Lancaster City Restaurant Week Spotlight: Chef Lauren Yeagle of Decades Lancaster

There’s a new chef in town, and she has been delighting guests at Decades Lancaster with her take on Southern-style comfort food since their much-anticipated opening in the Spring. Chef Lauren Yeagle is now preparing for her very first Lancaster City Restaurant Week, and she is looking forward to marrying her background in Southern-style cooking with the local favorites and sourcing that she has learned to love since relocating to Lancaster.

Since arriving in Lancaster from Baltimore, Chef Lauren has been discovering the charms of cooking and living in a smaller city with a close-knit sense of community. “After only a few months I already know so many of the neighbors on the block where I live in the city. In all my years in Baltimore, I never got to know a long series of next-door neighbors.”  She has also become an ardent fan of Lancaster Central Market for sourcing fresh & local product and as a Saturday morning gathering place for other local chefs out choosing the best that Lancaster has to offer. Lancaster Central Market is a family favorite now too. Chef Lauren created a very special feast to celebrate her parent’s recent 36th wedding anniversary,  and all of the ingredients were lovingly chosen on a visit to Market!

The Lancaster City Restaurant Week Special Dinner Menu for Two created by Chef Lauren Yeagle for Decades Lancaster offers guests a wide variety of fresh & local bounty, a dose of Southern comfort and some creative choices that will warm the hearts of Lancaster vegans.

 

 

 

Start the Decades Lancaster menu with a spectacular take on Southern comfort food with Chef Lauren’s signature Skillet Cornbread – Torched-top house-made cornbread and cinnamon seared pork belly with Honey brown butter, chipotle grilled peaches, and fried sage.

 

Skillet Cornbread. Photo Credit: Michelle Johnsen Photography

 

You might also share a Southern classic with Chef Lauren’s distinctive (and gluten-free) Fried Green Tomatoes – Buttermilk soaked green tomatoes, cornmeal-crusted, and pan-fried with pickled red onion, bacon jam, crab salad, citrus & herb vinaigrette, and lemon thyme crema.

 

Fried Green Tomatoes. Photo Credit: Michelle Johnsen Photography

Chef Lauren has been a vegetarian since she was 12 years old and has long appreciated the health benefits of a vegan diet but also noted the sparsity of options for dining out. She wanted to provide those options, not just in a Restaurant Week menu, but introduce them regularly at Decades Lancaster as creative additions to the menu. Guest for Lancaster City Restaurant Week can choose as an imaginative entrée The Vegan South – “Drummies,” mac & cheese, greens with fried seitan drummies, cheezy campanelle mac,  and Caribbean-inspired greens. They might also share an amazing vegetarian starter of Little Lehigh Salad – shaved asparagus, grilled sweet local corn, fried goat cheese with Arugula, strawberry balsamic vinaigrette, and toasted almonds.

 

Little Lehigh Salad. Photo Credit: Michelle Johnsen Photography

Chef also takes great pride in the collaborative process in her kitchen and is eager to encourage feedback from her team. One of the entrées on the Lancaster City Restaurant Week menu was inspired by a member of the Decades kitchen team. Look for Greg’s Fried Catfish Po Boy – Cornmeal crusted catfish, grilled baguette, fresh-cut fries with a Bacon remoulade, house pickles, and butter lettuce

Plan a visit to Decades Lancaster for Lancaster City Restaurant WeekSeptember 16 thru 22 to discover the culinary talents of Chef Lauren Yeagle but be sure to return later in October when Chef will unveil a brand new menu. It is sure to be as bright as all the pinball game lights at Decades!

 

This season’s Lancaster City Restaurant Week Spotlight images were provided by our sponsor Michelle Johnsen Photography.