By David Esteppe
Owners Deborah Porter and Arthur Forgette are saying goodbye to their good friend Fred Raynaud, the chef who teamed with the duo to develop the menu, appeal and delicious food that brought Lewisburg “The Goat,” as locals affectionately refer to the restaurant. Raynaud has moved to Northern Virginia to take a position as Vice-president of Culinary with a regional restaurant company for the Washington, DC, area. “’He will be missed by us all,” says Forgette.
“We are pleased, however, to announce that Chef Stephen Gustard has joined the French Goat as our new executive chef,” says Forgette.
Gustard was most recently the executive chef at The Greenbrier Sporting Club Lodge, with oversight responsibilities of their Summit property as well. He is a graduate of the Greenbrier resort’s apprenticeship program under chefs Peter Timmons and Richard Rosendale. Altogether, Gustard worked with The Sporting Club for over 10 years.
Gustard was born to cook, starting at a young age helping his mother and grandmother in the kitchen. He developed his passion for food and the culinary industry by serving as a banquet cook at a hotel and conference center. It was this experience that led him to pursue his formal education at the Johnson and Wales University in Norfolk, Virginia.
With hard work and exhibiting talent during his internship at Pinehurst Golf Resort in North Carolina, the door opened for Gustard’s first position as line cook at the famed resort’s Tavern Bar and Grill.
It was in 2001 that Gustard was accepted into the prestigious apprenticeship program at the Greenbrier resort, where he was classically French trained by Timmons, a certified master chef. Gustard finished the program within three years.
After graduation, Gustard moved to Florida to work at The Boca Bay Pass Club until he was recruited to come back to West Virginia by Executive Chef Jim Butchart of the Greenbrier Sproting Club. Within a year he was promoted to sous chef and chef Butchart noted, “Stephen’s strong work ethic, patience and overall desire to please the guests, made him the perfect choice to head The Sporting Club’s new Summit kitchen.”
“After 10 years at The Greenbrier Sporting Club, I have decided to make a change and join the incredible team at The French Goat. I love what they are doing here, and am thrilled to become a part of it,” says Gustard. He plans to build on their reputation with wowing diners with amazing flavors and innovative dishes.