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July 3, 2012updated Feb 07, 2013

The Weekapaug Inn Celebrates Reopening with New Executive Chef

By Pardhasaradhi Gonuguntla

Weekapaug, Rhode Island – Reported by Elite Traveler, the private jet lifestyle magazine

In advance of its October 2012 reopening after a $20 million transformation, The Weekapaug Inn announces the appointment of Executive Chef Jennifer Backman who will oversee the inn’s dining experiences. From the sophisticated Restaurant to the more casual SeaRoom, the 31-room historic inn will offer a modern interpretation of coastal New England cuisine.

A Rhode Island culinary veteran, chef Backman joins the Weekapaug Inn from nearby sister property the Ocean House, where she sharpened her skills as sous chef in Seasons restaurant during the resort’s opening in 2010, before stepping into the executive sous chef position in January 2012. Chef Backman was instrumental in guiding the direction of the cuisine throughout the resort, and incorporated local produce and the ethical use of the sea to create unique and unforgettable dining experiences. Prior to joining the Ocean House team, she spent five years as executive sous chef at Castle Hill Inn & Resort in Newport, RI. Previously, she served as sous chef at the Rhode Island Country Club, and worked as a cook at the Gatehouse Restaurant in Providence, RI and Cinquanta in Karlsruhe, Germany. Chef Backman graduated Cum Laude with a degree in Culinary Arts from the Johnson & Wales University in Providence, RI.

The Weekapaug Inn will offer farm-to-table delicacies prepared simply yet elegantly with a nod to the traditional cultures of the region – including Italian, Portuguese and Native American. Ingredients will be sourced from small local suppliers throughout New England. In The Restaurant, guests will feast on starters such as a sweet pea and ricotta agnolotti with Vidalia onion, Meyer lemon, truffle and pea shoots; and main course options such as pan roasted native tautog with Jonah crab salad, asparagus, fennel and smoked tomato vinaigrette.

The Restaurant’s polished and refined atmosphere will showcase dark stained oak tables, brown rattan chairs, and walls and ceilings covered with natural grass and white painted battens. The design will incorporate elements from the original inn, including upholstered banquets and sofas flanking the grand wood burning fireplace. Guests can expect to find an enticing wine list, and personalized service similar to what they are familiar with at the Ocean House, a Relais & Châteaux resort.

For a more relaxed option, the SeaRoom will tempt palates with traditional New England comfort food – think hearty New England Clam Chowder, native lobster and sweet corn fritters with tarragon remoulade, or bouillabaisse with native white fish, shrimp, mussels, potato and saffron-lobster broth. Located in the Weekapaug Inn’s grand parlor, plush seating will beckon guests to relax with views of the Quonochontaug Pond.

Additionally, guests of the Inn may experience the six dining outlets at the Ocean House, located just five miles down the coast.

“While the Ocean House and the Weekapaug Inn have always catered to different guests and will continue to do so, we plan to create appropriate synergies and alignment between the two properties to create truly unique and memorable experiences for guests at each property,” said Daniel Hostettler, the President and Managing Director of Ocean House Management, LLC.

Reopening in October 2012, the historic Weekapaug Inn is located in the peaceful seaside community of Weekapaug, Rhode Island, with sweeping views of Quonochontaug Pond, and the Atlantic just beyond.  Inspired by classic Cape Cod style, the building is covered with red cedar shingles, accented by dark brown trim. The property will feature 27 guest rooms and four two-bedroom Signature Suites, as well as boutique event space.  The Inn will be open year-round and will cater to leisure and business travelers seeking a serene, first-class, waterfront resort.

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