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Interview: Chef Michael Ritenour of Shenandoah Valley’s Massanutten Resort

Interview: Chef Michael Ritenour of Shenandoah Valley’s Massanutten Resort

Have you ever tasted tiramisu made with cherries? Neither had I, until I met Michael Ritenour, the award-winning 47 year-old chef at Massanutten Resort in Virginia’s Shenandoah Valley, our chef interviewee for today. It’s divine!

The Daily Meal: How did you get into cooking?
Chef Michael Ritenour:
My father was the real inspiration for my work as a chef. We had a garden at our home and that is where I learned produce selection methods. My father would invite guests to have an evening meal and he and I would spend all day preparing and cooking the food for friends in our home. As a teenager, I got my first job flipping burgers at a place called The Dairy King. Finally, I went to culinary school and learned the different methods of cooking from various master chefs. My first job out of culinary school was as a sous chef in a French restaurant. Eventually I came to Massanutten where I have been for 22 years and counting.

Do you have a specialty dish?
I would have to say fish. I worked with classic French chefs that had a set preparation for each variety of fish. They would send me to the market to get fresh fish then get mad if it was a species they did not have a preparation for. The best part was that the preparation would then fall on me. If I purchased a familiar species of fish we made the same thing. I think after a while it became a game between myself and them.

Do you prefer a particular style of cooking?
Classical French and Southwestern, but more important than style to me is freshness and interesting ingredients. At Base Camp we make our own bacon and tasso, so the menu items like shrimp and grits take on their own unique flavor that no one can replicate. There are many extra steps in some of the preparations, but ultimately, that is what makes great cooks who make great food.

What kind of atmosphere do you create in the kitchen?
The cooks and chefs must listen to my instructions in all aspects, and they must truly want to be here and enjoy their work. In the past, I was stricter, but now have allowed more room for the different personalities you will find in the kitchen. However there are no compromises in cleanliness, food safety, food integrity, and the respect for each other and our guests.

What do you look for when you hire chefs to assist you in the kitchen?
As a team, we look for cooks and chefs that bring something to the table both in creativity and the ability to work long and hard hours. The rest we can teach along the way. We want individuals that have ideas but ultimately must be able to learn in the environment.


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Solve business accounting challenges using our perfect set of finance apps on the cloud.

IT & Help Desk

Be right where your customers are with apps to help your business engage with them.

Customer Service

Give your service team the right tools and context necessary to make every customer successful.

Human Resources

Focus on your people while our apps automate your human resources processes.

Business Intelligence

Empower your business with deep insights from your data, with our business intelligence and analytics app.

Custom Solutions

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All the tools for work in one integrated suite.

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All Zoho Apps

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Give your sales team the perfect set of apps to help close more business deals in less time.

Email & Collaboration

Empower your workforce with apps to collaborate and transform the way they work.

Finance

Solve business accounting challenges using our perfect set of finance apps on the cloud.

IT & Help Desk

Be right where your customers are with apps to help your business engage with them.

Customer Service

Give your service team the right tools and context necessary to make every customer successful.

Human Resources

Focus on your people while our apps automate your human resources processes.

Business Intelligence

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Your home-office toolkit

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Run your entire business with 45+ integrated applications. With Zoho One, you can manage, connect, and automate business processes across your organization. Experience the Operating System for Business.

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CRM Plus

Unified customer experience platform.

Workplace

All the tools for work in one integrated suite.

Finance Plus

Unified finance platform for business.

Creator Plus

Platform for digital transformation and automation.

People Plus

IT Management

We help you align IT to business.

Marketing Plus

Unified marketing platform.

All Zoho Apps

Sales & Marketing

Give your sales team the perfect set of apps to help close more business deals in less time.

Email & Collaboration

Empower your workforce with apps to collaborate and transform the way they work.

Finance

Solve business accounting challenges using our perfect set of finance apps on the cloud.

IT & Help Desk

Be right where your customers are with apps to help your business engage with them.

Customer Service

Give your service team the right tools and context necessary to make every customer successful.

Human Resources

Focus on your people while our apps automate your human resources processes.

Business Intelligence

Empower your business with deep insights from your data, with our business intelligence and analytics app.

Custom Solutions

Simplify complex business processes with apps that will make your team's work easier.

Privacy and Zoho

We don’t own your data, you do.


Your Life's Work, Powered By Our Life's Work

Unique and powerful suite of software to run your entire business, brought to you by a company with the long term vision to transform the way you work. Experience the Operating System for Business. -->

FEATURED APPS

Complete CRM Platform

End-to-end, fully customizable CRM solution for growing businesses and enterprises.

WORK REMOTELY WITH

Your home-office toolkit

A suite of web and mobile applications designed for distributed teams.

Bundles

Run your entire business with 45+ integrated applications. With Zoho One, you can manage, connect, and automate business processes across your organization. Experience the Operating System for Business.

Bundles

CRM Plus

Unified customer experience platform.

Workplace

All the tools for work in one integrated suite.

Finance Plus

Unified finance platform for business.

Creator Plus

Platform for digital transformation and automation.

People Plus

IT Management

We help you align IT to business.

Marketing Plus

Unified marketing platform.

All Zoho Apps

Sales & Marketing

Give your sales team the perfect set of apps to help close more business deals in less time.

Email & Collaboration

Empower your workforce with apps to collaborate and transform the way they work.

Finance

Solve business accounting challenges using our perfect set of finance apps on the cloud.

IT & Help Desk

Be right where your customers are with apps to help your business engage with them.

Customer Service

Give your service team the right tools and context necessary to make every customer successful.

Human Resources

Focus on your people while our apps automate your human resources processes.

Business Intelligence

Empower your business with deep insights from your data, with our business intelligence and analytics app.

Custom Solutions

Simplify complex business processes with apps that will make your team's work easier.

Privacy and Zoho

We don’t own your data, you do.


Your Life's Work, Powered By Our Life's Work

Unique and powerful suite of software to run your entire business, brought to you by a company with the long term vision to transform the way you work. Experience the Operating System for Business. -->

FEATURED APPS

Complete CRM Platform

End-to-end, fully customizable CRM solution for growing businesses and enterprises.

WORK REMOTELY WITH

Your home-office toolkit

A suite of web and mobile applications designed for distributed teams.

Bundles

Run your entire business with 45+ integrated applications. With Zoho One, you can manage, connect, and automate business processes across your organization. Experience the Operating System for Business.

Bundles

CRM Plus

Unified customer experience platform.

Workplace

All the tools for work in one integrated suite.

Finance Plus

Unified finance platform for business.

Creator Plus

Platform for digital transformation and automation.

People Plus

IT Management

We help you align IT to business.

Marketing Plus

Unified marketing platform.

All Zoho Apps

Sales & Marketing

Give your sales team the perfect set of apps to help close more business deals in less time.

Email & Collaboration

Empower your workforce with apps to collaborate and transform the way they work.

Finance

Solve business accounting challenges using our perfect set of finance apps on the cloud.

IT & Help Desk

Be right where your customers are with apps to help your business engage with them.

Customer Service

Give your service team the right tools and context necessary to make every customer successful.

Human Resources

Focus on your people while our apps automate your human resources processes.

Business Intelligence

Empower your business with deep insights from your data, with our business intelligence and analytics app.

Custom Solutions

Simplify complex business processes with apps that will make your team's work easier.

Privacy and Zoho

We don’t own your data, you do.


Your Life's Work, Powered By Our Life's Work

Unique and powerful suite of software to run your entire business, brought to you by a company with the long term vision to transform the way you work. Experience the Operating System for Business. -->

FEATURED APPS

Complete CRM Platform

End-to-end, fully customizable CRM solution for growing businesses and enterprises.

WORK REMOTELY WITH

Your home-office toolkit

A suite of web and mobile applications designed for distributed teams.

Bundles

Run your entire business with 45+ integrated applications. With Zoho One, you can manage, connect, and automate business processes across your organization. Experience the Operating System for Business.

Bundles

CRM Plus

Unified customer experience platform.

Workplace

All the tools for work in one integrated suite.

Finance Plus

Unified finance platform for business.

Creator Plus

Platform for digital transformation and automation.

People Plus

IT Management

We help you align IT to business.

Marketing Plus

Unified marketing platform.

All Zoho Apps

Sales & Marketing

Give your sales team the perfect set of apps to help close more business deals in less time.

Email & Collaboration

Empower your workforce with apps to collaborate and transform the way they work.

Finance

Solve business accounting challenges using our perfect set of finance apps on the cloud.

IT & Help Desk

Be right where your customers are with apps to help your business engage with them.

Customer Service

Give your service team the right tools and context necessary to make every customer successful.

Human Resources

Focus on your people while our apps automate your human resources processes.

Business Intelligence

Empower your business with deep insights from your data, with our business intelligence and analytics app.

Custom Solutions

Simplify complex business processes with apps that will make your team's work easier.

Privacy and Zoho

We don’t own your data, you do.


Watch the video: Inside Michael Jacksons Home Before Dying! Including His Ultra-Private Bedroom (January 2022).