Editor's note: This is part of an occasional series of profiles of local restaurant chefs.
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Berkley Cline oversees Pure and Simple Cafe in downtown Greencastle, Pa., a mile or so from Interstate 81. The cafe specializes in fresh, healthful food prepared to order. The emphasis is on local and organic foods.
Cline, 46, said he got his culinary degree from James Rumsey Technical Institute in Hedgesville, W.Va. He worked as a cook all over the country — New Jersey, California, Maine. He came back to southcentral Pennsylvania to work as sous chef at the Waynesboro Country Club in the late 1990s. Then John Flannery hired Cline as executive chef at Flannery's on the Square in Mercersburg, Pa. He worked 14-hour days, six days a week.
Then Cline married his wife, Amanda, and decided he wanted his life back.
So, two years ago, he left Flannery's and worked at the kitchen at Washington County Hospital. Shortly after that, when he met Cathy and David Pence, owners of Pure and Simple Cafe, Cline thought he had found his dream job.
Cline took a few minutes just before lunch last week to chat with The Herald-Mail at a corner table in the sunny, high-ceilinged cafe. Cline said Pure and Simple complemented the journey to health he was already on.
"When we got married, the guy who married us said to me, 'You work too much,'" Cline said. "I took that to heart. It's good advice. (Working long hours is) grueling on a marriage."
You came here at a turning point in your life?
When I found this place, it was like, huh. It was at their other (location), real small. They couldn't afford to pay me very much. So I took a huge pay cut, an astronomical pay cut. But my wife was making good money, so we just decided to make it work.
So I came here to learn more. Which I did.
So what sort of restaurant is Pure and Simple?
We're sort of like a Panera Bread, where you come up to a counter and we take your order. We do a lot of simple stuff — salads, soups, wraps.
Do you still get people looking for Greencastle Coffee?
We get a good bit of their coffee business. We're primarily a breakfast and lunch cafe. But, despite (being a cafe), it doesn't really emphasize coffee. (Cathy) is a naturopath. She doesn't like coffee. She doesn't find it overly healthy. More so what people put in the coffee.
Does the owners' approach to health factor into what you do here?
Majorly. Cathy and David Pence, especially Cathy, she has this expectation of what she wants. As a vision. There's a vision here. It's a little different from working at a regular restaurant. (There,) your vision is to make money and to sell good food. But hers is to serve the public and to create an atmosphere where people can come and eat something, and to feel good about it when they leave.
How does that change what you do?
There are certain things I can't do. One of the things she's into is combinations of foods. (For instance:) dairies and (other foods shouldn't be combined). And she doesn't like to combine fruits and meats. It doesn't digest overly well. It'll give you gas, bottom line.
We try not to combine too many fruits with meats. But we do (some). Like peanut butter and jelly —; we do it for kids.