We are thrilled to announce our next edition of the “Executive Spotlight Series” – this time putting the ‘spotlight’ on the hotel’s long-time Executive Chef, John Gaughan. Chef Gaughan has lent his skills and cooking techniques to the Southbridge Hotel for over 14 years, and is heavily involved in many local charities and fundraisers in the community, including Relay For Life, Taste of the Nation and the REAS Foundation. Here’s the inside-scoop on Chef Gaughan’s favorite dishes, cooking style, Southbridge cuisine, and more.
Q. How long have you been the Executive Chef at Southbridge Hotel & Conference Center?
A. I started my career at the Southbridge Hotel & Conference Center in 2001 as a Sous Chef. I was later promoted to Executive Sous Chef in October 2002, and was then made Executive Chef in March of 2003. I just celebrated my 14-year anniversary!
Q. What are your favorite ingredients and / or styles of cooking?
A. My favorite item of food to cook is beef of any kind, and I love to grill.
Q. What is your favorite dish to cook on the menu at Shades Lounge?
A. It’s a tie between the Filet Mignon and the Lobster Mac N’ Cheese!
Q. What is it about cooking that inspires you?
A. I worked in an open kitchen for a long time, and there is nothing better than seeing people truly enjoy the meal that you put your heart into making. When a guest gives you a thumbs-up or a simple thank you, that makes it all worthwhile.
Q. What do you wish people knew about dining in the Southbridge / Sturbridge area?
A. There are more dining options in town than just the pizza parlors. Some of my favorites include BT’s Smokehouse, The Duck, and Rovezzi’s Ristorante.
Q. Tell us what beverage and dish pairs well with winter weather in Southbridge.
A. For me personally, it would be an ice-cold lager and a nice bowl of venison stew.
Stop by Shades Lounge to sample some of Chef Gaughan’s latest dishes. Happy eating!