Scroll down to see our most recent Letter from the Chef!
Five years ago, Kurt and Diane set out to live the dream of bringing a destination dining experience closer to home; they did this literally by building Elements on their 50-acre homestead! We hope that our guests can enjoy a casual yet elegant dinner where the entertainment includes watching the cattle graze in the beautiful rolling hills. Elements Destination Restaurant celebrated its Fifth Year Anniversary in June of 2018; the Elements’ Team is proud to have received a 5 Star rating every year we have been open!
Open Kitchen Concept
Having an open kitchen is very important to the Elements’ team; because the kitchen is open to the dining room, it creates a fun, interactive atmosphere and allows us to have a relationship with everyone who comes through the front door! You can watch your meal being prepared, talk with the cooks and…you cannot miss the aroma! In addition to seating in the dining room and on the deck, we also offer two “front row seats” at the end of the cooking line to allow guests an up-close view of the magic taking place.
Tantalize Your Taste Buds
The style of food featured is American, with a twist. Old and New World recipes from places like Germany, Italy, Scandinavia and France; as well as dishes from Grandmother’s recipe book. We pride ourselves on our handcrafted pasta, crackers, sauces and specialty items that are made with personal recipes and the freshest ingredients. The menu varies from week to week, allowing you to try something new every time you visit! Eat from the Ála Carte Menu or pick an entrée for a Four Course meal. The meal comes with the weekend’s appetizer, salad, the entrée of your choosing, dessert and all the coffee or ice tea you can drink. We also have a great selection of wine, spirits and beer!
For more information about Kurt & Diane also visit www.kdwinc.com
Letter from the Chef
A Day in the Life of a Chef and Owner of a Small Restaurant/Catering Company
I have had many people say, “this is the best meal I have ever had!”. This is a great compliment and I’m very grateful to hear this from our guests, as some eat out frequently and/or are well-traveled. Lots of time and pride go into making everything I can by hand. Our motto has been “keep it fresh, keep it simple.” Although “simple” is a term that should be used loosely, especially when it comes to prepping for the weekend reservations or events.
Recently, we catered the Richmond Area Chamber of Commerce’s 50th Anniversary Gala Dinner at The Home Place at Valley View.
Preparations started approximately 48 hours prior to event date, but the bulk of the menu items were prepared within 24 hours of the event. Desserts alone are two to three days of work. This makes for some long days! I spent approximately 16 hours between Friday and Saturday prepping Italian Chicken for the event.
Italian Chicken looks like a simple dish, but it is complex:
- Trim & Filet the breast of Chicken
- Pound the Chicken Breast out
- Stuff each Chicken Breast with Cappicola Ham
- Roll each piece of Chicken
- Now the real fun begins – breading the Chicken!
- Once it is breaded, pan sear each piece to get the breading crispy and brown, then bake
- Slice each Chicken Breast into 3 pieces (makes a better plate presentation)
- Plate just prior to service
- Repeat 150 times!
As you go through the process, it is imperative to keep the chicken at the proper temperature, so it doesn’t spoil. The entire process must be done in a 24-hour period since chicken has a short shelf life. I personally handled each piece of chicken at least 8 times. That’s a lot of gloves!
That is all for one part of the entrée. In addition, preparations and cooking had to take place for the remaining menu items:
Shrimp Canapés – cooked Shrimp, Herb Butter, Sauce, Garnish
Roasted Pork Tenderloin Canapés – Tenderloin roasted and sliced, Herb Cheese, Blackberry Sauce and Garnish
Garden Salad with Homemade Dressing – every leaf of Spinach is picked to remove the stems! Greens are cleaned and cut, homemade Salad Dressing and Garnish
Herb Wine Cream Sauce to accompany the Italian Chicken
Italian Green Beans – Blanched 35 pounds
Fresh made Mashed Potatoes – over 60 pounds of Potatoes hand peeled & mashed!
Chocolate Decadence and Yellow Cake with Triple Sec, finished with a Butter
Cream Icing with Whipped Cream, Sauce and Garnish
That’s a snap shot of one event for the holiday season. Many of my weeks look very similar to this. There are the same number of steps and dishes to wash if you are cooking for 20 or 200!
I typically do 75% or more of the work myself, but not by choice, I try to use staff to help when possible. I still need a cook or someone willing to learn… if you know anyone send them my way!
Thank you for your continued support and Merry Christmas!
Owner, Chef, Prep Cook, Dishwasher 😊
If you are still looking for the right gift for someone (friends, family, employees, coworkers) we have gift certificates available. Give us a call at 816-496-0165 or drop us an email.