Here's hoping the 10th time's the charm. Stephen Smrcina has been appointed executive chef at Jedediah Hawkins Inn in Jamesport, a post held by nine previous chefs.
The opulent, lovingly restored Victorian inn opened in 2006 with Chef Tom Schaudel at the kitchen's helm. Since then, Jedediah has gone through chefs the way Zsa Zsa Gabor went through husbands. The last one (chef, not husband), Kyle Strong Romeo, left in February.
A graduate of the Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park, Smrcina cooked at 2 Taste Food & Wine Bar and Old Drovers Inn in Dutchess County, as well as at D.B.A.: Dante Boccuzzi Akron in Ohio.
Smrcina came aboard in April. His spring menu at Jedediah features hoisin-yuzu duck wings ($15), mushroom flatbread ($12), house-cured and -smoked pork loin with apple chutney and mashed potatoes ($29), and roast chicken with hand-cut fries and warm baby-spinach salad ($28). A recent special of soft-shell crab ($39) was served on a bed of risotto.
For the record, Smrcina's nine predecessors are Strong Romeo, Craig Atwood, Rich Kanowsky, Lia Fallon, Alex Algieri, Keith Luce, Steven Lewis, Matt Murphy and Schaudel.
Jedediah Hawkins Inn is at 400 S. Jamesport Ave., Jamesport; 631-722-2900.