Paine and Passion in Burlington Vermont
Bleu Northeast Seafood and Juniper at Hotel Vermont
We couldn’t wait to share with you the “pain and passion” in Burlington Vermont from Chef Douglas Paine. Vermont has always been known for it’s outstanding Vermont Cheese and Maple Syrup, but is quickly coming into it’s own on the culinary scene with five star chef selections and smooth hand crafted beers and award winning hard ciders. Our travels take us far and wide in search of the best chefs and coolest dining on the globe and Chef Paine stood out in a sea of well seasoned chefs.
A recent trip gave me the pleasure to sit down with Chef Paine who is clearly passionate about his endeavors at Bleu Northeast Seafood and Hotel Vermont as he oversees all menus and culinary happenings. Bleu reopened in 2013 after a major remodel and is situated inside the Marriott Courtyard in the heart of Burlington, Vermont.
Bleu Northeast Seafood, located at 25 Cherry Street renovated into an ultra modern upscale dining experience focused on Atlantic seafood and locally sourced food. Bleu is part of the Westport Group which owns and manages several properties including Marriott Courtyard in Burlington, Vermont, Bleu Northeast Seafood, Hotel Vermont and Juniper, a farm to table restaurant using organic and locally sourced ingredients inside Hotel Vermont.
What’s new at these great establishments? Amazing foodie packages and culinary experiences that include a 3 day package at Hotel Vermont, dinner at Bleu, dinner at Juniper in the Hotel Vermont, tastings at the Farmers Market Saturday mornings in the Summer, Summervale Farmers Co-op visit to meet the local Farmers and work on the farms if you wish to get the full effect of the foodie ecosystem. This group is clearly passionate about a visitors’ foodie experience.
The seafood for Bleu comes from the North Atlantic. Connect Lake Champlain to the sea through the St. Lawrence and you draw an influences from the French Canadians and east coast of New England. Chef Paine uses only sustainably caught seafood and menus are seasonally based. Since Vermont Cheese is prominent in the region, Bleu does a beautiful job displaying it on their menus with several selections typically.
About Chef Doug Paine
Chef Paine has cooked his entire career and is self taught. Previous chef positions allowed him to grow under under some of the founding fathers of the Farm to Table movement dating back to the mid 1980’s. Chef Paine definitely mixes his passion for family and off-time activities such as snowboarding, cross country skiing, snow shoeing, hiking and mountain biking in places like Bolton and Catamount. He admits that most of his off time is spent with his family. To his credit, as in most chef’ lives, 80-90 hour work weeks are as common as the changing seasons. The passion from Chef Paine rings loud and clear and his sacrifices are his gifts to the patrons of his restaurants on a daily basis.
When asked what his favorite dish is to eat? Chef Paine states anything on the wood grill – Octopus is probably his favorite. Chef Paine is also passionate about great causes and offered Argentinian dinners with old style cooking over wood last Summer at Hotel Vermont. A portion of the proceeds went to an organization which provides better access to those in wheelchairs. Hotel Vermont has modified the outdoor area to do wood fire grilling. They opened just over a year ago and through the success of Juniper, the Westport Group decided to renovate and renamed Bleu in the Marriott Courtyard which was built in 2007. What makes them different? Their niche is anything but the same. They work very hard to give every visitor a unique experience. Expect surprises. Call this an update on traditional cuisine.
The Westport Group of restaurants and hotels are well positioned within the mobile world. You can find Bleu Northeast Seafood as a Diner’s Choice winner on Open Table or find them on Twitter and Facebook. Bleu is mobile optimized so search to your hearts content if you need an idea of their latest menu offerings on your mobile device. Hotel Vermont cross promotes their restaurants as well. I would like to add as a guest of the Marriott Courtyard that it doesn’t fit the mold of most Courtyard’s. It is more upscale and features local art. There is no off season at Hotel Vermont or Marriott Courtyard as each season offers something different and new.
When in Burlington, Vermont, don’t miss the chance to try one of Chef Doug Paine’s passion at Bleu Northeast Seafood at the Marriott Courtyard and Juniper in Hotel Vermont.
Here are some of Chef Paine’s Recipes
Culinary Destinations Around Burlington
Want more culinary action in the Burlington Area? Try one of my other favorites, the Essex Culinary Resort and Spa. Frequently full year round, don’t wait to book here as it is a popular culinary destination; particularly for weddings, learning some great culinary skills and delighting your culinary senses.
Our Favorite Places in the Burlington Vermont Area
Lake Champlain Chocolates, Burlington, Vermont
Mad Hat Brewery Tour, Burlington, Vermont
Shelburne Vineyard and Winery, Shelburne, Vermont-Tasting room open year round. Named Best winery
Citizen Hard Cider, Burlington, Vermont – Named Best Hard Cidery
Hen of theWood, Burlington,Vermont – Named Best New Restaurant by Locals
Essex Culinary Spa and Resort, Essex, Vermont
Prohibition Pig, Waterbury Vermont
White Rock Pizza Woodbury, Vermont
Ben and Jerrys, Burlington, Vermont
Cabot Cheese Tour ,Cabot, Vermont
Eat Well…Live Full