If you’ve had the pleasure of dining at Reflections Restaurant in Leola, you may be surprised to know that the talented executive chef is just 25 years old. Chef Shoff started taking cooking classes in his senior year of high school just to kill time.
“I didn’t grow up cooking,” Kerek says. “But one month before graduation, everyone kept asking me ‘What are you doing?’ and my cooking teacher asked if I was going to culinary school. So I applied and got into York Technical Institute.” After almost two years of culinary school, Chef Shoff got very involved and interested in cooking as a career. He eventually had an externship at the Nemacolin Woodlands Resort which has seven restaurants, bars, and lounges across its property.
Following his externship at the resort, Kerek worked for the General Sutter in Lititz and then Mazi (now TÈ). After experiencing every type of restaurant style at Nemacolin, from fine dining to the pub feeling, Chef Shoff decided his niche was within fine dining in a tavern-like environment. Almost two years ago, the owners of Reflections asked Kerek to be the executive chef. “They trusted me. I’ve always worked for the chef. Now I’m the head chef.” He laughs, “Most of my line cooks are older than me.”
His goal as the chef was to create a full and funky menu in every category possible, from appetizers to sandwiches to filling entrées to dessert. Chef Shoff wants everyone who comes in to try something they’ve never had before. “If you’ve never had duck before, try it,” he encourages.
Reflections is truly hidden gem. If you haven’t had the pleasure of dining here yet, I implore you to do so. And take Chef Shoff’s advice: Try something you’ve never tried before. You won’t be disappointed.