The Lake House Blog

A long wooden divider cluttered with antiques and wine bottles separating a seating area from a bar area in a restaurant, a doorway in the wall behind leading into the black-and-white-tile floored kitchen, a row of two-seat wooden tables with decorative glass lampshades set in front of the divider
Chef Danielle Harrison, wearing her white-and-red Hell's Kitchen chef's jacket

Coming to us from the City of Brotherly Love, Chef Danielle Harrison believes that food is art. Having taken up the position of Executive Chef at the Lake House in the earlier part of this month, she brings her creative spark and her passion for opening worlds of interesting yet welcoming new culinary experiences for people.

According to Chef Dannie, the whole experience of a meal affects the body and the mind in a way that elevates the diners and expresses her creative perspective. She says that plating and presentation are significant parts of the artistic experience of a meal. “You think of food and what you can do with it – all choices of artists in one way or another,” she said, describing how food can communicate art.

Asked whether the artistic aspect of food was completely based on the experience of eating it, Chef Dannie replied that it involves both the creativity of the chef and the experience of the diner.

Of course, television viewers may already know Chef Dannie from Hell’s Kitchen, where she starred on Season 15 last year. Asked whether she considers the show to be the highlight of her career, she said no, but noted that it was a defining experience because it showed her that she was a much better chef than she had thought, as well as more creative than she had thought she was. During the course of the season, she met Gordon Ramsey, suffered the stress of being on camera every literally every moment of every day, and endured sharing the small unisex bathroom with 17 other chefs. The story of the unfolding season on television does not really reflect what actually happens in the kitchen; Chef Dannie said that the show’s editing tends to only show what goes wrong. She says that in generally, the media gives a pretty fair picture of the chef’s profession, although she wishes more of the day-to-day line work the she describes as “the heart of the kitchen” would be shown.

Chef Dannie hopes to bring more creativity to the cuisine at the Lake House, offering upstate New Yorkers and visiting baseball fans welcoming dishes that will be a little different from what they are used to.