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Kelly Skinner | Photo: Sara Hanna | May 1, 2014
At Serenbe, two chefs are better than one—and together, they’re great.
Sharing a passion—for cooking (and one another)—is the cornerstone ingredient to Lane Hajack and Thaddeus Barton’s recipe for success. Brought together eight years ago while working in various Chicago restaurant kitchens, and later as an event-planning dynamo for ATL-based Gloriosa, the as-of-last-month newlyweds are today’s culinary stars, revamping acclaimed Serenbe eateries The Farmhouse at Serenbe and Blue Eyed Daisy Bakeshop.
Having shelved their initial dreams of opening their own resto when Garnie Nygren, director of operations at Serenbe, came calling earlier this year with her too-good-to-pass-up proposal, they’ve since embraced their fate. “We have a history with Serenbe [through Gloriosa-orchestrated weddings] and the people [who] live in this community. It just felt like it was meant to be,” says Barton. “I feel very strongly about Serenbe itself and thought it was a beautiful opportunity to do something really cool,” echoes Hajack.
As executive chef at The Farmhouse at Serenbe, Barton is showing serious chops, reimagining the Thursday through Sunday night lineup with a new menu “…driven by my creativity, and the way I like to cook, which is using what’s seasonable and available close by,” says a man truly in his element in this garden-rich realm. And his partner in life? Also his partner in dine. While Barton’s bustling around The Farmhouse’s kitchen, Hajack flexes her culinary cred a few blocks away at the cheery Blue Eyed Daisy Bakeshop, where she’s developing an innovative new menu. “It’s going to take on some of the same qualities as The Farmhouse, utilizing seasonal local farm products and serving fresh, local salads, sandwiches and baked goods,” shares Hajack of the same-aesthetics, same-concept bakery soon to start slinging cold-pressed juices from locally made brand Bamboo.
Already familiar with Serenbe’s slice of utopia, Hajack and Barton are settling into new digs with a permanent address in the place they work and play. “We’re both really active, so just being in an environment where there are paths to ride bikes and run outside your front door is incredible,” says Barton, rattling off primo perks of residency, like the community, the farmers, walking to work. “... It’s pretty incredible.”
And so, it appears, are they. @serenbe