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James Massey was recently hired as the director of culinary experience for The Essex, Vermont's Culinary Resort & Spa.
1. What are you looking forward to the most in your new role?
Working with our talented staff and building our team for our new future. I enjoy being a part of a teams growth and advancement. Because my growth is intertwined with theirs.
2. How do you think past experiences have prepared you for this role?
I have had the privilege of running a number of culinary teams and operations over the years. All of which have given me this knowledge for this opportunity. I associate this opportunity closest to when I was executive chef of Canyon Ranch in Lenox close to six years. We were a complete from scratch kitchen with multiple outlets and demonstration kitchen. We had a strong foundation in our community and integrity. A passionate culinary vision using local and regional ingredients. Partnering strongly with local farms and businesses. I look forward to our teams doing the same here at the Essex Resort and Spa.
3. How did you get into the industry?
I started at a small upscale Italian restaurant at the age 13. I found the restaurant industry more sane than my home life, and I have enjoyed the journey ever since! I also correlated with the importance of quality produce with our 400-acre family farm. There I worked my summers and school breaks. Finding an appreciation for what comes from the soil and the passion it takes to cultivate, nurture and harvest.
4. What are you hoping to achieve in your new role?
To support and guide our culinary team and myself to a new Essex for our guests. That they will remember and return time and time again. Because they are curious what we are doing and planning next for them.
5. What do you enjoy most about the industry?
The people we work with, their character types and abilities. The ability to work in an industry to is ever changing its viewpoint on food and cooking techniques. It forces you to always be a forward thinker.