SoDel Concepts Chef to Cook at the James Beard House for the Fifth Time

Doug Ruley of the Rehoboth Beach-based restaurant group will appear at the prestigious New York dining venue on Dec. 13.


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Doug Ruley, vice president of culinary operations for SoDel Concepts, will cook for a record-breaking fifth time at the James Beard House in New York on Dec. 13. His team includes Ronnie Burkle and Maurice Catlett, corporate chefs; Ryan Cunningham, executive chef at The Clubhouse at Baywood; Doug Ruley; Dru Tevis, corporate pastry chef; Maggie Cellitto, executive chef at Matt’s Fish Camp in Bethany Beach; and sommelier Chad McMaster, general manager of Lupo Italian Kitchen./Photo courtesy of SoDel Concepts

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SoDel Concepts chef Doug Ruley is breaking records this month. The vice president of culinary operations for the Rehoboth Beach-based restaurant group will cook for a record-breaking fifth time at the prestigious James Beard House in New York on Dec. 13. The house is the former home of the famous cookbook author and teacher, and is now the headquarters of the James Beard Foundation.

“Bringing my team to New York is the real reason why these invitations are so meaningful to me,” Ruley said in a news release. “It gives us a chance to work together in an unusual environment for the New York guests.”

The sold-out dinner, titled Coastal Seafood Holiday, promises a sustainible wintertime feast featuring SoDel's signature "farmer meets fisherman" cooking.

“Being invited to cook for guests at the James Beard House is an honor,” said Scott Kammerer, president of SoDel Concepts, in a news release. “Chefs from all over the nation request invitations. Being asked back five times is unprecedented. It’s a testament to Doug’s talent and reputation.”


RELATED: Meet Thompson Island Brewing Company's Culinary Team


Delmarva-inspired dishes will include a selection of passed appetizers such as Chincoteague clams with mint, parsley, serrano chile, walnuts and tangerine, and Dewey Beach Selects oysters with Korean hot sauce, maple mayo and sesame. Guests will also get a taste of Carolina fluke, smoked Virginia bluefish and Choptank rockfish, according to a news release.

While making his seafood choices, Ruley respected the James Beard Foundation’s Smart Catch initiative, which supports sustainable seafood and avoids species deemed overfished by the Monterey Bay Aquarium’s Seafood Watch program.

Chad McMaster, general manager of Lupo Italian Kitchen and an introductory sommelier, will direct the wine service. Mike Zygmonski, director of SoDel Concepts’ wine program, selected the wines. In addition to the wines, the dinner will feature beers from Thompson Island Brewing Company, SoDel Concepts’ newest restaurant, according to a news release.

“I am beyond proud of Doug and our culinary team,” Kammerer said in a news release.

Visit jamesbeard.org or sodelconcepts.com for more information.

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