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What's cooking Tuesday at the National Press Club spa summit?

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When spa industry newsmakers gather Tuesday at the National Press Club for the 4th annual symposium sponsored by the Washington Spa Alliance, what will be served for lunch?

The challenge of creating a menu for tomorrow’s spa “summit” fell to Chef Tim Morton of the Umstead Hotel and Spa in North Carolina. Reflecting the start of summer, it’s a refreshing complement to the wighty thoughts about healthy lifestyles that occupy the day’s program.

An abundance of peppers, tomatoes, berries and herbs at The Umstead’s local garden inspired Chef Morton to begin with a bright Tobago Pepper Gazpacho, adding zesty pickled razor clams marinated in the Umstead kitchen. Thereafter, steamed Alaskan halibut with tomato confit, fingerling potatoes and olive is planned. The meal is complete with a hint of sweet thanks to goat milk custard using the bounty of the Piedmont region’s best goat farms, served with berries, vanilla, white port, honey, and basil.

Tuesday’s lunch menu is designed as a bright and refreshing respite from Washington’s summer, when long, warm days inspire us to enjoy foods that cool the senses, nourish the body, and celebrate the season. Chef Tim Morton of The Umstead Hotel and Spa, regularly shepherds sustainably-grown fruits, vegetables and micro-greens from seed to soil to plate at the Forbes Five Star, AAA Five Diamond hotel and its signature restaurant, Herons.

Tim Morton harnesses his multilateral background to execute the vibrant and farm-focused cuisine of Herons restaurant and the recently expanded spa at The Umstead Hotel. Located close to Duke University in the Raleigh/Duham triangle, the resort-like hotel earns top honors in North Carolina.

Tim’s culinary passion led him to become an apprentice for the American Culinary Federation at the legendary Sea Island Company in Georgia. There he was first introduced to Chef Scott Crawford, and under his direction, Tim was promoted to the kitchen of The Georgian Room at the Cloister Hotel. When Crawford transferred to The Umstead, Tim followed, joining the culinary team. Following a near two-year stint at Chicago’s famed Alinea Restaurant, Tim rejoined The Umstead family in 2013 to take his current post.

Symposium participants will learn from global spa executives what’s next in healthy lifestyles. This year's gathering has a significant focus on professional networking with D.C. spa leaders and executives from global spa brands.

Register online at www.washingtonspaalliance.

Location: The National Press Club

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