the people behind the magic
It takes a talented team to create the food and beverages served at Community table.
Meet Chef Christian Hunter and Head Bartender Karen Veillette.
Chef Christian Hunter
“My intention is, to have every dish I serve tell a story,” says Christian Hunter, Ct's Head Chef. “I want our customers to say 'Wow', this is the best thing I’ve ever eaten.’” What makes Christian’s cooking sing is the combination of experiences and tastes that has informed his palette. A native of Lexington, Kentucky, he earned a culinary degree from Paul Smith’s College in upstate New York and cooked at Relais & Châteaux’s Lake Placid Lodge and The Weekapaug Inn in Rhode Island. It was when he moved to South Carolina that his cooking really took off. “I had technical proficiency but the restaurant scene in Charleston is incredibly exciting, and it introduced me to all kinds of new ingredients and ideas.”
I love to find the hottest and spiciest foods where ever I travel—and I can endure the highest levels of heat! At home I make and bottle my own hot sauce from the hottest local peppers I can source.
When Christian took on the role of Chef at CT he was already familiar with the area, having worked previously at the former Millstone Café in Kent. “One of the most exciting things about cooking in the northwest corner now is the explosion of small organic farms in the area,” he says. “Everything we do at Ct is seasonal and almost all our ingredients are locally sourced. It’s an intimate thing, working with farmers. Getting to know them and their culture really informs how I feel about the food I make.” To him the great advantage of working seasonally is that not only is he always getting the freshest ingredients but it also permits him to continually innovate with the menu and provide his guests with an exciting variety of new dishes. “People don’t want the same thing all the time. They want an experience that will give them a memory.”
Head Bartender Karen Veillette
Karen joined the Community table team as our Lead Bartender in 2020, bringing her unique passion for mixology and depth of knowledge of herbs and plants to inspire her approach to creating Community table’s ever-changing menu of cocktails. “I have always been fascinated by the magic of plants, and the art of crafting potions and recipes. Ct is a perfect environment to play with nature, to keep with our farm to table concept, to create cocktails using the freshest ingredients and the energy of the season.” says Karen. Her goal is to serve our guests drinks that not only please the palate, but also conjure up feelings, memories, and experiences. “Over the winter I was walking in the woods one chilly afternoon, took a deep breath of cold air, sighed into the warmth of my heavy coat, and decided to make a drink encompassing the invigorating feeling of a “Winter Chill.” The drink— a blend of gin, rosemary, mint and crisp, sparkling bubbles—to this day is one of my favorite creations.
Community table’s hallmark ambiance, and Karen’s natural warmth makes the bar an easy and welcoming destination for casual diners and those just coming in to enjoy a special cocktail that is anything but ordinary. Being a bartender isn’t just about serving food and drinks, it’s about providing an experience. “It’s my honor to be able to learn and navigate the needs of our guests in a way that is genuine and in alignment with my own love of the hospitality industry.”
As a Connecticut native, Karen studied the culinary arts and hospitality management since high school. After a move to Boston where she worked front of house as server, bartender and then manager for Boston’s largest restaurant group, she moved across the country to Arizona where she studied Holistic Heathcare, herbalism, food energetics, flower essence healing and mind/body transformational psychology.
Bumba Rum, Coconut Water & Lime
We named it S.O.S because it makes you feel like you are taking a Sunset Ocean Swim.