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Pinehurst Resort Appoints Thierry Debailleul to Executive Chef

VILLAGE OF PINEHURST, N.C. (September 11, 2008) –  A short two months after taking on the position, Pinehurst Resort's new Executive Chef Thierry Debailleul received an overwhelming standing ovation. 
That clear and early message of approval came from the more than 500 guests that attended the 20th Anniversary of Pinehurst’s Food and Wine Festival, the premier resort event where fine dining and prestige wines take center stage.
It was the official debut for Debailleul, who brings more than 20 years of international culinary experience to Pinehurst’s tables. His new role includes management of more than 100 culinarians, operation of the resort’s 10 restaurants and extensive banquet/conference dining preparation on its 2,000-acre historic property.
“There is a rich history in this resort,” said Debailleul. “The restaurants are a lot more intimate, and you have the ability every day to do something a little different. There are so many different options – fine dining, casual, banquets all present opportunities to be creative.” 
A French native, Debailleul graduated from the famed Jen Ferrandi School in Paris, and the esteemed Ecole Superieure de Cuisine Francaise. His classic training launched a career that has spanned from Michelin-star rated restaurants from northern France to the West Indies; and acclaimed luxury resorts from New Orleans to Hawaii; Phoenix to Connecticut. 
He landed in Pinehurst in June, facing one of Pinehurst’s busiest summer schedules in recent years. That schedule included not only a host of high end corporate functions with banquets for up to 500 guests, but also the 2008 U.S. Amateur Championship and the annual five-day culinary event.
If the ovation at the festival was any indication, he’s quick on his feet and ready to create. The opening reception wowed guests with such unique dishes as Corn, Crab and Apple Bacon Fritters with Scallion Aioli, as well as the Smoked Salmon Lollipops and Shiitake Mushroom Caps with Foie Gras Sausage Stuffing.  
The brunch on Sunday included Freestone Peach Stuffed French Toast – a favorite featuring local produce, and the popular Eggs Benedict, with Puff Pastry, Chorizo and Tomato Hollandaise that had a sure second-helping following.   
His Food and Wine Showdown menu of Macadamia-Crusted Citrus Sea Scallops with Sweet Potato and Miso Sauce was the hit of the event’s final party – granting him the round of applause that effectively kicked off his Pinehurst career. 
Chef Thierry has already started to make his mark on Pinehurst’s dining scene, beginning with the resort’s most historic outlet – the Carolina Dining Room. This fall, the resort will relax its dress code to make dinner jackets a request – but no longer a requirement. He’s also changed the menu from a longstanding fixed-price three-course meal to an a-la-carte offering, launching a contemporary atmosphere popular in the nation’s highest-rated dining establishments. 
And he’s bringing back daily chef specials, giving him time to create new dishes from scratch, incorporating locally-grown ingredients with international flair, such as dry-aged New York Strip with Gorgonzola Pancetta Gratin, and Foie Gras and Butternut Squash stuffed Carolina"Poulet Rouge." 
“I enjoy so many different cultures and so many different cuisines,” said Debailleul. “I like to give food a really unique look – eclectic, clean and above all, really appetizing.” 
About Pinehurst
Located in the North Carolina heartland, world-renowned Pinehurst Resort is a 2,000-acre historic property featuring spa, golf, tennis, family, events and leisure recreation. Built in 1895, it has hosted such international events as the U.S Open Golf Championship, U.S. Clay Court Tennis Championship, and the U.S. Kids Golf World Championship. It continues to receive numerous awards for its exceptional accommodations, dining, meeting and children-friendly offerings, including Best Golf Resort by the readers of Travel + Leisure Golf magazine for the third time in 2008, and the coveted Mobil Four-Star Spa recognition, the first facility so designated in the Southeast.

Janeen Driscoll

Also See: Thierry Debailleul Appointed Executive Chef at Foxwoods Resort Casino; Formerly Executive Chef of the Pointe South Mountain Resort in Phoenix, Arizona / July 2007
Pinehurst Brings Together Landscape and Building Architects, Botanists, Cosmetic Chemists, Historians and Spa Experts to Develop $12 million Spa / July 2001

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