Lynae Gurnsey, owner and chef of The Farm at Pine Creek, gave up a dazzling career as a Le Cordon Bleu-trained chef to return to her native Potter County. Since 2014, locals have tasted the fruits of Gurnsey’s experience through her “comfort food with a twist of gourmet.”
Gurnsey grew up in Lawrenceville, and at age 19 began a career that took her to Miami, Boston, Nashville and California, earning culinary degrees and certifications along the way.
“I tried to align myself with the best chefs I could find,” she said.
After tenures in high-end kitchens and stints as a private chef, as well as a 14-year culinary teaching career, Gurnsey returned home to her parents’ 13-acre property outside Galeton to help care for her ailing father.
“I was burnt out, I’d adopted a child, and my dad was my best friend,” she recalls. “How could I not do that?”
The Farm at Pine Creek opened in 2014 at 941 Route 6, just west of Galeton. Gurnsey works out of a food truck, with guests dining at picnic tables on the spacious lawn.
“I try to source as locally as possible,” she said, “and everything is whole food. Absolutely everything is from scratch. Part of my job is to teach and educate people about real food.”
Recent menu items have included barbequed ribs, fish and seafood prepared several different ways, Asian salads and gourmet burgers.
“I try to get people out of their comfort zone,” explains Gurnsey. “Everyone likes tartar sauce with their fish fry – and that’s OK – but then I’ll make a remoulade and people will say, ‘That’s so good.’”
While waiting for Gurnsey to custom-make their meal, customers are free to take a short walk behind the food truck to visit Gus the miniature donkey, Rosie the miniature horse, Dominick the goat and free-range chickens. Gurnsey is committed to homesteading.
“I want everything on this land to be self-sufficient and sustainable, with every animal and garden ingredient serving a purpose,” she said.
Business is booming.
“I’m seeing more seasonal folks this year, and I always have families coming from downstate who call ahead and order food for their whole group. The hospitals and other local businesses are also loyal customers.”
During the recent COVID-related shutdown, Gurnsey provided virtual cooking classes and Gourmet to Go – pre-made entrées served from a socially-distant ice chest with reheating instructions.
“It was safe, and less expensive than a restaurant,” Gurnsey said.
The Farm at Pine Creek is currently serving dinner approximately three nights a week; The Farm also provides catering for weddings and other events. Gurnsey also periodically hosts a “Chef’s Table” event in her 160-year-old home, where a limited number of guests enjoy a multi-course gourmet meal.
“I am passionate about educating people about food, and the Chef’s Table experience lets me do that,” said Gurnsey. “It’s completely customized to each group.”
To view menus and current hours, and for more information, visit The Farm at Pine Creek on Facebook, or call 407-259-8226.