West Virginia Department of Commerce Cathy Fout

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Cathy Fout

Cathy Fout

Cooking up memories at Chief Logan

By Patricia Sizemore

For culinary artists like Cathy Fout, finding the perfect place to call home is like finding the perfect recipe. She found the right mix in her home state with family nearby and a position as food and beverage director of Chief Logan Lodge and Conference Center in Logan County.

Born to Charles and Nancy Fout and raised in Fayette County with three sisters and a brother, Fout showed an interest in cooking at an early age. “I would love to bake with my Easy-Bake Oven,” she said. "My mother was cooking for the family all the time. As children we would get recruited to help out with family meals." Chief Logan Lodge and Conference Center

One of her fondest memories of growing up in West Virginia is riding in the back of her dad’s pick-up truck through Cannelton Hollow and beyond to go blackberry picking. They would use the berries afterwards to make jelly and cobblers.

“The Kanawha Falls and Hawks Nest State Park were always some of my favorite places because they were so close to home,” she said. Some of Fout’s other favorite places include Summersville Dam and the New River Gorge.

Fout attended Marshall University and left West Virginia in 1982 to pursue her culinary career. She worked in the restaurant industry in other states, including Florida and Indiana. “I have worked in many establishments during my career,” she said. “I have had many exciting challenges in my culinary journey, like making 420 pounds of fudge per weekend and catering a dance barn.”

In 2006, she returned home to be with her family. “It seemed natural to come back to West Virginia,” Fout said.

Working at Chief Logan Lodge and Conference Center, she takes great care in the food she prepares. "My inspiration for cooking comes from the happiness of others enjoying their food," she said. The lodge restaurant serves numerous diners each year with food reminiscent of home.”

Along with providing individuals with a family dining experience, the restaurant also caters to scores of groups each year. “The banquet business here has flourished because of the support of the local community,” Fout said. The restaurant has catered everything from company banquets to birthday parties for 100-year-olds.

Chief Logan Lodge and Conference Center

Along with a restaurant, Chief Logan Lodge, Hotel and Conference Center offers 75 modern rooms and suites, meeting space, indoor pool and fitness room.

“It is really amazing to folks that we have such a beautiful lodge on this mountain top,” she adds. “You would never expect something like this here in Logan County.”

“I feel that my success at Chief Logan Lodge and Conference Center is largely due to the support, encouragement and guidance I received from people with the State Parks system like Blair Taylor, Sissie Summers and Sam England,” she said. “I will always be grateful to them.”

Fout also has been successful in creating a place for herself in her home state. “My family still lives here,” Fout said. “It’s been great having them nearby. This is one of the most beautiful places in the United States.”