A Rich History
How Reflections Chef Danny Bunting Returned To His Culinary Roots
From the hand dug well dating back to 1739 to the stained glass windows from Lancaster County Courthouse, Reflections Restaurant is wrought with relics from the rich history of Lancaster County. A relic himself, line cook and Pennsylvania School of Culinary Arts student, Daniel “Danny” Bunting has worked with Reflections since he was 16 years old. A Lancaster County native, Danny started out as dishwasher at Reflections for his first ever job, and worked his way up through the restaurant. Now, he’s in part responsible for the delectable courses that the restaurant is known for.
After a 2 year stint outside of the food industry, Danny decided to return to where it all began. “I decided to become a chef when I took opportunities in other job fields and it didn’t suit me as much as the food industry did. I have many friends in the industry, and I use food as an outlet to express my enthusiasm for something we have in common.” Now 22 years old, Danny is a culinary student by day and chef by night.
As a chef, Bunting describes himself as a “blank slate” open to new ideas and learning from his mentors at Reflections. “I try to approach cooking by taking the small things that people have told me and compile them into my own unique style.” Bunting also admits his Lancaster County roots influence his cooking style. “I have always lived in the Lancaster County area, and as a result you see the Pennsylvania Dutch influences: heavy starches, etc., but lately I have made an effort to stray away from that style of cooking… not everything can be meat and potatoes,” he said jokingly.
Stretching his skill, Danny experiments in developing his own cooking style by creating unique dishes for Reflections’ weekend specials. “The weekend specials are a very good creative outlet and it gives me chances to see what people like and don’t like,” he said. “Coming up with original ideas can be difficult, but it also pushes me to become better.” His favorite weekend special concoction yet was a coffee-encrusted pork with a brussel sprout and sweet potato hash topped with bacon jam. “The dish let me venture out the my comfort zone of Pa. cooking,” said Bunting.
Located off East Oregon Road in Leola, this historic gem merges the old with the new, constantly creating new cuisine in a historically rich atmosphere. Providing a wide range of culinary creations from butternut squash ravioli to their infamous whiskey burger – Reflections has a little something for everyone. Stop by on a Friday or Saturday night and try one of this emerging chef’s creations – they won’t disappoint.