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Loudoun Chef’s Food Destination Waverly Springs Plans to Open in 2023 | Entertainment

Walking through an 18th-century farmhouse a few miles from downtown Leesburg, award-winning chef Tarver King described his vision for a new country food destination currently in development.

With renovated stables providing the setting for a unique culinary experience, the vast project will offer, among other things, a clandestine attic in a space that once served as a psychiatric hospital.

King, along with his business partners Gavin and Emily Long and sous chef Nathan Shapiro, looks to begin the next chapter in his illustrious career with the opening of Waverly Springs, which will also serve as a guesthouse and spa retreat of well -to be.

The team originally hoped to open at least the culinary part of the business last year, but due to delays in obtaining permits, the ongoing pandemic, as well as the desire to “do the things correctly, ”the opening is now scheduled for 2023, said the king.

The original part of the Waverly Springs home, first owned by the Moffitt family in the 1700s. It will be converted into a dining room.

On a recent tour of the property, located on rural Old Waterford Road in Paeonian Springs, King described the team’s vision for the business, which includes renovating the historic home, shed and barns. which will be converted for events.

Ultimately, the pool house will be transformed into a spa and the stables will become the main restaurant, he said.

“It’s an evolving project,” he says.

Business partners purchase an additional 40 acres adjacent to the property to meet zoning requirements for opening a country inn, dining hall, and event venue, requiring at least 20 acres.

“However, we’re not trying to have a huge venue,” King said. “We want things to stay small, quaint and comfortable. “

Waverly Sources

The Waverly Springs Food Truck, currently serving parties and private events.

Since leaving Patowmack Farm in Lovettsville in 2020, King, who was the 2017 RAMMY Restaurant Association Metropolitan (Washington) Chef of the Year, has cooked for private parties and his Waverly Springs mobile kitchen food truck. travels the region.

“We have small events here and there. Cooking demonstrations and parties, ”he said.

As King’s cooking style focuses on using local and organic ingredients and foraging for food in the land, another Waverly interest has been researching the property to learn more about the historic gardens and trees. .

They work with a former master gardener from Thomas Jefferson’s house in Monticello, who is developing the design for a show garden. Preserving the original stone walls around the gardens is also important, he said.

“The way things are planted, there are almost 365 days a year, something is in bloom or about to bloom, which is very cool,” King said.

They also hired a master arborist who is currently looking for trees on the property and found an 185-year-old sugar maple that they nicknamed “Sugar Mama” that will be mined to make maple syrup.

“He told us the tree had never been nicked. We’re really excited about it, ”he said.

Foraging is something rooted in King’s family history. His grandmother, Tatiana McKenna, died when he was very young, but his stories and recipes were shared through his mother. McKenna was a food editor for Vogue Magazine in the 1960s and wrote and edited several cookbooks. Not only did she know Julia Child, but she was also friends with celebrity American chef and author James Beard, who is also the namesake of a prestigious culinary award, he said.

“Each recipe has a story of folklore and history,” King said. “My mom used to tell me stories about how my grandmother would go into the woods and pick chestnuts to cook dinner that night and she would go out into the garden to cut everything. She talked about how important it was that your ingredients were as pure and fresh as possible.

“The only way to do that is to cultivate and forage and get to know the locals who keep animals for meat and that sort of thing,” he said. “It’s like people say, ‘this is how it should be’. It has been our philosophy for a long time.

Construction is expected to begin soon on the main house, where they plan to expand the chef’s kitchen to include a large fireplace, chef’s table, and space for breakfast and coffee.

On a recent tour, King highlighted his “favorite part of the whole house” – the part where the original house was built 259 years ago. It will be known as the Dining Room at Waverly Springs.

“The first family [to live here] were the Moffits, and since we’re only the fifth owners of the property, we just tried to put ourselves in their shoes – what it was like living here, ”he said.

There will be different dining areas in the downstairs rooms, King said. Upstairs, he outlined the plans for bedrooms and bathrooms renovated to provide guests with a nighttime experience, with each room facing the gardens.

On the top floor of the house, King pointed to an attic that was previously used as a mental hospital in the 1800s. This space should be converted into a secret bar for drinks and cigars after dinner, he said.

“The walls of this house have a lot of stories to tell. This is going to be really cool. We are going to take our time and do it right, ”he said.

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Cory E. Barnes

The author Cory E. Barnes