Meet the Team
Matt Rapposelli’s creative menus have delighted guests in the Hocking Hills, Cincinnati, Columbus and New England areas. He highlights locally grown ingredients, such as the area’s wild mushrooms, fresh produce, and his own legendary beautifully smoked meats. Matt oversees the Inn’s restaurant, Kindred Spirits, as well as leading all food and beverage operations, including events.
“There’s nothing I love more than to connect with the out-of-town and local guests who come to dine with us,” said Rapposelli. “The open kitchen and intimate log cabin setting of this gorgeous country Inn offers the perfect backdrop for my other love — cooking for guests and sharing all things food.”
Matt’s talents have been appreciated by diners far and wide, as he has worked at The Waterfront in Cincinnati, Spagio and Weiland’s Market in Columbus, and as executive chef at Glenlaurel Scottish Inn, Ohio University and The Lodge at Hideaway Hills. Also, he formerly owned Big Chimney Baking Company, as well as the restaurants at Lake Hope Dining Lodge and Hocking Hills Dining Lodge. Rapposelli also authored A Taste of the Hocking Hills, a cookbook that helps home chefs recreate the regional Appalachian vernacular and natural seasonal abundance found in his dishes, which are impeccably fresh and flavorful.
“The Inn has enjoyed a 23-year relationship with Matt, so having him join us as Executive Chef is like a wonderfully welcome homecoming,” said Innkeeper Ellen Grinsfelder. “But it is our guests who will benefit most from his artistry, his gregarious personality and his open willingness to share expertise, recipes and an adventurous approach to cooking.”
Sous Chef, Josh Thurston, is a 2016 graduate from Vinton County High School. He followed his passion for cooking and received his Culinary Arts degree from Buckeye Hills Career Center in Rio Grande. After graduating, Josh worked at
Hocking Hills Dining Lodge with Matt Rapposelli, the Inn’s Executive Chef. Josh learned so much from Matt that he also worked with him at Hide Away Hills before coming to the Inn in January 2018.
Josh says “I love working with all things food. Nothing makes me happier than to put a smile on someone’s face when I cook them a great meal.” Some of his favorite things to cook are seafood, meat, and pasta. When Josh is not cooking, he enjoys going to auctions and collecting coins.