Gray's Landing has a new food and hospitality director at its helm who brings with him a diverse culinary background. Steve Rebarchick's professional roots run deep and local. Before taking the position at Gray's Landing, Rebarchick was a sous chef at River's Edge at the Naval Air Station Patuxent River. The Culinary Institute of America graduate has some big names on his resume, including the Congressional Country Club, Canterbury Golf Club and the American Culinary Federation.
While Rebarchick is only in his first month on the job in Dahlgren, he is busy transforming Gray's Landing to an establishment serving "more creative, lighter [food] to appeal to a much broader audience." A walk through Gray's Landing found him not in his office, but in the kitchen, where he was instructing staff about the finer points of chicken cacciatore sauce.
Rebarchick already seems at ease in the facility at Gray's Landing and thinks highly of the staff. "There are no bosses here," he said, after leaving the kitchen. "We're nothing without our great staff".
Rebarchick describes his management style as a teaching style, one he learned while directing the apprenticeship program for the American Culinary Federation. "I like to teach others," he said. "The important thing is to come out with something that tastes good that you can be proud of. The fun part is creativity. I'd like to instill that with the staff here. to do something new and fun."
Patrons of Gray's Landing can expect to see more of that creativity in the form of expanded variety and selection at the salad bar. More ingredients for entrees will be prepared in-house; a greater variety of seafood will be offered and from a more local origin, such as rockfish. Fresh fruit will be available every day and Rebarchick's weekly menus will soon be published in this paper. "The menu will always be ongoing and changing, so we're not having the same thing all the time," he said.
When it comes to supporting banquets, catering and special events, Rebarchick wants to make sure Gray's Landing is at the top of the list for Dahlgren commands. "We want to become more diversified, so we can take care of, for example, someone in an office who wants snack plates or cookie trays. We're more than willing to do that type of thing. Give us a call and let's see what we can do for you. We're versatile and we can find a way to make it happen."
Like many culinary professionals, Rebarchick enjoys wine tasting and food shows in his spare time. Growing herbs and veggies on his balcony provides fresh flavors when he cooks at home. Kayaking trips help burn off the calories. Recently, Rebarchick had a great time teaching his sons how to make sushi.
Home style cooking and the quality time spent with friends and family around the table inspire Rebarchick at Gray's Landing. "With the military, the Sailors coming in here. who knows where they're going to be next week?" he asked. "I want them to say the best food they ever had was while they were in the Navy, at Gray's Landing. I want to be memorable, because next week they could be out on a ship or deployed someplace."
Rebarchick already has a special place in his heart for his biggest customers, the Sailors of the Aegis Training and Readiness Center (ATRC). "While they're learning, you know they need a good meal, something that feels a little more like home. For them, I see us leaning more toward comfort-type foods that will sit on your taste buds."