Meet the Chef: Mill and Main’s Chef Christopher Weathered
Next in our Meet the Chef Series, we chat with Christopher Weathered, Executive Chef for Mill & Main, located in Kerhonkson, New York. Mill & Main is a family-run business with plans to open a farm-to-table restaurant expected to launch in the Fall of 2022. Today, Mill & Main operates Mill & Main Provisions–a locally loved coffee bar alongside a specialty market filled with local artisan producers. Be sure to check out their grab-and-go curated meals, a great way to get delicious food on the table, in no time at all, without all the fuss. As stated on their website, “Whether you’re visiting for the weekend or have guests coming over, our themed meals put the easy back into entertaining.”
With a mission to nourish the local community with food and hospitality from the heart, Chef Weathered has won the hearts of many. Kudos to Christopher…mission accomplished!
To learn more about how Mill & Main got its start read Inside+Out’s interview > Restoring Creativity at Mill & Main in Kerhonkson, NY
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Inside+Out: Where were you born and how did you wind up in the Hudson Valley?
Christopher Weathered: I was born in New York City, in what used to be Saint Vincents Hospital in the West Village. I spent most of my life in lower Manhattan and a few years in Glen Ridge, New Jersey. Mill & Main brought to the Hudson Valley with the start of our family business and now, the beginning of my own family with Lily, my partner, and Marlow our new baby boy!
Where did you get the inspiration to become a chef and what was your journey?
I was inspired by my mother, watching her cook and create delicious food and opening doors to places like Food Network. Getting to see the kitchens of some amazing restaurants gave me the energy to explore my own path of curating food experiences for guests. I started working front of house at Malaparte, a trattoria in the city and from there the passion kicked in. I moved on to a couple of Danny Meyer restaurants (Marta, North End Grill), and then ended up moving to Olympia, Washington to attend college. I learned to make NY-style pizza and began to do pop-up dinners to express myself and learn about my culture through cooking. I ended up working at Blue Hill at Stone Barns and then Hemlock followed by Olmsted & Maison Yaki. I was lucky to learn from leaders in the industry like Dan Barber, Greg Baxtron and Diego Moya.
What do you think is the draw of your restaurant and what do you do to keep things fresh?
I think Mill & Main attracts people by not only being a space for the community to gather and enjoy a meal but by also involving local farms and turning their produce into something wholesome and approachable.
Who or what inspires your menu and how often do you change it?
My family and our cultural background inspire the menu, as do the seasons. At the restaurant, our menu will change seasonally with a frequent array of specials.
What is one question you’re constantly asked or what’s the biggest misconception about your business?
Right now, the constant question is “when is the restaurant opening”. I think the biggest misconception might be the fact that we came from the city and don’t bring an inclusive and comfortable environment for the community.
We see first-hand that is far from the truth! The restaurant industry has seen much change and disruption with Covid. How are you adapting and is there a silver lining to be had here?
We’re constantly adapting and keeping up to code with Covid precautions and moving customers through our space quickly. As for the restaurant we will have an outdoor patio that will accommodate all weather conditions. The silver lining is that we get to give the community a little bit of hope and happiness in these dark times.
How do you inspire your staff and what is your company culture?
I constantly try to inspire my staff by showing, not telling. Because this is my first time in an ownership position, it’s easy to see myself in their shoes and offer a fresh perspective on teaching and learning. I believe our company culture will continue to define itself, however, I hope to always embody the mentality that there’s more to learn, which will push us to offer the best we can for our guests.
What do you love most about living + working in the Hudson Valley?
I love that I’m starting my family in nature and the peacefulness of the Hudson Valley. So many changes occurred this year, for me, to be able to work and live above the cafe and restaurant feels like the biggest blessing. There are amazing stories from locals about what Kerhonkson used to be as well as similar stories from people not too different from myself that have made Kerhonkson their new home. I feel welcomed and motivated to participate in the community, grow roots here and see what comes from it all.
What impact does your business have on your community?
I’m very proud to say we’ve hired almost all local staff, living within walking distance or a short commute to our building. My goal is to build within the community that already exists instead of creating something that could easily be out of touch.
What local businesses do you rely on to be successful?
We rely on Hudson Valley Fresh Dairy, Acorn Hill Farm (for goat cheese), Banta’s Maple Farm for the most amazing maple syrups, as well as Manifesto Coffee which is a small coffee truck owned and operated by one of our coworkers and his wife.
What is missing in the area that you wish we had?
More small businesses. In recent years seeing places like Bluebird Wine & Spirits, Accord Market, Starlite Motel and Rough Cut Brewery, has only deepened the community of small business owners, inspiring us to connect and be here for the long haul.
What is your favorite thing to cook when you’re home alone or with your family?
I love to cook pasta. Making it from scratch is always a therapeutic process for me and results in such enjoyment, specifically orecchiette and broccoli rabe pasta.
Tell us something about yourself people might be surprised to learn?
People might be surprised to know that I have a newborn child. His name is Marlow and is almost 3 months old. I might be a little biased but he’s the cutest human on earth.
Name three things you always have in your fridge.
Greek yogurt, hot sauce and coconut water.
What would be your dream Hudson Valley Staycation?
I recently found out about this place, Piaule, a landscape hotel in Catskill, NY. I’d love to stay there.
What was the best dish or meal you’ve ever had and who made it?
This is a really hard question to answer. I think the best dish I had was at Ernesto’s, a Basque-style restaurant on the lower east side. It was a roasted apple with seared foie gras, accompanied by a luscious walnut sauce.
Photos by Doreen Johnson and supplied by Mill & Main.
Mill & Main Street
Executive Chef: Christopher Weathered
Dine-in · Takeout
317 Main Street, Kerhonkson | 845-626-1458
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Read all of Inside+Out’s MEET THE CHEF SERIES
Chef Jesse Frederick | Butterfield Restaurant at Hasbrouck House| Stone Ridge NY
Chef Corwin Kave | Deer Mountain Inn | Tannerville NY
Chef Alex Napolitano | Prospect at Scribners | Hunter NY
Chef Clare Hussain| Runa | New Paltz NY
Chef Elizabeth Steckel and Dirk Schalle | The Gunk Haus | Highland NY
Chef Wyatt Jaster | The Pines | Mount Tremper NY
Chef Richard Erickson | Blue Mountain Bistro & Bistro To Go | Kingston NY
Chef Cheryl Paff and Chef Juan Tzitzimititila | Black-Eyed Suzie’s | Kingston NY
Chef Francesco Buitoni | GioBatta Alimentari | Tivoli NY
Chef Tony Moustakes | City Winery Hudson Valley | Montgomery NY
Chef Doris Choi | Silvia | Woodstock NY
Chef Christoper Weathered | Mill & Main | Kerhonkson NY
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