LuxeGetaways Magazine – Fall 2016 | 2016 is a very special year for The Omni Homestead Resort, as this iconic property is celebrating their 250th anniversary. Considered America’s first resort, and without a doubt, one of the most storied resorts, The Omni Homestead Resort offers an unparalleled level of hospitality and that quintessential southern charm we all love. With amazing views of the Allegheny Mountains from every inch of this 2,000-acre property, guests can relax in the natural healing springs; savor the fine and casual dining options available around the resort; pamper themselves at the award-winning spa; tee off on the oldest first tee in America still in use while enjoying golf at one of their two resort courses; breath-in the fresh air while horseback riding, fly fishing or other outdoor activities; or simply walk the halls and enjoy the luxurious surroundings and service. This is all in a day while living the good life at The Omni Homestead Resort.

Chef Greg Barnhill

Each year, Executive Chef Greg Barnhill and his team kick off the Holiday Season with a Thanksgiving Weekend Celebration that is centered around the amazing meal that showcases the best of the best when it comes to enjoying an impressive feast in glorious surroundings. Barnhill has a culinary career that spans three decades, and has been involved in almost every aspect of food service from NFL stadiums, free standing restaurants, private clubs, and iconic resort hotels to private and commercial airline catering.  Barnhill arrived to the historic Omni Homestead Resort in 2012, after a five-year stint at the famed Broadmoor in Colorado Springs. Since his arrival, Barnhill has been deeply entrenched in the renovation and repositioning of the food and beverage offerings at the resort, in addition to participating in many gastronomic expositions throughout Virginia.

The Thanksgiving weekend is a magical time at The Omni Homestead Resort, complete with the many resort activities available to the entire family, as well as the annual tree lighting event and Thanksgiving menus guaranteed to satisfy the most discerning of guests. Executive Chef Greg Barnhill’s menu on Thanksgiving includes a variety of salads, seafood, turkey, ham and favorites like potatoes, gravy, sweet potatoes, vegetables and decedent desserts to round out the meals perfectly. Barnhill is sharing several favorite recipes from The Omni Homestead Resort with LuxeGetaways so that we can inspire your Thanksgiving menu this year. Have a great Thanksgiving with your friends and family.

Roasted Heritage Turkey


  • 1 (14 to 16 pound) fresh Heritage Tom Turkey

For the brine:

  • 1 cup kosher salt
  • 1/2 cup light brown sugar
  • 1 gallon vegetable stock
  • 1 tablespoon black peppercorns
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons whole cloves
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons star anise
  • 1 gallon heavily iced water

For the aromatics:

  • 1 red apple, sliced
  • 1/2 onion, sliced
  • 1 yellow onion, 1/4erd
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 1 cup water
  • 4 sprigs rosemary
  • 6 leaves sage
  • Canola oil


Two days before Thanksgiving: Combine the vegetable stock, salt, brown sugar, peppercorns, cloves, and star anise in a large stockpot over medium-high heat. Stir occasionally to dissolve solids and bring to a boil. Then remove the brine from the heat, cool to room temperature, and refrigerate overnight.

On the morning before Thanksgiving: Combine the brine, water and ice in the 5-gallon bucket. Place the turkey (with innards removed) breast side down in brine. If necessary, weigh down the bird with a heavy saucepan to ensure it is fully immersed, cover, and refrigerate or set in cool area overnight, turning the bird once half way through brining.

On Thanksgiving Day: Preheat the oven to 500 degrees F. Remove the bird from brine and rinse inside and out with cold water. Discard the brine.

Place the bird on roasting rack inside a half sheet pan and pat dry with paper towels.

Combine the apple, onion, cinnamon stick, and 1 cup of water in a microwave safe dish and microwave on high for 5 minutes. Add steeped aromatics to the turkey’s cavity along with the rosemary and sage. Tuck the wings underneath the bird and coat the skin liberally with canola oil.

Roast the turkey on lowest level of the oven at 500 degrees F for 30 minutes. Insert a probe thermometer into thickest part of the breast and reduce the oven temperature to 350 degrees F. set the thermometer alarm to 161 degrees or roast for 2 to 2 1/2 hours if you do not have a probe. Let the turkey rest, loosely covered with foil for 15 minutes before carving.

Sausage and Cranberry Stuffing


  • 16 cups 1-inch bread cubes, white or sourdough (1 1/2 pound loaf)
  • 8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter
  • 2 cups medium-diced yellow onion (2 onions)
  • 1 cup medium-diced celery (2 stalks)
  • 2 Granny Smith apples, unpeeled, cored and large-diced
  • 2 tablespoons chopped flat-leaf parsley
  • 1 tablespoon kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 3/4 pound sweet or spicy Italian sausage, casings removed
  • 1 cup chicken stock
  • 1 cup dried cranberries


Preheat the oven to 300 degrees F.

Place the bread cubes in a single layer on a sheet pan and bake for 7 minutes. Raise the oven temperature to 350 degrees F. Remove the bread cubes to a very large bowl.

Meanwhile, in a large sauté pan, melt the butter and add the onions, celery, apples, parsley, salt and pepper. Sauté over medium heat for 10 minutes, or until the vegetables are softened. Add to the bread cubes.

In the same sauté pan, cook the sausage over medium heat for about 10 minutes, until browned and cooked through, breaking up the sausage with a fork while cooking. Add to the bread cubes and vegetables.

Add the chicken stock and cranberries to the mixture, mix well, and pour into a 9 by 12-inch baking dish. Bake for 30 minutes, until browned on top and hot in the middle. Serve warm.

Pine Bough Baked Prince Edward Isle Mussels

Serves 4


  • 2lbs mussels
  • 4 fresh cut pine boughs approximately 4 inches in length
  • 1 Samuel Adams Winter Lager
  • ½ lb compound butter (recipe to follow)
  • 4 sprigs fresh rosemary
  • Extra virgin olive oil
  • Sea salt
  • 1 artisan sour dough bread loaf


In four small to medium cast iron skillets divide the beer into each. Place a sprig of rosemary and one pine bough on top of the beer. Divide the mussels into the four skillets (be sure to wash in cold water and remove the beards and any debris from the shells). Divide the butter into four portions and place on top of the mussels. Place in a preheated 375 degree oven and bake for 15 min or until shells open and remove from oven, drizzle with the olive oil and sprinkle with sea salt to taste. Serve immediately with crusty sour dough bread to sop up the butter.

Compound Butter


  • 1 lb unsalted butter
  • 1 medium shallot minced
  • 2 tbl minced fresh garlic
  • 3 tbl fresh squeezed lemon juice
  • 1 tbl minced anchovy
  • 1 tbl Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 tea Tabasco sauce
  • 2 tbl minced Italian parsley
  • 1 tbl minced fresh thyme
  • 1 tbl sea salt
  • 2 tea ground white pepper


Bring butter to room temperature and mince all the ingredients while butter is tempering. In an electric mixing bowl, add butter and all the minced ingredients and blend on low speed. Add the lemon juice, Worcestershire and Tabasco and blend. Remove from bowl and place on sheet of plastic wrap, roll into cylinder and place in refrigerator.

Chocolate Cherry Cobbler


  • 7-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2-1/2 cups white sugar
  • 3 tablespoons and 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 2-1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 1-1/4 cups butter
  • 5 cups chocolate chips
  • 5 egg
  • 1-1/4 cups milk
  • 5 (21 ounce) cans cherry pie filling


Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Coat a 2 quart casserole dish with vegetable cooking spray. Melt chocolate chips in a measuring cup in the microwave, stirring every 20 seconds until smooth. Let stand for 5 minutes to cool slightly.

In a medium bowl, stir together the flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt. Cut in butter until the dough is a uniform crumbly texture. Beat the egg into the melted chocolate chips, and then stir the milk in. Pour the chocolate mixture into the dry ingredients, and stir until well blended.

Pour the cherry pie filling in an even layer in the bottom of the greased casserole dish. Drop spoonfuls of the chocolate batter over the cherries in a random pattern.

Bake for 40 to 45 minutes in the preheated oven, until top crust is not doughy when lifted. Serve warm.

Photos Courtesy The Omni Homestead Resort

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