“It really has nothing to do with your cooking skills per se,” Hayes said about the TV show. “It’s just how well can you handle curveballs. Some of that’s very intriguing to me, because I feel like that’s the business that I’m in is always getting a curveball. There’s always something — either the guests or somebody calls out or surprise, your cooler’s down and you’ve got to work out of this other cooler.
“Whatever it is, there’s always something like that in our business. So it’s how well can you adapt to what’s going on. … I just kind of went in [to the TV show] open-minded and just figured I could take whatever was coming at me. … It was a unique experience, hands down.”
Hosted by Alton Brown, the reality cooking show challenges four chefs to prepare a dish that later will be judged by a celebrity guest. While trying to make memorable creations, Hayes and his fellow competitors have to stay focused amidst various sabotages in which participants try to thwart each other’s success.
“I had a lot of fun. I can tell you that there are some awesome sabotages, better than the ones I’ve seen that I’ve been watching,” Hayes said, referring to viewing other “Cutthroat Kitchen” episodes. “… With it being named the ‘Superhero Sabotage,’ it pretty much holds true to its name.”
Supporting Hayes’ efforts, Barnsley Resort is reaching out to the public and presenting a pair of offerings related to his TV appearance. Following the episode’s debut, TV viewers can participate in a Twitter chat with @Chef_Hayes Tuesday from 12:30 to 1:30 p.m. Hosted by @BarnsleyResort and @A_FashionFoodie, the chat will provide a behind-the-scenes look at his experience on “Cutthroat Kitchen.” To participate, individuals need to send questions via Twitter, #BarnsleyChef.
On Aug. 30, Barnsley Resort will offer a “Cutthroat Kitchen”-inspired Battle of the Burger Contest. Hosted by Hayes, the competition will reward the team that can overcome challenges to prepare the most delectable burger. Starting at 11 a.m., the Battle of the Burger Contest will cost teams $25 to enter.
With more than 15 years of culinary experience, Hayes joined Barnsley Resort in April. Along with leading a team of 30 chefs, the North Carolina native also is in charge of developing the menus for the site’s three dining venues: the outdoor Beer Garden, Rice House and The Woodlands Grill.
“He has a strong passion for the culinary arts and for Barnsley as well,” said Michael Gordon, general manager for Barnsley Resort. “He really is a unique chef, where he sort of is working with the new South -- [that is] the way that I look at it.
“When we were looking for a new chef, we were looking for somebody that was dynamic, that could make us a culinary destination. And Adam is that person. … His personality is fantastic and so guests meet him and they get to taste his food and they understand that, that can only happen here at Barnsley.”
Located at 597 Barnsley Gardens Road in Adairsville, Barnsley Resort features a wide array of amenities, some of which include guest cottages, historic ruins, landscaped gardens, a full-serve spa, restaurants and a golf course. The 3,300-acre venue dates back to the 19th century, when Godfrey Barnsley built an Italianate villa in memory of his wife, Julia, who died during its construction.
“When I came here I knew I had to be here because this is really more me than it is in a straight up hotel … in a corporate environment,” Hayes said. “This is more of a single-owner kind of [operation] open to real creative ideas and trying new stuff on a culinary level and that’s really what drives me personally. … I went on the grand tour, but I think it was the ruins that really kind of sucked me in. I think once you get there, you get back to the historical piece of it. It really [drives] that story of Godfrey Barnsley and Julia.
“… I always want to cut some of that into what we’re doing, but stay true to the traditions. I think that’s a big piece that is coming back full force these days. … Southern cooking is the big thing right now in the culinary world. Everybody’s talking about it. Most of the restaurants are doing it. People are really rooted, talking about the history … and that’s really what I hope to bring to Barnsley.”
Seeking to provide the freshest ingredients, Hayes plans to develop the resort’s gardens and connect with Bartow County’s agricultural community.
“My dream would be sustainability at its finest, maximize it as much as possible,” Hayes said. “I think we’ll get there. It just takes time. We’re at the foundational stage right now, just building some foundations. But our gardens get bigger every year … and we’re really trying to utilize that as much as possible.
“… As the chef of the resort, I want to support the local community as well that’s around us because the closer it is to us, the fresher it’s going to be. … I’d rather purchase from some of the local community and if it’s unique … that’s a story that I can tell too, to our guests that are coming in. … It’s back to that roots and traditions piece, is that it really is about supporting each other and the community.”
For more information about Barnsley Resort, visit http://www.barnsleyresort.com/ or call 770-773-7480.