SOUTH LAKE TAHOE, Calif.
The Landing Resort & Spa, Lake Tahoe’s first lakeside five-star luxury resort, has hired acclaimed British chef Maria Elia to oversee its new Jimmy’s Restaurant, serving wood-fired Greek seafood and locally sourced California cuisine.
Elia is known for her thoroughly modern take on the traditional dishes from her Greek heritage, an approach that served as the basis for her recently published third book, "Smashing Plates: Greek Flavours Redefined" (Kyle Books, September 2013), and will play a key role in the menu at Jimmy’s, which is slated to open in December 2013. Some of the menu items Elia has planned for Jimmy’s include carrot keftedes with pomegranate skordalia, rabbit and white bean baklava with lemon chard salad, a pulled lamb burger with beetroot tzatziki, and a tahini, chocolate and lime cake.
Jim and Nancy Demetriades, The Landing Resort & Spa’s owners, are foodies who undertook a six-month search before settling on Elia as resort chef. “We searched far and wide for the chef who would meet our guests’ – and our own – demands,” says Jim Demetriades.
“We were determined to provide our guests with some of the best Mediterranean cuisine in America, and while we were impressed with Maria Elia’s real-world experience as a chef, as well as her philosophies of cuisine and visibility as a food personality, it was her food that ultimately won us over,” Jim continues. “We brought her to the U.S. to open Jimmy’s Restaurant at The Landing because we think she ranks as one of the top Greek chefs in the world and the best in the country.”
Inspired by her father’s Cypriot restaurant, Maria Elia knew she wanted to be a chef at the age of four. She went on to work in the kitchens of renowned chefs including Stephen Terry at Coast in London, and in Spain with Ferran Adrià at El Bulli, and Juan Mari Arzak in San Sebastian, leading to her first head chef position at Delfina in London. Ten years later, she set up the dining room at the Whitechapel Gallery, garnering rave reviews, two British Automobile Association AA Rosettes, and a Michelin recommendation. During her time as the executive chef of JOE’S in London’s South Kensington, Elia continued to whip up imaginative creations.
Chef Elia’s deceptively simple multilayered dishes, influenced by cuisine from the Orient to the Occident, have won her many accolades. In her bestselling debut cookbook, "The Modern Vegetarian," published in 2009, Elia coaxed readers to awaken their palates with unique flavor combinations. Her Gourmand Award-winning second title, "Full of Flavour," developed themes from her first book. In addition to her popular cookbooks, Elia has appeared on numerous television programs in Great Britain, and has contributed to a wide variety of publications from "the Guardian" to "BBC Good Food." In 2008, she was hailed by "The Independent" as one of 10 female chefs to watch.
Chef Elia’s third book was published in September 2013. A collection of recipes inspired by her Greek heritage, Elia’s "Smashing Plates" brings the traditional ingredients of Greece into the 21st century. “Eating well feeds the soul. And without a doubt, with this book, Maria shows us the magic of cooking,” said Ferran Adrià of El Bulli about "Smashing Plates."
The new home to Elia’s cuisine, Jimmy’s Restaurant at The Landing includes private dining alcoves with fireplaces for a luxuriously intimate experience and fire pits on an outdoor lake-view patio, as well as a glass-enclosed wine cellar featuring a special selection of 250 labels from around the world and a backlit onyx-walled bar.
The Landing Resort & Spa will open its doors December 12, 2013 to travelers looking for an ultra-luxe experience that embraces an intimate connection with the lake, from lake-view rooms, decks and patios, to private beach access for guests. The new resort on the shores of Lake Tahoe will boast 88 guest rooms with fireplaces, decks and a long list of five-star amenities, as well as Jimmy’s Restaurant, a full-service spa, conference center, and the highest standard of personalized service.
Owners Jim and Nancy Demetriades have designed The Landing Resort & Spa as a five-star property down to the last detail – managing every aspect from initial concept through architecture, interior design, staffing and service – determined to exceed even the most exacting guests’ expectations.
The all-new The Landing Resort & Spa offers a five-star luxury resort experience and is walking distance to the golf, outdoor concerts, nightlife, dining and shopping opportunities of South Lake Tahoe. Just blocks from Heavenly Village and Gondola, Village Center and gaming casinos, The Landing provides complimentary local transportation via Mercedes Sprinter.
Located adjacent to Lake Tahoe's Lakeside Beach, The Landing Resort & Spa boasts a 3,600-square-foot rooftop deck for parties, weddings and events.