A certain kind of magic is happening at the Belhurst Castle. It may be because the banquet chef is named Harry Potter. The high-quality cuisine from the castle’s restaurant is enchanting.
Harry is a big reason why the quality of the food is so high. Originally from Pennsylvania, he moved to the Finger Lakes some time ago. “This area is truly beautiful and it inspires me when I cook,” he says. “Maybe it’s the lake, maybe it’s the castle, but the people are incredible. Our customers, from brides and grooms to families and business colleagues, all make what we do worthwhile.”
Harry has been cooking at least 30 years. He started working as a dishwasher to get experience being part of a kitchen. He then became a line cook and started cooking under executive chefs, eventually becoming one himself. For a time, he was the executive chef at St. Ann’s Catholic School in Hornell.
Seven years ago, Harry joined Belhurst Castle as a line cook, and was then promoted to Chef de Cuisine in 2016. In 2019, he was promoted to Banquet Chef, his current position, and manages and cooks for banquets and events.
“The banquet menu has a wide variety of options. Nothing is cookie-cutter. Every dish is unique. If I had to pick a favorite, it would be the Mango Avocado Salmon or the Mediterranean Risotto,” states Harry. His favorite dish to cook is Tuscan Chicken. “It’s a fun dish to make,” says Harry. “There’s a lot of fresh, local ingredients and the many components of the dish make it very popular with guests.
“I enjoy the actual art of cooking in the kitchen,” says Harry. “Every day I still love what I do. I love hearing people enjoy our food. It’s the biggest compliment anyone could give me.”
Belhurst Castle is unique and beautiful and is truly one of the special places of the Finger Lakes Region. With two ballrooms and six private dining rooms, it is able to accommodate weddings big and small, as well as business meetings, retreats and life’s celebrations like baby showers, bridal showers, rehearsal dinners and more. They’re most famous for their no venue fee, which means they don’t charge a separate fee to rent the physical space of the room.