Chef Colin Bedford
Executive Chef, The Fearrington House Restaurant
Cooking for you at The Relais & Chateaux Gala and Harvest Party—NOLA.
Colin Bedford is the executive chef of The Fearrington House Restaurant, one of the most venerable farm-to-fork restaurants in the South, where his cuisine interplays the legendary culinary traditions of the American South, local ingredients, and his own English roots.
Bedford’s culinary interests started at an early age, he says, enamored by his mother’s home baking and helping his father water the vegetable garden. After graduating from Yeovil College in Somerset, with a Diploma in Hospitality, he took on his first full-time job in 1996. He became an apprentice at The Castle Hotel, a Norman fortress built in the 12th century, where he worked under esteemed British chef Phil Vickery. The Castle Hotel, like Fearrington, is a family-run property, known for fostering up-and-coming chefs.
Bedford joined The Fearrington House in 2005 and was promoted to Executive Chef in 2008. Since then, his exceptional menus have won critical acclaim. The Fearrington House earned a national ranking as one of the top hotel food destinations in the world (Condé Nast Traveler). It is also one of only two inn and restaurant combinations in the U.S. to have the Forbes Five-Star and AAA Five Diamond awards. In 2012, Bedford was named a Grand Chef by Relais & Châteaux, the international culinary world’s highest honor.
The Fearrington House, Pittsboro, North Carolina
Inn owners RB and Jenny Fitch were captivated by their stays at Relais & Chateaux properties in Europe and during a stay at The Point, a small Relais property originally built as a woodlands retreat for the Rockefellers in New York’s Adirondack Mountains, the Fitches found themselves the only guests at the establishment. They chatted with the Innkeeper who explained in depth what Relais stood for and what it meant for them to be a member and an idea was born.
In the mid-1980s, the Fitches went to Paris to seek Relais membership for the Fearrington Restaurant, only to be told they did not qualify, since at that time, only properties featuring both a restaurant and inn would be considered. “So we built an inn,” said RB.
RB and Jenny took landscape designer Dan Sears and architect Jon Condoret to numerous English country inns to generate ideas and inspiration for the new building. In 1986, the Inn Building was constructed adjacent to the Restaurant. It featured 14 rooms tucked around a courtyard of flagstone paths and gardens. On the Inn’s south side, a flagstone patio led guests to the trellised Jenny’s Garden, with a water sculpture centerpiece inspired by the Belted Galloway cows and designed by North Carolina artist Wayne Trapp.
The Fitches found success with their next application when in 1988, Fearrington House Inn and Restaurant was accepted as a member of Relais & Chateaux.
The Inn doubled in size in 1995 with the construction of the Park Building, a two story building that consists of several shops on the first floor facing the Village Center, and Inn rooms throughout. Inn suites in the Park Building are larger than in the Inn Building, and many have individual private courtyard entrances. There are now a total of 32 suites at the Inn.