The Kanu Dining Room in Whiteface Lodge (Lake Placid, N.Y.) surrounds you with Adirondack camp-style stone-and-wood splendor—surely one of the grandest timber-beamed dining rooms in America, outside of Yosemite’s Ahwahnee Hotel dining room. (Psst: the Kanu was built in 2005, but looks like the last carpenter left in 1905.)
Here Chef David Haick showcases his most unlikely skill set: he’s just as comfortable crafting fine dining dishes of seafood and beef as he is vegetarian and vegan specialties. Beautifully plated, his artful plant-based dishes are as painterly and colorful as they are delicious.
As happens each year when the Washington Spa Alliance (WSPA) convenes for its annual symposium in D.C., this year’s guest resort-spa chef Haick is creating the lunch for attendees, working alongside the National Press Club’s resident chef, Susan Delbert.
Symposium attendees—all spa and wellness professionals—continue to be the leading ambassadors of healthful, organic food. Here’s a sample recipe from chef Haick’s repertoire—one so simple that anyone can prepare it almost without a “recipe” at all. What most sets it apart is his presentation, in which cucumbers, radishes, berries and sprigs of dill create a salad that fairly shouts “fresh!”
Cucumber and Dill Salad
From Chef David Haick of the Whiteface Lodge via HonestCooking Gastronomy & Travel
Note: these amounts are listed per plate/portion. Scale up accordingly.
¼ cup baby arugula
1 3-inch length of English cucumber, cut into 3-inch sticks
Several super-thin slices of English cucumber
1 radish, thinly sliced
2 each, blackberries and raspberries, cut in half
1 tablespoon Dill Vinaigrette (see below)
Sprigs of fresh dill for garnish
Pea-sized dollops of vegan cream cheese for garnish.
¼ cup fresh dill
Juice of one lemon
¼ cup cold-pressed grape seed oil
For Vinaigrette: combine dill, lemon juice in blender. Puree while adding oil and pinch of salt to taste.
To assemble salad: Place arugula on center of plate. Arrange five cucumber sticks on top in a row. Scatter sliced radish and cucumber rounds. Dot with berries. Drizzle vinaigrette over. Garnish with fresh dill sprigs and dots of cream cheese.