Want an authentic taste of the Berkshires? Berkshires restaurants have long been known for their hearty eats that take advantage of seasonal flavors, and now Chef Jon Sterrett is elevating this classic palate at the Red Lion Inn.
From the traditional dining room and seasonal courtyard to the newly renovated and soon-to-be-opened Lion’s Den, read on to learn more about Chef Jon Sterrett and what he’s bringing to the table at the Red Lion Inn this season.
Meet Chef Sterrett
Every chef’s journey is different. For Jon Sterrett, 37, his culinary expedition began at a McDonald’s in Pittsburgh, flipping burgers. From there it’s as if the rest was history. Chef Jon quickly rose through the ranks at different dining establishments and hotels, ultimately leading him to become the executive chef at the Red Lion Inn.
Chef Jon’s experience is just what the inn needed. His upscale taste and training helped him to acclimate to a new kitchen and introduce novel menu items alongside classics the dining room is known for. Today, you can’t miss the mouthwatering Smashburger on the lunch menu. The juicy house-ground sirloin is complemented by Cabot cheddar, grilled onion, dijonnaise, pickles, Arcadian greens, and tomato on a potato roll.
No matter if you try a new menu item or a classic dish like the clam chowder or turkey dinner, Chef Jon’s talent shines through in everything that comes out of the kitchen.
Elevated Stockbridge Restaurants
When looking for places to eat in Stockbridge, MA, look no further than the Red Lion Inn. Chef Jon’s guidance and spark have breathed new life into the kitchen. Speaking to The Berkshire Eagle on Chef Jon’s arrival, Sarah Eustis, CEO of Main Street Hospitality and third-generation family steward of the Red Lion, said “We wanted not only to elevate and evolve the food, but also elevate the culture in our culinary department.”
Sterrett’s role isn’t simply to elevate the Red Lion Inn’s menu with mouthwatering eats and improvements to the classics, it’s also to serve as a role model and mentor for the staff. His investment is inspiring to the culinary staff, no matter if they are veterans in the kitchen or aspiring young chefs beginning to learn the ropes. As he continues to lead the culinary team, guests can taste the transformation for themselves in the dining room where the classics are accompanied by new and improved dishes from Chef Jon and his team.
EAT.STAY.ROCK at Red Lion Inn
Ready to try some of Executive Chef Jon Sterrett’s latest creations? There’s no better time to make a visit to the Red Lion Inn than the present. With the Eat.Stay.Rock. Package, you can receive limited-time special pricing on one of our most popular packages by throwing in a $100 dining credit per room, per night.
Q&A With the Chef
Question:The 200-year-old+ Red Lion Inn…was it intimidating to consider becoming its new chef?
Not at all, it was very exciting and humbling. To be a part of an icon that was established before our country is an honor, and has been inspiring.
Question:What has surprised you since arriving?
How little I miss city living, to be honest. There’s a sense of peace in this area that I hadn’t realized I’ve been craving.
Question: You mentioned that your job is to pay homage to the inn’s rich history and past. How will you do that?
Most importantly by developing an understanding of the Lion and what it means to the community. Then it becomes about knowing the community itself, and its culinary history. From there, it’s about connecting the dots in a thoughtful way.
Question: What traditional dishes and recipes will remain if any?
The turkey dinner, prime rib, and chicken pot pie are famous staples at the inn, and our challenge is to preserve their identity while offering a fresh perspective. We also hope to add some new traditions.
Question: What do you think people are looking for when they come to the Red Lion to dine?
I think they’re looking for an experience that makes them feel like they’re a part of the rich history that we are so steeped in. We’re looking to provide them a sense of comfort that plays to that history, while still offering things that are exciting.
Question: How will you add your own signature to the kitchen?
The main focus will be establishing a new culture across Food and Beverage. The goal is to create something that will serve as a foundation to build upon for generations to come.
Question: What new dishes might we see in the future?
There are several that I’m excited to introduce, but the upscale take on Fish and Chips (which we’ll be giving a “fancy” name) and the beef tartare are at the top of that list.
Question: How does New England and the Berkshires differ from Pittsburg, in terms of its culinary scene?
I think the biggest difference is saturation. The scene in Pittsburgh was oversaturated, with several restaurants opening each year. This introduced its own set of challenges, but also forced a few of the more driven establishments to really create an offering that stands out above all the others.
Question: Do you feel more restricted here than in an urban setting?
Not at all. In any scenario, you want to be sure to play to the identity of the establishment. That is no different here, and there is quite the identity to play to.
Question: I know you’re working crazy hours as staffing continues to be an issue, but when you do have time off, what do you like to do?
Right now we’re trying to settle in to our new home, and really get to explore the area – which we absolutely love. The outdoor activities that the area has to offer are incredible, and we’re excited to experience more of that. Otherwise, Jen and I are both deeply into fitness, and I also like to mess around on my drum set when time allows.
Question: What’s your favorite meal?
That’s a tough one, as I crave very random things at different times. That having been said, my wife makes a pound cake every year for my birthday; a textural masterpiece that I look forward to devouring at an embarrassing rate.