Mary’s Restaurant sous chef drawn to ‘comfort food with a twist’

What do you do when the adults leave town? Why, throw a party of course!
Owners of the Inn at Baldwin Creek and Mary’s Restaurant in Bristol, Doug Mack and Linda Harmon, are away in Italy for a culinary tour. So naturally, their daughter/bartender Laura Mack and sous chef Carin Fredette are throwing a kitchen-takeover party from April 5-9.
Fredette, a long-time fan of Chef Mack, joined the team in November of 2016. A native of Forestdale, Fredette ? nicknamed Freddy by a friend from Otter Valley Union High School ? now lives in South Starksboro with her partner, Tom, their three teenage sons and a dog named Dude.
She’s been cooking practically her whole life and is excited for some upcoming events at the inn/restaurant “like our grand Easter buffet, Tacos and Tequila on May 5, and Sunday night movies in the barn,” she said.
But first the kitchen-takeover, where you can get to know the new sous chef’s own culinary style.
— Elsie Lynn Parini
How did you get into cooking?
   Some of my earliest memories are in a kitchen. As a 5-year-old, I was flipping pancakes with my grandmother. She would tell me “be careful, it’s hot,” but honestly that’s what attracted me the most at that age. I took to cooking very naturally; I guess it was my destiny.
Why do you like to cook?  
   I absolutely love to cook! For me, cooking is an extension of myself. It’s art, it’s love, it’s what I do. The thrill of constant creativity while maintaining consistency is a balance of forging ahead with new concepts and relishing in my roots that I immensely enjoy. It’s so true that when you do what you love you never work a day in your life.
What is your favorite thing to make and why?
   My favorite thing to make is something I have never made before. I like to let the ingredients take me where they want to take me. That’s how you develop great recipes, and create memorable food.
What’s your favorite food?
   That’s a hard one for me. But, If it was my last meal on earth and I had to choose one last meal, it would be a big bowl of tofu and veggie coconut curry with a fresh lime wedge and ground roasted peanuts over jasmine rice.
What will you be preparing for your kitchen takeover from April 5-9?
   It’s a new and unique menu I developed just for this week. Laura is doing a special craft cocktail menu as well so it will be a fun time for sure. Food should not be artistic torture, it should be wholesome, fulfilling and uplifting. That is my intention with this menu. Comfort food with some surprising twists.
I want everyone to feel like a welcomed local. People can expect some good food that nourishes the body and senses.
When the week is over the menu is gone and we return to our winter menu.
You’re becoming a yoga instructor?
   Yes! At the age of 41 I am about to take a 200 hour Yoga Teacher Training course and become certified to teach. It’s never too late to dive into your passions, get out of your comfort zone and do what you love.
Yoga and good food are my top two passions and I envision combining my love for yoga and healthy delicious food going forward. We have so many great events planned coming up at Mary’s but I would like to eventually offer yoga/wellness retreats at Inn at Baldwin Creek and Mary’s Restaurant.
How does yoga influence your cooking?
   Incorporating a yogi philosophy and lifestyle into my kitchen environment and cooking over the years has added a great depth of caring attention, fun playfulness and balance to the dishes I create and serve.

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