Berkshire Cure-All Takes 7 to James Beard in 2013!

Seven chefs from the Berkshires of Western Massachusetts create a seven-course meal at the James Beard Foundation in New York City in 2013. This backstage pass brings you behind the scenes at the Beard House with a team of Berkshire chefs who check their egos at the door and put on an all-local performance in the cold month of March. We’ve got a new team gearing up for our 2014 dinner, taking place on Wednesday, March 12th.

Last year’s “Berkshire Cure-All” reception and dinner, orchestrated by Chef Brian Alberg of The Red Lion Inn (Stockbridge), featured Stephen Browning, chef at Bell & Anchor (Great Barrington); Terry Moore, chef-owner of The Old Mill (South Egremont); Jamie Paxton, chef at The Meat Market (Great Barrington); Daire Rooney, chef at Allium Restaurant + Bar (Great Barrington); Dan Smith, chef-owner of John Andrews: A Farmhouse Restaurant (South Egremont); and Zee Vassos, chef at Firefly (Lenox). Red Lion Inn Sommelier Dan Thomas crafted elixir-themed cocktail recipes and selected cure-all wines to accompany the dinner.

A special thanks to Tim Newman of Sofi Media for excellent directing, editing and production and to Laura Meister of Farm Girl Farm for on-site camera production.

Find.Eat.Drink. in the Berkshires

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Find.Eat.Drink is a unique online free guide based on eating, drinking and shopping recommendations from chefs, sommeliers, bartenders, baristas, butchers and food artisans. From noteworthy restaurants and speakeasy cocktail dens to dive bars, unique food shops and farmers markets, you’ll find trustworthy recommendations throughout the site and mobile app. Featured in The New York Times, Wired, Fodor’s and the LA Times, the advice, some of it very passionate, doesn’t come from the average Yelper but from the likes of Marcus Samuelsson, chef-owner of Red Rooster Harlem, and Zak Pelaccio of Fatty Crab and Fatty ‘Cue in New York City.

A few months ago, Berkshire Farm & Table worked with the F.E.D. folks to connect to a posse of chefs in the Berkshires and Hudson Valley and solicit their recommendations for where to eat, drink and shop for great food in our part of the world.

At the start of 2014, they announced the F.E.D. 50: Where to Eat in 2014 with The Prairie Whale in Great Barrington, MA and Local 111 in Philmont, NY as the top-recommended spots in the Berkshire-Hudson region.

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Find.Eat.Drink. has added a Berkshires app to their mix. The Berkshires – “where the Gilded Age meets Green Acres” — were touted in the Huffington Post a few months ago featuring props from Chef Alfred Portale of Gotham Bar and Grill. Shops such as Rubiner’s Cheesemongers, Soco Creamery, The Old Mill and Stagecoach Tavern were on his A-list.

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More about food in the Berkshires and Hudson Valley in the coming months!

Photos courtesy of Huffington Post

Brian Alberg: A Man with a Mission in this Historic Landscape

If you haven’t met or come across Brian Alberg, the omnipresent chef with a focus on local at The Red Lion Inn, you’ve been missing out on a Berkshire food crusader. A staunch supporter of regional, seasonal cuisine in the Berkshires and Hudson Valley, he’s doing a remarkable job making an impact on the food culture of our community. Brian grew up in the Hudson Valley, was schooled at the Culinary Institute of America and now leads a team at The Red Lion Inn. Locally grown produce and whole animals are honored in Brian’s kitchen, where he crafts inspiring dishes that have diners appreciate the terroir of this extraordinary farm community.

Food.Curated., directed and produced by Liza de Guia, founder and chief storyteller and three-time James Beard Award nominee, visited with Berkshire Farm & Table back in May and produced a terrific story about Brian, his work in the Berkshires and this beautiful place where chefs come to settle in, connect back to the land and cultivate relationships with food, farmers and fellow chefs who are doing the same thing.

Take a look at A Farm Fresh Update to a Historic Restaurant on Food.Curated:

For more on this chef, check out Alberg Rants, Brian’s blog on The Red Lion Inn’s newly designed website, here.

For more amazing stories on Food.Curated., visit founder and chief storyteller Liza’s website.

Berkshire Chefs Make Their Way to the Hudson Valley Bounty ‘Taste Of’ Dinner

Photo courtesy of Hudson Valley Bounty

Photo courtesy of Hudson Valley Bounty

This year’s Hudson Valley Bounty ‘Taste of’ Dinner on Monday, August 5 will be yet another on-the-road adventure for the Berkshire local food scene and we’re excited to tell the story. Eight chefs and foodmakers from the Berkshires will be making their way to the Columbia County Fairgrounds in Chatham, NY, where two dozen celebrated chefs will be paired with expert farmers to showcase a wide range of food grown and prepared in the Hudson Valley. Add to that, winemakers, brewers and artisan foodmakers, and you’ve got yourself one helluva party.

Photo courtesy of Samascott Orchards, Kinderhook, NY

Here at Berkshire Farm & Table, we’ve been working on developing new ways to collaborate, discover first-rate experiences to lure us across the border into NY and create a larger food shed in our efforts to build a widespread regional food economy. In the chef world, food has no boundaries and the MA-NY state border has never been a barrier for fresh products and farm-to-chef relationships, especially when ingredients are of high quality and easy to come by. On average, Berkshire chefs are sourcing 50 percent of their local ingredients from the Hudson Valley and we feel it’s time to make some noise about these deep-rooted relationships. This event with Hudson Valley Bounty is a great way to keep on spreading the good food word. More partnerships, cooperation and exchanges mean more business and a stronger community for all of us.

Photo courtesy of Willow Brook Farms, Millerton, NY

Photo courtesy of Willow Brook Farms, Millerton, NY

To let the greater community in on what we’ve been doing for a very long while, some of our most favorite Berkshire restaurants will be there on Monday night. We’ve got the omnipresent and benevolent Brian Alberg of the Red Lion Inn (Stockbridge) coming. He spends more than $500K annually in our local food economy, growing that number every year. Brian will be joined by one of the original architects of Berkshire regional cuisine, Dan Smith of John Andrews Farmhouse Restaurant (South Egremont) who has been supporting local farms and foodmakers for close to 25 years. This duo will be cooking up a storm the weekend after Labor Day for two – count ‘em! –  Outstanding in the Field events in the Berkshires. A few tickets are still available for Sunday, September 8 at Hancock Shaker Village.

In the middle of these two ambassadors of farm-to-table cooking sits Chef Daire Rooney of Allium (Great Barrington.) She’ll be sous cheffing and grilling at both Outstanding in the Field events this year as both Brian and Dan asked her to participate. Daire’s been working the kitchen at Allium for almost a year now and is most well known in the Berkshires for her work as Executive Chef of the French bistro Brix Wine Bar in Pittsfield.

Next up, we’ve got firestarter, chef-owner and fanatically local butcher Jeremy Stanton of The Meat Market who was featured in a terrific Food Curated documentary just last week. Adding to his meatful presence will be new chef Christophe Jalbert hailing from Vermont, alongside owner Lester Blumenthal of the Gourmet-, Saveur- and Yankee Magazine-recognized Route 7 Grill (Great Barrington.) Then, there’s Nudel. A rare appearance by Chef-owner Bjorn Somlo, nominated by Food & Wine and the James Beard Foundation for best new chef (several times in a row.) This guy’s menu completely changes with each day’s farm deliveries and we can’t nail him down for a confirmed dish for this dinner just yet.

Photo courtesy of H.R. Zeppelin

Photo courtesy of H.R. Zeppelin, Great Barrington, MA

On the dessert side of things, ‘Truffle Lady’ Doria Polinger, chef-owner of H.R. Zeppelin Chocolates (Great Barrington) will be there. We’re excited she can join the team as she’s been busy setting up shop in her new chocolate cafe next door to the Triplex movie house, which just opened last week. If you get to visit the downtown location, you must try her divine version of the Oreo. We promise, you’ll never go back to Nabisco.

Photo courtesy of Old Inn on the Green

Photo courtesy of Old Inn on the Green

The latest addition to our posse is Chef Lonne Cunningham of The Old Inn on the Green (New Marlborough) and Southfield Store (Southfield.) If you haven’t tried this guy’s desserts, the drive across the border next week will be well worth it. Soon after, he’ll be on his way to France to train with Master Pastry Chefs of Valrhona Chocolate!

Photo courtesy of The Meat Market

Photo courtesy of The Meat Market, Great Barrington, MA

To entice you a bit more, here’s what’s on the menu for Monday, August 5th:

The Red Lion Inn – Bulich Farm Mushroom and Willow Brook Farms Sweet Corn Conserva with Smoked McEnroe Organic Farm Tomato Puree & Equinox Farm Arugula

John Andrews Restaurant – Milk-braised Willow Brook Farms Pork Shoulder, Succotash of Willow Brook Farms Sweet Corn, Wolfe Spring Farm Haricot Verts, Indian Line Farm Tomatoes & Berle Farm Crowdie

Allium – Black Queen Angus Farm Summer Veal & Zehr Farm Mushroom Ragout and Ratatouille with Farm Girl Farm, Equinox Farm, Sol Flower Farm and Pumpkin Hollow Farms Vegetables

The Meat Market – Flying Pigs Farm Housemade Coppa on Old Chatham Bakery Crostini with Berry Patch Blueberry Mostarda & Garden Chives

Route 7 Grill – Hudson Valley Harvest Pork Rillette with Love Apple Farm Plum Compote

Nudel – “What’s Good Today” with Woven Roots Farm, Overmeade Gardens & The Berry Patch ingredients

H.R. Zeppelin – Truffles with ingredients sourced from Woven Roots Farm, Berkshire Mountain Distillers, Ronnybrook Farm, Barrington Coffee Roasting Company, Windy Hill Orchards and Tierra Farm

Old Inn on the Green/Southfield Store – Vanilla Bean Panna Cotta with Love Apple Farm Peaches and Riiska Brook Orchard Blueberries

Photo courtesy of Old Inn on the Green

Photo courtesy of Old Inn on the Green

Photo courtesy of Coach Farm, Pine Plains, NY

Photo courtesy of Coach Farm, Pine Plains, NY

All of these dedicated men and women are in it for the long haul. They are committed to supporting local farms and foodmakers and have been for years. We’re psyched to bring this team of talent to the Hudson Valley to share our version of regional cuisine with the folks who cook, farm, live and eat there. We’re hoping we can bring a few busloads of Shire residents to make the trip along with us and hang with our most fave chefs!

This event supports the mission of Hudson Valley Bounty, a program of the HVADC, which educates the community about the preservation of local farms through the purchase and use of local and regional sustainable foods and products throughout the entire Hudson Valley. The program also promotes and supports networking connections between local agricultural producers and culinary businesses.

For a full list of restaurants, foodmakers and farms who will be there or to purchase tickets, visit the HVB website or call 518.432.5360. We hope to see you there!

Photo courtesy of Ronnybrook Farm, Ancramdale, NY

Photo courtesy of Ronnybrook Farm, Ancramdale, NY

Food Curated Meets The Meat Market Man

It’s finally cooled down and feels a little like autumn. Not exactly sure how we feel about that after the past few weeks of hellish heat. Given this brief reprieve, we think it’s the precise moment to strap on a full grilling bodysuit and kick up the coals for some open-fire fun. Berkshire Farm & Table is excited to present the second in a series of mini-food documentaries by Skeeter of Food.Curated. This one features owner, butcher, chef and chief firestarter Jeremy Stanton of The Meat Market and Fire Roasted Catering.

The Meat Market is a locally sourced, nose-to-tail butcher shop and cafe located in Great Barrington, MA. They buy directly from farmers within a 100-mile radius – at least 75 percent of the farms are with-in a 35-mile radius. In their first year, The Meat Market put $250,000 back into the local economy by buying directly from regional farmers at fair prices. We’re so lucky to have them as part of our food community.

Check out the great video by Liza de Guia. Chief storyteller, indeed. She totally rocks.

 

 

Food Curated in the Berkshires with Prairie Whale

As we get eaten alive by the ravenous mosquitoes of early summer, Berkshire Farm & Table is thrilled to share the first in a series of mini-food documentaries by Skeeter of Food.Curated. This one features owner and chief farmhand Mark Firth and Chef Stephen Browning of Prairie Whale (formerly Bell & Anchor) in Great Barrington.Continue Reading

From Tech Munch in NY to Food.Curated.

Back in May of 2012, I had the pleasure of meeting Liza de Guia (AKA Skeeter), the documentary food filmmaker, at a Tech Munch conference in New York. As Founder and Chief Storyteller of Food.Curated., Liza was a compelling speaker and I approached her to consider visiting the Berkshires to learn more about the localContinue Reading

Reaching the Masses: Media Event at the Culinary Loft

The Massachusetts Office of Travel & Tourism (MOTT) hosted a media reception featuring Massachusetts vacation experiences in New York in early May 2013 at The Culinary Loft in Manhattan. In an effort to highlight all things culinary, MOTT partnered with two chefs in the Commonwealth — Michael Scelfo of Russell House Tavern in Cambridge andContinue Reading

ChefX Success!

BF&T’s two ChefX events in April were a hit and we’re excited to do it again!         The Hudson event at The Crimson Sparrow was well received and we sold as many tickets as possible given the last-minute demand for the dinner. The Berkshire-based event at Allium in Great Barrington was greatContinue Reading

ChefX is Heading to the Berkshires on April 29th

If you didn’t get to Hudson for the first one, now’s your chance! Five chefs from the Hudson Valley will be throwing down some great food on Monday, April 29th at Allium in Great Barrington, MA. Details available on our official ChefX page. Tickets must be purchased on Eventbrite by April 25th. Dinner menu forContinue Reading