Lukas Smith – Chef & Dining Services Director
Chef Lukas grew up on the north shore of Long Island where, from a young age, he spent time cooking with his great-grandmother, who was from Calabria, Italy and his grandmother. They instilled in him the love of making people happy through food.
Working in kitchens since he was 14, Chef Lukas launched his culinary career at various restaurants and private clubs throughout Long Island and Manhattan. He graduated from the French Culinary Institute in Manhattan where he had the opportunity to work with such Chefs as Jacques Pépin and Andre Soltner. He also earned a certificate in Baking and Pastry from New York Institute of Technology. One of his early successes was as Sous-Chef and Pastry Chef for the Mill River Inn, rated number one restaurant by Zagat for six years.
Before moving to the Hudson Valley, Chef Lukas was a baker for the Ritz-Carlton in Sarasota, Florida. There, he worked under Laurent LeLargue, the biggest influence on Chef Lukas to this day. A native of Normandy, France, LeLargue taught Chef Lukas the meaning of professionalism in the kitchen, where there is no such thing as a menial task. From this mentor, Lukas learned to always take pride in his work.
Chef Lukas is married with three wonderful children. He spends as much time with them as possible, hiking, cycling, kayaking and camping. He is extremely happy he and his family settled in the Hudson Valley with its abundance of local farms and markets as well as its proximity to Manhattan and the beach.