Foodies of New England Spring 2015

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Natural Foods

Exploring Vegetarian, Vegan, Gluten-Free, Organic & Raw Foods

Spring 2015

Salem Cross Inn True New England Hospitality

Salt Box Farm Cultivating a Love for Food

The History of... Sage

Wild Cheff

Introducing Chef Denny Corriveau

New England Fisheries DISPLAY UNTIL JUNE 22, 2015 $4.99

Fresh From the Sea to Your Table

Worcester’s Best Chef Good ‘Ol Fashioned Iron Chef Competition

Experience New England Dining at its Best


estled on 600 acres of New England countryside, Salem Cross Inn offers seasonal menus with traditional fare alongside what today’s dining public is looking for. Incorporating heirloom vegetables and herbs grown in our own gardens, and locally raised beef, everything is prepared fresh daily. Experience the ever popular Fireplace Feasts where prime rib is roasted using an antique roasting jack in the fieldstone fireplace in this 18th century farmhouse. Visit our website to learn more about our Drovers Roasts, Farmers’ Dinners, Christmas Memories Dinner Theater, New England weddings and other family events.

Photo: Heidi Finn

260 West Main Street • West Brookfield, MA 01585 508.867.2345 •

Introducing two new flavors from

Discover new premium SKYY速 Vodkas infused with natural fruit flavors for a crisp and refreshingly authentic cocktail experience.

Kosmic Kiwi Kooler Ingredients: 2 oz Skyy Pacific Blueberry vodka Half of a kiwi, peeled and muddled 1.5 oz Lemonade Muddle half of kiwi in shaker, add ice, blueberry vodka and lemonade. Shake and strain into martini glass. Garnish with blueberries.

Grapefruit Crush Ingredients: 2oz Skyy Texas Grapefruit vodka 1/2 oz Cointreau Fresh muddled ruby red grapefruit 1/4 cubed Fresh squeeze of lime juice Dash of Cranberry or POM Pomegranate juice Muddle grapefruit in shaker, then add ice vodka, cointreau, lime and cranberry juice and shake. Strain into a martini glass. Garnish with a grapefruit wheel.

These tantalizing recipes created by Foodie barista Adam Gerhart


Spring 2015 Contributors Publisher: Mercury Media & Entertainment, LLC Managing Editor: Domenic Mercurio Contributing Editors: Julie Grady Thomas Jodie Lynn Boduch Christopher Dufault Director of Social Media: Jodie Lynn Boduch Much Ado Marketing Writers and Contributors: Matt Webster, Alina Eisenhauer, Ellen Allard, Adam Gerhart, Elaine Pusateri Cowan, Jodie Lynn Boduch, Peggy Bridges, Ryan Maloney, Christopher Rovezzi, Christine Whipple, Sandy Lashin-Curewitz, David Kmetz, Brad Schwarzenbach, Jeff Cutler, Tom Verde, Sarah Connell, Briana Palma, Denny Corriveau, Eric Kalwarczyk, Kara & Marni Powers, Kelly Lynn Kassa Professional Photography: Scott Erb & Donna Dufault Erb Photography Art Director: Rick Bridges Richard Bridges Design Website: Jodie Lynn Boduch Much Ado Marketing Account Manager: Carol Adlestein Foodies of New England Magazine Box 380 Sturbridge MA 01566 All content Š2015, Mercury Media Entertainment All Rights Reserved Printed in USA Foodies of New England assumes no financial responsibility for errors in advertisements. No portion of Foodies of New England, advertising or editorial, may be reproduced in whole or in part without the express written permission of the publisher. The information contained in this publication is believed to be accurate, however the publisher does not guarantee its accuracy. The opinions expressed by others within this publication are not necessarily those of the publisher or its employees. By accepting advertising neither Foodies of New England nor Mercury Media Entertainment is endorsing or guaranteeing the quality of service or products within those advertisements. Every effort is made to ensure that the advertisements come from reputable companies, however we cannot take responsibility for how an advertiser deals with the public.

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Contents Features


Natural Foods

Healthy Eating; Vegetarian, Vegan, Gluten-free, Organic & Raw Foods



Cooking Up a Career; Part III Q&A With Executive Chef Jennifer Backman


Bangor Bacon Club Membership Has Its Privileges


Salem Cross Inn

True New England Hospitality


Wild Cheff Denny Corriveau


Demystifying Duck


Salt Box Farm

Cultivating A Love For Food


Best in New England Fisheries Fresh From The Sea



Vegan Ice Cream


Going Vegan, Family Style


Information To Help Your Family Make The Change



Big Can Also Be Local


Worcester’s Best Chef Iron Chef Beat Down

Cover: Skate Meunière with Roasted Brussels Sprouts

and Freedom Apples from The Oyster Club, Mystic, CT


Foodies of New England




History of...





Gluten Free

Gluten-free Meets Comfort Food


Pasta (and Life): 101 Pici Pasta


Food for Thought Dean’s Beans in Orange, MA


Healthy at Home Good Golly, Fish Molé


Sweet Sensations Granola Greatness


Brew Review The Birth of IPA


Whiskey-Under Loch & Key


Whiskey Pilgrimage


Wines of Distinction Bordeaux


Liberating Libations Clean Palate, Clean Plate

118 Foodies of New England



from the


“Time to Get Real, Get Natural, and Get Really Natural”

In a time when many Americans consider Micky D’s, KFC’s, and Chucky Cheese a common culinary thread, and when we’re more often acquainted with the drive thru than our kitchen cooktop, we thought it might be the right occasion to put a bigger spotlight on healthy eating.

These days, fast food, pizza, and take-out dinner options are more common than eating at home for many families. Admittedly, those options tend to parallel our fast-paced, work-centered lifestyles, but it needn’t be the case. This issue is dedicated to the topics of Natural Foods and New England Fisheries. For our purposes, Natural Foods will include vegetarian, vegan, gluten-free, organic, and raw food categories. Throughout the following pages, you’ll experience remarkable pictorials and featured stories of chefs and restaurants which spotlight those important food categories. And, as always, Foodies of New England profiles the best possible spots in each New England state for you to visit. In particular, Foodies writer Jeff Cutler takes us to Watertown, Massachusetts, to visit with The Red Lentil, an award-winning vegan and vegetarian restaurant. Then, Julie Grady delves into The Grange Vegetarian & Kosher Restaurant in Providence, Rhode Island, a very hip location which also specializes in soy-free and gluten-free dining. Take a ride with David Kmetz down to The Oyster Club in scenic Mystic, Connecticut, where you’ll marvel at this charming converted 1902 clapboard restaurant and raw bar. After, head up to Burlington, Vermont, to Pingala Café, where our own Brad Shwarzenbach introduces you to an all vegan menu, gluten-free deliciousness, local organic produce and products, fresh juices, smoothies and to-go items, and even breakfast and lunch is served daily. In Portland, Maine, Sarah O’Connell visits a vegetarian restaurant with an Asian twist. The Green Elephant is Portland’s premiere haven for mindful dining where only the healthiest and tastiest vegetarian choices are available. “What’s for dessert?” you ask? Glad you’re curious, because Christine Whipple investigated the most delicious (and vegan) ice cream establishment around. With locations in Jamaica Plain and Allston, FoMu Vegan Ice Cream is sure to please all of our vegan foodies out there, and is very easy to find. New England’s quaintest fisheries are also featured in this issue, and include the community supported Cape Ann Fishery in Gloucester, Massachusetts. Kara and Marni Powers cover this unique spot where foodies can buy shares of the freshest catch in advance, and pick them up from local fishermen right when the boat docks! At R&D Seafood in Smithfield, Rhode Island, a local husband and wife team catch their own seafood and sell it direct to our foodies. Since 1968, Raymond and Doris Charest have been providing the best the ocean has to offer, all of it hand-cut, boneless, as well as chemical- and preservative-free. Our own chef/writer Eric Kalwarczyk tells us about Bomster Scallops in Stonington, Connecticut. Here, these off-the-boat scallops are hand-shucked, immediately flash-frozen, and delivered directly to foodies. continued on page 12


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And don’t miss Part 3 of Chef Tom Verde’s interview with a culinary student in Cooking up a Career. Later, Sandy Curewitz features the rustic, yet elegant, Salem Cross Inn in historic West Brookfield, Massachusetts. Having your appetite primed for good ol’ New England comfort food, Brad Shwarzenbach serves up a smokin’ story on the Bacon Club of Maine. Meet our newest writer, Denny Corriveau, who is known far and wide as the Wild Cheff (yes, with two “f’s”). True to his abilities, Denny likes to make things simple, delicious and fun for us, so his lesson for this issue is Demystifying Duck. Of course, no issue of Foodies of New England would be complete without our regular line-up of Foodies departments, including The History Of… by Jodie Boduch; Gluten Free with Ellen Allard; Food for Thought with Peggy Bridges; Alina Eisenhauer’s Sweet Sensations; Chris Rovezzi’s tutorial, Pasta (and Life): 101; The Brew Review with our Grand Chancellor of Beer, Matt Webster; Healthy at Home, Elaine Cowan’s step-by-step pictorial of the most delicious creations you can make right in your own kitchen; Ryan Maloney’s Whiskey, Under Loch & Key; Wines of Distinction by yours truly; and, to cap it off, excellence in cocktail creations with our resident mixologist Adam Gerhart, in Liberating Libations. Whatever your flavor this spring – whether its vegan, vegetarian, organic, gluten-free, raw, or more traditional offerings

like duck, bacon, homemade pasta, or just a recipe for the greatest new spring cocktail – you’re sure to find it in this most interesting, extra-healthy edition of Foodies of New England. Keep looking to us for all of your culinary needs and questions, foodies! After you’ve flipped through our colorful pages, be sure to send us any comments or questions on Facebook or Twitter. After all, Foodies of New England is New England’s food magazine!

Domenic Mercurio, Jr. Editor/Publisher

Advertise with Foodies of New England 508-479-1171

A little taste of Italy, here in New England!

Our authentic Neo-Neapolitan cuisine is made using only the freshest ingredients. Our pizza is baked in a brick oven and the high temperature produces a thin crust that is cooked to perfection. 135 Westboro Road • North Grafton, MA 01536 508.839.4900 •


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Custom made re-claimed white oak dining table 18’ long, seats 20.


Form follows function, but not at the exclusion of grace, style and elegance. From the unseen structural soundness to the obvious attention lavished on every detail, each Fine Lines project is a testament to the traditions of fine woodworking. Whether you want a custom kitchen for your home, an expanded bar area for your restaurant, a perfectly-designed wine rack, or a unique cutting board in any style and shape, Fine Lines has the experience, tools, and abilities to make your vision a reality.

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Goat cheese, fresh herbs and olive oil


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Careful… You Really Are What You Eat Written by Domenic D. Mercurio, Jr. Photography by Scott Erb and Donna Dufault

If what they say is true – “You are what you eat” – then many American’s are in big trouble. Just take a look at the differences in physical appearance between American citizens and those of various other countries. Many nations attribute the thinness of their inhabitants to reliance on locally-grown, unprocessed food. Unfortunately, here in the great U.S. of A., we’ve become dependent on the convenience of being able to coast through a drive-thru and devour lunch in the car without the annoyance of taking our foot off the gas pedal. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), more than 1/3 of American adults are obese. Yes, a staggering 34.9% of our nation is seriously and dangerously overweight. And, with 78.6 million Americans each spending an average of $1,429 more annually on healthcare than those of normal weight, the result has been an alarming increase in heart disease, stroke, type 2 diabetes, and certain types of cancer – all leading causes of preventable death.

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Not only does obesity have a profound impact on our nation’s overall health, it also has affects our citizenry unevenly. Non-Hispanic blacks have the highest age-adjusted rates of obesity (47.8%), followed by Hispanics (42.5%), non-Hispanic whites (32.6%), and non-Hispanic Asians (10.8%). Moreover, obesity rates differ across various age groups. For example, 39.5% of middle-aged adults (between the ages of 40-59) struggle with obesity, while younger adults (20-39) represent 30.3% of the obesity population. As for America’s elder population (over 60), the rate increases again to 35.4%. Socioeconomically, the CDC reports that higher-income women are less likely to reach obesity than low-income women. Conversely, non-Hispanic black and Mexican-American men of modest means are actually reported to be fewer in number than those earning higher incomes. So, what could be the cause for such an alarmingly-high percentage of obese Americans; and secondly, why such a variance in obesity rates among age groups and income levels, particularly considering the seemingly inverse relationship among high-earning Caucasian versus other income levels or ethnic populations? Unfortunately, the answers may be just hypothesis or, at best, based on an educated observation of American’s eating habits and trends, from age group to economic strata. To get a better handle of the reasons for obesity in America, however, we foodies might be well-served to also study the consumption preferences of other, notably healthy, nations. While about 35% of Americans are obese, the number of Asian Americans, by comparison, that fall into the obesity category is much ‘slimmer’ – only 11%. But, while the overall percentage is much lower than that of Americans, studies by scientists at the University of Chicago and the University of California at Los Angeles (UCLA) indicate that Asian Americans can actually suffer from the effects of obesity and still be thinner than their American counterparts. “It doesn’t look like we have a problem, but it’s a huge problem,” indicates Dr. Karen Kim, a professor of medicine at the University of Chicago. Dr. Kim goes on to say that, “There are huge differences where weight doesn’t adequately reflect the realities of complications from being overweight.” In a report by NBC News, Dr. Kim pointed out that use of the Body Mass Index (BMI) to calculate body fat and obesity can be deceptive when trying


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to discern overall health in relation to weight. The BMI determines obesity based on weight versus height, but does not consider apparent tendencies of certain ethnicities to conceal fat internally and between organs, resulting in the same effects of obesity seen in Americans. By normal standards, a BMI index of 25 or higher is considered overweight, while an index of 30 or higher is regarded as obese. According to this measurement, only 11% of Asians are defined as obese, but studies show that Asians commonly contract metabolic syndrome, diabetes, and cardiovascular disease at a much lower BMI index level than Americans. In fact, according to the American Diabetes Association (ADA), Asians are at risk for diabetes at a BMI rate of only 24, and, according to Dr. Kim, cardiovascular disease has been known to impact Asians with BMI indexes of only 19 or 20. So, are other cultures truly healthier than Americans, or is it entirely subject to statistical methodology? One thing is for certain, the overall physical appearance of members of the Asian, European, African, and Near East cultures seem thinner and healthier than that of Americans. Whether we are actually less likely to suffer from obesity-related illness depends in large part to genetics, exercise and diet. Fortunately, we can control our ultimate health to a degree by giving adequate attention to exercise and diet; and, as foodies, we can actually enjoy the journey by choosing some delicious and healthy - options for our diet. That’s why this edition of Foodies of New England is dedicated to Natural Foods; specifically the very best vegetarian, vegan, raw, organic and gluten-free restaurant destinations throughout New England. So, before you proceed on an eye-popping excursion of the exquisite locales gracing the ensuing pages, let’s dispense with clarification of the terms associated with these healthy food options. Vegetarian cuisine, as defined by the Vegetarian Society ( is any fare consisting of and limited to “... grains, pulses, nuts, seeds, vegetables and fruits, with or without the use of dairy products or eggs” and, according to a Consumption Habits survey reported by Frank Newport of, 5% of Americans consider themselves vegetarian. Interestingly, the report did not define vegetarianism, but only asked respondents if they considered themselves vegetarian by way of their lifestyles.

Veganism, similarly, is the philosophy or practice of an individual to avoid any and all food, clothing, or products that are made using anything of animal origin. It’s more of a lifestyle choice than a diet, and people usually adopt veganism because of ethical reasons involving animal rights, for environmental factors, or in an effort to achieve better health. And, according to PETA (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals), about 2.5% of Americans profess to be vegan. The reason vegans do not use any animal-based products – not even eggs or dairy products – is because they believe strongly in the rights of animals to exist freely without human interference, according to a report by Medical News Today. In fact, another aspect of their motivation not to use animal products is their disagreement with the common industrial practice of slaughtering egg-producing chickens (even freeroam) and dairy cows once their usefulness declines. Many vegans believe that veganism is a natural extension of vegetarianism, and is an integral component of a crueltyfree lifestyle, providing numerous benefits to animals’ lives, the environment, and our own health through a healthy diet and lifestyle. Gluten-free is another Natural Food category we’re exploring. This designation pertains to foodies who either suffer from celiac disease, or merely feel there is a benefit to a wheat- and gluten-free diet. For foodies who suffer from celiac disease (about 1 in 100 worldwide), gluten is a serious problem and creates digestive issues in the small intestine. A protein found in wheat, barley, and rye, gluten causes an immune response that damages the villi in the lining the small intestine. Since the villi promote nutrient absorption, damaging them leads to the body’s inability to absorb and distribute nutrients, according to, a leading authority on celiac disease and gluten-free living. Another authority on gluten-free living and delicious, gluten-free meal options is our own Chef Ellyn Allard. Check out her recipes and recommendations in Gluten Free, this issue. Yet another category of Natural Foods is the organic segment. Organic, as defined by the Mayo Clinic, refers to the way farmers grow and process agricultural products, such as fruits, vegetables, grains, dairy products and meats. Farmers who grow organic produce, for example, don’t use conventional methods to fertilize and control weeds; rather, they use natural fertilizers to feed soil and plants, and crop rotation or mulch to control weeds, instead of pesticides. The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) has established an organic certification program that requires all organic foods to meet strict government standards, which regulate how these foods are grown, handled and processed. Finally, we take a look at Raw, a category of food that, as stated on, is uncooked, organic, unprocessed,

and mostly organic. Staples include raw fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds, and sprouted grains. Some foodies who like the raw alternative eat unpasteurized dairy foods, raw eggs, meat, and fish. Raw food, by definition, can be cold or even a little bit warm, as long as it doesn’t go above 118 degrees Fahrenheit. Natural Foods – whether vegan, vegetarian, gluten-free, organic, or raw – are undeniably good for us, but they need not be bland, uninteresting, or unappealing. Fortunately for foodies, many great chefs realize that natural foods are a very strongly embraced and necessary culinary development, and many (particularly those featured in Foodies of New England magazine) have risen to the challenge by offering very impressive, vegetarian, vegan, gluten-free, organic, and raw dinner options on their menus. So, if you’re a foodie and you’re a bit nervous about embarking on a natural food regimen, fear not. Worry not. Despair not. After all, have we ever let you go without flavor before? FNE.

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Sweet Potato Quesadilla


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Inspired Vegan and Vegetarian Cuisine Written by Jeff Cutler Photography by Scott Erb and Donna Dufault


Nature. We’re taught to respect it, and in the restaurant business, chefs learn how to make their healthiest and most creative dishes using ingredients from the Earth. Pankaj Pradhan of Red Lentil in Watertown fully embraces this belief at his vegetarian restaurant. Originally from India, chef/owner Pradhan brings a deep international flavor to his variety of offerings.

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With a career in food service that began with Hyatt Hotels and featured a stint as the function chef for Carnival Cruise Lines, Pradhan saw dozens of countries and learned about food from all over the world. His higher culinary training was completed in France, and then he moved to New York, Rhode Island, and eventually Massachusetts. Along the way, he developed an interest and received more training in vegan cuisine. Red Lentil opened in Watertown, Massachusetts in 2009, and Pradhan treats the operation as if he’s welcoming people into his home. “We provide a warm atmosphere in which to enjoy creative and globally-inspired vegetarian and vegan foods. Our aim is to please every customer that walks through our door,” says Pradhan. As a destination for foodies who value a healthy, vegetarian selection, Red Lentil strives to treat each dish with the care that special diets demand and that diners request. With equipment for gluten-free meals and a dedication to prepare all desserts in-house, the additional control over production means Pradhan and his team make meals that garner attention.


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The restaurant was named 2013 winner of the Nature’s Plate People’s Choice Award presented by the Nature Conservancy. The dishes make it easy to see why: From vegetables cooked on the grill to a careful and strategic use of spices, Pradhan converts simple tastes into sophisticated meals. Some of these include contemporary fusion recipes ranging from Tempeh Reuben, Portobello Sandwich, and Sweet Potato Quesadillas to the Macrobiotic Platter, from Grilled Eggplant Steak Sandwiches to Spinach-Feta Piz-

za, and from Grilled Vegetable Lasagna to Tandoori-Style Vegetable Kabobs. Pradhan says his approach features a lot of grilling because “The fire pit has held an important place in virtually every country and culture throughout history. In our busy, modern lives, grilling celebrates the delightful, healthy, and naturally bold flavors of earthy green vegetables and allows us to explore flavors of the world without leaving our own backyards.” Twice a year Pradhan changes the selections on the menu to match avail-

able local ingredients. He’s found great success with that and says working with local farms and suppliers is rewarding—as is finding new ways to excite the taste buds of people who like to eat vegetarian or vegan. “Vegetarians miss out on lots of foods. No grilled burgers or hot dogs at a barbecue. No Thanksgiving turkey,” says Pradhan. “Whether you’re a vegetarian or not, you can benefit from the high fiber, low fat, and rich nutrients of a vegetarian diet. Vegetarian foods can also be delicious.” Spices, herbs, lentils, and pulses (grain legumes) are common ingredients in Pradhan’s dishes. In India he saw 50 types of legumes and a variety of pulses. He says both offer him more opportunities to be creative in his cooking. Some legumes he uses are haricot beans, lima beans, butter beans, urads, Scarlet runner beans, Congo beans, and many more. “Being in New England, it is impossible to have everything be local, but we try to have most of our products to be sourced from the region and support local and small businesses,” says Pradhan. “And to keep it more interesting, we also put a lot of time into our specials. We have two specials every day, which mixes up the menu “I opened Red Lentil because I love interacting with people,” he says. “What could be a better place to interact with people by having your own restaurant, and dealing with so much diversity in one place? Food brings closeness in our society. I wanted to create a menu where people can enjoy my food. Food is the best way to show my gratitude to this world. See recipe on page 22

Red Lentil 600 Mount Auburn Street Watertown, MA 02472 617.972.9189

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Vegan Shepherd’s Pie: Ingredients: 10 sweet potatoes 2 zucchini 2 summer squash 1 red bell pepper 2 soy sausage 1 lb spinach 4 Spanish onions 1 lb fresh corn kernel roasted ½ cup green fresh herbs chopped 5 golden Yukon potatoes 2 tbsp red chili flakes 3 tbsp fennel seeds 1 can coconut milk 8 oz soy margarine Salt and pepper to taste Rinse the sweet potatoes in cold water, peel the skin, and cut them into big dices. Soak in the water, totally immersed. Repeat for golden Yukon potatoes. Bring them to boil in two different containers. While the potatoes are boiling, peel the onions, slice them thinly, and sauté in pan until brown in color. Mince the soy sausage—by hand or machine—and then sauté with the onions. Add the fennel seeds and chili flakes. Set aside. Dice the zucchini, summer squash, spinach, and pepper, and sauté in a different pan. Once the potatoes are boiled fully, drain in two different colanders. Mash them separately while adding coconut milk and soy margarine. Take a half hotel pan, spray with pan coating so the food doesn’t stick, and layer all the ingredients with mashed potatoes on top. Cover with silver foil and bake in the oven for 20 minutes at 350 degrees. Garnish with golden fried onions or fried sage leaf and serve with cashew cream sauce.

Cashew Cream Sauce Ingredients: 4 cups cashew nuts soaked in water 3 tbsp nutritional yeast 2 tbsp soy gluten-free tamari 32 oz soy milk 2 tbsp paprika Salt and pepper to taste Drain the cashew from the water and transfer to a blender with the soy milk and other ingredients. Once blended, pour into a saucepan and warm on a low flame.


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Vegan Sheperd’s Pie


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Pingala Café & Eatery: No Meat. No Problem. Written by Bradley Schwarzenbach Photography by Scott Erb and Donna Dufault


Stop me if you’ve heard this one before. How can you tell if someone’s a vegan? Don’t worry. They’ll tell you.

Sorry. It was, unfortunately, the first thing that came to mind when I heard I’d be writing about a vegan restaurant.


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Avocado Toast

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Fighting the stereotypes is one of the challenges facing Trevor Sullivan, owner and head chef at Pingala Café & Eatery in Burlington, Vermont. Sullivan shrugs this off though: he’s most focused on his food’s flavor. The more pressing challenge for him is: “Make a vegan meal that appeals to a lifetime omnivore.” Fortunately for New England foodies, he’s eagerly rising to the occasion. Sullivan’s New England culinary journey began in his hometown of Shrewsbury, Massachusetts, but it also took him through Johnson & Wales in Providence and business school in Worcester. “I’d gotten a taste of the food business and just fell in love with it,” Sullivan said. He landed in Burlington after hiking the Long Trail from Massachusetts to Canada. “I started working in restaurants here… it’s great because the culture is so focused on local foods.” But someone else’s focus can clash with your own views on things. “I was


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working with a lot of whole animals and it just wasn’t the kind of food I wanted to be preparing… I committed to a vegan lifestyle and would not serve any food I wouldn’t eat myself.” At the time, Burlington did not have an all-vegan restaurant. This left Sullivan in a bind. Leaving Burlington wasn’t an option. He loves it and his wife’s yoga studio was there. He could leave the restaurant business altogether—but the more obvious option was to just open his own place. In February 2014, Pingala Café & Eatery opened with an all-vegan, locally-sourced menu, and no dishes greater than $10. “I wanted to create a menu that is familiar to everyone. Reaching omnivores is vital to us. I mean, it’s delicious food at a great price. It just happens to be plantbased,” Sullivan said. “And please know that you don’t have to sign up as a vegan just to walk in the door! We don’t wave the vegan flag in front,” he quickly added.

For a menu without any meat, it is surprisingly familiar. Comfortable even. “Our Buffalo Wrap is really popular,” Sullivan said. It’s a coconut buffalo tofu with vegetables and a dill tahini sauce. He also mentions the Buffalo Broccoli Bites as popular with vegans and omnivores alike. Although, he added that it’s the E.L.T. that’s most popular with vegan cuisine neophytes. “It starts with eggplant bacon. We dehydrate thick slices of marinated eggplant. After 24 hours, what’s left is this savory, sweet, smoky, slab of ‘bacon’,” Sullivan said. The sandwich is completed with lettuce, tomato, caramelized onion, and a maple dijon aioli on millet bread. Pingala also offers a rainbow of fresh fruit juices and smoothies. “I’m a vegan for ethical, personal, and

environmental reasons. But my goal is to just share that this food tastes good. You’re not giving things up by eating here,” Sullivan said. So far, Burlington’s reaction to Pingala’s vegan mission has been positive, according to Sullivan. “It’s been great. After we opened we started seeing the larger community stopping by and saying, ‘yeah, it’s vegan, but the food’s really good and the price point’s great!’” “We’re just doing food the best way we know how,” Sullivan said. “And I’m feeling really good about the food we’re making.” Pingala Café & Eatery 1 Mill Street Burlington, VT 05401 802.540.0110

Buffalo Broccoli Bites Ingredients: 3-4 large crowns of broccolli 1 tsp. fresh garlic 1 tsp. fresh ginger 1 Tbsp. timari 1 cup coconut milk 3 cups Frank’s hot sauce 3/4 cup coconut oil 8 oz tahini 2 Tbsp. nutritional yeast 1 lemon 1 bunch fresh dill 1 tsp sugar 3 cups water salt and pepper Separate/chop the broccoli into florets. Roughly chop dill, set aside. Heat large skillet with cooking oil. Add broccoli, ginger, garlic, and timari. Cover for 3-5 minutes to help steam the broccoli and keep things from sticking. Stir occasionally on medium heat. Combine the coconut milk, hot sauce, and coconut oil in blender. Set aside. Combine tahini, nutritional yeast, juice of lemon, dill, water and 2 tsp. salt, 1 tsp. pepper in a mixing bowl. Whisk until smooth. Set aside. Transfer Broccoli into large bowl. Toss with buffalo sauce, transfer to serving bowl. Serve immediately with tahini dipping sauce on side.

Owner & Head Chef Trevor Sullivan

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No Meat,

More Flavor The Grange is the Exception that Proves the Rule Written by Julie Grady Thomas Photography by Scott Erb and Donna Dufault


Devour. Gobble. Scarf. Three words not necessarily associated with vegetarian cuisine, a misconception that’s all too often rooted in truth, but one that The Grange defies again and again.

As omnivores, how many vegetarian restaurants have you been to? One? None? And why would you, unless you are indeed a vegetarian. But on the corner of Broadway and Dean in Providence, Rhode Island, The Grange has put an obvious, yet underused, spin on vegetarian dining: just take out the meat.


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Brussel Sprouts, Smoked Mushrooms, and Cranberry Mustardo

Foodies of New England


Meatless ≠ Tasteless

Winter Squash, Delicata & Red Kabocha, Wild Rice Pilaf, Preserved Lemon, Coconut Broth

It really is that simple. “It’s not adventurous,” said Chef Jon Dille. “It just so happens that we just took the meat part out.” A night out at The Grange still gives you the same all-inclusive dining experience, the same delectable palate, the same attention to detail—just sans meat. Perhaps the best, and most popular, example of this is the po’ boy sandwich. This hot sub has Cajun origins and has spread throughout the Southern US and beyond. Typically, it’s served on a baguette and packed with meat or seafood (think roast beef, hot sausage, and fried chicken or fried shrimp, oysters, soft shell crab, catfish, and crawfish). Dille’s spin: fried oyster mushrooms, cabbage slaw, pickles and remoulade get cozy on a pretzel baguette. This monster sandwich ensures that you won’t miss the meat. At all. Owners Rob and Uschi Yaffe are well versed in the natural foods industry. The Golden Sheaf was Rhode Island’s first natural foods market back in 1971 and was opened by Rob’s parents. It was a place with community needs at its core, but closed in 1990. Together, Rob and Uschi have since focused on elevating diners’ perceptions and experience of vegetables, all with an emphasis on seasonal, organic produce from local farms, something The Grange executes precisely.

Farm-to-Table, Just Vegetarian & Kosher

Chef Jonathan Dille


Foodies of New England

New England has a rich tradition of meat and potatoes. And for some, that hasn’t changed. “When we first opened, we didn’t market ourselves as a vegetarian restaurant,” admitted Dille. And while this was something that initially sent customers running for the nearest steakhouse, people are changing. “We’ve got the most diverse clientele in the city: a family of six eating in here, college students at the bar, locals com-

ing in for the music nights. Most people that come here aren’t even vegetarian,” he said. The Grange does have warm, open décor and a relaxed yet urbane vibe. It’s not a vegetarian restaurant, but an eatery with a great bar-scene—the cocktails are inspired and live music is a plus. “We’re not trying to make things taste like meat. I think that’s what people are afraid of,” Dille explained. “We’re just a farm-to-table restaurant that happens to be vegetarian.”

Honestly, It’s Honest Food To some, the phrase honest food is a cliché, but it still means something to Dille. “For me, it’s about not manipulating the food too much; it’s about not buying an inferior product and making it better. It’s about buying good products from good people and keeping it simple.” In awe of Dille’s unassuming candor, there was silence as he elaborated on how tightly knit The Grange is with its community, and how putting money back into the local economy isn’t just a line. Later that night, they would host a fundraiser for the Southside Community Land Trust where 100% of the revenue

would go directly to the organization, which happens to be a local agent for community food security as well as a provider of land, education, tools and support for people who want to grown their own food. A graduate of Johnson & Wales University, Dille isn’t out to radicalize meat-eaters. “Most other vegetarian restaurants are ideal-driven and not food-driven,” he revealed. “Personally, when I’m out, I never look for vegetarian restaurants, just good restaurants; and here, it’s the same. It’s just about the food. We don’t ever say that was good for a vegetarian restaurant. It’s just good.” Open for brunch, lunch and dinner, it’s virtually impossible for The Grange to disappoint. With a simply innovative menu featuring comforting classics, like housemade pierogis, cassoulet, kim chi dumplings, poutine and a carrot dog to rival any hot dog you’ve ever had, it beckons to even the most ravenous carnivores. The Grange 166 Broadway Providence, RI 02903 401.831.0600

Can’t get enough of The Grange? Don’t worry. The Grange has two sister establishments—the Garden Grille and the Wildflour Bakery, each a go-to vegetarian destination in their own right. The Garden Grille is the perfect destination if you haven’t got the time for a dining experience. Need a quick pit stop? Stuck in lunch rut? Dying for some fast food? This place was born to fill all your urgent eatery needs. It’s kosher, too. Satisfaction won’t be spared. The Wildflour Vegan Bakery & Juice Bar is a 100% vegan and 100% delectable. It’s the area’s first full-scale vegan bakery and whether you’re vegan or not, you must go. Aside from the cinnamon knots, sinkerdoodles, peanut butter ganache brownies, coffee cake and pumpkin whoopie pies, they’ve got killer kale chips, smoothies, juices, shakes and a juice “farmacy” to fulfill all your detox-immuno-health needs. And like it’s sister stores, also kosher (except for Passover). Foodies of New England


Panang Coconut Curry Vegetables & Tempeh with Lime Leaves and Thai Basil


Foodies of New England

Green Elephant The

in the Room:

Portland’s sole vegetarian restaurant carves out a spot in Maine’s culinary landscape.


Written by Sarah Connell Photography by Scott Erb and Donna Dufault

Green Elephant twinkles on Congress Street—decadent chandeliers, shiny silverware sculptures, and carefully-lit candelabras beckon to passersby. Still, many balk at the prospect of a satisfying vegan meal. Manager Ben Richards explains, “While Green Elephant maintains a large base of regulars, not all are vegetarian.

Foodies of New England


Often times, vegetarians drag their friends and family members through our door, only to find them hooked by the end of the meal.” Best known for its premier curry dishes, Richards assures us that Green Elephant is making a name for itself even with Portland’s most adamant carnivores. Drawing creative influence from the visual arts, Chef Dan Sriprasert is a culinary virtuoso in the truest sense of the word. Sriprasert’s compassionate outlook on fine dining has propelled his establishments, Green Elephant and Boda, to the forefront of Portland’s restaurant scene. Green Elephant opened its doors in 2007 under the direction of co-owners, Dan Sriprasert and Bob Wongsaichua. A hotbed for Asian fusion, Green Elephant is Portland, Maine’s sole vegetarian restaurant. Its menu features widely-influenced vegan fare ranging from Thai street-food to old family recipes. While many Portland restaurants offer vegetarian options, the decision to serve exclusively vegetarian cuisine makes Green Elephant unique. Everything about dining at Green Elephant feels “compassionate,” right down to the pronunciations offered on the menu. Substitutions and accommodations for dietary restrictions abound. This is a safe-haven for exacting diners. Hand-painted canvases adorn the walls of the dining room, depicting silhouettes of forks and spoons in vibrant hues. The powerful contrast of negative space in each painting mirrors the striking plates that emerge from the kitchen. With each new course, Green Elephant pulls vegetarian cuisine into sharper focus for novices and skeptics alike. Servers are quick to reassure first-time visitors, saying, “Our chef aims to satisfy a number of aspects of your palate this evening.


Foodies of New England

You will not be disappointed.” Still, for some, it is not until they breathe in the extraordinary aromas of a perfectly crisped Roti Canai that they realize Green Elephant’s greatest work of art is one to be savored. Start by celebrating texture with a divine order of the vegetable dumplings. Silky soy-ginger glaze and spicy chili sauce meant for dipping make this dish the perfect primer from supple skin to succulent center. The vegetable dumplings are a model of Sriprasert’s remarkable ability to enhance classic dishes with a distinctly artistic touch. Servers are quick to recommend Panang Curry Vegetable and Tempeh when asked what they order at the end of a shift. The coconut milk curry, seasoned with Thai basil and lime leaves, offers a robust and juicy counterpoint to the sticky jasmine rice with which it is paired. Buttercup squash, Thai eggplant, and an abundance of local zucchini and peppers provide a satisfying crunch with every bite. The availability of local seasonal produce inspires specials like the Veggie Gong Bao, a traditional Chinese stir-fry. Non-GMO soy meat rounds out a generous collection of spicy onions, peppers, snow peas and celery, speckled with teensy sesame seeds and peanut crumbles. For dessert, try the Pumpkin Tapioca Pudding served up in delicate goblets and topped with toasty pistachios. Each spoonful contains bulbous tapioca pearls worthy of a bubble tea. Pair with some local Dry Mead for a truly delightful finish to your meal. Green Elephant 608 Congress Street Portland, ME 04101 207.347.3111

Chocolate Orange Mousse Pie (Makes one 9 inch pie) Ingredients: 1 (12 ounce) package silken tofu 1/2 cup coconut milk 2 Tbsp orange liqueur (optional) 12 ounces vegan semi sweet chocolate chips 1 (9 inch) prepared chocolate graham cracker crust Sliced toasted almonds and grated orange peel (garnish)

Blend tofu, coconut milk and orange liqueur in a food processor until just smooth. In a double boiler, melt the chocolate chips. Cool slightly, then pour into food processor and blend with tofu mixture until creamy. Pour mixture into chocolate graham cracker crust. Chill in the refrigerator for at least two hours. Garnish with toasted almonds and orange peel before serving.

Foodies of New England


Roasted Noank Oysters with Maple Charred Cranberry, Wild Sheep’s Sorrel, Farm To Hearth Brioche and Pernod


Foodies of New England

Is the World Your Oyster Club? Written by David G. Kmetz Photography by Scott Erb and Donna Dufault


We food fans are enjoying a golden age for mollusks here in New England. After years of decline and assorted environmental set-backs, algae bloom and red tide, oysters and their brethren are on the charge again—it seems a new raw bar joint opens every few weeks along the coast.

One recent example of this rampant Renaissance is the aptly named The Oyster Club, nestled on a busy historic side street in trendy and tourist rich Mystic, CT. Now entering their fourth year in business by Owner and Manager Daniel Meiser, Executive Chef James Wayman, and Co-owner Jason Steadman, The Oyster Club is a benchmark establishment that truly captures the essence of ultra-fresh seafood and local produce. Foodies of New England


The chef-owner team procure seafood exclusively from Connecticut, Rhode Island, and Massachusetts, but apply their cooking bias in eclectic, globallyinfluenced dishes. In keeping with the vintage avenue aesthetic, Oyster Club is housed in a mid-19th century store-front; painted in a deep cobalt blue and matte charcoal finish, it offers a stark counter-point to the bright happy aesthetic typical of this iconic former whaling town. Being in the local historic district, the revisions Dan and the team wanted were scrutinized for compliance. The Historic District Commission enthusiastically approved the restaurant design, paving the way for the fast track project: it was completed in just ten months. Inside are warm rustic wood plank walls, a cathedral ceiling, and good light from the many oversized windows. Up a flight of steps, the shaded outdoor deck off the back (known as “The Treehouse”) overlooks Mystic River and serves oysters shucked to order. The dining area can seat 46 with room for another 16 in the tap room. The Treehouse, used in warmer months, can host about 50 guests. Cited by Travel + Leisure Magazine as among the “Best Oyster Bars in America” from a recent issue (September, 2014), the team have not let the accolades go to their collective heads. Says Dan Meiser, “We have a system that works for us—Yes, it is often the exact opposite of how most places are organized, but it functions very well and clearly the critics agree! It is never boring and we have a superb team, both front and back of the house, that keeps business humming like a well-oiled machine.” Dan is a 2001 graduate of Bucknell University in Lewisburg, with a BA in Political Science & Legal Studies. When Dan is not at the restaurant, you will most likely find him on his boat, The 85th Day, chasing striped bass on Sugar Reef or clamming for dinner. With a creative and often innovative menu that changes daily, there is more than enough to keep even the regulars guessing. On a recent visit, this writer saw pan-fried smelts, fluke daube and pan-roasted skate over sweet potato grits and sautéed kale (this veggie is having its glorious fifteen minute of fame of late). Dan Meiser proudly states, “How many places—even good fish places—will ever serve smelts? We knew we had a fresh supply and know what to do with them, so on the menu they went!” Oysters and clams of course are among the most popular starter dishes and the assortment varies but usually includes Ninagret Nectars and Watch Hills from Rhode Island, Noanks


Foodies of New England

and Fisher Island oysters from nearby Block Island Sound, along with the usual Cherrystones and Littlenecks. There is chowder, sure, but banging knees with miso soup with wakame, veggies, and scallions? Fried fish sandwiches, but also crispy tofu with Korean barbeque, jasmine rice, and ginger sautéed radishes—you get the picture. Far from the average seacoast fare, and we food enthusiasts are better for it. The footer on the menu underscores the importance of their regional connection: it lists every farm and artisan who contributed to that day’s menu offerings and the majority of them are less than 20 miles from the site.

From The Oyster Club blurb... “A native of Manchester, CT, Dan Meiser began his restaurant career in 2003 working for a well-known local chef Chris Torla of Trumbull Kitchen in Hartford. Realizing his passion for cooking, food, and restaurants was more than a hobby, Dan enrolled at the esteemed French Culinary Institute in Manhattan, where he went on to graduate first overall in class. After a successful internship working for world-renowned chef Daniel Boulud at Restaurant Daniel, Dan was offered a position at Daniel’s sister restaurant, Café Boulud, which he eagerly accepted. While at Café Boulud, Dan had the opportunity to cook for and learn from Café Boulud’s executive chef Andrew Carmellini, who won the James Beard Award for ‘Best Overall Chef in NYC’ during Dan’s tenure.” In November of 2008, Dan received the coveted “30 Under 30” award given out by Restaurant & Hospitality Magazine to the top 30 restaurateurs in the United States under the age of 30. Ingredients are locally-sourced so everything tastes just as fresh as it should. Specials often have an international flare— Asian, Moroccan, Turkish, Mexican. And there are always well-thought-out vegetarian options. Standard items on the menu include pristine regional oysters, chowders, mussels in coconut milk, NY strip steak, homemade tagliatelle, and the dessert almond brown butter cake make it hard to deviate to the specials, but that’s what makes first-timers into regulars! Come a few times, and everyone knows your name. The dining experience at Oyster Club is unparalleled in the region. For you more diehard carnivores, Dan and team have recently opened a more beef-based eatery, also in Mystic: the Engine Room. They harvest their way through two full steers a week, fully butchered in house. See recipe on page 40

Almond Brown Butter Cake with Bittersweet Chocolate, Kirsch Creme Anglaise

Chef James Wayman and Co-owner Dan Meiser

Foodies of New England


Skate Meunière with Roasted Brussels Sprouts and Freedom Apples Season skate with sea salt. Sear in a hot cast iron pan with canola oil on one side until edges start to turn golden brown, don’t flip the fish. Place pan in a 400 degree oven for about 10 minutes, until a thin knife pierces thru the fish without resistance. Remove fish from the pan and make a sauce by adding fresh butter to the pan over medium heat, constantly moving the butter. Keep butter on the heat until butter solids begin to brown, add a generous squeeze of fresh lemon juice, fresh chopped parsley, and thinly sliced almonds that you have toasted golden brown in the oven ahead of time. Spoon sauce over the fish. For Brussels sprouts, cut in half and remove the bottom stem. Place flat side down in hot cast iron pan with either bacon fat or mix of canola oil & butter. Season with sea salt and pepper. Pan roast until golden brown, flip the sprouts, add fresh chopped apples to the pan, add fresh butter and season to taste. Cook until apples are just tender. Enjoy!

The Oyster Club 13 Water Street Mystic, CT 06355 860.415.9266


Foodies of New England

Foodies of New England


Cooking up a Career

Part III: From Culinary Student to Executive Chef— a Q&A with Jennifer Backman

Written by Tom Verde Photography by Scott Erb and Donna Dufault


hirty-three-year-old Jennifer Backman began filling lunch orders at an early age. As a first-grader in the Bellingham, Washington State public school system, she traded her turkey or tuna sandwiches for the coveted PBJs of her classmates, then asked what they might want the next day. She made their orders at home while her mother remained blissfully ignorant of her youngest daughter’s wheeling and dealing. As an adult, Backman continued to cut her own path through the culinary world. She combined a successful education at Johnson & Wales University’s (JWU) Culinary Arts program in Providence (Class of 2004) with the occasional adventurous side trip, such as a summer in Germany where she learned, of all things, how to perfect Italian pasta.

Executive Chef Jennifer Backman


Foodies of New England

These days, she’s the Executive Chef at Weekapaug Inn, a high-end resort overlooking Block Island Sound in Westerly, RI. Backman draws her menu-planning inspiration from the location, with its fresh fish and farm produce, as well as from her own instincts on the right and wrong way to run a kitchen and prepare a meal. In this third and final interview with current and former culinary students, we asked her about the value of a culinary school education and how it influenced her own career. Foodies of New England: When did you decide you wanted to be a chef? Jennifer Backman: When I was about 13 or 14, I sat down with my dad to discuss my future and he asked me what I liked to do, and I said, “Well, I like to cook, but you can’t do that for a living.” He said, “Sure you can.” So that’s when I learned that you can go to school, and train, and become a food professional. FNE: What made you chose Johnson & Wales? JB: I took culinary classes at Bellingham Technical College. One of my instructors there had been an instructor at JWU and told me about the program there. At the time, I was trying to decide

between JWU and the Culinary Institute of America (CIA), which are really the top culinary schools in the country. But, that summer I worked in an Italian restaurant with a chef who trained at CIA, and I preferred the work ethic and everything about the style of the instructor I had who had been at JWU, so that’s why I chose the school. FNE: Was the education there worth it? JB: Getting a degree helps. Certainly, there are kitchens that won’t hire you without one. The biggest thing that I

got out of culinary school was the networking. If you just go to school, and go to class, and get your grades, I don’t think there is any point in doing it. But if you go to school, and you stay late, and your chef has some other project on the side, or someone is doing a catering event, all of a sudden you start to network, and the connections become a part of your network later on down the road. FNE: So the education doesn’t end with the degree. continued on page 44

Foodies of New England


JB: Not at all. When I graduated, I didn’t plan on just going to one place. I wanted to go to different restaurants and learn different skills under different chefs and see what they had to offer, and then move on to the next. There’s no finish line. [A culinary career] is a work in progress; every day I evolve as a chef, and every day my staff evolves as cooks, and we grow and learn together. FNE: What have you learned here at the Weekapaug Inn, and how have the bounties of southern Rhode Island contributed to that education? JB: This is a small, high-end, guestfocused, boutique resort, where the food plays a huge part in what we do here. In many cases, we are providing guests with all their meals, so it’s an opportunity for us to serve them something different every single day. We get, probably, 80% of our products—seafood, vegetables—from the local area. My staff knows the names of the farmers who deliver to the back door because they’re a part of what we do. A chef is not a chef without a farmer. FNE: And is that something you can learn in culinary school? JB: I think schools are starting to try to teach that, but it really comes from working with people that believe in it. When the farms deliver, the first thing all my cooks do is stop what they are


Foodies of New England

doing and run to the order and store it properly. They’ll take everything out of the boxes, they’ll look at it, they’ll make sure there are towels underneath the product, so if water comes off it, it absorbs properly and it saves the life of the vegetable. The delivery drivers will tell us they’ve never seen any operation do what we do. It’s a passion that becomes a way of life. Thinking about Culinary School? Find out more on Johnson & Wales University by visiting and the Culinary Institute of America by visiting The Weekapaug Inn is located at 25 Spray Rock Road, Westerly, RI, 02891; Local Tel. 401.637.7600; Toll Free 888.813.7862; For more information visit

at Tantasqua The Cornerstone CafĂŠ is the student run restaurant at Tantasqua Regional High School located at 319 Brookfield Road, Fiskdale, MA Open: Wednesday, Thursday and Friday when school is in session, 10:30 am - 12:30 pm Our menu selections change weekly and can be found on the school website at Choose Cornerstone CafĂŠ from the left side menu We can also be reached by calling 508-347-9301 ext. 0915 or ext. 5161

Join us for lunch and let us treat your taste buds!

“History of...”

Written by Jodie Lynn Boduch Photography by Scott Erb and Donna Dufault

Jodie Lynn Boduch, owner of Much Ado Marketing, serves as Social Media Director and Staff Writer for the Foodies team. She’s an adventurous explorer of the culinary landscape and enjoys writing about food. Educated in both business and history, she has big plans to put the latter to good use for this column.


Foodies of New England

Sage Without a doubt, sage is a VIP among herbs. Here are just a few of its credentials: Europeans and Asians have prized its expansive culinary uses and medicinal properties for centuries. Americans call on it for holiday traditions, particularly as an ingredient in Thanksgiving stuffing or as an accent to butternut squash. Many cultures believe sage ensures that pesky evil spirits exit stage left. Even the name Salvia officinalis, derived from the Latin salvere, means to save or to heal—weighty linguistic attributes for those grayish green, veined, fragrant, velvety leaves (and the latter trait makes it, hands-down, my favorite herb to pet).

One Busy Herb Sage is native to the Mediterranean, but don’t let its warm-blooded origins fool you; it’s robust, unpalatable to deer that engage in garden thievery, and renowned as The Last Herb Standing after a New England Freeze, or three. (Ahem, personal experience.) continued on page 48

Foodies of New England


A member of the mint family, this pungent yet flavorful herb is found in poultry, pork, and lamb dishes. It’s also a common ingredient in sausages and works well with cheeses, butter, and eggs. Sage adds an aromatic brightness to cocktails, too. Dried sage is strong, so if that’s all you have handy, be sure to adjust the amount (a tablespoon fresh to a teaspoon dried is a good rule of thumb). In both Ancient Greece and Ancient Rome, the spotlight was on the herb’s connection to healing and wellness. It was used to preserve meat, cure snakebites, and aid in digestion. Sage, which was gathered with great ceremony in Roman culture, was also believed to help clear one’s mind and provide a sense of well-being. During the medieval era, Arabs linked sage to immortality, whereas Europeans used it to fend off witchcraft. Medicinally, Europeans added sage to their first aid kits to help with fevers, colds, and epilepsy. In the 17th century, China was so enamored with French sage tea that Chinese traders allegedly traded tea for sage in rations of three or four to one. The herb was also prone to social commentary, at least according to English folklore that suggested sage grows best where the “wife is dominant.” (Sage of the 21st century is probably far less likely to commit to observations involving relationship dynamics.)

In the modern world, sage still has a full to-do list and can often be found in soaps, perfumes, and cosmetics.

Sage Signals the All Clear The Celtic Druids did it. The Native Americans did it. New Age practitioners do it, and so could you. Sage burning. It’s a thing. Burning sage (or “smudging”) as a means of purifying a space or even a person is the most distinctive non-culinary use of the herb. Often bundled for such burning rituals, sage truly evokes its healing etymology in this realm. The herb’s smoke is fanned around the space or person being cleansed. Although there are cultural variations of this ritual regarding ceremony and purpose, all cast sage as the good guy that draws out the “bad stuff.” Generally, sage is believed to remove negative energy, cast out evil spirits, and restore spiritual and corporeal balance. So do those velvet leaves translate to a velvet rope fit for a celebrity herb? Definitely. But don’t worry— sage can pencil you and your herb garden in for a tequila-sage cocktail anytime.


Foodies of New England

Spicy Sage, Lentil, Potato Stew By Dona Bourgery Ingredients: ½ Ib. lentils 6-8 small yukon gold potatoes/ cut in quarters 1 med. white onion /chopped 1 lg. red pepper /chopped 4 garlic cloves /minced 1 small can of diced tomatoes 4 fresh sage leaves ½ tsp. dry sage 1 tbsp. garlic powder ¼ cup tomato paste 2 tbsp. olive oil 1tbsp. ground pepper 1 tsp. sea salt 4 cups water Directions: Sort and rinse lentils. Heat olive oil, garlic, onion, pepper, potatoes. Add lentils, water, and spices. Bring all to a boil, cover and simmer. Stew is cooked when all vegetables are tender and soup thickens. Add extra water, if you prefer more of a broth than a thick stew. Great on a brisk, snowy day, serve with plenty of crusty warm bread for dipping.

Foodies of New England


Bangor Brings Bacon Back to its Roots

Written by Bradley Schwarzenbach Photography by Scott Erb and Donna Dufault

To hear Allen Schaffer tell it is to lament the fact that the process of curing food takes so long. “Really good bacon has a smoky, umami taste. It’s crunchy and hard. Salty and sweet. It has everything you want…. Real bacon is twice cooked. That commercial stuff is injector-brined.” The Bangor Bacon Club in Bangor, Maine is not a restaurant. It’s not a food truck. It’s not a popup shop. You cannot reserve a table. There is no maitre’d. There is only membership.


Foodies of New England

Allen Schaffer

The club has 60 to 70 members at any given time, and membership is available to anyone willing to learn. “We have restaurant owners come in to learn about curing. We have a teenager! It’s a real cross-section of people,” says Schaffer. And membership has its privileges. Buying in will get you the meats necessary for whatever project the club is working on as well as access to the granite curing room in Schaffer’s house. The impetus for this collection of homegrown curers was a dinner at the house Schaffer bought when he and his family moved to Bangor in 2009. “The whole idea began when we were hosting a wine dinner at the house. Between courses my guests asked to see the curing room. Then they asked me to teach them how to do it. And to date, we’ve cured maybe 3,300 pounds of bacon,” Schaffer says. “For $90, people get a chance to learn an ancient way of food preparation and walk away with 15 pounds of bacon.” Since the beginning, the club has not only expanded its membership, it’s expanded its offerings. It began with pork bacon, but the group now also cures genoa salami, pastrami, corned beef, multiple varieties of sausage, salmon, continued on page 52

Foodies of New England


prosciutto, hams, duck, and more. “We’ve raised our own organic chickens and quickly sold out of those. We’re trying emulsified sausages, and seafood sausage is something we’re trying and evolving,” Schaffer says. Schaffer is very clear about one thing: Bangor Bacon Club is not a business. “It’s a network of people and we all learn together.” The club’s class schedule is varied, and offerings change every year. He reported that the genoa salami class was actually the most popular last year. “The members made these beautiful 10-pound genoas… That… might have been too much,” Schaffer says with a chuckle. As much as the club is about making and eating delicious foods, it’s also a real education in preparing foods using historical—antiquated, even?—methods. Their methods are also exercises in sustainability. “Oh, there’s nothing wasted,” Schaffer says. “This is true nose-to-tail cooking. Even the stock is

saved from the cuts we use.” Membership benefits seem limitless. True foodies can help develop and test their palates by seasoning meats to their own tastes, or test their limits by using different and exotic tastes. “We’ll

encourage people in the classes to customize. We’ll do everything from a plain farm bacon to bacons seasoned with maple, cayenne, pepper, bourbon, lots of things,” Schaffer says. His curing room has become as much of a place to cure meats as it has become a true classroom for New Englanders looking to expand their culinary horizons. “What we’re doing is heritage ways of making meats,” Schaffer says. “How many times these days do you prepare a meal a week in advance? Three weeks? A year, even? Well, that’s a ham! For us, the thrill isn’t in a gourmet label on what we do, it’s in using a [preparation] method that is a thousand years old.” The Bangor Bacon Club is always accepting new members. Its classes are held in Bangor, Maine. Visit to see their forthcoming class schedule and to contact Allen Schaffer about membership.

Enjoy the


Make your event one that your guests will remember. Ambiance Linens will provide you with personalized service, free design consultation, and quality linens, all at affordable prices.


Foodies of New England

42 Cricket Drive • Sturbridge, MA 01566 508.347.6430 •


Foodies of New England

Salem Cross Inn

True New England Hospitality Written by Sandy Lashin-Curewitz Photography by Scott Erb and Donna Dufault


esplendent with colonialism and charm, the weathered tables at the Salem Cross Inn welcome couples gathering for anniversaries and families getting together for birthdays. Dine in quaint, rustic rooms, get cozy in the intimate Hexmark Tavern, or indulge in the Historic Drover’s Feast with 100 friends you haven’t yet met. This—all 600 acres of it—is quintessential New England. The Salem family accurately restored the historic home and opened it as a restaurant in 1961. Today, they have succeeded in marrying favorite New England fare, succulent garden flavors, and a subtle cosmopolitan flare. The catalyst is Chef Laurent Olivier, who brings years of experience at five-star restaurants and hotels in Normandy, London, and the US. He masterfully oversees the preparation of prime rib and chicken pot pie, brings new life to duck and dumplings, and includes gluten-free and vegan items on the menu.

Cedar Plank Salmon

Foodies of New England



Foodies of New England

Chef Laurent Olivier

Imagine duck breast, seared medium rare with lavender demi-glaze, accompanied by julienne apples, orange segments, toasted pine nuts, and lightly caramelized shallots over arugula. The vegetables and herbs would have been gathered from the Inn’s gardens right outside, and the apples procured from a nearby orchard. The centerpiece of the Salem Cross Inn experience is the 1700s-style Fireplace Feast. When there is a chill in the air, there is no better way to warm the stomach and the spirit. Not just a repast but a spectacle, the feast begins with up to six prime rib (from the Inn’s own herd) roasting on display on an 18th-century roasting jack in a fieldstone fireplace (it took Henry Salem many years to find the clock-style jack, and it is the only one in commercial use in the US). Beau Salem, who mans the jack, says it cooks the prime rib “better than any oven.” A crowd of revelers of all ages spreads from a homemade cheese log onto crackers and sips hot, mulled wine and cider, while apples are prepared for pie on a 19th-century peeler/corer. Exit the prime rib for slicing, and enter an antique iron cauldron, filled with fresh seafood stock. It quickly reaches a rolling boil on the hundreds-of-degrees hot fireplace. Beau adds sea clams, quahogs, and fish filets in between stirs of a wooden paddle by delighted guests who pass giant red, thick, protective gloves on to the next volunteer. He adds the cream last—the key to perfect chowder. Family-style serving begins when guests are seated in the warm, inviting barn at long tables on the main floor and loft, which is decorated with strings of white lights and Ameri-

Indulge in the Historic Drover’s Feast with 100 friends you haven’t met yet cana. The chowder is thick with seafood, the broth flavorful with herbs and just a hint of tabasco heat. Baskets are filled with fresh-baked rolls. From the Inn’s keeping cellar come the sides: potatoes (baked), butternut squash (thick puree), and spinach (in a flaky crust). The juicy, tender, just-the-rightshade-of-pink-red beef melts to the knife. The flavor, understated on its own, bursts forth when dipped in savory drippings. Like fireworks on Independence Day, a wide wooden bowl brimming with thick, heavenly, homemade whipped cream is the sight each eye anticipates. Diners queue for that sweet topping on a generous square of autumn-spiced apple pie to complete the feast. Keep in touch with the Salem Cross Inn on Facebook, Pinterest, and especially the video library, where you can learn to make such favorites as the famous Salem Cross “brookie” and their twist on the classic Pims cocktail. Salem Cross Inn 260 West main Street West Brookfield, MA 01585 508.867.2345 Foodies of New England


Gluten Free

Written by Ellen Allard Gluten Free Diva Photography by Scott Erb and Donna Dufault

Gluten Free Meets Comfort Food

Ellen Allard, the Gluten Free Diva, is an over-the-moon enthusiastically hip and motivational Certified Holistic Health Coach who helps clients banish the bloat and embrace gluten free lifestyle changes that enable them to fall madly in love with the food that unequivocally loves them back. A graduate of the Institute for Integrative Nutrition, Ellen is a recipe developer, food writer, food photographer and videographer (www.glutenfreediva. com/blog/.) She passionately promotes optimal health through informed food choices and whole plant-based foods. She loves all things food and health and is happy to talk to you about the same!


Foodies of New England

Nothing says comfort food like mac & cheese. At least that’s what I used to hear said. Thing is, I never really loved it. I’ve often heard that your body knows what is and isn’t good for it. Maybe all those years, before I was diagnosed with celiac disease, my body just knew that the pasta (wheat) and cheese sauce (dairy) wasn’t doing me any good, no matter how comforting it might’ve been to others. It wasn’t until I began experimenting with alternative sources for cheese that I began to really experience what the comfort food part of mac & cheese was all about. I decided to take it up a notch, to accommodate the adult palate of many of our Foodies of New England readers; of course you can omit the smoked paprika and smoked salt (use regular sweet paprika and regular sea salt) and the sundried tomatoes if you want to prepare this for those who prefer my plain old simple Mac & Cheeze. Add the roasted broccoli (my kids used to call them “broccoli trees”) and corn muffins, open a bottle of gluten-free beer, and voilà, comfort food can’t possibly get any better than this!

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Vegan Smoky Mac & Cheeze with Caramelized Onion & Sundried Tomato Ingredients:

Optional Bread Crumb Topping

3 cups water (plus extra as desired)


2 cups raw cashews

3 pieces gluten free bread

Juice of 2 lemons 3⁄4 tsp smoked paprika

¼ tsp each: dried basil, dried oregano, dried parsley, dried marjoram, sea salt

1 tsp onion powder

1 tsp extra virgin olive oil

1 Tbsp sea salt —OR— 1 ½ tsp sea salt & 1½ tsp smoked salt

3 - 5 Tbsp hot water

1 garlic clove 1 Tbsp Dijon mustard 1 jar of roasted red peppers ½ cup nutritional yeast ¼ tsp ground nutmeg 3 Tbsp diced sundried tomato (without oil) Optional: ½ Tbsp white wine Pour all ingredients into blender jar (add white wine if desired) and mix until liquefied. Pour mixture into saucepan, add caramelized onions and sundried tomatoes and heat on medium low for 20 min. For thinner cheese sauce, add more water to saucepan. Pour over gluten-free noodles and serve. Add optional bread crumb topping (see below). Caramelized Onions Ingredients: 1 medium onion 1 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil Heat the olive oil in a sauté pan. Add the chopped onion and sauté on medium low until caramelized. Be careful not to let the onions burn; lower the heat asneeded. Set aside until ready to add to cheeze sauce.


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Blend all ingredients in food processor. Toast in a pan on medium heat until crumbs begin to get crispy. Sprinkle a small handful of toasted bread crumbs on top of each serving of Vegan Smoky Mac & Cheeze.

Jalapeño Gluten Free Corn Muffins Ingredients: 1 cup cornmeal 1 cup gluten free flour mix ½ tsp. xanthan gum (only use if gluten-free flour mix doesn’t contain xanthan gum) ¼ cup coconut sugar 1 Tbsp + ½ tsp baking powder ¼ tsp sea salt 2 Tbsp. diced jalapeño peppers ¼ cup grapeseed oil 1 cup almond milk (remove 1 tbsp) 1 large egg ¼ tsp vanilla extract 6 drops liquid stevia 1/3 cup daiya (cheddar) cheese

Preheat oven to 350˚. Grease muffin tin. Place cornmeal, gluten free flour mix, xanthan gum (only if not included in gluten free flour mix), coconut sugar, baking powder, sea salt, and jalapeño peppers in a mixing bowl. Whisk to blend. In a separate bowl, thoroughly combine almond milk, egg, vanilla extract, liquid stevia and daiya cheese. Add liquid ingredients to dry ingredients and mix only until combined. Fill each muffin cup about ¾ full. Bake 20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center of muffin comes out clean. Allow to cool on a wire rack for 15 – 20 minutes before serving. Freeze any leftover muffins. *I used Bob’s Red Mill 1-to-1 Gluten Free Mix.

Roasted Broccoli Ingredients: One head broccoli extra virgin olive oil sea salt & freshly ground pepper

Preheat oven to 350˚. Peel stems and cut off woody ends of broccoli. Place on baking pan and drizzle with extra virgin olive oil. Add salt and pepper. Use hands to massage oil and salt & pepper into broccoli. Roast 10 – 15 minutes or until done.

Foodies of New England



Foodies of New England

Written by Chef Denny Corriveau Photography by Scott Erb and Donna Dufault




ith today’s resurgence of rediscovering our food roots, items such as boneless duck breast are readily available in grocery and specialty food stores. You may have some apprehension about placing a couple of duck breasts into your cart for fear of the cooking unknown. Here are a few insights on duck that will (I hope) take away your fear. There are primarily three types of duck that you will find: Magret, Moulard, or Muscovy. The stand-out feature of Magret is that the breast is larger than any other duck breast, yielding more flesh for you meat-lovers.

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A Moulard is a sterile hybrid of the male Pekin and the female Muscovy, and it’s bred for breast meat and foie gras. The Moulard is larger than the Pekin and has a more pronounced “duck” flavor. The Muscovy duck is raised for its breast meat and liver. Because the breed originated in a hot climate, it has thinner skin and much less fat than other breeds, making it a better choice for cooking and eating (the males are meatier than the females). The Muscovy has red meat and a pronounced flavor. A boneless hen breast is like a “duck steak” because each “side” weighs about 8 ounces: One breast can be shared by two people. There is no reason to fear of cooking duck. Duck is versatile and flavorful, which makes it a great choice for the dinner table. It is also highly nutritious, is a great source of protein, and has a lower caloric value than skinless chicken. A common belief is that duck is to be cooked with the fat on it. That simply isn’t true. You can use the fat by dicing it and adding it to the pan to render additional flavor when making a sautéed or braised dish (remove the cracklings prior to placing the meat in the pan), but let your mind wander for a bit. Visualize taking your duck to places that your palate would relish. After removing the fat, duck breast can be sliced into thin strips and marinated to make a delicious stir-fry, sliced 1/8” thin lengthwise for a unique braciole dish, or cut in half and pounded out with a meat mallet for cutlets used in a dish like fruit-infused Marsala. Fajitas or a juicy burger are a couple of other ways I enjoy duck as well.


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Some key factors that you always want to remember in your approach to cooking duck: 1. Always use a form a fat to keep your meat moist. 2. Treat your duck with respect by using preservative-free cooking products. Many can be found at 3. Consider the use of dried fruits and flavors like cherry, blueberry, blackberry, cranberry, and apricot. 4. When making cutlets, boneless breasts, kabobs, and burgers do not overcook your meat. It should be served rare or medium-rare. Bon appetit! Denny Corriveau is Award-Winning Master Game Chef and the Founder of the Free Range Culinary Institute, the only national wild game cooking school in the country. As a trendsetter in the field of wild game culinary arts, and Wild Game Evangelist - Denny has evolved over the past 25+ years as a nationally noted authority regarding his “best practice” methodology regarding the culinary side of wild game. In his desire to have an impact on sustainable eating practices, Denny additionally started a company that reflects his name sake Wild Cheff, which offers nearly 100 preservative-free cooking products in 7 categories that apply to all facets of a natural eating lifestyle. You can learn more about Denny @

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Saltbox Farm:

Cultivating a Love for Food Written by Jodie Lynn Boduch Photography by Scott Erb and Donna Dufault


Foodies of New England

“Absurdly lucky.” Those two words came up repeatedly in my conversation with Ben Elliott, chef/ owner of Saltbox Farm. (Well, occasionally he said “ridiculously lucky.”) Given that Saltbox is his passion for both farming and cooking, it’s easy to agree. The farm originally belonged to his mother’s parents, Ed and Emily Thomas, and was a typical small, New England family farm. The Thomas family grew vegetables, raised cows, kept bees, and used or traded everything on the farm. Today Saltbox Farm is a full-fledged farm that also caters events, offers classes, and sponsors a CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) program.

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Elliott is heir not just to the family farm but also to the ideals that built it. He inherited his grandmother’s love for cooking and learned a lot about growing vegetables and tending to farm animals from his grandfather. All in all, he credits them both for his “love for food and where it comes from.” That love of food led Elliott to some of the finest kitchens in the industry, where the tutelage of respected chefs further polished his culinary skills. Among other credentials, he’s worked under Chef Laurent Gras at La Folie and the Fifth Floor in San Francisco and, closer to home, under Chef Barbara Lynch at No. 9 Park in Boston. After seven years at No. 9 Park, Elliott left to pursue a new set of goals as a chef about four years ago. When he left, he took that first season—early spring and summer—to take a breath from restaurant life and devote his energy to restoring the farm. That fall, friends called and then and friends of friends called to ask him to do small-scale catering. Word of mouth continued, and voilà—he had a catering business. Another facet of the business—the CSA program—has evolved over the past few years. Elliott participated in a few farmers markets, and while he enjoyed meeting people and exchanging ideas, the CSA model works better for Saltbox, which does not have a farm stand. It’s a system that gets perishables into people’s hands efficiently, and it works like this: you buy a share in the farm, and you receive a box of freshly-picked veggies and farm products based on the

growing season. At Saltbox, that means a half bushel every Tuesday from spring through mid-November. In addition to spring and summer produce, CSA goods include meat from sheep (October), honey from bees (there was a 150-pound yield just a few days before our conversation in July), eggs, pickled or preserved canned goods, and jam (often the season-ender). Like the CSA, the classes mirror the seasons and whatever the team of chef-instructors finds inspiring. “The sky’s the limit on what we get excited about here,” says Elliott. In spring, for example, they have classes on seeding, soil, and cooking with early spring vegetables such as asparagus, rhubarb, or radish. Elliott subscribes to a food philosophy of pure authenticity. “We’re spoiled at Saltbox—you pick whatever you want, and because it’s so pristine and beautiful, you don’t have to do much with it.” Whole-animal butchery and pasta classes are also on the schedule, and the recent addition of beer making and cooking with beer (the farm grows hops) also has proven to be popular. Elliott considers it a privilege and a responsibility to keep the place a farm, and he says it’s a treat to be able to do it with colleagues that share his enthusiasm. “To be out in the field in the first part of the day, weeding, planting, or picking vegetables, then go into the kitchen and cook it and share it with people, and then eat it.” Absurdly lucky indeed.

Saltbox Farm 40 Westford Road Concord, MA 01742 978.610.6020


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Ben Elliott, chef/owner of Saltbox Farm

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Foodies of New England

Ralph Fiegel, Ben Elliott and Aran Goldstein

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Pasta (and Life): 101

“A Written by Christopher Rovezzi Photography by Scott Erb and Donna Dufault

Chef Christopher Rovezzi started in the restaurant business at age 11 washing pots and pans at his dad’s restaurant in Worcester, MA. When his dad closed the doors to the original Rovezzi’s Restaurant it forced Chris out into the culinary world to continue his training. He attributes much of his success to the 3 years he spent under Chef Tommaso Garguillo. Chris re-opened Rovezzi’s in 2002 in Sturbridge, MA and has happily provided the community with his take on Italian and Medditeranean cuisine ever since. Chris is a two time winner of “Worcesters Best Chef” competition and also “Iron Chef” Champion of 2012. Known for lusty, hearty dishes that are simply prepared, his focus lately has been artisinal hand made pastas.


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Pici Pasta

nything worth doing is worth doing well.” My dad used to tell me that. And although he probably thought that he was the phrase’s author, it’s the truth of it that matters most to me. Two years ago, upon my first visit to Italy, I experienced pici (pronounced “pee-chee”) pasta for the first time. It is mostly found in Tuscany and (if I am to believe what the waiter that took care of us one afternoon told us) it originates in Siena—one of my favorite medieval cities in Italy. Pici is a very dense, eggless pasta noodle made with water and two types of flour: durum semolina and “00” flour (also called doppio zero flour) which is known as THE premier flour that chefs use to make pizza and pasta dough. Because of the hearty nature of the pasta it stands up fantastically well to heavy sauces specifically any type of bolognese. Since we were visiting Italy in the summer, the pici was typically dressed with some of the most amazing basil pesto sauces I have ever had. Unlike other pastas that can be formed using rollers and cutters, pici, when done properly, needs to be rolled out by hand...each individual noodle. When you are feeding 200 people on a busy Saturday night, this can be gruelingly time-consuming. But, as my father said, “Anything worth doing...” This is more than just a pasta making philosophy, it’s how you should face every task. If it MUST get done, give it the best effort you possibly can. That’s what makes all the difference. To me and my dad anyways.

Pici pasta Ingredients: 1 cup durum semolina 1 cup double zero flour 1 cup water Pinch of salt Directions: Process all in a food processor until a ball of dough forms. Flatten ball of dough to 1/2 inch thickness. Cut a strip of dough 4 inches long and on a floured surface roll under your hands and fingers until a long “rope� forms about the thickness of a drinking straw. Boil noodles for 2 minutes and dress with a HEARTY sauce!

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Foodies of New England


R&D Seafood A Sense of Community Written by Briana Palma Photography by Scott Erb and Donna Dufault

There are many ways to serve the catch of the day, but at Woonsocket, Rhode Island’s R&D Seafood, it always comes with a side of friendly chatter. Each day, brothers and co-owners Ron and Marc Charest face a long list of things to do, from ordering fish and calling wholesale clients to operating their retail store. Despite the mountain of tasks and arduous, 60-hour workweek, though, they continue to find time to enjoy the company of their customers.

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“We give something that you can’t get at a supermarket,” Ron says, explaining that it’s common for people to linger in the Smithfield Road store for 15 or 20 minutes, just shooting the breeze. “We talk to anybody,” he adds. “People come in in a grumpy mood and by the time they leave, they’re in a good mood. We’re a very lively store.” It’s been that way since 1968, when the current owners’ parents, Ray and Doris, established the business. While some changes have taken place over the years–the store was originally located in a different part of the city and used to stay open late on Thursdays, payday for factory workers–Ron and Marc have remained true to the way their parents did things. Consequently, customers like Sarah Tangherlini-Ahearn have remained true to R&D. “If I’m going to get seafood, that’s where I’m going,” Tangherlini-Ahearn says. The Woonsocket resident first discovered R&D as a wholesale client about 10 years ago, when she was managing Lou’s Café in nearby Manville. Years after leaving Lou’s, she continues to visit R&D weekly to buy fresh fish for her family, and the store’s sense of community is a big reason why. “There are always jokes going back and forth,” she says. “It’s like Cheers. Everybody knows your name.” Still, despite all the lively conversation, the fish really speaks for itself.


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“Their seafood is fresh, fresh, fresh,” Tangherlini-Ahearn says. “It’s awesome.” Ron and Marc pride themselves on carrying some of the best seafood around, just as their parents did in the past. They sell a variety of fish and shellfish, with the selection and prices changing day to day, depending on what’s available from their brokers in New Bedford, Mass. To ensure R&D’s stock is as fresh as possible, they order daily and insist on having “the top of the boat”–the most recently caught seafood–for their customers. Every morning, when their truck arrives back at the store with the day’s bounty, Ron and Marc personally inspect and trim each piece of fish–another layer of quality control. Afterward, it’s out into the retail area to serve customers, something which they’ve been doing since they were teens. Fortyfive years later, it hasn’t gotten old. “You’ve got to have people,” Ron says, explaining that a standard, nine-to-five office job just isn’t for him. “We’re a very small community,” he adds. “Pretty much everybody knows us and we know everybody too. It’s very nice. We really enjoy our customers.” The feeling is mutual, according to Tangherlini-Ahearn. “You feel like they’re personally taking time to talk to you,” she says. “It’s nice when you get that. You feel very valued at R&D.”

Owners Ron and Marc Charest

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Foodies of New England


Bomster’s Bounty Scallops without Compromise Written by Eric Kalwarczyk Photography by Scott Erb and Donna Dufault

Bomster Scallops is perhaps the epitome of what New England seafood should be. Located in Stonington, Connecticut, this family-run fishing operation does one thing only, and one thing well: sea scallops. Bill Bomster has run the business for 37 years now, and has perfected a system that brings customers the best natural product possible. But when I spoke to him, I made the mistake of asking how he processed his product.

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“I hate that word [processed], my scallops are left in their natural state; they are shelled and rinsed with seawater, then they are immediately vacuum packed and flash frozen on the ship.” Alternatively, it’s common practice in scallop fishing to ice the scallops at sea then bring them to shore for packaging. At sea, as the ice melts the sponge-like scallops absorb some of the water; on shore, the scallops are treated with chemicals that act as a preservative, such as sodium tripolyphosphate, before getting packed and shipped. This process creates an adulterated product. “The word processed,” continued Bill, “connotes that they are somehow treated with chemicals to preserve them or plump them up. I believe we have the most natural, best tasting scallop product on the market.” Bomster packs its scallops in one-pound blocks for individual sale and five-pound blocks for foodservice. It’s best to defrost them overnight in a refrigerator. “I have two 95-foot vessels, each with a seven-man crew,” added Bill. “They can only fish for 10-day runs due to government regulations, so my packing method allows me not only to supply my customers year-round, but also brings us revenue year-round.” The aforementioned regulations may be an understandable thorn in the side of those hardworking fishermen, but while Bomster Scallops makes a living off the bounty of the ocean, it’s a sustainable fishery, so you can dine on these delicious bivalves with a clear conscience. With the intention to cook some Bomster scallops in as pure a state as possible, I purchased a few packs, seared


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them with butter, and squeezed a drizzle of lemon juice over them to finish. The butter adds some fat into this lean protein, and the lemon juice gives enough acid to balance the natural salt-sweet flavor of the scallop. Generally, it’s not necessary to add any salt since the scallops are rinsed in seawater. Our scallops were excellent, sweet, flavorful and tender. The light sauce really let the natural flavor of the scallops come through. The Bomsters hard work and dedication allow us all to enjoy one of the great flavors that New England’s oceans have to offer. Bomster Scallops can be purchased directly through the family business at Stonington Seafood Harvesters located in Stonington, CT; Tel. 877.535.1911; or through the distributor Elizabeth Kearns in Providence, RI; Tel. 401.225.7709; for a list of other distributors or more information visit

Pure as Possible, Sea Scallop Recipe Step by step, here’s how I cooked my Bomster scallops. 1. Sear flat in a nonstick pan for 2.5 minutes per side. 2. Flip them and add 2 tbsp butter. 3. Before finishing, squeeze half a lemon over them. Be extra careful not to overcook scallops. A few minutes too long can turn a melt-in-your-mouth mollusk into something that chews as if it were made in a Goodyear plant.

Say What? The Scallop Lexicon You Need Now Don’t know the difference between IQF and Dry Pack? Here are some terms to get you through market and out the door with the perfect scallops. * Bay Scallop—with a rippled exterior shell, these move from tidal flats to eelgrass beds and live 1 to 3 years Diver Scallop—these are procured by divers and can be less sandy and fresher Dipped/Processed—these are treated with sodium tripolyphosphate (STP) to preserve and eliminate odor; also increases the scallop weight up to 25% Dry Scallops—chemical free, also known as dry pack; can be sticky Flash Frozen—quickly frozen to retain nutrients and keep as fresh as possible IQF—individually quick/flash frozen Scallop Sizes—labeling is usually based on the number per pound, 15/20 is between 15 and 20 scallops in one pound. U10 means 10 or less per pound. Sea Scallop—with a smooth exterior shell, these live on sandy ocean floors and live up to 20 years Vacuum Packing—removal of air and hermetically sealed; no gases are added in order to preserve

John Bomster

*terms and definitions taken from Bomster Scallops website,

Foodies of New England



Foodies of New England


The Freshest Catch on

Cape Ann Written by Kara and Marni Powers Photography by Scott Erb and Donna Dufault

Situated in scenic Gloucester, Massachusetts is the rustically charming seaside port of Cape Ann, famed for its local and historic fishing industry. It comes as no surprise that Cape Ann Fresh Catch (CAFC), the largest community-supported fishery program in the US, has been growing in popularity in Gloucester and across New England since its start in 2008. Backed by the Gloucester Fishermen’s Wives Association, a nonprofit advocacy organization for the New England fishing industry, CAFC aims to make sure that its members have access to shares of fresh, sustainable seafood from local fishermen.

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Modeled after a community-supported agriculture program, and comprised of five passionate administrators, CAFC credits much of its success to the Northwest Atlantic Marine Alliance, MIT Sea Grant, Turner’s Seafood, Ocean Crest Seafood, numerous hardworking volunteers and, of course, the valiant Gloucester fishermen. Participating day boats make their way out to the Gulf of Maine and George’s Bank. When they come back with an array of fresh fish—and soon oysters, mussels and clams thanks to a recent verdict regarding the inclusion of shellfish—members can pick up their bounty at designated delivery sites around the state each week of the season. So what kinds of fish can members expect? CAFC does offer popular fish (think swordfish, cod and halibut), but Program Director Donna Marshall encourages shareholders to try “under loved” species, such as red fish, hake and pollock. Being a part of CAFC is more than just receiving a shipment. Before each delivery, members get an informative email including the type of fish being shipped and a suggested recipe to go along with it. This drive to educate and go the extra mile is something CAFC holds dear. Team members travel around the surrounding area to teach all ages and demographics how to identify and use various parts of a fish, and to learn the importance of sustaining the fishing industry. In October 2014, the CAFC staffers served fish dishes to curious faculty and students at Manchester Essex Regional High School. They also ventured into Boston where they taught Northeastern students how to fillet fish, and are in the process of conceptualizing a “seafood throw-down” for another local high school.


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As the rules and regulations of the fishing industry evolve, so does CAFC’s vision and program. Besides expanding its shares to shellfish, the organization is also looking forward to having a kitchen space where they can prepare food and showcase some of the recipes from their own books, Gloucester Fishermen’s Wives Cookbook; Stories and Recipes and The Taste of Gloucester Cook Book; a Fisherman’s Wife Cooks.

The CAFC team is enthusiastic and passionate about what they do, and more importantly, why they do it; seafood shares not only benefit local fishermen but the local economy, the environment and you, too. Cape Ann Fresh Catch is located at 2 Blackburn Center, Gloucester, MA 01930; Tel. 978.283.2504; Email info@capeannfreshcatch. org; For more information, visit

There’s more to a fish than a fillet Fillets are the most popular product, but they only encompass 40% of the fish while the remaining parts are discarded. CAFC’s Donna Marshall, who works closely with regional farms in an effort to focus on sustainability and abundant in-season fare, encourages the use of the entire fish, fillet and all—an idea comparable to a local farmer’s mentality of “living off the land.” What can you do with your entire fish? Try homemade fish stock, stews, chowders and even fertilizers.

^ Join Cape Ann Fresh Catch! Ready for the freshest catch delivered nearly to your door? CAFC offer fillet shares, one-pound shares and whole fish shares. Typically, members join the program by purchasing a share for a season, and each week during that season, their shares are available for pick-up at a plethora of distribution sites, all of which are listed at If you’re looking to place a one-time order or need more information, call CAFC directly, Monday through Friday, 9:00am to 4:00pm, at 978.283.2504. Just remember, next day orders must be placed before 6:00pm. Large, wholesale purchases for the food service industry are available, contact CAFC to learn more.

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Design That Impacts The Eye & Connects The Brand FUN FACT Did you know? That according to a recent survey by Esquire Magazine, 93% of Americans pick up and read magazines an average of 43 minutes a day. Richard Bridges Design is a graphic design studio specializing in brand identity, product packaging, collateral, design solutions with sophisticated elegance.

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and advertising, incorporating contemporary

help your business grow.

sturbridge, ma 01566 508.517.5084 86

Still think you can get that much exposure from a billboard or the web?

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Hot Pot Bliss! New England’s latest and greatest Eastern influence is Chaun Shabu. A fabulous new concept brought to you by the owners of Worcester’s Baba Sushi, Chaun Shabu specializes in Chinese and Japanese Hot Pot authenticity that’s more than 1,000 years old! Chaun Shabu’s creators have tirelessly visited the origin of Hot Pot cuisine to bring you the most delicious and healthy recipes, prepared right at your table in a most entertaining fashion! Chaun Shabu also specializes in traditional, authentic Szechuan food. Join us at Chaun Shabu for an experience that will bring you back for more! Chaun Shabu… True Hot Pot Greatness. Chuan Shabu Restaurant 301 Park Avenue Worcester, MA 01609 508.762.9213

Sunday: 12:00 pm - 10:30pm Monday - Thursday: 11:30 am - 11:00pm Friday: 11:30am - 12:30am Saturday: 12:00pm - 12:30am

Food for Thought

Dean’s Beans Organic Fair Trade Coffee Roasters Exceptional coffee – and a vehicle for social change (Part I)

Written by Peggy Bridges Photography by Scott Erb and Donna Dufault

Peggy Bridges is a high school Business and Graphic Arts teacher. She is a Yearbook Advisor and Editor, and her writing has also been published in a national educator’s magazine. Peggy is a firm believer in healthy living and an active lifestyle. She enjoys many outdoor activities with her husband and children. Her recipe for a perfect afternoon is a hike with her family and lunch on a blanket served from a picnic basket packed with great food and a bottle of good wine.


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offee. It’s like lifeblood to some. It gets us going in the morning, helps us keep up the pace in the afternoon, and tops off a dinner quite nicely. Many people feel that a good cup of coffee tops the list of the most important ingredients in the recipe for a good day. The aroma, the flavor, the sheer enjoyment of a really good cup of coffee is appreciated by foodies worldwide. Coffee is so much more than a beverage. There are an infinite number of roasts, flavors, and grinds, and the beans that these coffees are made from vary even more so. They come from many parts of the world, and from many different types of sellers, large and small. But it’s where these beans come from that Dean Cycon cares so deeply about. Dean Cycon, owner of Dean’s Beans Organic Coffee Co. in Orange, Massachusetts, has a unique perspective of the coffee industry. To Dean it is just as important to carefully choose where he procures the highest quality as it is to perfect the roasting process. The location and seller of the coffee beans is important not just because of the quality of the beans, but because of the quality of life of the harvesters who supply the beans. Most certainly, Dean Cycon is passionate about great coffee. His world revolves around using the best beans, the highest quality roasting processes, the most flavorful combinations in his roast recipes, and even the most ecofriendly bags in which to sell them. But in order to achieve these results, Dean is intimately involved in the myriad details that play a part in getting those high quality products to market—and it’s not all about making a profit. Although it’s important to Dean that his coffees are all organic and kosher, shade grown, and all purchased by means of Fair Trade, Dean’s deepest concern is the welfare and prosperity of the people who actually grow the coffee. His activism goes far beyond the Fair Trade concept. Dean actually travels to remote parts of the globe and meets with the villagers who grow the beans because he is committed to helping these people learn ways to improve the quality of their lives. Coffee growing is the catalyst for Dean’s indigenous rights activism.

Dean started his coffee roasting business on his farm in New Salem in 1993. From there it has grown into the full-scale operation he owns today in the neighboring town of Orange. Dean was kind enough to give me a tour of his operation, accompanied of course by a spectacular mug of coffee. As this smiling, energetic man led me from one area to another, I marveled at his obvious excitement about what he and his employees do there, and his pride in the fact that everything is done in the best way possible with regard to efficiency

and environmental concern. He even showed me the bags in which the coffee is packaged that are compostable, each bearing a photo of the villagers who grew the coffee and received monetary compensation for the “advertising.” A fun feature Dean offers his customers is the ability to create and name their own custom blend with a personalized bag design such as “Vic’s Retirement Brew.” We started our tour at the receiving bay where trucks pull up to make deliveries of the enormous shipments of

beans, and moved on to the warehouse where seemingly sky-high shelves are stacked with the raw “green” beans as Dean calls them, in large burlap bags. From the shelves of the warehouse, the beans are moved to the roasting area where they are divided by type and origin, then carefully mixed to create the special blends Dean and his staff have created. These custom blends then go into the roasting machine that is programmed to create each specific coffee recipe which is called a roasting profile. The flavor of each recipe is created through a combination of temperature, air flow, and time in the roaster—and this isn’t just any roaster. The massive machine stood far above my head, with an enormous funnel positioned below a chute that delivered the beans, and a computer component to the left which was where the roasting profiles were programmed. This, Dean explained, ensures that each batch of the designated recipe will come out tasting exactly the same. And once you’ve tasted a particular blend that you simply must have again, you’ll appreciate the accuracy of the flavor replication. Dean told the story behind this advanced, environmentally-friendly roasting machine by Loring. The machine uses one-third less gas and reburns the stack smoke, reducing the particulates. Because of Dean’s activism, he was chosen as the first coffee roaster to have the latest Loring roaster. He prides himself on being the first roaster to be totally Loring-based.

Certified Organic In keeping with Dean’s efforts to keep his operation environmentally friendly, Dean only purchases beans that are certified organic. He has actually gone beyond the governmental requirements for meeting organic standards by becoming certified as an organic processor. This means that the beans are segregated from non-certified ingredicontinued on page 90

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Dean Cycon

ents or equipment, and that sanitation and cleanliness are paramount. Dean also works with farmers to obtain organic training and certification, guaranteeing them higher prices and environmental protection. All of this guarantees to the customer that the growing, harvesting, processing, shipping, storage, roasting, and packaging of every batch they produce maintains the integrity of the organic process.

Kosher Since such stringent procedures are adhered to in the Dean’s Beans facility, their products also meet kosher requirements under the supervision of Vaad ha Kashruth of Springfield, Massachusetts. Every month the rabbis inspect the facility to insure that the level of cleanliness and sanitation are superlative, and that all ingredients, equipment, and procedures used enhance the purity of the products. Dean also talks to the rabbis about spiritual questions.

Fair Trade Dean Cycon was committed to the Fair Trade concept long before it became a popular buzz word. Today, far too many large, powerful corporations have jumped on the Fair Trade bandwagon, not because they’re committed to fairness, but because it will increase profits. Dean explains, “There aren’t any hard-and-fast regulations that make them actually practice what they advertise.” So the people at Dean’s Beans decided to take their own commitment seriously, adhering to a stringent program of established protocols for everything from fair purchase prices to quality assurance and funding of


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development projects in the coffee villages. To Dean and his employees, Fair Trade isn’t just a passing fad, but rather the foundation of their company. Dean explains, “Our social, economic, and environmental commitment is based in our values and our experience – not a marketing package to fluff up our image.”

Operations Right now Dean does most of the bean buying and handles the farm relations. He makes four to six overseas trips a year on average. Since so much travel is very time-consuming and takes him away from the operation of his facility for extended periods of time, he is currently working at bringing on more people to help handle the farm visits. Dean also keeps very active contact with the villagers through email and Skype. He also has a “rock-solid team” of ten workers who handle the in-house operations, with most things being decided by committees. He likes to remain very transparent about everything that goes on at Dean’s Beans. From first glance at the facility from the outside, visitors would never guess that they sell over half a million pounds of coffee a year, and have been growing consistently by 6-8 percent each year since 2000. The majority of Dean’s business is repeat customers. He distributes to over 600 cafés, whole foods stores, and co-ops around the country, in addition to having 25,000 web customers. Dean’s business acumen is as sharp as his coffee is delicious. As he gave me a tour of his facility explaining each facet of the operation, it was clear that every decision is approached with the utmost care, considering what and who might be affected by the outcome. All facets of his operation are interdependent, and Dean is careful to maintain a balance among the parts that yields success from both a financial and en-

vironmental standpoint. I have never before had the pleasure of meeting a person who so clearly sees how interdependent we are as people, and who is so genuinely concerned about the welfare of others as well as our mother Earth. Dean’s jovial personality is only outshined by his commitment to affect positive change in our world.

You can read about these subjects and much more on the Dean’s Beans web site In our next issue I will share more about Dean Cycon’s fascinating indigenous rights activism and his travels around the world in pursuit of that effort as documented in his award-winning book Javatrekker.

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The Shrine Welcomes Pilgrims Year Round

Gift Shop open 7 days, 10-5 Free Icon Exhibit Located in Store St. Anne Shrine 16 Church Street Fiskdale, Massachusetts 01518 Telephone 508 347-7338


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Alternative Ice Cream Vegan, Kosher, Cholesterol and Dairy-free—and it tastes good! Written by Christine Whipple Photography by Scott Erb and Donna Dufault


eena Jalal and her husband, Hin Tang, left corporate jobs in 2011, knowing that they wanted to make a living with something they loved: food. They decided on ice cream and fate led them to an ice cream “guru” who was ready to retire after making ice cream for a local ice cream chain for over 25 years. Deena said “...he took the time to teach us about the industry and the magic of making ice cream. It was learning how to make traditional ice cream that made us want to make something different. We wanted to produce a product with integrity.”


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Owner Deena Jalal

After experimenting with alternatives to a dairy-based ice cream, they decided on coconut. “Coconut gives us a pure, creamier base without using chemicals.” I asked Deena where they get their coconut products. She giggled, “That’s a kept secret. Pure coconut without preservatives is hard to find and can be just as hard to order. We’ve spent a lot of time finding quality products.” FoMu uses a variety of organic sugars. “We put a lot of thought into ethical questions on where or how sugars are made. While experimenting, we learned about scientific properties and how they affect what we produce. Knowing things like ‘ice cream freezes differently and its texture changes depending on the sugar used’ enables us to make a better ice cream.” Deena sat back and smiled when I asked her to tell me about making ice cream from scratch. “Not using a premade base allows us to experiment more. FoMu has no cholesterol because animal fat is not used. There is no caloric difference between dairy and vegan ice cream. If you were to compare most premium dairy ice creams or gelato to ours, they are calorically similar. What makes our ice cream better is continued on page 96

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that it’s made completely from scratch (we even make our own toffee, caramel and cookie inclusions), with whole ingredients, and many organic and plant-based ingredients.” FoMu’s most popular flavor is salted caramel; close competitors are chocolate brownie and coconut magic bar (introduced this past summer). I asked Deena where she and Hin find inspiration. Deena told me about

finding out that she was pregnant “… the day before we purchased the commissary. Today we have two children; there’s piece of them in everything we do.” She continued, “We have amazing, talented, food-forward people who work for us.” And since all FoMu products are dairy-free, she gets appreciation in many forms from members of the lactose intolerant community: “People come in and hug us because it’s the first

A True Bistro

For the freshest, most local, and most organic dining experience you can have, there’s only one place:

The Twisted Fork. 509 Stafford Street • Cherry Valley, MA 01611 • 508-892-5437 Reservations are recommended


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time their children are able to have ice cream. Our customers inspire us.” FoMu’s working kitchen is in Watertown. They have stores in Allston and Jamaica Plain. They distribute to restaurants and sell in stores in MA and RI. They also sell online and ship throughout the United States. You can find out more about FoMu at their website, and on Facebook. FoMu Ice Cream 481 Cambridge Street Allston, MA 02134 617.903.3276

Healthy at Home

Recipes by Elaine Pusateri Cowan Photography by Scott Erb and Donna Dufault (see ad on page 41)

Elaine strives to create beauty everyday. Whether she’s designing interiors, preparing appetizers or entrees and even refinishing furniture or making art, she always looks to satiate her appetite for all things artistic. As an artist and administrator of the arts, foodie, interior designer and gardener, Elaine believes in the quality of sustainable life, not just living well. Her strong sense of duty to integrate such sustainability into every aspect of domestic life begins with perhaps the most basic of all elements: diet. She believes that anyone with a stocked pantry and local produce can whip up quick, fresh and delicious meals every night.


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Good Golly Fish Molé Spring for me represents a reawakening. And with that, I wanted to share something that springs your taste buds into action! In this issue, there’s fresh, locally caught white flaky Atlantic codfish, in an anise crust, served over a dark, sweet, spicy, nutty molé pizza, garnished with shredded lettuce and cooling cotija cheese, and if you want to shed the carbs, this fish can definitely handle a solo show. People feel strongly one way or the other about anise. My standard answer to convince them to give it a try is, “I don’t like black jellybeans either,” which seems to be the only thing that resonates. There is something magical that happens with this anise crust—the flavor is paradoxically bright, fresh and citrusy but also dark, warm and nutty. My food philosophy, as you may know, is that there should be a yin and a yang in every bite, creating balance with an unexpected surprise. So when I tried vegetarianism for a while, I was shocked how hard it was to eat out and get complex, flavorful foods that were 100% vegetarian. Last summer, I went from the frying pan into the fire, or rather from my postage stamp sized kitchen into a brand new restaurant with a 600°F Italian brick oven. I decided to build my menu with a vegetarian core, preparing each layer without any meat products such as broths, stocks, gelatin, and the like; however, I will add meat at the request of the carnivorous epicurean. Converting many of my favorite recipes into pizzas does have its challenges, but I manage without compromising any standards. Fortunately, the restaurant owner gave me the carte blanche and indulges my requests for organic veggies, GMO-free flour, fresh herbs and local honey as the mainstays for my creations. I’m still keeping it healthy, and I brought “home” with me, the only difference is I’m cooking for 100 or so new friends. Give the anise a try on the first of my step-by-step recipes from my new home away from home. Enjoy!

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Crusted Anise Atlantic Codfish atop Molé and Cotija Cheese Pizza

Ingredients: Fish & Crust 1 lb. Atlantic Cod 5 Star Anise A pinch of kosher salt A pinch of coarse black pepper A swirl of olive oil Simple Molé 2 ancho chilies 1 chili A swirl of olive/canola oil blend 1 white onion 2 garlic cloves 2 Roma tomatoes 1/3 cup almonds 1 tsp cumin seed A pinch of kosher salt 1 cup of water 1/4 cup dark raisins Pizza Garnish: 2 cups shredded romaine lettuce 1/4 cup grated cotija cheese 1 diced tomato Juice and zest of one lime DIRECTIONS Simple Molé 1. Roughly chop the onion and tomatoes. 2. Halve and seed peppers, be sure to remove all seeds and pepper’s ribs or membrane. 3. Peel garlic and give it a whack with your chef’s knife. 4. In a large bowl combine: onions, peppers, almonds and peeled and smashed garlic a pinch of kosher salt and a teaspoon of cumin seed. 5. Toss vegetables, nuts and seasonings with 2 tablespoons of olive oil. 6. Oil a large sheet pan and spread the vegetables onto the tray- do not overcrowd the pan. 7. Roast at your highest oven setting until the pepper skins begin to blacken-( 6-10 minutes). 8. Combine roasted vegetables and in nuts in a blender with raisins. Gradually add water. Crusted Anise Atlantic Cod 1. Pound anise in mortar and pestle until it’s a gritty, dust-like consistency. (If you don’t have a mortar and pestle, use a coffee bean grinder or put them in a paper bag and bang them with a hammer.) 2. Add a pinch of kosher salt and coarse black pepper then pound again. 3. Gently press both sides of the codfish into the rub. Repeat. 4. If eating the fish on its own: swirl oil in a pan on medium to high heat and sauté codfish for 4 minutes on each side. (Healthy alternative: oven fry the codfish in a 400°F oven. Don’t forget to put a swirl of oil in the roasting pan first.) 5. If adding the codfish to pizza: swirl oil in a pan on medium to high heat and sear both sides of the codfish. It’ll finish cooking in the oven with the rest of the pizza.


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Pizza & Garnish for three 12-inch pies 1. Roll out dough and lightly oil outside edges. 2. Spread molé evenly over dough. 3. Flake generous chunks of fish onto the pizza. For this pizza, the cheese is added after it has cooked to provide a velvety coolness, which balances the spiciness. 4. Bake until edges are golden brown (in 450°F conventional oven, on a pizza stone, approximately 15 minutes). 5. Sprinkle romaine lettuce, cotija cheese and tomato over the pizza. Top with zest from lime and it’s juice. Plating: Simply slice the pizza and garnish with a little molé and top it with a wedge of lime. If plating the codfish by itself, spread a generous crescent of molé onto the plate first, add the fish, and then top with lettuce, cheese, tomato and lime juice and zest. Garnish with a wedge of lime.

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Coming in the next issue of Foodies of New England!

Culinary Cooking Classes Throughout New England

New England Steakhouses

Dean’s Beans, Part II


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finds Zeze’s Pickles Inspired by her grandmother’s pickle recipe, Martha Girouard has created, with her own twists, “Zeze’s Pickles”. Using fresh crisp cukes and other natural ingredients, you’ll say these are some of the best homemade pickles you’ve ever had! Flavors include Sweet Cucumber and Sweet Cucumber with Jalepeño.

Michele’s Totally Awesome Gourmet Popcorn Located in Epsom, NH, Michele’s Sweet Shoppe, LLC is a fully licensed and inspected popcorn kitchen with a retail store. As a family run business, alot of pride, passion and quality goes into every bag of our popcorn and confectionary treats. All of our flavors including the original white chocolate, are still handcrafted in small batches with fresh, quality ingredients. Indulge yourself because... the proof is in the popcorn! 603.736.4610

^ Do you have a New England based food product or cook book you’d like to see on the pages of Foodies Magazine? Learn more here: Foodies of New England


Going Vegan, Family-Style

Written by Sandy Lashin-Curewitz Photography by Scott Erb and Donna Dufault


e may be living with a meat-eating majority, but the bounty of vegan blogs may indicate that we are in the midst of a meat-free population boom. Among the Institute for the Psychology of Eating Top 50 Vegan Blogs are many beautifully-designed, wellwritten sites, some by budding celebrity cookbook authors. For example, take model and former Olympic softball player Emily Nolan, who has a master’s certificate in plant-based nutrition and shares articles with a community of more than 8,000 subscribers on My Kind of Life; or punk fan and cookbook author Isa Chandra Moskowitz’s Post Punk Kitchen, where she takes a deconstructionist approach to vegan cooking. 106

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Here in New England, I discovered two blogs by passionate foodies committed to sharing their healthy lifestyles with the world: The Vegan Mom, by Lisa Mase-Syragakis, and Kids Gone Raw, a site and snack company run by friends Elizabeth Fraser and Maggie Knowles. The Vegan Mom tells the story of Mase-Syragakis and her family’s progression to a “healthy and compassionate vegan lifestyle.” She reviews and links to cookbooks which serve the taste bud spectrum: Straight from the Earth, by Myra and Marea Goodman; The Joy of Vegan Baking, by Colleen Patrick-Goudreau; The Vegan Scoop (as in ice cream), by Wheeler Del Torro — and she shares recipes from her own kitchen. “A new vegan must be ready to get creative. Anyone who thinks that vegan food is boring could not be more wrong. Plant-based meals can be just as delicious and hearty as meat dishes.” Of her family’s change in lifestyle she says, “At first it was daunting to navigate through the mounds of information concerning plant-based diets. Transitioning to a vegan diet needs to be done thoughtfully. Everyone makes the change in their own way, and that’s alright. Processed foods and refined sugars should not be included in a healthy vegan diet. Vegan children and adults need to rely on dark, leafy greens, a colorful variety of fruits and vegetables, legumes, nuts, seeds, and whole grains.” The Vegan Mom recommends research first. “There are many informative books and websites out there,” she says. “I have come across a few doctors who I feel are at the forefront of preventative healthcare and plant-based nutrition: Dr. T Colin Campbell, Dr. Neil Barnard, Dr. Joel Fuhrman and Dr. John McDougall. I have followed their advice from the beginning of our transition.” Mase-Syragakis transitioned her family to a vegetarian, and then vegan lifestyle, after her discovery of The China

Anyone who thinks that vegan food is boring could not be more wrong Study, by T. Colin Campbell, Ph.D. and Thomas M. Campbell II, M.D., which presents findings from a comprehensive study on the link between diet and the risk of developing chronic disease. To encourage healthy snacking, the Kids Gone Raw (KGR) entrepreneurs know the place to start is in the lunch box. With banana-chocolate cookies “topped with a gloriously sinful pure love heart,” pure love chocolate bars, fruit roll-ups, “grawnola,” and even five flavors of kale chips (almond butter, coconut curry, sour cream and onion, spicy mustard, and chocolate), kids can confidently say no to big-brand processed snacks. Kids Gone Raw started with Knowles’

idea for a cookbook. She teamed up with Fraser, who owns the raw food chef and teaching business, Girl Gone Raw. They began making and shipping their dehydrated raw, vegan, organic, and gluten-free snacks from Fraser’s Portland, Maine kitchen, serving mailorder customers and select stores in Maine and New Hampshire and blogging to inspire others to “have fun in the kitchen, take pride in your health and to play in nature.” In December 2014, they announced they would open their own storefront at 200 Anderson Street in Portland. While the Kids Gone Raw “un-cook” book is still forthcoming, their e-book, Smoothies Gone Raw, is available online. The KGR blog offers creative ideas for vegan snacks and keeps fans posted on their appearances at community events.


We’re the “between meals” experts! Foodies of New England


60 Deliciously Diverse Tapas Starting At Only $5

Dine in only

372 Chandler Street • Worcester, MA 01602 • 508.752.8899 •

Sweet Sensations



Written by Alina Eisenhauer Photography by Scott Erb and Donna Dufault

As the Executive Pastry Chef and Owner of Sweet - serving up cakes and cupcakes during the day, and cocktails, appetizers & desserts in the evening has earned Alina Eisenhauer many accolades. In addition to being a successful chef and entrepreneur, Alina has been featured on three of Food Networks most popular competition Shows; Chopped, Cupcake Wars and most recently winning the premier episode of Sweet Genius. Alina’s custom cakes have earned her a celebrity following as well as an appearance on Bravo TV’s hit show The Real Housewives of New York City.


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ranola has long been considered a health food, sadly most commercial granolas and most granola recipes are not any healthier than a cookie as they are loaded with both fat and sugar. The good news is that with a few ingredients and very little work it is possible to make a delicious, healthy granola that fits into many special diets and is so good that no one will even know that it’s a healthy snack unless you tell them. One of the great things about granola (besides being delicious) is that if you keep it on hand you can create a quick breakfast, snack, or even dessert by just changing the way in which you serve it. Sautée some fresh fruit with a little honey or sugar and serve it over ice cream or sorbet topped with granola for a simple, elegant dessert that literally takes 10 minutes to prepare. This recipe is extremely versatile so feel free to play around and put your own spin on it. You can change out the type of sugar you use, replace the honey with maple syrup, change the type of nuts you use, add dried fruit, chocolate or seeds…the possibilities are endless...

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Brew Review

The Birth of the IPA Major Beer Category: Ale Major Style Category: India Pale Ale Sub Style Category: American India Pale Ale

Written by Matt Webster Photography by Scott Erb and Donna Dufault

Matt Webster is a craft beer enthusiast, educator, event goer, blogger, restaurant adviser, private dinner consultant, celebrity video show host and above all, proudly passionate about all things beer.

The beginning and strength of the most prominent beverage revolution our young country has witnessed, is deeply rooted in land where beer has been the catalyst for great oratory, theater, and community since circa 3000 BCE. The brewing history of the United Kingdom thrives on iconic tales espousing the origins of style. Nonesuch as the genesis of the most popular style in America today - India Pale Ale. By the late 18th century, deeply entrenched in the colonization of India, the British had one minor (well major back then) problem: they couldn’t brew beer! Temperature (brewers could only make beer in certain seasons/environments due to lack of refrigeration), lack of key ingredients, and the unfavorable water supply of the local landscape were not in their favor. So at first they tried shipping beer – their renowned Pale Ale – brewed in the motherland to India. Unfortunately, these attempts fell in vain as the beer arrived to the frenzied (and parched) expats spoiled, flat, and undrinkable. Luckily, necessity is the mother of invention and the Brits were about to make history. Enter George Hodgson. A London brewer with a great idea: “If I produce a beer of greater strength (higher in alcohol) and bitterness (add more hops), the beer will surely make it to India in suitable condition.” As Mr. Hodgson set to work, those looking to imbibe would have to be patient. The original batches of the beer made for India was a version of Pale Ale aged for months before being released to the public. This longer aging process allowed for the yeast to eat up more and more sugars, thus producing a higher alcohol content and a more stable product. The beer was aged in wooden barrels and then finished with a dose of hops – again a preventative action against spoilage. The first barrels of this new “India beer” made their way to Calcutta and arrived in splendid condition, much to the delight of the “dehydrated” locals. Thus, the most widely sought after style in America today was born – the India Pale Ale. The American India Pale Ale is clearly distinct from its historic counterpart by way of a, “brashly resinous dry-hop bouquet and knifelike bitterness opening up to a solid malt center that supports the hops through a dry finish,” wrote the prominent scholar Mr. Garret Oliver in his award-winning tome The Brewmaster’s Table. It’s amazing what the human race is capable of when the necessity is beer … Our Choice: Peak Organic Brewing Company IPA –


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Executive Pastry Chef Franck Iglasias

While the word “locavore” was the Oxford American Dictionary’s word of the year for 2007, it still seems like the locavore movement is still just taking off and growing.


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FoXwoods’ Dining: Big Can Also Be Local Written by Kelley Lynn Kassa Photography by Scott Erb and Donna Dufault


hat comes to mind when you think of eating local? Chances are you think of your local farmers market over the chain grocery store, and the 30 seat, chef-led restaurant a town or two over. You probably wouldn’t include Foxwoods Resort Casino, but that’s where you’d be wrong. With six casinos, five hotels, retail stores, two spas, and a golf course, Foxwoods is the largest resort casino in the United States — and it’s a world of delight for foodies of all types. Foxwoods dining options range from buffets and quick service to gourmet dining. Some of the restaurants on site are licensed properties — such as Alta Strada and David Burke Prime — where other companies own and operate them. But a number of eateries are owned and operated by Foxwoods Resort Casino. It’s in these restaurants — including Al Dente, an Italian restaurant with its own takes on the classics, Cedar’s Restaurant, one of two steak houses at the resort, and Golden Dragon, offering both authentic Chinese food and Chinese-American dishes — where you can eat local in the big dining world of Foxwoods. “Not only is serving local food a point of differentiation for us,” says Chef Edward “Eddie” Allen, executive chef, Foxwoods Resort Casino, “but the food tastes better. We’re able to source a wide variety of product locally — seafood, pork, beef, dairy and more.” continued on page 116

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Chef de Cuisine, Scott Mickelson

The showcase piece for dining locally at Foxwoods is the AAA Four Diamond Award of Excellence winner. Chef de Cuisine, Scott Mickelson, likes the intimacy local sourcing creates between him and his providers, and thinks it’s meaningful to put money into the local economy. But he takes local and seasonal far beyond just making sure his product has a “local” tag on it: Chef Scott visits the docks to select seafood, goes out to the farms to understand the produce cycles and works with his pork and beef purveyors to make the most use of the products coming into the restaurant. “It’s an entirely different way of thinking about planning a menu,” comments Chef Scott Mickelson. “Unlike grocery store shopping, where you go in and select whatever you want to make, anytime, any season, we have to think inseason, and how to best use the product. “When we order heritage pork from Firefly Farms in North Stonington, Connecticut, or beef from Archer Angus in Chesterville, Maine, or get fresh-caught fish from the Bomster Fleet of Stonington Seafood Harvesters, we have to figure out how to use the whole animal or fish, without saturating our menu.”

Gulf of Maine Bluefin Poki with macadamia nut and Butterfield Farms coconut goat yogurt


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If there’s a downside to that approach, it’s that Paragon’s menu will hold surprises each time you visit. What’s on offer will be based on what Chef Scott decides looks great or is ready for your plate that week. This winter that meant enjoying Firefly Farms Mulefoot House Cured Bacon with Maple and Vinegar, New England Grass-Fed Kielbasa with Grained Mustard and House Kraut, Bomster Scallops with Truffled Celeriac, Archer Angus Grass-Fed Eye of the Ribeye with Wild Foraged Mushrooms, Truffle and Smoked Salt, and Gulf of Maine Bluefin Tuna with Gingered Lime Soy, Sambal Mayo and Daikon Slaw. The bottom line, though, is taste. Not only does Chef Scott honor his food products with thoughtful presentation and excellent execution, but he brings a local terrior to his entire approach to dining. And it tastes great.

Braised Grass-fed Rose Veal Breast Courtesy of Chef Scott Mickelson, Paragon, Foxwoods Resort Casino Note: Rose veal is pasture-weaned veal, humanely raised and fed alongside its mother until weaned.

Ingredients: 3 lbs veal breast 1 qt chicken broth 1 white onion (julienned) 3 branches fresh rosemary (crushed) 2 lemons (halfed) 1/2 cup of caper berries 1 teaspoon whole black peppercorns 6 bay leaf Sea salt and fresh ground black pepper to taste 1/4 stick of butter Directions: Sprinkle both sides of veal breast with salt and pepper. Place veal in a Dutch oven or deep baking dish. Julienne the onion and add to the pot along with the crushed rosemary, bay leaf, caper berries, black peppercorns and lemons (squeezed). Add chicken broth, cover with foil and place in a 350 degree oven until the meat offers no resistance when a sharp knife is inserted into it. Once the veal is tender (approximately and hour and a half), remove it from the pot or baking dish and allow to cool enough to remove any bones or cartilage. Strain the braising liquid and reserve the caper berries for a garnish. Add the strained broth back into the pot or baking dish. Add the veal back in and allow it to simmer. Once it is hot, ladle off a cup or two of broth and put into a sauté pan. Reduce slightly, working the butter into it as it is reducing.

Executive Chef Eddie Allan

Serve the sauce and caper berries over the veal breast with your choice of vegetable and/or starch. Enjoy!

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Under Loch & Key

Written by Ryan Maloney Photography by Scott Erb, Donna Dufault and Ryan Maloney

Ryan Maloney has over twenty five years experience in the spirits industry. He is the founder of The Loch & K(e)y Society and the creator of a forum based whisk(e)y website. Ryan was just inducted into the Keeper of the Quaich Society in Scotland, one of whisky’s highest honors. He can also be heard on WCRN AM830 on his radio show “It’s The Liquor Talking”. However, Ryan is most recognized as the owner of Julio’s Liquors in Westborough MA, where amongst other accolades he has been three times awarded “Retailer of the Year”.


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For a whisky drinker, Scotland is the holy land, filled with shrines to uisge beatha (water of life) dimpled throughout its craggy, misty and beautiful landscape.


bout every other year, three friends (The Four Horsemen of the Dramed) lead thirsty pilgrims to pay homage at some select distilleries. After the latest whirlwind trip that included 11 distilleries, one independent bottler, and a visit to a whisky-blending wizard, I asked my fellow trip organizers to write about their favorite whisky or experience from our adventure. Here are their highlights. First up is Brad Jarvis, Whisky Professor and award winning whisky brand ambassador ( When Ryan asked me to write about my favorite whisky from our recent trip to Scotland, it was a difficult task. After a lot of mental anguish, I choose one of the first whiskies we tried on the trip, the Great King Street (GKS) Glasgow Blend from the Compass Box Whisky Company. According to John Glaser, the creator and founder of Compass Box, it took over a year to create this whisky and well over 100 different recipes to get it just right. Blends are somewhat looked down on these days in favor of single malts; I feel that this is a mistake. Blending is a true art form that has kept the whisky industry afloat through thick and thin of its long history. John says he created GKS Glasgow Blend to emulate what a blend would’ve been in a time when blended Scotch Whisky was king. John named it Glasgow blend because of its hearty smokiness. This smokiness is something that Glaswegians favor in their Whisky. The blend also gives a nod to the past being a 67% single malt to 33% single grain whisky blend, something we do not often see in the heavily single grain influenced modern blends. The single malts hail from Benrinnes, Laphroaig, and Clynelish, with the single grain procured from the Cameronbridge distillery. The nose has a sweet smokiness like barbecue on a campfire. There are also touches of dark sticky fruit like raisins and figs and maybe a little orange peel. The taste is like an orange peel studded with whole cloves, a wisp of dry smoke, banana chips, coconut and vanilla. The finish is long and lingering with more orange peel and clove and rich heather honey. Great King Street Glasgow Blend is a cracking good dram. continued on page 120

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Next up is Charlie Tower, longtime whisky enthusiast and whisky brand ambassador (www.oldmanwhisky@ When Ryan asked me to write about the high point of our recent Scotland adventure the choice was easy! I have always had a warm spot in my heart for Glen Grant, an iconic Speyside distillery in Rothes. Part of that fondness comes from the fact that the first single malt Scotch whisky I ever purchased was a five year old Glen Grant bottled in1966. I still have the bottle, almost completely filled. However, since it has remained in glass for over 50 years, it is still only five years old. Shortly after that purchase the Navy sent me to Scotland and my love of Scotch whisky has remained with me throughout the many passing years. So, the high point of our tour for me of was the opportunity to taste the special 50 year old single cask whisky that Glen Grant Distillery had recently released. They were only able to fill 150 bottles, and what little remained was in a gallon jug! The whisky that had spent fifty years in a sherry cask produced warm, rich, and golden brown tones. The nose was reminiscent of toffee, caramel, and apricots. The taste showcased the expected sweet Sherry note, with layers of oranges and baked apple. The finish was long and full and got me thinking of its long forgotten (kissing cousin) sitting in the back of my whisky cabinet. I shall have to see if it has stood up as well as the dram from the gallon jug at Glen Grant! The last of my brethren to weigh in is Randall Bird, Spirits Medium and co-host of It’s The Liquor Talking radio show heard on WCRN AM830: Innovation in an industry as old as distilling gets me excited. So, for me our visit to the AnCnoc (pronounced “a-nock”) Distillery was the crowning point of our trip to Scotland. I could geek out for hours about the future of sustainable efficiency and small, 1%


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reclamation gains in this very “green” distillery—and I did, with manager Gordon Bruce. However, I am also fascinated with the historical past as well. Can you “innovate” using “older” techniques? I suggest the answer is yes. Prior to the 1960s most distilleries dried their wet, malted barley with peat. In the 1960s we saw the rise of efficient “malting houses” that malted and dried the barley to individual distillery specifications. “Peat” with its different phenol levels would easily “cross-contaminate” batches at the malting houses and therefore peat largely disappeared from Highland and Speyside single malts. But peat, in all of its glorious

nuances, existed in these regions for the greater part of whisky’s history. Islay and Island whiskies chug along with their seaweed, kelp, and brine infused peat, while the more inland and mountainous areas rely on woodland, low vegetation, and heather to decompose. Highland peat is aromatic, with more incense-like aromas reminiscent of cedar, sandalwood, and heather than the reek of powerful medicinal and oily odors found on Islay. To that end, Gordon has decided to push forward with wonderful peated Highland single malts with a nod to this history. The whisky that exemplified this “nod” was AnCnoc Flaughter (named for a peat-cutting spade) a 14.8 ppm peated Highland single malt, with a delightfully enigmatic quality and hints of smoke threading throughout. And if you are asking “what the heck does that descriptor mean”—buy a bottle and unlock the mysteries through your personal exploration. If you do not like Flaughter, I give you this solemn assurance: I will be happy to drink the rest of your unused portion. Thanks guys for your trip highlights, so that leaves yours truly to give you mine! And I’m not going to give an answer that you might expect. Yes, we had many great whiskies, some one-of-a-kind, others very innovative, and more rare whiskies than you can shake a stick at, but I think the highlight of the trip was when I was drinking Glenmorangie Ten year old. Sure this is a fine malt with a pale citron gold color. It has a nice nose of vanilla, peach and citrus; tastes of honey, • On-site Weddings heather and finishes clean with notes of orange. However, I don’t think most • Garden Gazebo people would not put it in the top ten whiskies tried on this trip. But here I was • Ample Parking drinking this whisky, walking though the • Seating from 75 to 260 gardens at The Glenmorangie House on a lovely day. I approached the patio and • Picturesque Landscaped heard warm greetings by my friends to Gardens C.J. Yates Photography join them for a dram. Many people say that “it’s about the journey not the destiNo room charge with parties over 90. nation.” I would challenge that and say Please call to set up a complimentary appointment and view our facility. “it’s not about the journey, but about the 206 Southbridge Road • Rt 12/20. N. Oxford, MA friends and the drams along the way.”

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“A Good ‘Ol Fashioned Iron Chef Beat Down”

Damian Evangelous, Matt Dion and Neil Rogers Written by Domenic D. Mercurio, Jr. Photography by Scott Erb and Donna Dufault


very year, Central Massachusetts hosts an array of talented chefs in a best-of-the-best showdown to be named Worcester’s Best Chef.

As it was, Mechanics Hall filled to its gorgeous, historic ceilings, as 1,200 foodies gathered to taste the creations of some of the very best culinary experts in the Central Massachusetts, Connecticut, and Metro West regions.


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Last year, the event occupied all levels and rooms of Mechanics Hall, featuring 20 culinary experts and their teams as they competed for the top three spots in the Judges’ Choice Awards. Those finalists then competed live on stage in a timed final round – Iron Chef-style - using Thermador kitchen equipment and a full rack-system full of any possible ingredient they could need. The crowd was attentive and engaged as the judges made their choices for the top 3 chefs in the competition to advance on stage to compete in Iron Chef. They included Cornelius Rogers, formerly of Volturno Pizza in Worcester, Matthew Dion formerly of Rovezzi’s Ristorante in Sturbridge, and Damian Evangelous of Armsby Abbey in Worcester. The foodies in the crowd also voted their palate in the People’s Choice Award, selecting Rafael Guzman Cruz of Two Chefs Restaurant in Spencer, Matt Dion of Rovezzi’s Ristorante, and Cathy Young of EVO Dining in Worcester (owned by last year’s Iron Chef WBC winner, Albert Maykel, III). In addition to the Judges’ Choice and People’s Choice Awards, competitors also vied for the WXLO Perfect Palate Award, given by sponsor 104.5 FM WXLO and their Morning Show hosts, Jen Carter and Rick Brackett. This year, it was awarded to Christopher O’Harra of Flying Rhino in Worcester. To secure his place in Iron Chef, Neil Rogers from Volturno created a magnificent Cape Cod Scallop Agnolotti, Butternut Squash Purée, Roast Pork Belly and Oregon Black Truffle. However, the masterpiece he conjured up behind the Thermador cooktop during Iron Chef was a coconut curry chicken with mince and pomelo yogurt, and soy marinated pomelo. continued on page 124

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Damian Evangelous from Armsby Abbey got on stage with his Braised Oxtail Tortellini with Roasted Carrots and Parsnips, Bone Marrow, Pickled Shallot, Parmesan Foam and Black Truffle. But after he opened the mystery basket, he concocted a duo of Roast Chicken Breast and Mincemeat Stuffed Thigh with Fennel and Yogurt Slaw and Pomelo Jus. Matt Dion from Rovezzi’s advanced

to the top 3 with his slow braised pork belly over bliss potato and porcini risotto, pan seared scallop and apple fennel slaw, and crisp alfalfa sprouts to garnish. When he took the gloves off to compete, however, he mustered a nicely-done pan seared rosemary chicken breast, pumpernickel toast, mince yogurt, pomelo pomegranate salad. Ultimately, Chef Rogers took the top honor and was congratulated by the all-

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star judges’ panel, which included Barry Sexton from Food Network’s Dinner: Impossible; Alina Eisenhauer, owner of Sweet in Worcester, and a guest chef on Food Network’s Chopped, Cupcake Wars and Sweet Genius; John Lawrence, co-owner of Peppers Fine Catering; Chris Rovezzi, executive chef and owner of Rovezzi’s Ristorante in Sturbridge; Barbara Houle, food columnist and writer of the Telegram & Gazette’s “Table Hoppin’” feature; Peter Eco, executive chef at the Worcester Country Club, and Al Maykel, executive chef/ owner of EVO Dining in Worcester, and the 2014 Worcester’s Best Chef champion. Pepper’s Fine Catering is managing the chefs’ needs in the kitchens and on stage, as well as judges’ requirements. John Lawrence, Executive Chef and owner of Pepper’s Fine Catering and a WBC judge, said, “What’s been created here is an event that highlights local chefs and their abilities. When foodies come to this event, they see and taste, first hand, what’s available to them in terms of restaurants in the central New England region.” “The Iron Chef final round was really exciting – it looked like something we would pull off on the Dinner: Impossible show,” commented Judge Barry Sexton. “All the competitors were worthy, but I thought Chef Neil [who will be joining the judges’ panel for this year’s event] was intuitive, quick and decisive when choosing his ingredients and method of preparation.” Judge Barbara Houle, WBC judge and writer of the Worcester Telegram’s regular culinary feature ‘Table Hoppin’, said, “All the competitors on stage certainly deserved to be up there, and they handled themselves quite well under pressure.” The Worcester’s Best Chef Competition also offers an International Wine, Whiskey, and Beer tasting, a champagne sabering demonstration, one-on-

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one recipe consultation with competing chefs, “paparazzi” guest photography on entrance, and valet parking. While the purpose of the event is to showcase the region’s culinary talent in live competition, the Worcester’s Best Chef competition also donated $5,000 last year to the Worcester Technical High School’s Culinary Arts Program, which helps to continue higher culinary education for inner-city high school students. To date, the event raised about $32,000 for that program and Veteran’s Inc.’s efforts to feed veterans in need, as well as provide shadowing opportunities for culinary students who assist chefs during the competition, which has led to employment. More information is available online at, as well as a full list of sponsors. Eight years ago, the Worcester’s Best Chef competition declared that it would highlight Central Massachusetts as a culinary destination by promoting the area’s finest epicureans, and it succeeded. Worcester’s Best Chef has come be known as the event to attend when one wants to seek the Best of the Best Chefs all in one night, all in one place. Oh, and bring your appetite, foodies!

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Wines of Distinction

Not Your Grandfather’s

Bordeaux F

Written by Domenic Mercurio, Jr. Photography by Scott Erb and Donna Dufault

Known in restaurant circles as The Wine Guy, Domenic is focused on food and wine education. Domenic’s enthusiasm and passion for food and wine, propelled him into a local TV wine education series, The Wine Guy, in which he took viewers on a tour of California and Italy’s wine regions and historic destinations. In addition to being the editor and publisher of Foodies of New England magazine, Dom is the host of Foodies of New England, a dynamic and educational TV show. The show features New England’s best, award-winning chefs, and their signature recipes.


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rench wines are steeped in history and tradition, and the region of Bordeaux is one of the most respected and appreciated. Châteaus (estates that produce wine) like Lafite Rothschild, Latour, Margaux and Haut-Brion have set the bar quite high for so many other wineries, which are all, of course, also overseen by the French government. Appellation d’Origine Contrôlée (AOC) is the designation established by France to ensure that the grapes comprising a Bordeaux wine are, in fact, from Bordeaux and not some other territory with lesser agricultural regulations. Wines that carry the AOC distinction account for 53.4% of all wines from France, according to Right now, there are more than 450 separate and potentially distinct AOC’s in France are in use today. There are a series of rules and regulations that go along with being classified as an AOC wine. This includes restrictions as to the specific geological area where the fruit is grown and the wine was made, along with the type of allowable grape variety planted in the vineyard. And, also states that there are also specific, agreed upon production methods, minimum levels of alcohol and maximum levels of yields, vine age and required minimum vineyard planting densities. Beyond that, there are also rules for harvesting and vinification techniques in place along with restrictions on where the cellars must be located. In some instances, exemptions are granted for cellar locations and some other rules. However, stresses this point: Every grower produces wine from lower yields and higher levels of alcohol than is the minimum standard allowed by AOC law. In fact, most of the standards required for AOC classification are surpassed by every serious wine producer. Beyond the classification of the appellations and vineyards under AOC, vineyards and châteaus can also be classified. Widely recognized examples include the 1855 Classification of the Médoc and the classification system in Burgundy and Saint-Émilion. However, despite the enduring reputation of its wines, Bordeaux is, most unfortunately, experiencing an aggressive decline in wine sales due to a softening of collector appetites and China’s (a major purchaser of Bordeaux) pullback on political and commercial gift buying. According to Bloomberg, leading wine auction houses (including Christie’s International, Sotheby’s, Acker Merrall & Condit Co., Zachy’s Wine & Liquor, Inc., and Hart Davis Hart Wine Co.) all reported a 15% decline in sales in 2013, following an 18% slide in 2012. These decreases came in the wake of a record year in auction sales in 2011 of $397 million. In China, the government’s steps to curtail corruption vis-à-vis gift-giving have also resulted in a steep reduction in Bordeaux sales to that region, which represents a sizeable market for Château Lafite and other Bordeaux products, according to Miles Davis of Wine Asset Managers LLP.

One silver lining in all of this: The price reduction has enabled foodies and Bordeaux aficionados in the US to more easily procure these once costprohibitive wines. One such example is the MEYBLUM & Fils Bordeaux Supérieur. MEYBLUM & Fils observes the tradition of agriculture and wine making through multiple generations. Its Bordeaux AOC (tan label) is 70% Merlot and 30% Cabernet Sauvignon, while the Bordeaux Supérieur (black label) is 80% Merlot and 20% Cabernet Sauvignon. MEYBLUM’s select Cabernet varietals provide the astringent, tart, and acidic fruit qualities that lend both wines their body and structure, while the Merlot offers these wines a significant amount of finesse and style, mellowing and rounding the velvety blend into a more modern, forward-fruited wine. The brilliant quality shines through in both of these wines. The AOC is deep purple in color, and demonstrates gorgeous scents of wild berries, including blackberries, raspberries and black currant, followed by additional notes of soft tannin and hints of violet. Vinification in stainless steel tanks and no barrel aging makes this Bordeaux particularly fragrant and dry. The Bordeaux Supérieur, having 10 to 12 months aging in 59-gallon French barriques (barrels), has a superb ruby red color, a complex nose of blackberry, blackcurrant, and strawberry fruits, and rustic overtones of oak and spice. These barriques are newer French oak, and have a very porous grain which effectively absorbs excess volatile tannins out of the blend, accenting the bright, aromatic fruit qualities for which MEYBLUM wines are characteristically known. Indeed, the MEYBLUM family, originally from Alsace, France, has been actively involved in the production and trading of Bordeaux and other wines since 1862. With that kind of pedigree,

it’s no surprise at all that, from generation to generation, the MEYBLUM family is able to create such a combination of affordable and high-quality Bordeaux wines. MEYBLUM Bordeaux AOC is priced between $9.99 and $12.99, while MEYBLUM Bordeaux Supérieur retails between $11.99 and $14.99. Both are available at fine New England retailers through Global Wines, Inc., of Framingham, Massachusetts, Foodies of New England gives MEYBLUM Bordeaux AOC 89 points: Wild berry fruits and hints of violet with a

softly tannic finish. MEYBLUM Bordeaux Supérieur is Foodies-approved at 92 points: Intense black currant and blackberry fruits with a persistent aroma of hickory and spice. A very versatile food partner. Ready to drink with no further need of ageing, both MEYBLUM Bordeaux wines are accessible and friendly to even the novice wine drinker. Brilliant berry fruits, good structure, a friendly, balanced finish, soft refinement, and great food compatibility: More than one reason why MEYBLUM Bordeaux is NOT your grandfather’s Bordeaux! FNE. Foodies of New England


Liberating Libations

Clean Palate, Clean Plate

Written by Adam Gerhart Photography by Scott Erb and Donna Dufault

Adam Gerhart has been bartending since he was 17. Growing up in upstate New York along the Hudson River, he worked his way up from washing dishes in the restaurant industry and worked in all positions a restaurant has to offer. Adam feels that learning-bydoing is the best training method, and considers it a very big reason for his success. Making a guest’s experience memorable and giving them a quality drink is where Adam’s passion lies. Adam believes that, if he and the people around him are having fun, it’s not work. He also feels passionate about turning someone’s day around by putting exactly what they want in front of them, and creating that special drink that makes them say, “Wow.”


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This season’s theme is Natural Foods and New England fisheries—two themes I feel go hand-in-hand. Fresh fish or sushi has always been at the top of my list for healthy natural foods. How does that tie into the cocktail world you ask? The answer is quite simply the palate. When enjoying sushi or fresh fish, you want something that balances, refreshes, and cleanses the palate to help you enjoy each part of the meal with a fresh taste. Whether it’s wine, beer, or cocktails, the drink can complete a well-balanced meal. This issue I chose to do an Organic Gluten-Free Lemon Gingertini to tie into the Natural Foods theme. Vodka is usually fermented with rice, rye, wheat, or corn. But for the glutenfree option, potato or grape vodka is the way to go: like Chopin, Ciroc, or Grand Teton. But I chose Schramm Organic Potato Vodka. Organic is always a better option meaning grown without the use of pesticides, fertilizers, or genetically modified organisms (GMOs). Palate cleansers range from citrus, milk, ginger, crackers, and even wine— but for sushi the most common cleanser is, of course, ginger. Pickled ginger that is, most commonly seen served alongside sushi. Pickled ginger has been, pickled....or soaked in sugar and vinegar. This preserves and gives it the acidity to cleanse your palate so you will have a clean slate with each bite of different fish or sushi you try—and it tastes great and is good for you, too! Now since I have never yet used vinegar in a cocktail, I decided that lemon and ginger would still deliver the same acidity and therefore the same palate cleanse. So this issue I give you the Lemongushitini. It has muddled fresh sliced ginger, fresh lemon, Schramm organic potato vodka, and Domaine De Canton ginger liqueur. Try sips between bites or courses with any sushi, fish, or food that requires a fresh palate to appreciate the full flavor. Not only is this a palate cleanser, it’s also a delicious cocktail that may not last the full meal. The spice of the ginger will warm you while the lemon dances on your tongue—a perfect drink for these cold months ahead. Your taste buds will thank me all around. Enjoy the new year with this delightfully natural cocktail, and, as always, responsibly. Cheers!

Organic Lemon Gingertini Ingredients: 2oz Schramm Organic Potato Vodka 1oz Domaine De Canton ginger liqueur Fresh muddled lemon (1/2 a lemon, wedged) Fresh muddled Ginger (2 inch piece thin sliced) Directions: Add ginger and lemon in shaker and muddle vigorously, then add ice, vodka and ginger liquor. Shake and strain into a martini glass. Garnish with a floating lemon wheel.

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It’s worth it! Rich, indulgent Carolans combines Irish spirits and whiskey with fresh cream and derives its superior taste from the subtle blending of flavors, including natural honey. Perfect for entertaining and enjoyment as a festive cocktail or dessert treat.

WORTH IT Original Ingredients: 1.5oz Carolans Irish Cream 1oz SKYY INFUSIONS Vanilla Bean Vodka Dash of buttershots liquor Combine all ingredients, shake and strain into rimmed rocks glass. Rim glass with caramel syrup and crushed Butterfingers.

Try Carolans Irish Cream in your favorite dessert! Recipe created by Foodie’s Adam Gerhart

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