Photo credit: Jennifer Bakos

Chris Viaud’s Visions Take New Hampshire Diners on Upscale Culinary Journeys


Travelers heading for New Hampshire can get dining recommendations from Here in New Hampshire’s “25 Best Restaurants.”  Portsmouth, Seacoast, the Lakes Region, Manchester and White Mountain are mentioned as fine-dining options for visitors and locals. But a Top Chef alumnus is expanding his visions for upscale dining with the takeover of Pavilion in Wolfeboro.  

“We’re starting to see more people take those risks within the state,” says Chris Viaud, the new chef and owner of Pavilion. “It provides a lot more opportunities for young cooks in New Hampshire. They can get those fine-dining work experiences while living close to home.”

Pursuing New Patrons at Pavilion

After culinary school, Viaud went to Boston to sharpen his culinary chops in high-end, big-city dining establishments. He then moved his culinary journey to the Granite State to pursue his fine-dining interests and live closer to family. 

“I have all this experience, training, resources and supportive people. I thought, let me try my hand at bringing a higher-end dining experience to New Hampshire,” the chef explains.

Viaud became the owner of the Pavilion last month along with his pastry chef wife, Emilee. “Pavilion is a fine-dining restaurant located in the Lakes Region. We offer seasonally-inspired cuisine, sourcing from local farms,” he says.

New Hampshire Magazine assistant editor Caleb Jagoda wrote this about Pavilion in a March article: “PAVILION is a great restaurant. As far as fine dining goes, the food is simple but inventive, delicious but accessible, by no means intimidating without sacrificing quality. It was an exceptional entry point into fine dining…”

That is the positive impression Pavilion’s owner hopes to make on customers at all three restaurants in his Northern Comfort Dining Group LLC. “We want to have that sense of family, that inviting sense of warmth,” asserts Viaud. “When the guests know there was passion involved with the cooking, they can leave feeling inspired, refreshed and renewed by the dining experience.”

The Pavilion at 126 South Main Street is located next to the historic Pickering House Inn. Chef Viaud comments on his connection with the dinner series offered by The Barn at Pickering House. “I’ve had multiple opportunities to present the kind of food I prepare at Greenleaf and Ansanm at those Barn dinner events. I’m looking forward to highlighting the chefs coming into the Barn and the Pavilion and showcasing the great things happening throughout New Hampshire.”

Continue reading over at Cuisine Noir.

Words by Phyllis Armstrong

Cuisine Noir Magazine is the country’s first Black food publication, launched in 2009 and dedicated to connecting the African diaspora through food, drink and travel.  To read the rest of this article and more, visit

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