News of Otsego County

Serving Otsego County, NY, through the combined reporting of Cooperstown's Freeman's Journal and the Hometown Oneonta newspapers.

Unadilla House chef

Unadilla House Chef’s Recipe Packs ‘Em In At Fish Dinners


Unadilla House Chef’s Recipe

Packs ‘Em In At Fish Dinners

By LIBBY CUDMORE • Hometown Oneonta & The Freeman’s Journal

Chris Hendrickson, a boyhood and longtime pal of Unadilla Houses chef Ralph Vanderlip, prepares his friend’s locally celebrated baked haddock for a First Presbyterian Church Lenten Dinner last Friday, April 5. (Ian Austin/

UNADILLA – For six years, Chris Hendrickson worked alongside his friend Ralph Vanderlip in the kitchen of the First Presbyterian Church here, making the same haddock dinner Vanderlip made famous at the Unadilla House.

Master Chef Ralph Vanderlip

“The church told Ralph they wanted him to help with their Lent fundraiser dinner,” said Hendrickson. “He said he would, but only if I helped him.”

But this year, the annual dinner Friday, April 5, served as a memorial to Vanderlip; he had died Tuesday, March 12, at age 72. “We did it together every year,” Hendrickson said. “There was a camaraderie there. Not many people can say they have a good time cooking in a kitchen under pressure.”

Vanderlip was born Dec., 13, 1947 Cannonsville, where his family ran the general store until 1962, when the creation of the Cannonsville Reservoir to provide drinking water for New York City forced them to relocate.

“Someone made a documentary about Cannonsville and they interviewed him,” said Martha. “He used to tell people he was a movie star!”

Ralph Vanderlip, 71; Chef At Unadilla House For 26 Years

IN MEMORIAM: Ralph Vanderlip, 71;

Chef At Unadilla House For 26 Years

Ralph A. Vanderlip

UNADILLA – Ralph A. Vanderlip, 71, chef at the Unadilla House for 26 years, passed away peacefully at home surrounded by his family on Tuesday, March 12, 2019.

He was born on Dec., 13, 1947, the son of the late Harry and Jeanette Cook Vanderlip.  Ralph married Martha Scott Vanderlip on June 24, 1972, in Unadilla.

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