{ CHEF PROFILE }

CHEF ROY HENDRICKSON

By WENDY LEMLIN 
PHOTOGRAPHY By MICHAEL WESLEY

 

chef

Chef Roy Hendrickson Takes the Helm at Vessel

Glowing with the vibrancy of a major makeover, Vessel, the flagship restaurant at Kona Kai Resort and Marina on Shelter Island, has set sail with a spiffy updated look and a creative and accomplished new chef. Taking the helm of the marina-front restaurant’s kitchen is Executive Chef Roy Hendrickson, who combines a passion for locally sourced products with an appreciation for the flavors of the world. It’s all about a connection with the customers, about putting something of himself on every plate. “It’s more than just food,” says Chef Hendrickson.

 

LEADING THE CULINARY TEAM AT VESSEL?

The opportunity to make Vessel the best restaurant in all of Point Loma! My vision encompasses not only premium quality food and a revamped menu, but also combining that with an outstanding level of hospitality and a close relationship with the community. Of course, having one of the best waterfront locations, from an aesthetic point of view, is not bad either!


YOUR CULINARY PHILOSOPHY?

Keep it simple, source the best ingredients, and let those ingredients shine by treating them the way they deserve to be. What I think defines a chef is more than just the dishes he or she prepares, but how a chef enables food to bring people together—in its preparation and in the joy of consuming it.


FOOD “GUILTY PLEASURE”

ICE CREAM! I love to make it, especially with unusual ingredients. I recently created a batch with Hatch chiles. The cream tempered the heat of the chiles, but there was still enough bite to make it really interesting. The sweetness of the sugar, the creaminess of the custard, the tingle on the tongue from the chiles, all worked together sublimely!

 

FAVORITE INGREDIENTS ON
VESSEL’S FALL MENE

To name just a few: varietal heirloom apples, winter or hard squash, chanterelle mushrooms, duck and braised meats.

5 INGREDIENTS & TOOLS YOU
COULDN’T LIVE WITHOUT

I try to always have star anise, ascorbic acid, grapeseed oil, tapioca maltodextrin and fleur de sel on hand, and I couldn’t imagine working without my chef’s knife or Taylor batch freezer.


MOST INCREDIBLE MEAL,
THE SKY’S THE LIMIT!

First, an amuse bouche of beet-pickled quail eggs with baby heirloom tomato, avocado mousse, crisp pancetta, and espelette béarnaise sauce, the espelete being a wonderful French paprika that’s somewhat hard to find and pricey in the US. Then, an heirloom apple salad with Californian lemon olive oil, house- made granola, petite celery, Humboldt fog goat cheese, and butter lettuce. For the entrée, I think an aged ribeye cap, with veal sweet breads, Chateau Haut Gay bordelaise sauce, and Rogue Creamery bleu cheese popcorn. Finally, for dessert, a simple mascarpone cheesecake with 18-month-aged Fiscalini white cheddar, dulce de leche, heirloom apple compote, and chervil.