VLRA presents award winners, names Zachadynk industry pioneer
COLCHESTER, Vt. — Jon “Zack” Zachadynk, owner of On the Rocks Restaurant in Montgomery Center, Vt., was named 1998 Pioneer of the Industry by the Vermont Lodging & Restaurant Association during the group’s annual awards ceremony here.
Zachadynk, easily recognized in his trademark purple caftan and well-known for his generosity, was honored for his lifetime of dedication to Vermont’s hospitality industry. He has operated On the Rocks for 36 years. In 1996 the restaurant was credited with having “One of the Most Romantic Dining Rooms in New England” by the TV Food Network show “In Food Today.”
Zachadynk was working as a chef at a resort in High-gate Springs, Vt., when he decided to take a drive to the ski mecca of Stowe, Vt. On the way he was sidetracked by a breathtaking view visible from a rock on a hill in Montgomery Center. He decided immediately to purchase the land.
When bankers refused to help fund his vision of a hilltop dining sanctuary, some carpenter friends joined forces to help him build it. Soon the property also housed Zachadynk’s home, called Off the Rocks, and a romantic guest house called For the Rocks. Zachadynk chose purple for his caftan because it matched the flowers on the mountain.
Renowned for his personalized service, Zachadynk is also known for his generosity. Every year he hosts a Christmas luncheon for senior citizens, who also dress in purple, and a “Purple Day” for local elementary-school students. In 1991, Zachadynk was named the VLRA’s Restaurateur of the Year.
At the same ceremony, Robert Fuller, owner of Pauline’s Restaurant in South Burlington, Vt., was named 1998 Restaurateur of the Year.
A graduate of The Culinary Institute of America, Fuller has owned and operated fine-dining restaurants in northern Vermont for more than 25 years. He is best known for his dedication to using local products, including the mushrooms, leeks and fiddleheads he scouts himself. He has operated Pauline’s since 1982 and last year acquired Leunig’s Bistro in Burlington. He also operated the Deja Vu Cafe from 1987 to 1994.
Other award winners include:
* S. Lee Bowden, vice president and general manager of The Equinox in Manchester, Vt., who received the Borden E. Avery Innkeeper of the Year Award.
* Sue Anderson, owner of the Siebeness Inn in Stowe, Vt., who was named 1998 Bed & Breakfast Operator of the Year.
* Robert Cooper, owner of Burlington Foodservice Co. in Burlington, who was named 1998 Allied Member of the Year.
Separately, Ron Clausen, general manager of the Holiday in Waterbury-Stowe, was elected VLRA chairman; Brill Williams of the Inn at Saw Mill Farm in West Dover was elected first vice chairman; Bill Skilling of the Jolly Butcher Restaurant in Brattleboro was elected second vice chairman; and Rich Smith of Hickok & Boardman in Stowe will serve as treasurer. Don Urbahn, general manager of the Hampton Inn in Colchester, is immediate past chairman.
The VLRA also announced several new directors, including: Joe Flynn of Pepsi-Cola Bottling in South Burlington; Chris Francis of Ye Olde England lane in Stowe; Randy Ziter of the Putney Inn in Putney; Dennis Smith of the Marina Restaurant in Brattleboro; Max Eaton of Otter Creek Awnings in Middlebury; and Greg Smith of The Vermont Inn in Killington.
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