Tory Glossner: So Excited To Think About What’s Next For Our Menu!

– by Cara Aungst

Pine Grove Hall’s Executive Chef Tory Glossner is a Happy Valley native, but creating and serving up some of the area’s most innovative and tasty dishes wasn’t always on his bucket list.

Tory Glossner touch up

“When I was a kid, I either wanted to be a veterinarian or do something with food,” he said. “I can remember as far back as 4-5 years old, sitting on my parent’s kitchen counter, rolling meatballs by hand and making a mess, or coming home from elementary school to watch the Food Network instead of working on my homework. Cooking has always been my way of showing someone I cared about them and wanted them to be happy.”

He ultimately applied to out-of-state culinary schools with the primary goal of getting out of central PA. After school in Rhode Island, his travels took him to New York City, Washington, D.C. and San Francisco. After a few years, he decided to come back home to Happy Valley.

“Growing up, I couldn’t wait to get out of here, travel, explore. I got that — I spent some time in Japan and Korea — and then I came back.”

Tory Glossner food

Tory moved back to the area and cooked for RE Farm Cafe when it first opened, as well as offering popup dining experiences under his own name. His roommate heard about a new restaurant opening in Pine Grove Mills, and Tory sent a blind email with his resume. The owners of Pine Grove Hall asked him to come and cook for them… and then asked him to come back again. The rest is history.

“I remember watching the Food Network as a kid and asking ‘why don’t we do this kind of thing here?’ Good food can blend together. I want to do something different.”

And that’s exactly what he's done. In the mornings, he meets with farmers — some of whom he went to high school with — to see what’s in season and what will end up on his menu. “I get so excited when I see what’s fresh — I lay in bed thinking of the next thing I want to put on the menu. Picking what’s next. You could eat here five weeks in a row and eat something different every week.”

Pine Grove Hall outside

He says his goal for visitors is that they leave happy. “I want them to leave having tried something that they’ve never tried before. Our menu is approachable, but I also like to throw a curveball. I love when people are hesitant. I tell them to try it, and if they don’t like it, they don’t pay for it. I love to read the comment cards to find out what people have tried and loved.”

His other goal? To make sure guests know that his coworkers are some of the most amazingly hard workers he knows. “In the restaurant business, it’s not uncommon to work 12-16 hours. They are working for something that they love, and that gives them purpose. These people work so hard. They really care.”

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