The Millworks is a true to farm to table restaurant and Chef Lance Smith drives that mission home with his hyper local recipes.
The Millworks is built on a core foundation of building relationships and supporting regional and local sustainable agriculture. We have done this by working directly with many farmers to bring their hand harvested hard work to diners plates in Harrisburg. We take most of our Culinary directives from all the amazing farmers and producers we work with. We plan seasonal menus with the support of these farmers to either grow specific items for us or to help them utilize farm fresh products that they need to sell.
We have flexibility planned into our menu which allows us to work with these regional farmers as their crop abundance changes through out the year. At the end of the day we are here to show case the bounty of this regions agriculture by creating exciting delicious plates of food and drinks for our guests.
Looking back on my career, it really started with my upbringing, always cooking in the kitchen with my Mom and growing up in a family with a long lineage of food service. My first jobs as a teenager were in snack bars and ice cream shops. But my career really began when I went to culinary school in Williamsport, Pa at Pennsylvania College of Technology. I graduated with a Bachelors in Culinary Arts that gave me a sure foundation and strong footing to succeed professionally. I truly know my career would not have gone the way it has, had I not had the privilege to learn from so many amazing mentors and instructors at Penn College.
After college, I moved to Dallas, Tx to work for one of the creators of modern southwest cuisine and James Beard award winning Chef Stephan Pyle's at his name sake restaurant. I climbed the ranks at Stephan Pyles to become Executive Sous Chef. I then moved to Seattle, Wa to be Sous Chef at Google. Living and working in Seattle really opened my eyes to the ideas of farm fresh sustainability and how to manage incorporating the practices of only sourcing locally into a day to day operation. I moved back to Texas and became Chef de Cuisine at SMOKE with my good friend, Chef and Owner Tim Byres.
While at SMOKE, I helped Tim write his cook book on New Firewood Cooking. This book won a James Beard award and also while at SMOKE we achieved many national accolades like ten best dishes of the year by food and wine magazine, people choice best new chef by food and wine magazine as well as other national recognition. After almost ten years away from Central Pa, I found my way back home to The Millworks. I was hired as Executive Chef and after 3 years I now oversee all operations at The Millworks. Focusing on guest experience, food and beverage standards, brand recognition, marketing and anything else needed to promote The Millworks.
I love the relationships we have built with so many great inspirational individuals. We get to work directly with farmers, ranchers, artists, distillers, brewers, artisan craftsman, to name a few. Plus we have the greatest team of people dedicated to our mission and believing in everything the Millworks stands for. It is truly inspirational and rewarding on a day to day bases to be able to see and hear the positive feedback that our work at The Millworks creates for so many.
I love that we get to work with the best quality ingredients due to the care that was put into growing and harvesting these items. It truly makes our jobs a Chefs easier because properly grown or raised, locally sourced nutrient rich foods just simply taste better.