New Executive Chef RJ Cooper debuts Sage & Sparrow at Wheatleigh
Lenox, MA (November 7, 2023): The Berkshires’ 5-Star Gilded Age mansion turned hotel, the Wheatleigh, ushers in a new era of culinary innovation, welcoming Rogue-24’s James Beard award-winning chef, RJ Cooper as Executive Chef as he debuts Sage & Sparrow, a multi-course culinary journey through the Berkshires and Hawthorne, the hotel’s upscale casual dining venue.
With only eight highly coveted tables hosting guests per evening, Sage & Sparrow showcases a seasonally inspired, rotating 10-14 course tasting menu set against views of the manicured acres of lush parkland—landscaped by the great Frederick Law Olmsted, of Central Park fame. Sage & Sparrow will offer cuisine prepared using a hyper-local focus to provide an elevated dining experience never before seen in the region and paired with wines from their world-class cellar.
“We are excited to introduce this special dining concept by the talented Chef RJ Cooper at Wheatleigh, adding a much-desired elevated dining destination to our current offerings, and to provide guests with a new, dynamic venue that celebrates the culinary bounty of the Berkshires reflecting the story of the region,” says Molly Berg General Manager of Wheatleigh Hotel.
Drawing inspiration from vast experience during his career, Chef RJ Cooper’s offerings emphasize his relationships with local farmers, foragers, and fishermen. Notable farms Cooper sources from include High Lawn Farm, Bartlett’s Orchard, Red Shirt Farm, Sawyer Farm, and Scarecrow Farm. Sage & Sparrow is open for dinner Thursday through Sunday, the daily tasting menu which will evolve weekly, includes dishes such as fermented pumpkin seed risotto with black truffle and 100-month parmigiano reggiano and bluefin tuna belly with juniper and horseradish.
“I am grateful to have the opportunity to work in the Berkshires and to create a distinctive dining concept from the ground up that pays homage to outstanding producers located around our stunning hotel,” says Chef RJ Cooper. He adds, “Sage & Sparrow is a continuous study of the Berkshires while elevating food using a modernist canvas that tells our story.”
Along with Sage & Sparrow, Hawthorne, provides an upscale casual dining offering with la carte menus for breakfast, lunch, dinner, and weekend brunch. Hawthorne takes inspiration from the locals with 60-day dry aged beef tartare, coal-roasted whole Rhode Island fluke, Maine monkfish tail, and an STS Burger which originated at Saint Stephen in Nashville, the restaurant RJ Cooper owned. This summer, guests can look forward to the return of the popular Midsummer BBQ Series, a 3-course pre-theater menu, and new for 2024, made-to-order picnic baskets to enjoy on the lawns of Tanglewood, the summer home of the Boston Symphony Orchestra.
About Wheatleigh: A peaceful, secluded, and private sanctuary in The Berkshires, Wheatleigh is one of the smallest Leading Hotels of the World, with 19 guest rooms in an elegant Gilded Age mansion just two hours from Boston and three hours from New York. Its signature fine-dining restaurant, Sage & Sparrow by Chef RJ Cooper, opened in November 2023 and offers an evolving seasonal menu representing an avant-garde culinary journey through the Berkshires. Lenox and the surrounding villages are home to world-renowned art and entertainment including Tanglewood, the summer home of the Boston Symphony Orchestra, Shakespeare & Company, and Berkshire Theater Festival. For more information visit www.wheatleigh.com.