With the addition of Chef Jayme Wilks to the Timber Lodge team, the tried-and-true menu now features explosive flavor combinations

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The culinary style of Chef Jayme Wilks is best described as fusion cuisine, which combines elements of different culinary traditions that originate from a variety of countries and cultures. (Photography: Benjamin Margalit)

By Laura Briedis

Oftentimes on the way to work, Jayme Wilks will stop at a farmer’s market to get some culinary inspiration and to pick up locally sourced ingredients.

As the new chef at Timber Lodge, he uses whatever is in peak season as the springboard for his weekly features. Last month on Sweetest Day, a freshly picked crop of tomatoes inspired him to create an organic salad featuring an assortment of heirloom tomatoes, purple sweet peppers and watermelon radishes. He never knows what he will find, but uses it as inspiration to change up the weekly features.

Though he is adding some new culinary twists to the menu, Timber Lodge is staying true to its origins, which can be traced back to 1933 when the farmhouse was converted into a restaurant. You will find the same cold-aged, hand-cut steaks, prime rib served seven days a week, live lobsters, gigantic baked potatoes and towering carrot cake that the restaurant is known for on its dining menu.

“Chef Jayme is blending old world and new world, keeping the core of the menu that made Timber Lodge famous, yet coming up with new and innovative weekly features,” says restaurant owner Lynn Zarcone.

“The kitchen is his sandbox and while other chefs are using tried-and-true shovels and pails to make their castles, Chef Jayme is using his hands to make skyscrapers.”

Born in Montreal and raised in Maryland, Chef Jayme was a pre-med major at the University of Buffalo studying cognitive science and medicinal chemistry before leaving school to pursue his dream of becoming a chef.

Weekly Timber Lodge features include fresh fish, like this seared salmon with a citrus aioli, grilled asparagus and fresh jicama slaw.

“I decided I did not want to work in a lab, but in a kitchen, instead,” he says. “When I was growing up, celebrity chef Alton Brown of Good Eats was a big inspiration to me, as I always was into science. I treat food as both an art and a science.”

“You eat with your eyes first, so I like to create a wow factor with my plate presentation,” he says.

“Last weekend I prepared golden tilefish on a sweet potato crab cake and served it with asparagus, strawberry relish and lime crema, which made for a colorful plate presentation,” he notes. “I am planning on putting more emphasis on seafood in the coming year.”

Chef Jayme’s culinary style is best described as fusion cuisine, which combines elements of different culinary traditions that originate from different countries and cultures.

Asian BBQ glazed ribs with sesame chilled green bean salad is served as a weekly feature appetizer at Timber Lodge.

“I love taking ingredients from one culture, like Asian, and using a French technique, for example,” says Chef Jayme, who was the former sous chef at Don’s Pomeroy House, where he shaped his craft. “I also love using ingredients that jump off your tongue, like lemon peel and red wine vinegar, which brings life to the food.”

Timber Lodge is located at 2809 Pearl Road in Medina. Open seven days a week for dinner, as well as brunch on Sundays. Hours are Monday-Saturday, 4 p.m. to close; Sunday, 11 a.m. to close. The phone number is 330-725-6288. Call-ahead seating is available Sunday-Thursday. Visit TimberLodgeMedina.com for more information.