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Massachusetts Travel Blog

New Chef at Champney’s :: Meet Ameer Whitmyer

Tuesday, May 19th, 2015

rampsWe are pleased to announce that Chef Ameer Whitmyer has joined us to head up the kitchen team for Champney’s Restaurant & Tavern at the Deerfield Inn. Chef Ameer has extensive cooking experience, having worked on both the East and West coasts, focusing on establishing buyer relationships with local farmers and purveyors. As both a specialized meat and fish chef, Chef Ameer’s passion and knowledge, with the help of his sous chef Joshua Rock, is being conveyed to their team in the kitchen in a careful, inspiring, and articulate way.

Ameer was raised in a stream of cooking culture, and his mentor Chef Typhun Yolak showed him the importance of how cooking connects to everything in a very powerful and contemplative way, how it is primal and visceral, but also artistic and thoughtful. As Chef Typhun demonstrated to him, Chef Ameer believes that what flows through his hands flows through life – from the front of house, to family, to the kitchen: it is all connected and food is the translation of that togetherness.

Ameer’s adult experience began at Whitefish Lake Restaurant in Whitefish, MT, an upscale steak house considered the best restaurant in Montana in the early 2000’s. Next he moved to The Phoenix House in Ashland, OR, focusing on local ingredients and French techniques with an Asian flare. His journey in cooking took him to the East Coast where his family was located, and he worked in Doris & Ed’s Classic & Contemporary Seafood Oasis, in Highlands, NJ – a James Beard Award of Excellence and Gourmet Top Tables List restaurant – until this establishment was utterly destroyed by our nemesis Hurricane Irene. From there he went on to Restaurant Nicholas in Red Bank, NJ, a 4-star restaurant and among Gayot’s Top 40 in the US, and then he worked at the Mumford’s Culinary Center, in Tinton Falls, NJ, where the team maintained a 1.5 acre garden growing produce for the kitchen. Ameer studied under Chef Chris Mumford, an early pioneer of the fresh and natural cooking style. His last position before joining Champney’s was at Navesink Country Club in Middletown, NJ, a private club rated among the best in its class in the NY/NJ area.

Chef Ameer has also participated in farm internship programs in the Bay area of northern California and in southern Oregon, and spent a season commercial fishing to understand first hand more about the food source process.

It is important to Chef Ameer to look for variety based on availability and creativity to keep it to the moment. He describes his cuisine as New American, and he interprets that as meaning that America is a place of blended cultures, so while he celebrates tradition here in Deerfield, he also celebrates the flavors that are on hand and available here now. Lemon grass, ginger, piquant peppers, were not grown then, but are grown here in this valley today, and that is New American to him – the blending of the best flavors of the traditional and the new.

Chef Ameer does not really have a signature dish because he says often that means relying on one thing year upon year. He is as happy making a meal of a big bowl of soup and a platter of grilled sandwiches with his family, as he is bringing well-loved favorites back into the kitchen, but his favorite dish is the best of the now and of today.

We hope you come back soon to try the new spring menus. The porch is now open when the weather is fine, and good dogs are welcome to sit there with you while you eat after your stroll. There are fresh, light, seasonal cocktails on the constantly changing wine and beer list, and Kathleen is always coming up with new dessert ideas.

You can make a reservation online, or you can call us at 413-772-3087.


Breakfast is the Most Important Meal of the Day!

Monday, June 9th, 2014

“‘When you wake up in the morning, Pooh,’ said Piglet at last, ‘What’s the first thing you say to yourself?’

“‘What’s for breakfast?’ said Pooh. ‘What do you say, Piglet?’

“‘I say, I wonder what’s going to happen exciting today?’ said Piglet.

“Pooh nodded thoughtfully. ‘It’s the same thing,’ he said.”

A country breakfast is part of your stay at our Deerfield bed and breakfast– 7:30-10:00 – so no need to jump out of bed at crack of dawn. Sit, sip, relax, enjoy…

Check out our summer midweek special rate and the 130th birthday rate in July!


March is Massachusetts Maple Syrup Month

Thursday, March 6th, 2014

We have had the perfect season so far for swiftly-flowing sap for Massachusetts maple syrup.  There are many sugar houses in our neighborhood, including Williams Farm of Deerfield just along the street. Folks line up for their pancake breakfasts in the Williams’ handsome wooden barn filled with that unmistakable and delicious aroma of boiling sap.  Look for more local maple syrup in our menus and small white pitchers of it with pancakes and waffles at breakfast and brunch!

Oysters are a Kiss from the Ocean – How to Shuck an Oyster

Thursday, February 20th, 2014

Question: Which of these foods are said to stir passion? An oyster, an avocado or a turnip?

Oysters you immediately say. But why? Maybe it’s the zinc in the oysters, maybe it’s the mythology that has become accepted as gospel, maybe it’s wishful thinking.

Increasingly, fishmongers play up the equivalent of a wine terrior.  Apparently the waters where the oysters are grown and the species all make a difference to the taste. Our fishmonger makes a point of letting us know the exact location of where our oysters are gathered and he recognizes their very distinct flavors from an almost melon-like sweetness, to a minerally brine.

Fishmonger MJ Gimbar describes oysters  as creamy and velvety. “It’s like a kiss from the ocean.”

Our oysters are fresh off the boat at $2.00 each on the half shell with a wonderful mignardise. If oysters aren’t for you, it seems that turnips are up for the challenge of inciting amorous tendencies! So if a half dozen oysters aren’t in the budget, you can get that aphrodisiac effect from a humble root vegetable.

Here’s how to shuck an oyster:


  • ·  Step 1

How to shuck an oyster step 1

Wiggle (don’t jab) the knife in from the hinge of the shell. Turn it like a key. Once you have leverage, you can pop off the top shell. Make sure the cup-side of the shell is on the bottom.

  • ·  Step 2

How to shuck an oyster step 2

Slide the knife along the top to severe the abductor, which is the muscle attached to the shell.

  • ·  Step 3

How to shuck an oyster step 3

Then slice along bottom, make sure you hold steady to preserve the liquor inside. Your oyster will now slide right off.

Come enjoy oysters at our beautiful Deerfield bed and breakfast located near Greenfield.