betty Wrenn Day

Very seldom do you find Chef Chris McBurney on the front porch of the White Dog Inn. Six days a week, he’s in the kitchen preparing those gourmet dinners. Photo by Betty Wrenn Day

In the kitchen of the White Dog Inn, a Virginia Landmark in Mathews Court House, head chef Chris McBurney and his staff provide gourmet meals every day of the week except Monday; he loves what he’s doing.

Chris didn’t start off in the culinary field following graduation from high school. His career developed after eight years of service in the Army where he worked in communications. "It was after leaving the army and while I was attending college that I worked in several kitchens to earn some school money. It was there I got interested in being a chef," Chris explained. "I worked at The Opus Steakhouse in Williamsburg for four years before coming to the White Dog. I’ve been here two years."

Providing classic comfort foods with an upscale twist is his goal.

"We change menus four times a year and we like to work with local producers. My goal is to have at least 80% of all our food product be Virginia grown. I think we should get involved with the food grown around us."

Chris is continuing his education in the culinary world by studying restaurant management at the Virginia Culinary Institute. He’s excited about the opening of the outdoor patio and the crab steams to be held there. He puts his own recipes together and says, "You’ve got to taste along the way. How else would you know how to season?"