Chef Announced for 6th Annual Symposium

Washington Spa Alliance (WSPA) is set to host its 6th Annual Symposium with a challenging theme. The interactive day-long event, whose audience will include local, regional, national and international leaders in spa and allied disciplines, will take place at the National Press Club on Tuesday, March 22nd, from 9:00 a.m.-7:00 p.m.

“This year’s theme is The New Language of Spa,” reports Mary Bemis, WSPA Board Member and Symposium Chair. “Spa is, and has always been, a very specific path toward healing and rejuvenation. For a time it got lost in the sort of vague feel-good of wellness. But spa is back, and it’s both real and specific.”

The 6th Annual Symposium will be devoted to exploring the ‘cutting-edge’ of both new and ancient practices,” says Bemis.

Reservations can be made on a first-come basis at: Cost for the day-long program, including luncheon and breaks, is $125 for WSPA members and $200 for non-members which is inclusive of annual membership dues.

Creating a vegetarian luncheon for the event will be David Haick, executive chef at the noted Whiteface Lodge at Lake Placid, NY. Owned and operated by Urgo Hotels, based near Washington, DC, the all-suites Whiteface Lodge features Lake Placid’s first destination spa.

Haick brings to his position an extensive background in culinary arts, including, most recently, his tenure as executive chef of The Mayflower Inn and Spa, a Relaix & Chateaux property in Connecticut. His culinary career also has included positions at the Chateau on the Lake Resort Spa and Convention Center in Branson, Mo., the Chase Park Plaza Hotel in Saint Louis, and The Hotel Hershey in Pennsylvania. 

An avowed vegetarian, Chef Haick’s menu for the WSPA symposium will showcase creative yet easy to prepare meals. Collaborating with the executive chef at National Press Club, Susan Delbert and her kitchen crew will be an exciting experience, he said. Haick leads a talented culinary team that is responsible for the award-winning dining experience at KANU, Whiteface Lodge’s signature restaurant, and its casual counterpart, KANU Lounge. A graduate of the Culinary Institute of America, where he continues to serve as a student mentor, Haick also holds a bachelor’s degree in Food Systems Management from the State University of New York at Buffalo.

This gathering of spa leadership will continue a national conversation designed to inspire the spa community to advance a human agenda of health and well-being. Washington Spa Alliance is a knowledge center, connecting spa professionals in the nation’s greater Capital region. The group works to promote the exchange of innovation in the field and to ensure the highest spa ideals are met through policy and action. Americans increasingly have turned to spas to learn the importance of diet and exercise, the benefits of organic plant-based diets, to redefine ideas of beauty and wellbeing, and to learn techniques of stress-reduction and preventive medicine.