At Bristol Harbour Lodge & Golf Club, we know that great food is the essence of every great Finger Lakes getaway. We believe that fresh, flavorful and satisfying meals shared with friends and family are one of life’s simple joys, nourishing the body and soul.
From locally sourced veggies to hand-crafted Finger Lakes wines and beers, our chef-designed menus feature local and natural ingredients whenever possible, highlighting the best our abundant region has to offer.
Whether you’re grabbing a house-made pastry and gourmet coffee from Bernie’s Café before your golf tee time, enjoying the best views in the Finger Lakes over dinner and drinks at our Tavern at the Point Restaurant, or celebrating your destination wedding with a seated and served dinner, you’ll enjoy a treat for all your senses with delicious, expertly prepared dishes from our talented culinary team, led by our Executive Chef Aaron Bolton and our Executive Banquet Chef Peter Conroy.
Read more below to see how their professional skills and personal tastes combine to make Bristol Harbour a one-of-a-kind Finger Lakes dining destination.
Bristol Harbour proudly welcomed Executive Chef Aaron Bolton to our team in December, 2017. Born and raised in the Rochester, NY area, Chef Aaron has honed his incredible culinary skills over many years in some of the area’s most notable restaurants, including Hawthorne’s, Strathallan, Black & Blue, and Trata.
Aaron realized his passion for cooking when he took his first job in hospitality as a line cook while attending school. “Not only did that first job help me discover cooking was something I’m good at, but I also learned that it’s something I truly enjoy doing.”
The defining moment for Aaron was walking into Hawthorne’s and meeting Executive Chef Sean Flaherty. “During my first few days on the job, Chef Shaun showed me lots of creative preparations and techniques I’d never experienced before. He would build these exciting flavor profiles using infusion, emulsion and other processes, and it was the first time I saw such a creative approach to food. It inspired me to learn as much as I could and pursue a career as a chef.”
Aaron went on to refine his culinary talents under Chef Sean and eventually worked his way up to the role of Executive Sous Chef. “Chef Sean influenced and inspired me to grow my skills and stick with cooking.” Aaron also worked with Executive Chef David Cassidy at Black & Blue, who motivated him to continue learning about the industry, even outside the kitchen. “He taught me how to really run a restaurant. Not just how to run a line, but how to run it as a whole, including hiring, ordering, and overseeing general operations.” This invaluable experience led to his promotion to Executive Chef at Trata before coming to Bristol Harbour.
Aaron’s thorough understanding of the inner-workings of the restaurant business allows him to truly cater to the guest experience and cook up crowd-pleasing creations day after day.
Why You’ll Love His Culinary Creations
When you talk to Aaron, his passion for cooking is evident, and when you sample his food you can taste it. “My favorite part of being a chef is getting to teach people the dynamics of food. The ‘hows’ and ‘whys’ of ingredients, preparation, and styles are so important to developing great meals that excite and satisfy.”
He also draws inspiration from the famed Gordon Ramsay’s dedication to standards in the kitchen, which Aaron emulates in his own kitchen. Aaron’s technical skill, creative vision and attention to detail combine to create perfectly executed dishes that elevate the wholesome, fresh ingredients and flavors of the Finger Lakes.
Passion for the Profession
When asked what advice he has for aspiring chefs starting out in the field today, his response highlights his love for, and dedication to, his craft. “Only do it if your heart’s truly in it – because it’s not an easy job, and you really have to love every part of it to do it well.”
Stop by Bristol Harbour’s Tavern at the Point Restaurant to experience Chef Aaron’s exceptional cuisine while enjoying breathtaking views of Canandaigua Lake, and see why Bristol Harbour is one of the best restaurants in Canandaigua, NY and the Finger Lakes region. Make your dinner reservation today.
Joining the Bristol Harbour team in March, 2016, Executive Banquet Chef Peter Conroy’s lifelong love of cooking, and conscientious attention to detail, permeate each and every freshly prepared meal served at the luxury destination weddings, business meetings, private dining parties and special events we host at Bristol Harbour Lodge & Golf Club.
Growing Up in the Kitchen
A Rochester-area native, Peter started cooking before he was old enough to see over the edge of the counter. “I was cooking with my mother and grandmother before I was five years old, and even all the way back then I knew that I wanted to become a chef. As a teenager, I worked a couple of different odd jobs, but I always came back to the fact that I loved to cook and knew that I wanted a culinary career.”
Honing His Culinary Skills
After high school, Peter attended the Culinary Institute of America (CIA) in Hyde Park, NY to pursue his dreams. While there, he studied classical French preparation and trained in the art of meat and fish fabrication extensively, learning the nuances of how to properly prepare the perfect cut of meat to enhance the flavors and textures of the finest, freshest proteins. During his time at the CIA, he further developed his wide array of culinary talents through a hands-on externship at Daisy Flour Mill in Rochester, NY under his mentor, Executive Chef Jim Camilo.
Why You’ll Love His Culinary Creations
When Peter isn’t cooking for a wedding, business meeting, golf tournament, or other special event, he’s likely to be found whipping up some of his signature BBQ for his family and friends. When asked what his favorite food is, his response is simple yet profound. “Good food is my favorite food – food that’s prepared well, using high quality ingredients always stands out above the rest.”
Peter also has prior background in the healthcare industry that gives him a unique understanding of nutrition, and the importance of wholesome, natural ingredients. He incorporates a wide array of herbs, spices and seasonings to elevate the flavor profiles in his dishes in a fresh way. This understanding enables him to easily adapt recipes to suit specific dietary needs without sacrificing taste.
Passion for the Profession
Peter’s favorite part of being Executive Banquet Chef at Bristol Harbour Lodge & Golf Club is his ability to bring joy to people through food. “It’s incredibly special and rewarding to know that I play a role in ensuring brides and grooms have great memories of every part of their once-in-a-lifetime dream wedding. Great food is such an essential part of that experience. Getting to work with them from their initial tasting through their wedding day allows me to use my creativity and talents to develop the perfect menu for their perfect day.”
Are you planning your Finger Lakes wedding, charity golf tournament, business meeting, or special event? Let Executive Banquet Chef Peter Conroy treat you and your guest to scrumptious fare with a focus on fresh and natural flavors of the Finger Lakes – no matter what the occasion.
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