Reimagining Dinner Rolls – The Coeur d’Alene Resort

Posted on: March 21, 2018

When is an Orange Roll not just a piece of bread?

You know the drill. You’re out to dinner in a super nice restaurant and not long after your wine arrives, the server presents a basket of warm, napkin-wrapped rolls. You start sipping your wine and absent-mindedly munch on the bread while you wait for appetizers and the main course.

Have you ever sat there anxiously waiting for that bread basket? Probably not. Unless, that is, you are about to sample The Coeur d’Alene Resort’s famous orange rolls at five-star Beverly’s Restaurant. The dinner rolls here aren’t just tasty, they’re famous.

Beverly’s stands on its own with a string of accolades that put it in the top tier of restaurants nationwide. Named one of the “60 Iconic U.S. Restaurants to Try Before You Die” (alongside famous Spago in Beverly Hills and Katz’s Delicatessen in New York), Beverly’s boasts the largest wine cellar in the Pacific Northwest,  distinctive cuisine, superb service and a jaw-dropping view of Lake Coeur d’Alene.

But about the rolls. Fluffy and substantial, orange rolls combine just the right amount of tart sweetness and zing to get your taste buds revved up for the scrumptious meal that is about follow.

These memorable orange rolls started with a man who had an incessant desire to learn the culinary business, a resort owner with finely tuned taste buds, and the courage to introduce a completely unique taste to fine dining.

Rod Jessick, the Resort’s executive chef, tells a winding tale about how his culinary career developed and dovetailed into helping create those the gooey little orange rolls.

CDA Resort Chefs (11)

In the 1970’s just out of high school, Jessick got a job washing dishes at the restaurant at the North Shore Motor Hotel in Coeur d’Alene. Forty years ago, Coeur d’Alene was a sleepy town with mom-and-pop-style restaurants and no major hotel. About 16,000 people lived here and it was often referred to as Spokane’s satellite city (locals still bristle at the moniker).  However, with 30 miles and a state line dividing the two, Coeur d’Alene held its own as a nature lover’s playground crisscrossed with hiking trails and crowned by 25-mile long Lake Coeur d’Alene. The town was destined to be a star.

Jessick’s perseverance, natural talent and willingness to try anything helped him march up the ranks. He eventually landed at the Coeur d’Alene Resort in the early 1980’s and worked his way to his current position as the Resort’s executive chef.

Resort owner Duane Hagadone wanted warm dinner rolls served with every meal, so that became a routine expectation. He suggested they add orange butter flake rolls to the basket.

Jessick says he went through several iterations trying to get the orange butter flake roll just perfect for Mr. Hagadone. Quality butter…curacao…orange paste… Let’s try the orange syrup mixture on the top… no maybe on the bottom…how about both? A little sweeter…no, that’s too sweet…ah, perfect, we’ve got it!

“It’s unusual to serve a sweet roll with an entrée,” Jessick says, “and at first we weren’t positive it would work. But it sure has and customers love our orange rolls.”

Indeed, the proof is in the customer comments. Just check out the reviews on Trip Advisor. Amidst the praise heaped on quality of the Resort’s meals, you find happy diners oohing and aahing over the orange rolls.

So the next time you’re dining at Beverly’s and your server asks if you’d like a warm orange roll, take a few minutes to think about the trial and error it took to create those lovely little rolls. Savor the comforting smell coming from the basket. Then dive in and enjoy your orange rolls.

Spread the word