We’re lucky to have a great place to dine and get together right here in Bay Creek: Coach House Tavern is a convenient stop for a good meal and a great view of the golf course.
And now there’s a new energy in the air, courtesy of highly acclaimed chef (and local favorite), Shelly Cusmina.
We’re pleased to announce Shelly Cusmina as Executive Chef at Coach House Tavern. And while patrons at Coach House are already noticing one of her key achievements— shorter waits for (delicious) meals—she has a long history of excellence. Shelly Cusmina might be a name you’ve heard before. And if you’re a local, you have likely tasted her world-class cuisine, too.
Cusmina has enjoyed a successful and flavorful career in the industry. She is a graduate of Johnson & Wales University—a school that has turned more than its share of notable celebrity chefs, acclaimed restaurateurs and culinary consultants. So it’s no surprise that Shelly’s skills have made her a well-known talent on the Eastern Shore and beyond. As head chef at Aqua Restaurant, now Oyster Farm Seafood Eatery at King’s Creek, she cultivated a menu of fresh flavors, memorable meals and extreme comfort food (ask her about her ‘miraculous’ Famous Ham and Bean Soup!) Prior to that, she served as Executive Sous Chef at the beloved Lucky Star in Virginia Beach for nearly a decade.
If you’ve been fortunate enough to try her famous Signature She-Crab Soup or Red Curry Mussels (as featured on BonAppetit.com), your mouth may already be watering just thinking about your next visit to the Coach House Tavern with Shelly at the helm.
We chatted with Shelly about what she’s bringing to Coach House Tavern. While her background is in fine dining, she describes what she’s doing at Coach House as ‘casual fine dining.’ That means the fare will lighten up a bit and ‘healthy’ will be on the menu too. Food lovers need not worry—no one does ‘healthy’ as deliciously as Shelly. She is also tailoring the new menu based on the needs of the Coach House’s guests. For example, she’ll be doing breakfast that’s light, good and fast—“Golfers like to be in and out and on their way in the mornings,” Shelly notes.
“I like to tailor things to my customers,” she says. “It’s important for me to know my guests, their needs, and make them feel welcome.”
That she does. Though Shelly is running a tight ship in the kitchen, guests will often see her in the dining room, ensuring they are enjoying their meals, or just saying hello.
A lot of things figure into the way Shelly works. She enjoys using seasonal, locally sourced items when possible, she insists on using only sustainable fish, and (as those who have enjoyed her food will attest) she has an uncanny ability to ‘put stuff together.’ Flavors, textures… it all blends perfectly.
What can regular visitors to the Coach House Tavern expect on their next visit? Shelly brings with her a great menu, drastically reduced wait times, consistency, and a friendly atmosphere.
For those who haven’t yet enjoyed the delightful and delicious work of Shelly Cusmina, prepare to be amazed. For those who know her genius, come to the Coach House Tavern and enjoy!
A friendly chat and a fabulous meal will most certainly be on the menu, because Shelly wouldn’t have it any other way.
All of us at Bay Creek are so excited to welcome Shelly Cusmina as Executive Chef at Coach House Tavern—let’s eat!