"Extern" cooks tasty treats for Lexington restaurants

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LEXINGTON, Va. (WDBJ7) Every day at 7 am, the small kitchen behind The Georges hotel, and its two restaurants, is busy. Because though dinner may be at 6, someone has to start making the buns and pastries before you even think about ordering your meal.

“My first thing is usually buns and stuff like that, ‘cause they usually take the longest, and then I just kind of go down the list,” says Aaron Luman.

But he isn’t just any cook.

"Oh, we’re ecstatic," says David Groce, General Manager of The Georges. “He’s an outstanding young man, and we’ll be sad to see him go later in April, but we’ll be looking forward to bringing someone in right behind him.”

Aaron’s what they call an “extern,” from the CIA. No, the other one: the Culinary Institute of America, in New York.

Groce explains that, “Lexington is a small town with a limited labor pool, and we found this is just a really, really convenient way of augmenting our workforce.”

He calls baking his “passion,” a more thoughtful task than regular culinary work.

“For baking, you’ve got to get all the ingredients together," he says. "You’ve got to scale it out, you’ve got to make sure everything is kind of set to the tee, because baking, it’s a science. If you get one thing off, you’ve got a different product.”

And it’s his job to make sure that the diners at Heywood’s and Taps get just what they’re expecting.

“It’s a place to start," Luman says. "It’s a nice place.”