Employee Spotlight on Kelly Gates, Sous Chef
Published March 30, 2018
I recently sat down with Kelly Gates, the morning Sous Chef at our downtown Gettysburg hotel and restaurant. Kelly has been shining in this role for the last three years, dazzling guests at both the Gettysburg Hotel and One Lincoln with her culinary skills learned at HACC (Central Pennsylvania’s Community College) in the Culinary Arts and Hotel Restaurant Management school.
When did you know you wanted to become a chef?
It wasn’t my first choice, but after trying a few other career paths, I found myself dissatisfied and wanting more. I was talking about my frustrations with my mom one day and she reminded me how much I love to cook and suggested I give it a try professionally. My first real-life experience was as an intern during college. I started as a line cook and eventually worked my way up through various restaurants, honing my craft. Prior to beginning my current path at the Gettysburg Hotel and One Lincoln, I spent eight years working as the Head Chef and Assistant Manager at a family owned restaurant in Mechanicsburg, PA.
What is your favorite type of food to make?
Seafood, seafood, seafood! I’m a pescatarian so it’s really something that I enjoy working with. Fish and shellfish are such versatile ingredients that can be made in a multitude of ways. I also love to grill year round.
How does being a pescatarian affect the way you cook?
I still enjoy preparing beef and poultry based entrées and it doesn’t stop me from incorporating them into my dishes. I have a solid knowledge base of which foods pair nicely together, but even from childhood, I’ve just not cared for the taste of meat. When cooking at home, I like to substitute traditional ingredients in my dishes. Some of my favorites are tofu, nuts, beans, quinoa and fresh vegetables.
What inspires your cooking?
Fresh produce is key for my cooking. Where I live in Central Pennsylvania, I have access to fresh fruits and veggies which is convenient for vegetarian and pescatarian cooking. We don’t have easy access to local seafood, so I try to do a lot of my shopping at specialty seafood and butcher shops since my husband isn’t all-in as a pescatarian …yet. Even though I cook all day at work, I still enjoy preparing a home cooked meal every night and my family also appreciates my attention on quality, fresh local products.
What is your favorite activity outside of work?
I love horses and have from a young age. I started riding when I was 7 years old and have been hooked ever since, focusing solely on English style riding. I have a passion for competition and have participated in horse shows all along the East Coast, from Vermont to Florida. My baby is an 8-year-old Latvian Warmblood named Kardinal. My husband supports my love for horses and the great outdoors and now that the weather is starting to turn, we’ll be enjoying lots of time on hikes and nature rides soon.
Chef Kelly has shared many of her recipes with us over the past year. Here are some of our favorites:
- Farro & Vegetable Salad – This recipe is perfect for the upcoming spring weather and fresh vegetables becoming available.
- Christmas Cookies – While we know it’s not the holiday season, cookies are good year round!
- Grilled Heirloom Tomato and Peach Salsa – While peaches aren’t quite in season yet (think July or August), this recipe can serve as a foundation for any type of fruit or vegetable salsa and is perfect for entertaining.
To view more of Kelly’s recipes, visit One Lincoln’s website.