Forever Gourmet and Salamander Resort & Spa

By Dulcy B. Hooper

For Atticus and Roberta Marcenaro Lyon, Middleburg residents and co-founders of Forever Gourmet, introducing a Michelin-starred chef to the local community is very much in keeping with their vision. “From the beginning,” said Roberta, “we’ve wanted to connect the world through food. One of our biggest goals has been to bring world class chefs from around the globe to the United States, merging the best of global and local.”

Roberta, who started her first restaurant at the young age of 22, is a native of Liguria, Italy. “I was nearly born in my mother’s restaurant,” she said. “Food is in my blood.” When she and husband Atticus embarked upon Forever Gourmet three years ago, they wanted not only to work with prominent chefs, but also to identify artisanal producers of high quality gourmet food for import. Their products are now sold at stores around the country, and can be found locally at Salamander Market, Gentle Harvest, the Farm Store at Greenhill Vineyards, the Locke Store, and The Town Duck.

Michelin-Starred Chef Davide Palluda, Roberta Marcenaro Lyon, and Robert Ittner of Aspen Cooking School.

In 2017, the Cooking School of Aspen served as their first venue for bringing in celebrated chefs from other parts of the world. “Davide Palluda was actually the first chef that we brought to the United States,” said Roberta. “The three-day event was sold out and was a big success. We could hardly wait for the next experience.”

Since then, Forever Gourmet has grown and now works with leading hotels like the Salamander Resort & Spa, Ritz-Carlton, Four Seasons, and Relais Chateaux to develop and provide exceptional and unique culinary experiences for their guests. And now, the couple will be bringing Chef Davide Palluda back to the United States for a three-day weekend of cooking experiences, in partnership with the Salamander Resort & Spa, in the first of many Michelin-starred dinners and culinary events to come.

“It seems perfect in so many ways,” said Roberta. “Chef Palluda, who is from the Piedmont region in northern Italy, will be bringing his talent to the Piedmont region in northern Virginia. He will be working with local materials here, very different from what he finds in Italy.”

Chef Davide Palluda.

Chef Palluda is internationally famous for his celebrated Italian eateries, Enoteca and Laboratory DP, and has been noted for his use of innovative techniques. In 2000, Palluda was elected best young chef of the year by the Espresso Guide. That same year, he was awarded a Michelin star. He is widely acknowledged as being one of the best Italian chefs in the world.

The three-day event at Salamander Resort & Spa will take place March 22-24, and those interested can purchase tickets for one event or for the entire schedule. The event kicks off with a Barolo wine and antipasti reception with Chef Palluda and Salamander Executive Chef Ryan Arensdorf on March 22. On Saturday, March 23, there is a hands-on cooking class in the afternoon and an eight-course tasting menu that evening. The tasting will combine classic Northern Italian favorites, including pasta made from scratch, with ingredients from local Virginia farms.

A special room offer for overnight accommodations March 23-24, 2019 which includes access for two to the eight-course dinner is available. To learn more, visit:

And to cap off the weekend, there is a three-course Sunday brunch, showcasing a combination of Italian favorites from Chef Palluda and Virginia ingredients from Chef Arensdorf. “We are so excited that this is happening in Middleburg,” said Roberta, “and we are very excited that Forever Gourmet is developing in this direction. We look forward to expanding this partnership with Salamander and to offering their guests and the Middleburg community the very best the world has to offer in food and wine.”

Chef Davide Palluda and Atticus Lyon, Forever Gourmet.

Those interested can enjoy each event a la carte, or experience it all with the Michelin-Starred Chef Weekend package. For more information and to purchase tickets, visit Salamander’s website or call 540-326-4070.

The Chef Davide Palluda Package includes access to all culinary events and is available for $500 per person; events may also be enjoyed a la carte.
The Michelin-Star Weekend with Chef Davide Palluda features:

Barolo & Antipasti

March 22 | 5:30 p.m.
Harrimans Cooking Studio | $46 per person

An open conversation on Chef Palluda’s passion for cooking, while enjoying delicious antipasti paired with Barolo wines.

Italian Cooking Class
March 23 | 2 p.m.
Harrimans Cooking Studio | $120 per person

A hands-on class lead by Chef Palluda on how to make his signature pasta from scratch.

Eight-Course Tasting Menu
March 23 | 7 p.m.
Harrimans Cooking Studio | $279 per person
A curated dinner combining Chef Palluda’s classic Northern Italian favorites with the best ingredients from local Virginia farms.

Three-Course Brunch
March 24 | 11 a.m. – 1 p.m.
Harrimans Cooking Studio
| $78 per person
Chef Palluda and Salamander Resort & Spa’s Executive Chef, Ryan Arensdorf, team up to prepare a decadent three-course brunch showcasing Italian favorites and hearty Virginian ingredients.

This article first appeared in the March 2019 issue of Middleburg Life.