Meet the Owners
My love of food was inspired by my Sicilian grandmother. Her dishes were magical creations of simple flavors. As a small child I began to help in her kitchen and I can still remember the smell of garlic and onions cooking in olive oil. She used a minimum of ingredients, but they had to be the best and freshest available. As I grew older I would often cook for family and friends. The awareness that food could be the essence of social interaction and shared enjoyment sparked my desire to work in the culinary field.
I attended Newbury College School of Culinary Arts and graduated at the top of my class. I was trained in French Classical and American Regional styles. As I hoped to one day own my own restaurant I expanded my knowledge by studying Small Business Administration at York College.
I have worked in the kitchens of hotels, resorts, country clubs, country inns, and many restaurants. One opportunity proved especially providential. I was able to use my skills creatively as the Executive Chef at a country inn in the Shenandoah Valley where I met my wife, Maureen. We chose to settle in the Page Valley because of the extraordinary beauty of the mountains and countryside.
One of the great experiences in my career was being a Chef in Bocas Del Toro, Panama. There I entered a different world. Natives would paddle up to my doorstep selling freshly caught fish and lobster. I visited open air markets daily to buy fresh produce for the restaurant and I discovered many varieties of fruits and vegetables that were new to me. Guanabana, nanci, mame, yucca and platanos were common cooking ingredients in this part of the world. Exposure to the international flavors and techniques of preparing food in Panama enhanced the styles and tastes of my Grandmother’ s cooking.
My own culinary style evolved from both of these powerful influences. I would describe my style as a rustic blend of international cuisines that use unique ingredients sourced locally when possible.
I look forward to seeing you at Moonshadows and serving the cuisine I have come to know and love.
As General Manager and Event Coordinator for Moonshadows Restaurant, Maureen Moss calls upon her forty years of experience in the restaurant industry. Her journey began in her home state of California working the graveyard shift at a local Denny’s. Since that beginning she has worked at country inns and has been a familiar face employed at many of the restaurants in Luray.
Maureen’s experience is complemented by her time as Innkeeper of an upscale country inn which included event and wedding planning. Her most unique restaurant employment took place in Bocas Del Toro,Panama where she and John managed the Sunset Grill. Travel to work was by boat,fresh fish was plentiful and fresh ingredients easy to come by.
In addition to restaurant work Maureen owned and operated a horticultural business which produced thousands of live plants and in-field flowers. Decorative products produced from the plant materials were marketed in juried retail environments. As designer and producer she received many display, creative and Best in Show awards.
Like finding an oasis in the desert
“We spent last weekend in Luray for a wedding. Like others, we walked from one end of town to the other and it got to be dinner time. We just happened upon Moonshadows and it was like finding an oasis in the desert!! They had wine and good food and tablecloths and nice people – hallelujah!”Diane L.