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Winter 2015

Fruit Challenge The Best Chefs, Their Favorite Fruits, Extraordinary Creations!

Gluten Free Pizza Exploring Farmers Markets More Than Just Produce

Hunt Road Berry Farm A Labor of Love

The History of... Juniper Berries


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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 •

redpassion Bold, passionate and completely unique, Campari makes a dry and refreshing cocktail that can be enjoyed anytime. Hand-crafted according to the same secret family recipe invented in Italy in 1860, Campari is a one-of-a-kind, refreshing spirit.

Feel the passion. POMpari Pickins Created especially for you by Foodies Barista Adam Gerhart

1 oz Campari 1 oz POM juice 1/2 oz Apple Cider POM seer’s

Combine Campari, POM, and cider in shaker, toss and strain over ice in a snifter and garnish with POM seeds.

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Banquets, Catering, In-Home Chef

Table 3 Restaurant Group has the perfect setting for your wedding, shower, family reunion, private party, or business meeting. Located in idyllic Sturbridge, Massachusetts, Table 3 has several options to choose from including our newest post and beam function venue for groups up to 125 people. Whether it’s a catered event or one of our three locations, our experienced staff will coordinate everything to perfection, making sure your event is special and memorable. All of the items on our menus are carefully selected and prepared by our executive chef to ensure the finest quality for your guests. Visit us at to learn more or call us at 774-241-8450. TABLE 3 RESTAURANT GROUP



420 Main Street • Sturbridge, MA 01566 • 774.241.8450 •


Winter 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, Stacy Horowitz, Matt Jones, Jeff Cutler, Tom Verde, Sarah Connell, Honee Hess, Briana Palma 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 Š2014, 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


Fruit Challenge

The Best Chef’s Using Their Favorite Fruit



Cooking Up a Career; Part II

Interview with Culinary Student Joan Mary Jablonoski


Spencer Trappist Ale America’s First & Only Trappist Brew


Glass Fruit

Creating Fruit at 2200 Degrees


Hunt Road Berry Farm


A Labor of Love


Farmers Markets More Than Just Produce


Team Chef Competition Student Chefs In-Training


Lord Jeffrey Inn Inspired Local Cuisine



The Fruits of New England A Fall Classic


Hot Pot

A Universal Language

Cover: IPA & Peach BBQ Sauce from

Cask & Vine in Derry, NH


Foodies of New England




History of...



Juniper Berries


Gluten Free Pizza!


Pasta (and Life): 101 Play With Your Food


Food for Thought Specialty Salsas


Healthy at Home

One Part Asparagus, Two Parts Inspiration


Sweet Sensations

Tomatoes - Not Just A Summer Fruit


Brew Review

Weihenstephan Hefeweiss


Whiskey-Under Loch & Key


Drink Now! For The End is Rye!


Wines of Distinction Flama d’Or


Liberating Libations Refreshing Fruit Cocktails

120 Foodies of New England


Rich, Warm & Inviting... ...feel the difference “Let Fine Lines help you fall in love with your kitchen. We’ll convert your kitchen into a beautifully and sensibly-crafted focal point of your home. Fine Lines has the vision, experience, and abilities to make your dream a reality!” Ask about our unique cutting and serving boards!

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from the


This Land is Foodies Land

Yes, we did it. We went ahead and threw down the culinary gauntlet. We asked some of New England’s best chefs to pick their favorite regional fruits and create something extraordinary – and they did it.

Indeed, they responded to the New England Fruit Challenge, in spades. Be amazed by the creations of Chefs Kristin and Matthew Gennuso from Chez Pascal in Providence, or check out Chef Michele Ragussis – Season 8 Food Network Star finalist and recently featured on NBC’s hit show, Food Fighter’s - from The Pearl in Rockland, Maine. Also in the lineup, Chef Toby Hill from Brewster Fish House on the Cape, Chef George Craft from Derry, New Hampshire’s Cask & Vine, and finally, Chef Allen Granberg from Bellla’s Bistro in Putnam, Connecticut. As if that weren’t enough, we’ve lined the delightful pages of this issue with a small handful of New England’s ever-expanding presence of farmer’s markets. You’ll delve into the best farmer’s markets we could find in Massachusetts, Vermont and Connecticut, with related features that include a one-night stay at The Lord Jeffrey Inn in Amherst, complete with a walking trip to the local Farmers’ Market accompanied by Executive Chef, Dino Giordano. Other delightful features you’ll not want to miss include an exposé on the Tantasqua Regional High School’s Team Chef competition, which spotlights the school’s culinary department as well as its finest young chef-to-be culinary students in full competition. Speaking of up-and-coming chefs… be sure you check out Tom Verde’s Cooking Up a Career series, Part II, which showcases the life and experiences of culinary students on their way to gastronomic greatness. Then, for you foodies who are looking for more than just a food experience, stop for a refreshing (and spiritual) encounter the Trappist Brewery in Spencer, Massachusetts, which features craft brews so delicious and marvelously created, you’ll swear the brewers had a little extra help - from above. Apropos of our New England Fruit Challenge and farmer’s market themes, Sandy Curewitz takes you on a Fall Fruit Picking tour. After, let Peggy Bridges take you out to meet Jim the Berry Guy, at Hunt Road Berry Farm in West Brookfield, Massachusetts. Fruit, fruit and more fruit! “Even when it’s not real, it still looks delicious!” says Honee Hess, executive director of the Worcester Center for Crafts in Worcester, Massachusetts, as she describes the beautiful monumentally-sized, blown-glass fruit creations of glass artist Stephanie Chubbuck. Of course, no issue of Foodies of New England magazine would ever be complete without the stylish and informative musings of our regular department staff, including Jodie Boduch’s History Of (Juniper Berries), Ellen Allard’s Gluten Free Pizza, Peg Bridges’ Food for Thought (a myriad of fruit-based salsas), Alina Eisenhauer’s Sweet Sensations, Matt Webster’s Brew Review, Elaine Cowan’s Healthy at Home, Ryan Maloney’s Whiskey… Under Loch & Key, Adam Gerhart’s Liberating Libations, Chris Rovezzi’s Pasta (and life): 101, and FNE publisher Domenic Mercurio’s Wines of Distinction.

continued on page 12


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Happy autumn, Foodies! As you venture out to experience – in reality - the joys within our pages, we’re confident you’ll be reminded of the many reasons why we live in a true foodie paradise – New England. Enjoy your good fortune of being a true foodie – of New England.

Domenic Mercurio, Jr. Editor/Publisher


Foodies of New England

Irresistable Hazelnut Taste Frangelico is a traditional hazelnut liqueur - enjoyed neat, over ice, with coffee or in a wide variety of stylish cocktails. Try Frangelico for yourself and see why it’s the “Irresistable Hazelnut Taste”

Vanilla Magnifico

Created especially for you by Foodies Barista Adam Gerhart 2 oz Frangelico 2 scoops Vanilla bean ice cream Muddled Pecans Fresh Nutmeg 1. Combine Frangelico, ice cream and muddled pecans 2. Shake vigorously 3. Strain over a little scoop of ice cream in a martini glass 4. Garnish with crushed pecans and fresh ground nutmeg.

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The “Sweetness� of the New England

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

Yes, we did it. We threw down the gauntlet. The challenge was issued, and the chefs of New England responded. The challenge: Make the foodies of New England proud by building your best savory or sweet creation using one indigenous New England fruit.

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Now, the hard part: In order to deliver the most eyepopping masterpieces to our Foodies fans, we scoured the New England culinary landscape in search of chefs from each state worthy of the challenge. What we came up with was a short list of nothing less than culinary ninjas. Throughout the ensuing pages, you’ll be dazzled by the litany of knife-wielding, veggie-chopping, steak-searing, sauce-simmering, and pastry-pinching gastronomic geniuses that we’ve uncovered for your education and amusement. It’s not easy finding the best-of-the-best in each New England state; in fact, it’s down-right exhausting to try to uncover that one chef, that one creative mastermind, that one unique maverick, that one relentless renegade that can pull out all the stops and deliver the goods to our foodie fans. But, after hours of research, investigation, hunting, and screening, we’ve found the optimal line-up of supremely capable culinarians to grace our colorful pages with the results of their masterfully imaginative images of epicurean excellence. Our chefs include Kristin and Matthew Gennuso from Providence’s Chez Pascal, who created a Summer Melon Salad with sea salty feta, black olives and spicy grilled squid. We’re happily featuring Chef Michele Ragussis – Season 8 Food Network Star finalist and recently featured on NBC’s hit show, Food Fighter’s - from The Pearl in Rockland, Maine. She’s given us a delectably savory seared duck breast in a blueberry port sauce. Also in the lineup, Chef Toby Hill from Brewster Fish House on the Cape, who prepared Pan Seared Foie Gras with house made mascarpone, pickled cranberry compote, and waffles. Be sure not to miss Chef George Craft from Derry, New Hampshire’s Cask & Vine, who wowed our foodies panelists with a braised pork cheek with peaches served three ways: Peach Chutney, Jalapeno Peach Gastrique, and IPA Peach Barbecue Sauce. Served with aged Vermont cheddar polenta and roasted Brussels sprouts. Now, that gives “just peachy” new meaning. And finally, Chef Allen Granberg from Bella’s Bistro in Putnam, Connecticut, who thrills us with his Grilled Striped Bass over a sweet potato hash and drizzled with a beach plum reduction over vegetable ash goat cheese. Get ready, foodies. No, don’t just get ready… be ready. Be sure you’re prepared, locked and loaded, comfortable, situated, focused, alert, free from distraction, completely and entirely able and ready to encounter and absorb the ensuing creations to which our chefs have given artistic birth. Yes, be ready, foodies – for here… here are your rewards for


Foodies of New England

In order to deliver the most eye-popping masterpieces to our Foodies fans, we scoured the New England culinary landscape in search of chefs from each state worthy of the challenge.

patiently awaiting yet another issue of New England’s food magazine, New England’s culinary chronicle, New England’s elaborate ensemble of epicurean excellence – this, indeed, is your food magazine, foodies. So wait no longer, and be free to unleash all of your senses. Let your eyes widen as you flip page after glorious page, scanning one captivating image after another, your retinas expanding in size, your imagination gushing over how incredible the creations truly must be in reality. Go ahead, we give you permission - allow your olfactory senses to trigger your brain’s intuition as to just how wonderful our chefs’ creations actually could taste, should you have fork in hand. Yes, it’ll be okay - we assure you – to delve into your food magazine, New England, and relish in your Foodies… of New England. FNE. Foodies of New England


International Style Cuisine with a Local Flair -

Chez Pascal Written by Jeff Cutler Photography by Scott Erb and Donna Dufault


Speaking with Chef Matt Gennuso, you can feel his passion for food. He’s been cooking since he was 16, and even as a restaurant owner, Gennuso prefers to be on the line every night. Preparing meals for his guests and being creative with ingredients is what drives him. In fact, with the increasing emphasis on locally-sourced ingredients, Gennuso finds new ways to be creative every day.


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Summer Melon Salad with sea salty feta, black olives and grilled spicy squid

Foodies of New England


Establishing himself and building his skills in places like Oakland, New York, Boston, and Holland, Gennuso came well-prepared when he and his wife Kristin bought Chez Pascal 11 years ago. While the food is still internationally influenced, most items on the menu focus on local, seasonal food. To that end, Gennuso’s dish for The New England Fruit Challenge relies heavily on summer melon. Plentiful in Rhode Island during summer months, melons bring a sweet simplicity to many dishes. But Chef Gennuso chose melons for the characteristics they don’t have. “I chose melons for no other reason than they pose a challenge as far as utilizing on the savory side,” he said. As you can see from his recipe for Summer Melon Salad, the other ingredients and preparation complement the dish so that melons contribute nicely to the final product. Using local foods in menu and meal prep isn’t new to Gennuso. He’s been focused on connecting with the local


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suppliers no matter where he’s worked. At Chez Pascal specifically, he and Kristin have worked hand-in-hand with the community to build great-tasting dishes. “It’s something we have always done, it’s something we believe in for many reasons,” said Gennuso. “It (working with local/seasonal foods) makes you appreciate what you have when it’s in season. A great example is asparagus: we will have it for about a month or so locally—then that’s it. We won’t see if for another year. It’s harder as a cook but I believe that’s really what makes cooking seasonally and locally is about. Get it while you can then it’s gone.” He’s also proud of Rhode Island’s role in helping restaurants succeed. There are all types of foods within a short drive, so Gennuso can stock his kitchen or find just what he’s looking for quickly. And it’s all fresh because it’s local. He says the “overwhelming abundance of locally-grown produce, raised meats, and seafood” only add to what is already a great restaurant community.

The variety of foods and seasonal nature of many items keeps the staff and Gennuso on their toes. They have to remain creative because the ingredients available fresh changes every three or four months. There might be a little challenge to keeping his staff focused and the food consistent, but he finds a way. Part of the process is challenging himself. “If I don’t keep on top of things culinarily, people will get bored with our place and go somewhere else,” said Gennuso. “If you get complacent you run the risk of getting stale, that’s when you start to lose customers.” Just looking at the menu, you see a three-course tasting menu, selections of fish, poultry, meat and vegetarian, and much more. From marinated beets with sea salty feta, pecans & creamy rose hip dressing on the appetizer menu to a slow-roasted half duck with parsnip purée, wilted greens and a golden raisin compote on the dinner menu, Gennuso has given flair and flavor to some old favorites.

And the menu is always being tweaked. Ultimately, variety is truly in his blood. From the dish he lists as a favorite—bucatini all’amatriciana—to the wurst kitchen they run. “It’s basically a take out window inside the restaurant with 16 seats inside for lunch,” said Gennuso. “We make all our own hot dogs, sausages, pastrami, and so on. It’s a house of pork.” For now, Gennuso is concentrating on the end of summer and the start of fall. That can only mean some more innovative and delicious dishes will be on the menu at Chez Pascal very soon. Chez Pascal 960 Hope Street Providence, RI 02906 401.421.4422

Summer Melon Salad with Sea Salty Feta, Black Olives and Grilled Spicy Squid Serves 4 Ingredients: 4 slices Crenshaw melon 4 slices honeydew melon 4 slices seedless watermelon 4 slices musk melon 1 Tbsp minced shallots 3 Tbsp champagne vinegar 3 Tbsp honey 1 tsp dijon mustard 1/8 cup olive oil Pinch chopped mint Pinch chopped thyme Salt and black peppers 1/2 lb arugula 1/8 cup crumbled feta 16 oil-cured black olives pitted and roughly chopped 1 lb fresh squid tubes, butterflied 1 Tbsp Harissa paste 1 tsp fresh lemon juice 1 tsp olive oil Directions: In a small mixing bowl add your minced shallots, then cover with the champagne vinegar and the honey. Next add your mustard, mix to incorporate then slowly whisk in your oil. Once the oil has been incorporated add in your herbs and season with salt and pepper. Reserve until needed. Marinate your squid with the Harissa paste, lemon juice and olive oil and refrigerate till ready to grill. Don’t allow to marinate more than 2 hours. Place cut melons into a mixing bowl and lightly dress with vinaigrette. Arrange on 4 plates being sure to separate the different varieties of melons. Season with salt and pepper then sprinkle the melons with the olives and feta. Using the same bowl place the arugula in and lightly dress with your vinaigrette. Place squid on very hot grill for no more than two minutes they will curl and that’s ok but try to get a good char on them. Remove from the grill and slice into thin rings, arrange the cut squid onto the melons then using the arugula that you have tossed with your vinaigrette place a little pile on each plate. Serve at once.

Chef Matt Gennuso

Foodies of New England


Pan-seared foie gras with pickled cranberry compote, house-made mascarpone & buttermilk waffles


Foodies of New England

The Cape Cod


Fresh, Contemporary Fare Brought to Life Written by Sarah Connell Photography by Scott Erb and Donna Dufault


Many of The Brewster Fish House’s regulars can still remember a time, decades ago, when a small farm stand stood in the restaurant’s place. Executive Chef Toby Hill maintains the integrity of The Brewster Fish House’s agricultural roots by continuing to uphold a high standard for fresh and local produce. Sourcing fruits and vegetables from three Brewster farms, Hill designs and executes seasonal menus that possess both an innovative edge and a charming familiarity. This balance has earned him the praise of everyone on Cape Cod, from the highbrow vacation set to the loyal locals.

Foodies of New England


Executive Chef Toby Hill

Hill is a respected veteran of the Cape Cod restaurant scene, having earned the edible Cape Cod title of Best Chef in 2011 during his time at Pain D’Avignon. Hill speaks with great admiration of Cape Cod’s culinary network, “On the Cape, restaurant owners really have to find their own way in order to maximize three months of the year. It comes down to quality and care; only restaurants that value both of those things will find success here.” Quality and care are apparent in every element of The Brewster Fish House, from the tastefully curated wine list to the meticulous execution of each individual plate. The Brewster Fish House does not accept reservations, but this does not deter serious foodies. Dinner guests should expect to wait over an hour for a table during the summer months. John, The Brewster Fish House’s host for over twenty years, greets patrons with a sense of calm that reverberates throughout the entire establishment. The restaurant’s atmosphere reflects the tranquility of its authentic beach town surroundings. Stunning pieces of artwork throughout the dining room depict the beaches of Brewster. At the urging of the host, one server humbly admits that she painted a few of the scenes herself. Polished professionals, young families, and old-time residents


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sip cold drinks on the patio, all sporting the glow of a day spent seaside. The Brewster Fish House offers an opportunity for unadulterated relaxation that restaurants of its world-class caliber often lack. Particularly after a day on the bay, Brewster oysters, served raw on the half shell with fresh horseradish and a rose mignonette, are a fitting start to any meal. The fluke ceviche is equally refreshing, served up with red jalapeños, cilantro, watermelon juice, lemon, and apple blossoms. For the heartier

palate, begin with a trio of dry-aged steak tartare deviled eggs—delightfully nostalgic and undeniably on trend. With careful timing, one can sample The Brewster Fish House’s famed wild striped bass served atop local corn salad with a red verjus. Hill explains that the strictly regulated fishing season limits availability of striped bass on the menu and thus it remains one of his most sought after dishes. One would also be remiss not to indulge in the Sesuit lobster, served with squid ink pasta, smoked oyster mushrooms, pea

tendrils, sea beans, and crème fraîche. Hill’s offerings extend beyond the realm of seafood; in fact, when asked about his favorite item on the menu, Hill shares that he prides himself on his grilled hangar steak. No meal at The Brewster Fish House is complete without dessert—try the chocolate ganache tart served with candied bacon and bourbon gelato. True to his character, Hill’s creations are consistently elegant and indisputably ‘Cape Cod.’ When tasked with designing a dish that incorporates Cape’s most iconic fruit—the cranberry—Chef Hill presents an extraordinary response with pan seared foie gras, served

with house made mascarpone, pickled cranberry compote, and waffles. The foie gras, as delicate as the cranberries themselves, proves silky and sumptuous. Hill’s divine dish manages to pay homage to The Brewster Fish House’s farm stand origins while subsequently showcasing his penchant for innovation. See recipe on page 27

The Brewster Fish House 2208 Main Street Brewster, MA 02631 508.896.7867 Foodies of New England



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Pan-Seared Foie Gras with Pickled Cranberry Compote, House-made Mascarpone & Buttermilk Waffles Serves 6 Ingredients, Mascarpone: 1 pint heavy cream 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar Preparation: 1. Bring heavy cream to 185° F in a saucepan. 2. Add vinegar, turn off heat, cover and let cool overnight. 3. Pour cream mixture into a cheesecloth lined sieve and allow to drain for one hour. 4. Put in a container and refrigerate. Ingredients, Buttermilk Waffles: 1 3/4 cups flour 2 tablespooons sugar 2 teaspoons baking Powder 1 teaspoons baking Soda 1 teaspoons salt 1 cup buttermilk 4 ounces butter (melted) 2 eggs Preparation: 1. In a large mixing bowl, combine all the dry ingredients. 2. In a smaller mixing bowl, whisk the eggs and milk together and then whisk the wet ingredients into the dry until combined. 3. Whisk the melted butter into the batter until combined. 4. Place batter in a greased waffle iron and cook until golden brown. Ingredients, Mascarpone: 1 pint heavy cream 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar Preparation: 1. Bring heavy cream to 185° F in a saucepan. 2. Add vinegar, turn off heat, cover and let cool overnight. 3. Pour cream mixture into a cheesecloth lined sieve and allow to drain for one hour. 4. Put in a container and refrigerate. Ingredients, Buttermilk Waffles: 1 3/4 cups flour 2 tablespooons sugar 2 teaspoons baking Powder 1 teaspoons baking Soda 1 teaspoons salt 1 cup buttermilk 4 ounces butter (melted) 2 eggs

Preparation: 1. In a large mixing bowl, combine all the dry ingredients. 2. In a smaller mixing bowl, whisk the eggs and milk together and then whisk the wet ingredients into the dry until combined. 3. Whisk the melted butter into the batter until combined. 4. Place batter in a greased waffle iron and cook until golden brown. Ingredients, Pickled Cranberry Compote: 2 cups apple cider vinegar 1 1/2 cups sugar 1 tablespoon pickling spice 1/2 pound cranberries Preparation: 1. Combine vinegar, sugar, and pickling spice and bring to a boil. 2. Place cranberries in a bowl and pour the boiling liquid over the cranberries through a sieve. 3. When cranberries skins crack slightly, remove the cranberries from the liquid, set aside. 4. Return the liquid to a saucepan and reduce until thickened. 5. Pour back over the cranberries and keep warm. Ingredients, Foie Gras: 6 foie gras portions (2-ounce pieces) Kosher salt (to taste) Black pepper (ground; to taste) Preparation & Plating: 1. Score the foie gras portions and season with salt and pepper. 2. In a sauté pan on medium heat, sear the foie gras on both sides until the core of the foie gras is just soft. 3. Place waffle on a plate, top with mascarpone, spoon cranberries and the liquid onto and around the waffles. Lastly, top with the seared foie gras and serve. Foodies of New England


IPA & Peach bbq sauce


Foodies of New England

Pork & Peach Quite a Pair


Written by Bradley Schwarzenbach Photography by Scott Erb and Donna Dufault

It has become a recurring theme, in these stories I write, that the many unique New England culinary corners I cover seem to be very focused on defying expectations. So many chefs to whom I speak are finding inspiration by creatively battling the perception of a staid, unchanging, and predictable New England palate. And it took George Craft’s surprising, bold, and expectation-defying dish to help me finally identify this trend.

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When presented with an opportunity to create a fruit-based dish, Craft—of Cask & Vine in Derry, New Hampshire— immediately went against the grain by choosing peaches.

Challenge Accepted “It’s a braised pork cheek with native peaches three ways: peach chutney, jalapeno peach gastrique, and IPA peach barbecue sauce,” he said. My upturned eyebrow must have given my thoughts away. “You thought I was going to do a dessert, didn’t you?” he grinned. Craft’s culinary education began by working in chain restaurants in his youth. From there, he realized that there could be more to food and attended the New England Culinary Institute in Montpelier, Vermont. “My education was well-balanced, but I definitely gravitated towards fine dining,” he said.


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Executive Chef George Craft

Sweet & Tart Craft admitted that fruit isn’t always a good pair with an entree. “It depends on the protein. Fortunately, pork accepts fruits really well. Pork chops and applesauce! Pears are good with pork too… [but] as a fruit, [peaches] remind me of summer and that’s a great memory that I like to bring to my cooking.” The peaches themselves are, indeed, grown locally. “They’re only in season for a month or two but we get them from Massachusetts.” It’s a short season for peaches in there—June through August—and New England’s summer climate is very good for them. Peach trees thrive on a lot of full sun and sandy loam soil. What prevents New England from being a more active peach-growing region is the harsh winter; the brutal cold usually kills any lingering buds and pushes the growing season back into summer. “The dish itself really uses the sweet and tart flavor of peaches,” Craft said. “The peach brings sweetness; there’s heat from the jalapeno; and the pork is just so tender. The cheek is the best meat from the pig, I think. And the slight acidity the fruit brings makes it very well-rounded flavor-wise.”

In keeping with Cask & Vine’s focus on good pairings, Craft recommended his peach and pork cheek be served with Pinot Grigio if drinking wine—Il Cavaliere is name-dropped by the chef—or a strong IPA if pairing with beer. “In the last five years or so, the New Hampshire culinary scene has changed a lot and craft beer has been a big part of that. You’re even starting to see New Hampshire microbrews at TGI Friday’s!” When pressed on the subject, Craft confessed he created a dish with complex flavors and a fruit that was “an un-

common choice” because he wanted to think “outside the norm.” “Maybe I just wanted to make it the most complicated,” he said with a childish smile.

See recipe on page 32

Cask & Vine 1 East Broadway Derry, NH 03038 603.965.3454 Foodies of New England


IPA & Peach BBQ Sauce Ingredients: 1 lb. poached peaches (coarsely chopped) 1 tablespoon canola oil 1/4 cup red onion (diced) 1 tablespoon garlic (minced) 1/2 cup cider vinegar 1/8 cup molasses 1/4 cup brown sugar 6 ounces IPA 1/4 cup honey 2 cups chipotle ketchup salt & pepper Preparation: 1. Over a low simmer, until softened, poach peaches in the following mixture: 1 cup sugar, 1 cup water, 1/4 cup honey. Reserve the liquid for the gastrique recipe below. 2. While the peaches are poaching, in a stainless steel pot, sweat the red onion and garlic in oil until softened. 3. Add the rest of ingredients and bring to a boil, stirring frequently to prevent burning. Reduce heat to a simmer and cook to desired consistency. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Puree sauce in blender, but use caution if it’s still hot! Cool and store covered in the fridge for up to one week. Peach Jalapeno Gastrique 2 cups sugar 1/2 cup water 1 cup reserved poaching liquid 1/4 cup cider vinegar 1 jalapeno (split) Preparation: 1. Using a stainless steel pot, gently mix sugar and water. Leave on medium-low heat until sugar is dissolved. 2. Turn heat up to medium-high and cook sugar mixture until just before it begins to caramelize.

3. Add liquids and cook until the caramelized sugar dissolves, then bring to a low boil and cook until sauce begins to thicken. Add the jalapeno and remove from heat. Let steep 20 minutes. Strain the sauce and then cool. Store in the fridge until ready to use. Peach Chutney Ingredients: 1 tablespoon butter 1/2 tablespoon garlic (minced) 1/2 cup red onion (diced) 1/2 cup red bell pepper (diced) 1 lb. peaches (blanched and diced) 1/2 cup sugar 1/4 cup champagne vinegar 1 teaspoon Chinese five spice salt & pepper Preparation: 1. Cook garlic, onion, red peppers in butter until softened. Add remaining ingredients and cook until peaches are softened. Leave chunky or do a quick pulse in a food processor for a finer consistency. Let cool and store in the fridge up to one week. Braised Pork Cheeks 10 lbs. pork cheeks rice flour (for dredging) oil salt & pepper 4 cups white wine 1 cup chipotle ketchup 1/2 gallon pork stock 1 red bell pepper (chopped) 1/2 stalk celery (chopped) 1 carrot (chopped) 4 garlic cloves 1 tablespoon fennel seeds (toasted) 1 tablespoon black peppercorns 2 bay leafs parsley stems 2 sprigs rosemary Preparation: 1. Season and dredge pork cheeks with rice flour and then, in a large rondo, sear all sides in oil until golden brown. Put pork cheeks aside. Deglaze the rondo with white wine, then add ketchup and pork stock. Bring to a boil. Pour mixture over pork cheeks. Cool, cover and let sit over night. 2. The next day, add remaining ingredients, cover, and braise in 300ºF oven until pork cheeks are very tender (about 2 1/2 to 3 1/2 hours). 3. For plating, remove cheeks from braising liquid and brush with peach BBQ sauce. In center of plate, place some aged cheddar polenta and sautéed Brussels sprout. Place pork cheeks, then top with peach chutney and drizzle of gastrique.


Foodies of New England

Foodies of New England



Loco-vore Written by David G. Kmetz Photography by Scott Erb and Donna Dufault


Anchoring the right corner of a busy block of eateries, shops, and other businesses, Bella’s Bistro sits near the epicenter of the happening downtown buzzfest that is “Putnam Main Street.” On any summer weekend, the sidewalks are packed with shoppers, wait staff, cyclists, musicians and antique hunters of all stripes and ages, searching for that elusive memento, chatting with friends, enjoying the tunes, or just sharing a fine casual meal al fresco.


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Grilled Striped Bass on sweet potato hash with beach plum reduction over vegetable ash goat cheese

Foodies of New England


In 2009, Chef Allen Granberg and his wife Carolyn opened Bella’s Bistro together. It started as a quaint BYOB establishment with patio dining, and grew to include beer and wine. In 2012, they expanded to a full liquor license, and added a 14-seat bar and full dining room downstairs. They have live entertainment on Fridays and Saturdays and often host large functions and dinner parties. Allen Granberg hails from Northern Virginia and graduated from Johnson & Wales in Providence in 1999. Not content with just that training, Allen pursued a Masters in Italian Cuisine from ICIF (Italian Culinary Institute for Foreigners). His schooling was in Asti, Italy, and after that, he served as an apprentice in Torino, Italy in a 2-star Michelin restaurant before coming home to begin his career. Upon returning to New England he was quickly appointed Executive Chef at The Restaurant at Union Station in Worcester where he ran the kitchen for four years. After that, he was the Executive Chef at Pleasant Valley Country Club in Sutton for three seasons. Allen has also competed at Worcester’s Best Chef Competition. Allen creates new menus seasonally and offers nightly specials; there are daily drink features and specials as well. Allen’s flavor focus on food is Northern Italian cuisine using fresh, local ingredients. Being in New England, he uses a lot of seafood in his cooking (fried oysters, sauteed mussels, ceviche, calamari, etc.), but will also serve boar, duck, lamb ... whatever is in season. Allen and his wife, Carolyn Dahlstrom Granberg, from Shrewsbury, MA, met in 2002. Allen is the chef and Carolyn is manager/bartender/server. They have two sons, Bradley 9 and Jack 7, who are very involved in the Bella’s family and love to be a part of the business. The family lives in nearby Paxton, MA. About their choice of Putnam and venue, Carolyn says that “We are very


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lucky to have chosen to start our business in Putnam. We saw Putnam as an up-and-coming town and wanted to be a part of it, but still be close to our roots in Worcester. Putnam has really become a destination. The town is sprouting with restaurants, shops, and a great visual and performing arts scene. Our customers have really embraced our concept over the years and continue to support us as we grow. We have the most amazing regulars. Also, we have the most loyal staff that makes

it a pleasure to come to work and create every day. That is why we really consider this our ‘Bella’s family.’” Carolyn continues, “We decided to open in a terrible economy, but we were confident about our concept, and that we could create casual, upscale dining experiences for patrons without them having to break the bank. We wanted to bring quality of The North End/Federal Hill/Shrewsbury Street feel to Putnam in one location. We both have a passion for this business, and knew we

have to put in 110% all the time. The first date we went on, Allen basically described Bella’s to me, and we have been working towards it ever since. Now we are here, and it’s been a great experience. It’s not smooth sailing all the time, and we will never be millionaires, but it’s a passion. Walking through the dining room, patio, and bar, and seeing the smiles on the faces makes it all worth it. We’ve built quite a family here with our customers and staff, and it’s a really good feeling!” Though the working couple is coy about naming farms and food sources they use, when you sit down at a place you can tell within the first few bites whether the food is fresh and/or local. They use local milk, cheese, produce, chicken, fish, and shellfish, and if things aren’t local as in “around the corner”, they work to source it as close as possible.

Inspiration Carolyn tells about how Chef Allen came up with this dish... “The overall thought for the dish was our being down the Cape and it is something that he would cook for us on vacation: freshcaught striper from my dad’s boat, filleted on the beach. It’s an end of summer/early fall inspired dish. The sauce is more savory than sweet because of the red wine. Beach plums are native to coastal New England, so he wanted to use a fruit that people may be familiar with but in a different way. It isn’t a common combination, but Allen cooks “outside the box” all the time, and that is what people have come to love and expect from him. Every week, his specials offer something different that you wouldn’t think to put together, but works so well. His theory on food is that there is a whole lot out there, and if we aren’t creating new experiences for people, then what’s the point of going out?” Bella’s Bistro 83 Main Street Putnam, CT 06260 860.928.7343

Grilled Striped Bass on Sweet Potato Hash with Beach Plum Reduction Over Vegetable Ash Goat Cheese Serves 2 Ingredients: 2 10 oz. Striper Steaks: season with olive oil, sea salt, and cracked pepper to taste, place on hot grill for 6-8 minutes, each side Sweet Potato Hash: 2 sweet potato, small diced 1 Anjou pear, small diced 1/2 red onion, small diced 4 oz toasted, broken pecans, toasted (toss lightly with olive oil, salt and pepper before slightly toasting) 4 leaves fresh sage finely diced 1 tsp vanilla 2 TBS olive oil Salt and pepper to taste Directions: *Toss all ingredients in a bowl, place on sheet pan in the oven at 425 degrees for 15-20 minutes or until sweet potatoes are tender. Beach Plum Sauce: 10 beach plums cut in half 8 oz red wine blend 4 oz water 1 oz unsalted butter salt and pepper to taste Directions: *In a sauté pan, add plums, wine and water. Once it comes to a slow simmer, add butter and keep stirring until butter dissolves. Remove from heat. Sauce is ready to serve but do not serve the seeds on your plate! Enjoy!

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Seared Duck Breast in a Blueberry Port Sauce


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They’re the best. Period. Chef Michele Ragussis draws the line when it comes to the top New England fruit.


Written by Julie Grady Thomas Photography by Scott Erb and Donna Dufault

Who could ever forget that stunning image from Charlie and the Chocolate Factory: spoiled Violet Beauregarde slowly inflating, her hue swirling from precious porcelain straight through to very, very blueberry? Aside from a competitive streak, the champion gum-chewer shares very little in common with Chef Michele Ragussis, unless you count their undying love for blueberries. It’s that very love, specifically for the Maine blueberry (“Um, well, they’re just the best”) that drove Michele to showcase the autumn stunner in this year’s New England Fruit Challenge.

Foodies of New England


“Tremendous things are in store for you!” Roald Dahl’s words ring true, and you might already be expecting that because the name Michele Ragussis is, at this point, very nearly household. You might recognize her from one of her stints on the Food Network (Chopped, 24 Hour Restaurant Battle, Food Network Star) or from her own restaurant, The Pearl, located down east in Rockland, Maine. After taking over only this year, she has led the quintessential New England eatery with a particularly high level of gusto and a massive passion for all things beautifully delicious, like the house-made lobster ravioli or the cioppino (a fish stew to end all other fish stews, complete with lobster, clams, mussels, fish, scallops, and shrimp). Did I mention they do brunch as well? Taste the fried green tomato benedict with shrimp and a basil cream sauce or even the grilled asparagus with a crispy soft poached egg served along with


Foodies of New England

some crab, parmesan, and lemon oil. “[The Pearl] really captures what New England is—it’s got 360-degree views of the ocean; it’s on Penobscot Bay; it’s downhome New England food with Greek and Italian flares thrown in; it’s rustic; it’s got an old wood oven,” she gushed before taking a breath. “It’s more than that. It’s me.” And while you may think that Michele’s Italian and Greek heritage reads Brooklyn (she did make a name for herself there with her first endeavor, Stuft Catering), she’s New England “all the way.” “It’s instilled in me,” the Connecticut native confessed. The Pearl is seasonal, so she’s in Maine cheffing for a few months (eat there before October’s out!), and she wouldn’t have it any other way. “Other parts of the year, I go where the wind takes me, but from May to October I get to do that balls-to-wall restaurant kitchen kind of thing, then I can jump on my boat with my dogs and go play with the seals. It’s great.”

Chef & Owner Michele Ragussis

“Duck goes well with fruit, usually stone fruits, but port and blueberries are the perfect marriage.” Truer words may not been spoken. “Many wonderful surprises await you!” This article was a while in the making: twenty-six emails, 4 rescheduled interviews, and one one-hour delay. Michele works. It’s clear that with such a packed schedule she’s in-demand, but what was instantly refreshing about her was her steely focus—her innate ability to give someone else complete and undivided attention, all but for the occasional bark from those aforementioned dogs (Maximus and Clementine), which is something of a rarity in the Age of Instagram, perpetual selfies, and sanitizing filters. This isn’t to say that Michele wasn’t effervescent. Her energetic personality was contagious, her voice animated. And, she brings the same amount of dedication and enthusiasm to everything she plates, which is exactly why the interview was well worth the wait, just like this super simple seared duck breast in a blueberry port sauce will be. “It’s just common sense, really,” she said of the dish. “Duck goes well with fruit, usually stone fruits, but port and blueberries are the perfect marriage.” Make it. Taste it. Love it. It’s the best. Period. See recipe on page 42

The Pearl Seafood Restaurant & Raw Bar 275 Main Street Rockland, ME 04841 207.594.9889

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Which Breast is Best?* What you need to know about duck. Okay, so you might not cook duck everyday. No big deal. Here’s the skinny on this fatty bird. Taste—Rich, strong, flavorful. Duck may be one of the fattiest birds you can buy, but don’t let that scare you. It’s incredibly nutritious with lots of protein, B vitamins, and minerals such as zinc potassium and magnesium. If the high-fat content still scares you, just cut off the skin and the layer of fat underneath. Tah-dah! There are many different breeds of duck— French, English…it seems like every country has their power players, but the important thing to remember is that you’re looking for a cut that has soft skin, clear with no tears, bruises, or blemishes. Preparation—Best to have the duck at room temperature before it cooks, so remember to take it out of the fridge about 20 minutes before you pop in the oven, on the pan, etc. Just keep it covered and in a cool, dry place. *Portions of this were sourced from BBC Good Food. For more information, go to

Seared Duck Breast in a Blueberry Port Sauce Ingredients: 1 pint Maine blueberries 1 cup veal stock 1 cup port wine 1/2 bunch thyme 1/2 shallot 1 duck breast Directions: Preheat the oven to 400°F. Mix the blueberries, veal stock, port wine, thyme and shallot together in a saucepan. Bring to a boil and simmer until it reduces by half. Score the duck breast, then pan-sear it skin-sidedown for about four minutes. To finish it off, roast the duck for breast six minutes, until medium rare. Pour the reduction over the duck and enjoy.


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Cooking up a Career M

ake no mistake: earning a degree in the culinary arts and sciences is as demanding any B.A. or B.S., if not more so. (How many college freshman gather for their first class of the day in a meat locker?) There are exams, labs, late night cramming, and internships. And it’s not all about making the perfect radish rose: culinary students study a broad range of subjects from anatomy, biology, and psychology to business, literature, and history. Some go on to become chefs, while others chose careers in nutrition, education, sports training, or business.

In the second of our series on the life of a culinary student, we asked 22 year-old Joan Mary Jablonoski – a graduating senior from Johnson & Wales University’s Culinary Arts program in Providence, Rhode Island – about her love of food and her decision to pursue a Bachelor of Science degree in Culinary Nutrition, the first such program in the country. Jablonoski grew up in New Jersey, a middle child in a family of eight children, which included two (!) sets of twins.


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Part II: Interview with Culinary Student Joan Mary Jablonoski Written by Tom Verde Photography by Scott Erb and Donna Dufault

Culinary student Joan Mary Jablonoski

(Dinner at the Jablonoski house, as she recalled, was “feeding time at the zoo.”) Meals were basic Irish (meat and potatoes), Italian, and Polish (her grandfather’s pierogis remain unmatched). Yet at an early age, she knew she was destined for a culinary career. J: I’ve always been a foodie. I started helping my mom in the kitchen when I was old enough to hold a knife and not cut myself – 7 or 8 years old. While other kids were watching Nickelodeon and Disney Channel, I was glued to the Food Network. I loved being in the kitchen. If I could have, I would have put my bed in there. FNE: And so when did you seriously consider food as a career and what made you chose Johnson & Wales? J: I had an uncle who used to come to Rhode Island on business and he first told me about Johnson & Wales when I was in the third grade. By fifth grade, I made my dad a spreadsheet, with the tuition costs and everything, on how I needed to go there. He showed it to me when I left for RI in 2010 to start school. FNE: Talk about those first couple of years. J: We have trimesters, with one academic trimester, with math, science, writing – the usual core courses. The other trimesters are labs, where you

work in the kitchen. Freshman year, you learn a lot of the fundamentals: the different cuts of meat, how to butcher an animal, the flavors, the seasonings, and you have to follow recipes. Sophomore year, you use recipes as a guide, but are encouraged to experiment on your own to suit your tastes. FNE: What steered you towards the Culinary Nutrition program? J: I knew I wanted to get a bachelor’s

degree instead of just doing a two year associates’ and becoming a chef. I wanted something more to fall back on. You have to take Nutrition 101 as a core course, and that’s where I first began to understand what nutrition was, how it was a lifestyle, and how you could take these awesome dishes, like an alfredo sauce, and completely change them using a third of the fat, but still have them taste the same. continued on page 46

Foodies of New England


FNE: Describe the curriculum. J: It’s pretty comprehensive. We study dietetics, food science; we learn about different cuisines, like the vegetarian cuisine. Other dieticians I have met can’t believe all the different courses involved. FNE: Was it challenging? J: Oh my gosh, you do a complete 180 from doing what you love, cooking in the kitchen in the labs during your first two years, to taking classes in organic chemistry, biochemistry, microbiology, anatomy and physiology. You have lab reports to write up and you’re looking at medical notes. For every hour I spent in class, I spent three to four hours outside of class doing the work. FNE: How about the hands-on experience? J: You have to do an internship, and I think I really hit the internship lottery with mine. I am working at the Miriam Hospital’s Cardiac Rehab Center [in Providence] where I am doing fifty-percent cooking and fifty-percent nutrition

counseling, which is exactly what I want to do in my career. FNE: So what’s your plan after graduation? J: The thing that’s tricky with Culinary Nutrition is a lot of people either go the registered dietician route and work in hospitals, or into culinary jobs, where you are on a line. I am kind of forging my own path and want to be a chef who has a nutrition degree and can teach

people. My goal in life is to be my own boss. Even if I just end up teaching, I will use my degree everyday, cooking healthy food for myself. I’ll always have that knowledge. NEXT ISSUE . . . we speak with a recent Johnson & Wales graduate who sky-rocketed to an executive chef position at a luxury, seaside Rhode Island inn.

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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

Juniper Berries If you’d like to get up close and personal with juniper berries, head to a gin mill. No, really. This isn’t a slangy directive to head to a bar (intentional pun notwithstanding). Gin is made from juniper berries, and the name itself is a linguistic derivative of “juniper” (i.e., genièvre, ginepro, and jenever mean “juniper” in French, Italian, and Dutch, respectively). Yet there’s a lot more to juniper berries than playing nice with neutral spirits for the sake of an Aviation cocktail. Juniper berries taste like Christmas. They aren’t used in holiday cooking per se, but juniper trees are often called upon to do Christmas tree duties. Potent, piney, and bearing a crisp hint of citrus, juniper berries—cocktail party trivia alert—aren’t actually berries. They are purple or dark blue female seed cones that look and taste like berries. (Fruit is one of the themes in this issue—see what I did there?) Native to Europe and now plentiful in North America, juniper berries take two to three years to ripen. Connoisseurs say the best juniper berries come from Macedonia and Albania.

Use Them in Wild Game Dishes… After all that time spent on a tree waiting to ripen, you’d think juniper berries would be the epitome of patience in the spice world. Alas, the essential oil that gives them their distinct flavor profile begins to deteriorate as soon as the berries are picked. Lengthy storage will yield tasteless berries, and it’s best to wait until just before use to crush or ground them in order to preserve flavor. Similar to clove, a little goes a long way. Juniper berries often make a guest appearance in sauerbraten and stews, but wild game dishes are where they’re an essential cast member, where their pungent flavor balances out gaminess. Native Americans in the Pacific Northwest used them in buffalo dishes, and Europeans and Americans use them in stuffing and as an accent to venison, continued on page 50

Foodies of New England


duck, and wild boar dishes. For sweets, juniper berries—say, in the form of a glaze—go well with gingerbread.

…Or to Perk Up Your System… Juniper berries, often used medicinally as a digestive cleanse, give your kidneys a wake-up call. And I mean straight-up juniper, not even gin. The active ingredient in juniper is a diuretic and stimulates urinary passages, which makes kidneys work overtime. This is a good thing for properly-working kidneys and may aid in preventing urinary tract infections, but it would be very problematic for those with serious kidney or bladder problems. Pregnant women should also stay away from juniper berries, as they could stimulate contractions. The antiseptic quality of juniper has made it both historically popular as a purifier of air (burning branches) and wounds (applying a poultice) alike. It’s also used topically to relieve coughs and lung congestion and to aid with skin conditions like psoriasis.

…Or to Keep Out a Witch If wild game doesn’t appeal to you and you are all set with herbal medicine, then at least consider letting juniper berries help out with your Witch Prevention Program (This may come in handy on Halloween). Juniper is associated with protection. Per Rodale’s Illustrated Encyclopedia of Herbs, “Legend

has it that juniper planted beside the front door will keep out witches; the only way for a witch to get past the plant was by correctly counting its needles.” In addition, Tibetans believe juniper incense expels demons, and the Scottish tradition employs it in warding off the evil eye. A witch and a demon walk into a bar, and… writers everywhere rejoice at the possibilities for gin and tonic, chartreuse smash, and corpse reviver #2 jokes.

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Spencer Trappist Ale America’s first and only Trappist Brew Written by Matt Jones Photography by Scott Erb and Donna Dufault


Foodies of New England


mongst the most challenging beers in the world to brew are Belgian Trappist ales. This style of brewing takes passion, virtue and the dedication of a holy quest. Even finding a consistent source for commercially available Trappist ale can be, at times, a trial. But, perhaps that search just got a little easier. Out of the way, hidden in Spencer, Massachusetts is the nearly medieval monastic enclave of St. Joseph’s Abbey. For decades, the Abbey has been known for its excellent seasonal fruit preserves, but in early 2014 it released the first and only Americanmade Trappist Ale.

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From Abbey to Trappist Brewery

Taste Test

A holy community of dedicated brothers, this magical place is not a destination for visitors. Sadly, it’s generally closed to the public, but I was fortunate to be invited on a full tour of the modern brewery and to speak with Fr. Isaac Keeley, the brewery director. Warm, welcoming and enthusiastic about the brewery project, Brother Isaac’s eyes sparkled as he discussed the path the Abbey took, and how the ale came to be. Initially, a single brother expressed an interest in brewing; several Trappist monasteries in Europe brew fine ales (NOTE ON ST. BEN?). As monastic tradition dictates, the monks put it to a vote. The result was the decision to brew a Belgian ale that they could enjoy communally, as well as share with the world. They spoke with local microbrewers and purveyors of Belgian ales, but soon they were off to Belgium where they consulted with their brothers at Chimay, Westvletern and Rochefort. Brother Isaac said it was the Abbey of Sint Sixtus, and the acclaimed Westvleteren ales, that influenced them the most. Beer aficionados in the US will acknowledge that these legendary ales aren’t always available here—at best, a few cases a year are imported. After all of their work in Europe, they decided, by an overwhelming majority, to create America’s first Trappist brewery.

At a group tasting prior to visiting the Abbey, without exception, the ale was deemed effervescent, fruity, clean and well rounded with a beautiful head. The taste and the smell suggest new honey, orange and coriander, with a hint of birch beer at the back edge. Balancing the sweet delicacy of a Belgian Blonde ale with the round spiciness of a Bavarian Hefeweizen, Spencer Trappist Ale is a triumph of the brewer’s artistry. Poured into the correct glass—which is available to purchase from the website—this ale is subtle and delicious. From the keg, this ale is even more extraordinary with an additional kiss of hoppiness due to the secondary fermentation. Traditional ales have four ingredients. The Abbey’s ale has water from the local Laurentian water table, North American barley and hops, and one imported ingredient: yeast. Quality of the yeast was one of the brothers’ greatest concerns. After multiple blind tastings, a strain of yeast was chosen from one of the main Trappist breweries in Belgium; Brother Isaac shyly admitted he couldn’t divulge which one. For now, the brothers produce only one variety of ale with 6.5% alcohol content. However, Brother Isaac mentioned there might be a seasonal 750ml bottling in the works. We can hope for 7% or higher, which would allow for bottle aging.


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Until then, fans of the Spencer Brewery will have to enjoy the light, well-balanced signature beer that is amazing by itself, or with food. Paired with soft cheeses, charcuterie, or even a rustic bowl of stew, this beer is heavenly, but the label on the bottle rightly states the ale is best paired with family and friends. St. Joseph’s Abbey is located at 167 North Spencer Road, Spencer, MA 01562; the brewery is closed to the public. For more information, to purchase glasses, or to contact the monastery, visit

On the Hunt for Spencer Trappist Ale? Unlike the preserves, there is no provision to purchase the ale directly from the Abbey, as current Massachusetts law dictates distribution and sales are to be handled outside the monastery. However, Spencer Trappist Ale is sold in packs of four at multiple locations in New England, and is even available on tap at a few select locations, such as the Black and White Grille in Spencer. (continued on page 56)

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The Tradition Behind Trappist Ale Trappist Ale isn’t just your average brew. A tradition that began with Catholic Cistercian monasteries in the 1600s, Trappist beer was made and sold to ensure the self-sufficiency and sustainability of those very monasteries. In order protect the name and the very specific method of production, only the International Trappist Association can recognize and authenticate Trappist brews. The three cardinal rules for certification are: • Products must be produced within the walls of the monastery or in its vicinity. • The monastic community determines the policies and provides the means of production, then entire process of which must be in accordance with the business practices proper to a monastic way of life. • Profits are primarily intended to provide for the needs of monastic community and for outreach to disadvantaged communities, groups, and individuals. Currently, there are six monastery breweries in Belgium, two in Holland, one in Austria and now one in Spencer, Massachusetts. Cheers to that.

Brother Isaac Keeley


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Gluten Free

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

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!

Pizza Pizzazz! Gluten Free Style Several years ago, when gluten free landed on our culinary map, The Boynton Restaurant in Worcester was one of the first on the scene to offer customers a gustatory gluten free pizza delight. Since then, they’ve been consistent in their pizza offerings and I remain a loyal customer. When I have a hankering for pizza, the Boynton is hands-down the place to go. During a recent mid-summer visit to The Boynton, as it’s referred to by locals and those who are in the know, I walked into a packed restaurant and added my name to the waiting list. It was a short wait, and worth it. Like I said, I’m a fan. There was no way I was leaving. I’d already set my mind and stomach on having the pizza. While I waited for the pizza, I had one of their 9 gluten free beers. NINE!!!!! I mean, come on folks. Nine gluten free beers. Amazing. In my gluten free world, this restaurant gets rock star status. I decided on the Omission Ale. It did not disappoint. I poured it into an icy cold mug and loved every sip of it. I drank half of it before the pizza arrived and I enjoyed the other half with my pizza. The other GF beers they offer include Redbridge, Green’s Quest, Green’s Endeavor, Dogfish Tweason’ale, Omission Lager, Woodchuck Hard Cider, Ace Perry Cider, and Downeast Cider House. I ordered the GF House Special pizza which has pepperoni, sausage, hamburger, onions, peppers, and mushrooms topped with their tomato sauce and three cheese blend. The crust is made from a secret blend of gluten-free flours and starches that is free of peanuts, tree nuts, dairy, and casein. The threecheese blend has dairy, but you can always elect to omit the cheese and my guess is it would still be delicious. On another visit this past spring, I ordered the Broccoli, Feta & Onion GF pizza to go and I remember eating it like there was no tomorrow—which is to say I scarfed it down. It features a white peppercorn pizza sauce topped with broccoli, onion, and crumbled feta along with their three cheese blend with just a hint of garlic and basil. I haven’t had a chance yet to try the Red Hot Chicken which has a white peppercorn pizza sauce topped with spicy grilled chicken strips and topped with a blend of mozzarella and parmesan cheese. That is definitely next on my list. continued on page 60


Foodies of New England

Foodies of New England


Things have changed markedly since my foray into the world of gluten-free restaurant dining. It’s been 9 years since I was diagnosed with Celiac and went gluten free. Back then, in the golden olden days, you’d never find official gluten-free choices on a menu, let alone a completely dedicated gluten-free menu. Still, I will caution those of you who must be 100% gluten-free compliant to ask questions of your waitstaff (or even the restaurant or kitchen manager) before you settle on your gluten free choices. Though, honestly, at The Boynton, you won’t need to ask anything. They know what they’re doing. I know with absolute certainty that my pizza has been carefully prepared to avoid all contact with gluten. On my most recent visit, I was fortunate enough to speak with one of the head chefs and managers of the restaurant, Jayson Hawley, who explained their procedures when it comes to gluten free and cross contamination. He explained that the majority of the time they spend preparing the gluten-free pizza comes when they completely wash down and sanitize their downstairs prep kitchen before making the gluten free crusts. I tried convincing him to give me the crust ingredients but even this Gluten Free Diva couldn’t get him to divulge their secret. As far as their gluten-free options, The Boynton only guarantees their pizza and catering. But I recently tried Jayson’s Caribbean Seasoned Mahi Mahi with Toasted Coconut Quinoa & Fresh Avocado Salsa and I had no reactions from eating this—and it was mouth-wateringly delicious. I would have it again in a heartbeat.

Head Chef Jayson Hawley


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If you’re looking for someone to cater your event, whether you want the entire menu to be gluten free, or you want the regular menu to also include choices for some of your guests who are gluten free, Jayson is your man. I hired him several years ago to cater a bridal shower at my house. It totally met my expectations. The food was sensational and the staff was professional. He can do anything from a simple drop-off to a pig roast or a formal sit down wedding. His menu is vast and everything I’ve eaten that he has prepared has been top-notch and delicious. I only have two requests of The Boynton. I’d like to see them offer their pizza with dairy-free cheese. Daiya would be my choice. It melts and tastes delicious. This would satisfy many who are gluten free and can’t have cheese. And for those who are vegan, they could then order the Broccoli, Feta & Onion pizza without the feta and topped with the Daiya cheese. Personally, I’d like to also see them offer a GF pizza that included tempeh bacon. Just sayin’. The Boynton gets high marks from me. They were early players in the game and have continued to offer the gluten-free community an extremely high quality, delicious pizza. When you visit, ask for Jayson and tell him the Gluten Free Diva says hello!

Introducing Grandma Nicky’s PIG SAUCE

Only available at

“Most people in the area knew my Grandfather, Julio Colangelo, he was the friendly grocer with a quick smile and a warm “hello”. However, not as many were aquainted with the driving force behind his success, that whirlwind of nature was (and still is), My Grandmother, Nicolette. To know her is to be influenced by her and be assured your life will never quite be the same again! When we came up with this unique and uncommon sauce for Porco (Italian for pork), we knew just like Grandma Nicky, it would not be for everyone, but if it is... count yourself among the fortunate!”

Julio’s Liquors 140 Turnpike Road, Rt. 9E Westborough Shopping Center

Westborough, MA 01581 508.366.1942 Foodies of New England


Glass Fruit

Artist Stephanie Chubbuck


Creating fruit at 2200 degrees Written by Honee Hess Photography by Scott Erb and Donna Dufault

tephanie Chubbuck working on her monumental cherries, peaches and pears resembles a great chef in the kitchen: she is careful, skillful, and pays meticulous attention to detail in such a way that she makes her craft look easy.


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Schooled at the Massachusetts College of Art and now residing in Princeton, MA, Stephanie has been creating a body of work that she dubs “figurative fruit” while she served as an Artist-inResidence at the Worcester Center for Crafts in Worcester, MA. A visit with her at the Crafts Center’s New Street Glass Studio is at once confrontational, funny, quixotic, and pleasurable—and it is about fruit. Stephanie calls her fruit, “saucy, humorous, and sometimes even erotic!” Each fruit is fashioned with an enclosure device, most notably a zipper. The zipper leads the viewer to sense a fullness of energy and fecundity that needs something to keep it from exploding. In artistic terms, her work borrows its sensibility from surrealism with a generous pinch of 17th century Dutch still life. And, like the chef in the kitchen, Stephanie works with the best ingredients in a well-equipped “kitchen”—the Worcester Center for the Crafts 8,000 square foot glass blowing studio. “The red glass is really special,” she said in an interview. “It comes from a reduction of gold in the powdered pigment I use. We add the pigment in layers.” She first produces the fruit in blown glass in the 2200 degree glass furnace and then works with it in its cold

state, away from the furnace, to achieve the cuts. She uses diamond rotary tools and a dental drill for the cuts. “By visually combining the organic [the fruit] with the imposed [the zippers], the soft and the hard, the natural with the commercial,” said Stephanie, “a conceptual transformation takes place.” Just like the chef in the kitchen.

For more information on Stephanie Chubbuck’s work contact her at The New Street Glass Studio of the Worcester Center for Crafts is located at 35 B New Street, Worcester, 508.757.1424. For more information about the Artist-in-Residence Program or classes at WCC, see

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Hunt Road Berry Farm A labor of love Written by Peggy Bridges Photography by Scott Erb and Donna Dufault


estled in the picturesque rolling hills of West Brookfield in central Massachusetts lies a little gem called the Hunt Road Berry Farm. It is a place for so much more than berries, although the berries are a treat for the taste buds. From the narrow country road on which the farm sits, peach trees can be seen lining the driveway, several neatly planted gardens hold an abundance of tender vegetables, and the entire slope leading away from the farmhouse is covered with carefully cultivated berries under the protection of a walk-in netting structure.


Foodies of New England

Foodies of New England


If not for this covering, the seven delicious varieties of blueberries as well as raspberries, black raspberries, and blackberries would be lost to the birds who can be heard chirping happily in the nearby trees. From seeding to weeding, the small, family-run operation uses a truly hands-on approach to farming. They use primarily organic practices and specialize in high-quality produce, which they sell at their farm stand, at local weekly farmers markets in West Brookfield and Brimfield, and to local restaurants. The focus is on the care, color, and taste of the food. Owner Jim DiMaio likes to pick his vegetables in the early stages when they are sweet and tender— and that’s why the area’s upscale restaurants buy his produce. The beautiful fruits and vegetables from Hunt Road Berry Farm have a reputation throughout the region for having exceptionally rich flavors and vibrant colors. DiMaio decided to farm because, quite simply, he sincerely loves farming. ,His perspective of work and living is this: “You should do something you enjoy.” A conversation with Jim makes it clear that he enjoys his life as a farmer. Having started out as a forester, he has enjoyed working with nature and the outdoors since he was eight years old. He considers himself fortunate to have had a mother who was a strong supporter of his love for the outdoors. Now, many years later, he is able to earn his living doing what brings him true fulfillment. What better example is there of success? Hunt Road Berry Farm 96 Hunt Road West Brookfield, MA 01585 508.867.0508


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Foodies of New England


Owner Jim DiMaio


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“From seeding to weeding, the small, family-run operation uses a truly hands-on approach to farming.�

Foodies of New England


Pasta (and Life): 101

Play With Your Food (No, Really)

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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So much tension and drama surround the culinary world lately. Perhaps it’s due to the oh-so-ridiculously scripted “reality” television cooking shows. Perhaps it’s due to the tremendous pressure placed on chefs to be innovative and cutting edge and to separate themselves as the next “out-of-the-box” and “ahead-of-the-curve” gastronomical genius. Or maybe it’s because so many mothers-in-law instill the fear of God into their daughters-in-law when handing over the 100-year-old family recipe for pot roast that the young lady will be expected to execute perfectly and present to her husband with a constant nagging reminder that “it’s almost as good as mom used to make.” Whatever the reasons, one of my ongoing goals as a professional chef is to remove the tension and fear that surrounds the art of cooking. “Just play” is a phrase I am constantly telling folks who attend my pastamaking class. Yes...contrary to what millions of moms and dads have drilled into the heads of millions of kids at the family table, I encourage the students to “play with their food”! Here’s the thing: With pasta, the raw ingredients are inexpensive (just eggs and flour in most cases). So the worst thing that can happen is you throw it away and start again—or, in my family’s case, our Golden Retriever Callie gets an extra treat. I’ll give you a simple example of how to play and have fun with pasta. A deep fried angel hair nest dusted with sugar is not only fast and easy, it’s a great example of how pasta can be used in a nontraditional way. Instead of a recipe in this issue, I’m suggesting more of a procedure for you to “play with.” Try it... tweak it... Make it your own. One way to use it is to add crispy texture to a boring dish of ice cream. For this, you’ll need a package of dried pasta from the supermarket. Although I’ve used angel hair nests, you can experiment with different shapes—just remember that for this thinner is better. You will also need a table top deep fryer or deep pan with hot oil as a makeshift fryer. The last thing is powdered sugar. You can also add cinnamon, nutmeg, or brown sugar. Holding one of the pasta nests with kitchen tongs, submerge the pasta in the oil, holding it below the surface until it turns dark brown. Remove from oil and place on paper towels. While still hot, dust the pasta with powdered sugar or whatever sweetener you like. THAT’S IT! You have just created a crispy, sweet garnish that can be used in any number of applications. If you’re like me, you’ll end up eating it by itself. It’s a great snack on its own. And remember, it’s not rocket’s just food. Have a little fun!

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Foodies of New England


One Stop Shop:

The Canal District Farmers Market Written by Stacy Horowitz Photography by Scott Erb and Donna Dufault

What goes into making a farmers market among the best in the state, you ask? The answer lies in the Canal District Farmers Market in Worcester, Massachusetts. With fresh produce year-round (including Saturdays), the market is housed in the ever-popular Crompton Collection space where there is something for the entire family. For starters, this farmers market goes beyond the usual vegetables, breads, and cheese bit. Looking for something different? Try your hand at the exotic alpaca wool/yarn, homemade soaps, children’s clothing and accessories, jewelry, stationery, candles, and of course, the alpacas themselves.

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“Everyone always loves it when the alpacas from Plain View Alpacas are at the market,” said Katelin Kilgallon, Coordinator for the Canal District Farmers Market. The fun doesn’t stop at the alpacas… “We have a few food trucks that come to our market: Wooberry, which is a frozen yogurt truck; the Dogfather, a hot dog truck; and Chanterelle To Go, which is a farm-to-table truck. All trucks are locally- based and many use our ingredients from the market or local sources.” On a more traditional level, madein-Massachusetts berry and cranberry jams take center stage along with the locally-made honey, maple syrup, olive oil, balsamic vinegar, Italian ices, and specialty teas. What’s the most sought-after item in a market this diverse? “Kale is huge now,” Kilgallon adds. “We always have lots of it in the fall at the market. Your traditional fall vegetables and fruits are also a huge hit, such as butternut and hubbard squash, apples, fresh cider, and even sugar pumpkins. We also have an excellent microgreen vendor, First Leaves Family Farm, which grows nutritious microgreens to provide you with fresh flavor in a salad, on a protein, or in a green smoothie.” You might think there is an entire staff running the behindthe-scenes of our award-winning pick. Although there are no full-time employees at the marketplace, there are interns and volunteers. Kilgallon manages the retail operations part and


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Amy Lynn Chase manages the marketing. Chase is also the owner of the very popular adjacent boutique marketplace, Crompton Collective. What goes on behind the scenes of a busy farmers market? “I coordinate all the vendors week to week; now we have quite the waiting list for them,” said Kilgallon. We do seek out specialty ones if we find something is missing from the market and try to give opportunities for new emerging farms and businesses to get their start… We often ask our customers what they want to see, and if we can bring in a vendor to meet their requests, we will.“ Kilgallon adds she also implemented certification so that the market could accept WIC and Senior Coupons.

Some of the vendors provide shares for city dwellers; a fish share via Bay State Fish and a local flower share are weekly favorites. Setting up a market of this size involves having every category of food represented, Kilgallon explains.. “I try to keep our market so that one type of good isn’t overwhelming. For example, if you have 8 bread vendors, no one will sell anything… I regulate how many of each kind of vendor we have, and if there’s more of a demand I’ll ask a vendor to up their production for the market or seek out an additional vendor.” Since this is Foodies, no interview would be complete without a few farmers market dinner suggestions. “I’ve made a great panzanella salad with steak for one meal and a grilled red fish with grilled asparagus, tomatoes, and bread for another. While I’m enjoying my dinner, I like to have a nice glass of wine that I bought from the market from a local winemaker, Zoll Cellars,” said Kilgallon. “Of course, it’s a great place to get breakfast goods, too.” Including milk—new vendor Stillman’s Dairy offers eggnog and flavored milk.

Worried about entertaining the kids while at the market? There is weekly music as well as the occasional children’s face painter, horse and wagon tours, tarot card readings, and chair massages. An inside and outside coffee lounge is also available for all tired adults. For all of you amateur farmers markets foodies—start with buying produce first, since it is the quickest selling item at the Canal District Farmers Market. Consider this your one stopshopping—Shangri-La! * All vendors accept cash; most of the vendors accept debit and credit cards as well.

Foodies of New England



Foodies of New England


Rutland’s Super Market Vermont Farmers Market Written by Briana Palma Photography by Scott Erb and Donna Dufault

Fifty-two weeks a year, people in Rutland, VT have the opportunity to shop at a true super market. There are no metal shelves stacked high with big, brand names, but instead, lots of friendly, familiar faces selling homegrown produce and homemade foods. Established more than two decades ago, the Vermont Farmers Market has become a fixture in the city of Rutland. It operates throughout the year – the first market in the state to do so – with 100 vendors filling Depot Park each Saturday during the warm season and a whole host more on a waiting list to join the organization.

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A smaller market also takes place on Tuesday afternoons and in the winter: upwards of 70 vendors continue trading weekly at a dedicated space on nearby West Street. The market, arguably one of the most popular in Vermont, is famous for the variety of products offered rather than one single specialty. Visitors can find everything from baked goods and artisan cheeses to craft beer and handicrafts, not to mention fresh produce in all the colors of the rainbow. “We have lots of vegetables and they aren’t just vegetables that are dug out of the ground,” says Market Manager Douglas Patac. “They’re absolutely beautiful and gorgeous to look at: these large, white cloves of garlic, and all the wonderful arrays of colors with things like beets and strawberries.” In addition to browsing the stalls, visitors can enjoy the sounds of live music from local artists and stop for family-friendly activities organized by


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the not-for-profit Chaffee Art Center. With shopping, entertainment and more, the Vermont Farmers Market has become a veritable social event for the local community. “It’s amazing,” says Board Member Greg Cox, of Boardman Hill Farm. “We only have 16,000 people in the city of Rutland and about 60,000 in the entire county, but the place is mobbed.” Still, the market’s popularity is no coincidence: Cox stresses that the organizers have always recognized the importance of serving the public, which is why new vendors, products and services are being constantly added. “The term ‘farmers market’ says it all,” he explains. “That’s typically what organizations do – they represent and create a market for the farmer. The Vermont Farmers Market has gone far beyond that. We’re a community market. We represent not just the vendors: we also represent the customers.”

In their effort to focus on the people on the opposite side of the stall, Cox, Patac, and the rest of the organizers have managed to attract customers far beyond the local community. Tourists visit throughout the year and regulars travel from around New England and New York State to attend. According to Cox, some even come down from Burlington – home to a friendly rival in the world of farmers markets – to get in on the action in Rutland. “If you’ve got a winner and people feel the energy of being associated with a winner, you can fill the stands,” Cox says. “You know, we’re filling the stands in Rutland. We have a winning farmers market and people are proud; there’s a real sense of community pride around it. It’s not the farmers that did this, because it wouldn’t exist without the participation of the entire community.”

Sources: Douglas Patac, Market Manager (802) 753-7269 Greg Cox Member of the Board of Directors; owner of Boardman Hill Farm (802) 683-4606

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Foodies of New England


Fresh Fish & Friendly Faces at the Stonington Village Farmers Market Written by Tom Verde Photography by Scott Erb and Donna Dufault

Though it might appear tranquil, the Stonington Borough peninsula – part of the town of Stonington, CT – has historically been anything but. During the War of 1812, its civilian population fended off four British warships with little more than two cannons and a lot of Yankee determination. Later in the century, its elegant, Federal-style ship captain’s homes were built on the wealth of a bustling fur seal trade, while it served as a major train and ferry transportation hub between New York and Boston. During much of the twentieth century it was a thriving port for Portuguese fishermen and their families who emigrated there from the Azores. Foodies of New England


So it is fitting that, within a bowline’s toss of the docks where one of the state’s last commercial fishing fleets still unloads its daily catch, the Stonington Village Farmers Market sets up shop on Saturday mornings from the end of May through the end of October throughout the summer: surf and turf, at its finest and freshest. “It comes in on the boats on a Thursday or Friday and we sell it here on Saturday. You can’t get much fresher,” says fishmonger Lisa Richmond as she bags filets of cod and flounder, together with icy heaps of scallops and royal red shrimp (locally known as Stonington red shrimp), for the long queue of customers who line up as soon as the clock strikes nine o’clock – the market’s official opening hour. Aside from specializing in seafood, the market also features specialty breads, honey and artisanal cheeses, and most of its vendors also sell fresh fruits and vegetables. Yet even among these are products that set it apart from other farmers markets. Take Davis Farm’s Indian white flint corn meal, for example. The heirloom variety of corn is grown from seed given to Davis ancestors by local Native Americans back in 1654 when the farm was founded on the banks of the nearby Pawcatuck River, just a few miles inland from the sea. The corn’s high oil content has something to do with its distinctively floral taste. The unique blend of earth, sea, and sky is another.


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“We have this rich, alluvial soil, together with the salt air that comes in off the ocean,” said Larry Davis, the 11th generation to farm the land. From its humble beginnings in 1997, the market has grown from less than a dozen to 25 vendors, said market manager Paul Desrochers, of 18th Century Purity Farm in Moosup, CT. He estimates that on any given Saturday, 1200 locals and those from around the state and New England regularly attend. The atmosphere is lively and infused with community spirit.

“The market also features specialty breads, honey and artisanal cheeses” “Just pay me with some scallops. I haven’t tasted any in a long time,” says Joe Dondero of Dondero Orchards in Glastonbury, as he bags a basket of crimson raspberries for Richmond. Meanwhile, Peg Moran, one of the original vendors, routinely answers gardening queries from customers at her co-op flower stand. “This is my office,” she smiles. And Moran’s “office” – as well as those of the other vendors at this colorful market – is open year-round. Operating during the winter months since 2008, the indoor market will be located in a new location this year, a nearby former textile mill called the Velvet Mill, sharing a space with artists and craftspeople. For more information on the market, visit

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Food for Thought

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 bottle of good wine.


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Specialty Salsas


So much more than tomatoes ^

ith the abundance of fresh fruits and vegetables that harvest time brings, I like to look for ways that I can use as many as possible in the meals I cook and serve to my family. It’s difficult to choose only one vegetable to accompany a meal, and it really doesn’t have to be limited to just one. The health benefits of fruits and vegetables are enormous, and in fact, dietitians have advised for years that we have a larger portion of vegetables on our plates than meat protein. One of the best ways to enjoy several fruits and vegetables at once is with salsas. Contrary to popular belief, salsas are not limited to only tomato-based recipes. There are numerous other fruits and herbs that can be combined to create a wonderful medley of fresh flavors that will complement almost any meat, fish, or poultry. Ingredients such as mango, avocado, numerous varieties of onions, melons, oranges, and just about any other fruits can be tossed with things such as lime juice and fresh herbs to make a refreshing side dish or topping for any meal of choice. What’s as great as the taste of salsas is the color. Presentation is huge when it comes to the appeal of the foods we see on our plate. We’re not all gourmet cooks, but it’s easy to up the appeal of a meal by adding color. If you think about it, what is the most colorful – and appetizing – section of the grocery store? The produce section, of course, because of the beautiful colors of the fruits and vegetables on display. If you want to jazz up a humdrum meal that looks less than exciting on the dinner plate, serve it up with a colorful, tasty salsa that will have your family or your guests asking for a second helping. Not only is likely to become a favorite, you’ll be feeding your family a healthy dose of freshness. Here are a few of my favorite salsa recipes that you might like to try. None of the ingredients are difficult to find. Just allow yourself sufficient time for cutting. Here’s a preparation tip: Many salsa recipes call for fresh chopped cilantro. To make it easier, I use my garden shears to snip it into small pieces instead. Foodies of New England


Watermelon Fire and Ice Salsa by Lady Flannel,

Ingredients: 3 cups chopped watermelon 1/2 cup chopped green bell pepper 2 tablespoons lime juice 2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro 1 tablespoon chopped green onions 1 tablespoon chopped jalapeno pepper 1/2 teaspoon garlic salt Preparation: In a large bowl, combine the watermelon, green bell pepper, lime juice, cilantro, green onions, jalapeno and garlic salt. Mix well and serve.


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Chunky Avocado Salsa

A variation of “Chunky Guacamole Salsa” from The Big Book of Backyard Cooking by Betty Rosbottom

Ingredients: 2 ripe avocados (soft but not mushy) 2 large ripe plum tomatoes 1 jalapeno pepper, minced 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice 2 tablespoons chopped shallots 2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro 1/2 teaspoon salt 2 tablespoons olive oil Preparation: Halve, seed, and peel avocados, then cut into 1/2-inch diced pieces. Place in a medium non-reactive bowl. Halve tomatoes, seed them, and cut into 1/2-inch diced pieces. Add to bowl along with minced jalapeño. In a small bowl, mix together lime juice, shallots, cilantro, and salt. Whisk in oil. Pour over the avocados and tomatoes and mix gently so that avocado pieces do not get mashed. Taste and add more salt if needed. Serve immediately or cover and leave at room temperature for up to one hour. (If refrigerated, bring to room temperature 30 minutes before serving.)

Mango Lime Salsa A variation of Chef Iverson Brownell’s Guayaba Cilantro Salsa from the Gourmet Galley Cookbook

Ingredients: 2 ripe mangos 2 shallots or 2 tablespoons chopped red onion 2 tablespoons fresh chopped cilantro Juice of one lime (2-3 tablespoons) 1/4 teaspoon coarse sea salt Preparation: Finely chop mangos, shallots, and cilantro, and then mix them together with salt in a medium bowl. Add the lime juice and allow to chill for at least 20 minutes.

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Chefs-in-Training Finesse Foodies at ‘Team Chef’

Team Sturbridge Host Hotel, Chef James Bliss, Sam Silverman and Dom Boutiette Written by Domenic D. Mercurio, Jr. Photography by Scott Erb and Donna Dufault


You’ve got to hand it to the culinary students at Tantasqua Regional High School in Sturbridge, Massachusetts – they truly know how to finesse the foodies. And finesse them they did - at the Team Chef competition held at the Sturbridge Host Hotel this past May.


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And, with the help of Technical Division principal and director Mark Wood, and culinary arts instructor Louis Lariviere, students were able to team up with real culinary leadership from the local community. The team captains included gastronomic greats such as Jay Powell, owner and executive chef at Uncle Jay’s Twisted Fork Restaurant and Bistro in nearby Cherry Valley; Matt Dion, executive sous chef at Rovezzi’s Ristorante in Sturbridge; Shane Anderson, executive chef at Eller’s Restaurant, also located in Cherry Valley; James Bliss, executive chef at the Sturbridge Host Hotel; Ken Yukimura, executive chef/ owner of Sturbridge Seafood; Jay Livennois, executive chef/ owner of Metro Bistro in Southbridge; and, last but certainly not least, Chef Adam Popp, executive chef at Tantasqua’s student-operated Cornerstone Café. This year’s challenge: Coffee-infused entrées and desserts. So, how did the Team Chef competitors approach this innovative and challenging assignment? Well, at the Cornerstone Café (located within Tantasqua Regional High School in Sturbridge), this great team, including senior Andrew Burgener and junior Zack Hamel, showed up strong with coffee-braised pulled pork with pineapple chutney. For dessert, chocolate coconut bread pudding with mocha sauce. “We were challenged to bring coffee into the competition this year, and I think the pulled pork, being an American favorite, shows up with a lot more flavor having been braised in coffee,” commented Zack Hamel. When asked about the dessert, Andrew Burgener mentioned, “A good mocha sauce can really accent a decadent dessert like chocolate coconut bread pudding, so we decided to infuse the coffee flavor using the mocha sauce.”

Touring the room, judges (including Foodies of New England publisher Domenic D. Mercurio, Jr.) asked students about their specific culinary interests. For sophomore Allissa Marcille, who represented Team Uncle Jay’s Twisted Fork, this was the first time she had competed at Team Chef. “I prefer savory recipes to eat; but, in terms of actual culinary work, I love baking – it’s artistic and fun for me to do.” Team Uncle Jay’s Twisted Fork (509 Stafford Street, Cherry Valley, MA) created a pan-seared orange coffee duck for the entrée and a Nutella-stuffed crepe with a mocha topping for dessert. Allissa’s partner in the competition, Mikayla Hathaway, a senior, worked on the dessert. “I had Nutella crepes before, and I remember thinking, ‘We could augment Nutella crepes with a strawberry sauce to complement the coffee component.’ We tried it, and it worked!” Yes, it certainly did – they were delicate and rich with fruit flavor and just the right accent of coffee. But it was the Pan-seared orange coffee duck that took Judges’ Choice for Best Entrée. “Duck is oily,” explained Allissa, “so it naturally goes well with sweet things; with that in mind, we chose an orange coffee sauce to enhance it.” She went on to say that the duck was prepared using a mirpoix sauce, which is a mixture of carrots, celery and onions, “But,” she added, “We cut the onion out of the mirepoix for this dish because we thought the onion would fight the subtle sweetness we were trying to achieve.” Turns out she was exactly right in her estimation. Congratulations, Team Uncle Jay’s Twisted Fork! Moving around the room to Team Eller’s Restaurant (190 Main Street, Cherry Valley, MA, and the Judge’s Choice Winner for Best Dessert), we found an extraordinary entrée of continued on page 92

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spicy coffee and cola pork prepared over red bliss mashed potatoes with a coffee demi-glace. Then, the topper: Coffee toffee brownie with chocolate mousse and coffee chocolate ganache served over coffee caramel glaze. (Dear Foodies readers, once in awhile, along comes a dish that requires that we actually publish an aside, or a pause


We’re the “between meals” experts!


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of reflection, purely out of respect and admiration. This, foodies, is just such an occasion.) Okay, we’re back. That was a lot of chocolate and a lot of coffee, but just the right amount of ganache and caramel. Bravo, and well done. Chef Shane Anderson was leading an excellent group of culinary students at

Team Chef, and their dessert is famous. “On the menu at Eller’s, we call this ‘A Sweet Tooth’s Dream.’ The only difference is that we serve it with ice cream in the restaurant, but found it would be too difficult to manage in a competition, so we left the ice cream out,” said Chef Anderson. Kathy Moriarty, the pastry chef at Eller’s, worked with students on the construction of the dish. “Garrett (Wetnicka, a Tantasqua senior) worked very hard on this dish,” Chef Moriarty lauded. Sophomore John True worked with Chef Anderson on the savory dish, and was asked personally by his culinary instructor, Louis Lariviere, to work on this entrée. “For the pulled pork, we used a dry rub consisting of bacon, ghost peppers, coffee grounds, paprika, brown sugar, black pepper, and salt,” True commented, adding, “And it was cooked in liquid smoke, apple cider vinegar and Coca Cola. After, we slow roasted it for over 7 hours, and finished it with a coffee demi-glaze.” Congratulations, Team Eller’s! Applause, applause! Onward we searched for more epicurean excellence, until we encountered the fine foodie folks at Team Metro Bistrot (176 Main Street, Southbridge, MA). Headed up by executive chef and owner Jay Livennois, Team Metro Bistrot also includes Tantasqua senior Ed Woznicki and junior Dominick (“Nick”) Huey. For their dessert, this team chose to embark on a simple, yet elegant, mocha-stuffed crepe. “The key to this dish was the laced crepe, which allows foodies to actually see the delicious stuffing inside,” commented Ed Woznicki. Served in a “to go” coffee cup complete with a cap, this stuffed crepe was a delight on the eyes and the palate. However, for the savory dish, the team prepared a traditional Cassoulet with coffee-rubbed duck. “The Cassoulet,” as Nick Huey explained, “was comprised of southern French white bean

stew, which included sausage, duck, French-roast pork and veal ragout (a highly-seasoned dish of meat cut into small pieces, usually cubes, and stewed with vegetables).” Chef Jay pointed out that the ragout had chestnuts slowly cooked with white wine and French herbs. This was a delicious dish which was also very intricate and required a tremendous amount of attention to detail. We salute you, Team Metro Bistrot! One team brought some serious spice and style to the competition. Team Sturbridge Seafood (376 Main Street, Sturbridge, MA), under the direction of executive chef and owner Chef Ken Yukimura, prepared chili and espresso-rubbed baby back ribs with espresso barbecue sauce, finished with roasted red pepper and cilantro polenta (now THAT’S elaborate, well-balanced and creative!). One judge really appreciated the balance of intensely-flavored ribs with an espresso-based barbecue sauce, accented nicely by a roasted red pepper that was offset nicely by the citrusy flavor of the cilantro. The polenta was hearty and able to support the entire dish, while lending a certain quality of evenness to the whole ensemble. Yes, that judge was me. Team-member and Tantasqua junior Gianni Brown backed up this judge’s opinion well: “We were going for a dish that was a little unusual, yet used ingredients that everyone would like and appreciate.” Bravissimo, Gianni! For their encore (dessert), Tantasqua senior Andrew Sorrenho pointed out that the team selected a cross-cultural theme of chocolate cannoli wontons with espresso crème Anglaise. “We were satisfied with our ability to incorporate the flavor of coffee by infusing the cannoli wonton pastry with espresso, but we still needed to balance it, so we used a thick, lightly sweet and custardy crème Anglaise.” Beyond hosting the actual event, the Sturbridge Host Hotel (366 Main Street, Sturbridge, MA) had its own team, and went on to pick up the coveted People’s Choice Award for Best Dessert for their espresso cannoli. “The students wanted to do something very traditional and simple, but high-level,” said Sturbridge Host Sous Chef Michelle Emery. Dom Boutiette, a junior at Tantasqua, said the dish was a true, “…Espresso cannoli, and the ricotta cheese was infused with finely-ground espresso beans and Grand Marnier. We even made our own cannoli shells in-house,” he added. Dom also highlighted the sheer enjoyment of competing this year. “I love being able to do what I love when I work.” continued on page 94

Team Eller’s Restaurant, Chef Shane Anderson (center), Garrett Wetnicka and John True

Team Uncle Jay’s Twisted Fork, Chef Jay Powell, Mikayla Hathaway and Allissa Marcille

Team Sturbridge Seafood, Chef Ken Yukimura (center), Andrew Sorrenho and Gianni Brown

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Sturbridge Host Hotel Executive Chef James Bliss said the students put together a first-rate entrée. “I’m so impressed with these student-chefs; they’re really going places,” he said. Tantasqua senior Sam Silverman elaborated on the team’s choice of entrée: “We went with pork loin and encrusted it with ground coffee beans; then, we used hazelnuts to add the right amount of flavor contrast.” Although the entrée was incredible, Team Sturbridge Host Hotel clearly stole the show with their espresso cannoli, which certainly deserved the People’s Choice Award. Speaking of crowd pleasers, Team Rovezzi (Rovezzi’s Ristorante, 2 School Street, Sturbridge, MA) came up strong with their coffee-braised short ribs over summer corn salad with picked garlic. This dish was the show-stopper and took the People’s Choice Award for Best Entrée. “We wanted this dish to have that extra flavor that foodies respond to, so we used atomized lemon vinaigrette to give it that subtle but tangy quality,” said Tantasqua junior Seth Hazelton as he grinned confidently. Although it didn’t take top honors, the coffee Panna Cotta with whipped cream and cocoa butter was fabulous. “We wanted to really sit down and brainstorm, so we thought up the idea of doing something truly Italian that represents what the restaurant (Rovezzi’s) is all about; really do something that we, as students, might not do at our own Cornerstone Café every day,” lamented Tantasqua senior Richard Lambert.

Executive Sous Chef Matt Dion was very pleased at the outcome of the event, saying, “The students put their intuition and creativity into this competition; they had such a great handle on the process from mise en place (a French culinary term referring to the arrangement and organization of ingredients in preparation for execution of a recipe) to plating.” The Team Chef competition was initiated four years ago and has grown each year, allowing for collaboration, creativity, and a venue to showcase the collective talents of the chefs and the students. The event started as a way to expose Tantasqua Regional High School culinary students to the industry by pairing them with local chefs. Over the years, students have worked with many gifted chefs who have served as mentors; and in several cases hired them as employees as a result of their participation in Team Chef. Mark A. Wood, principal-director of Tantasqua Regional High School’s Technical Division, explained that, “The chefs and the restaurants donate not only their time and talent, but also all of the food for the event; it’s a tremendous investment, but well worth the unique learning experience for these future culinarians.” Each team usually has one senior and one junior to work with the lead chef. Every year, Tantasqua’s culinary instructors and technical director select a “secret ingredient,” and this year, that ingredient was, of course, coffee. Chef/Instruc-

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tor Adam Popp, from Tantasqua’s Cornerstone Café, said, “In previous years, students have incorporated chocolate, citrus, and maple as their central ingredient, but we really challenged ourselves this year.” Sturbridge Host Hotel provided the venue and the equipment free of charge for Team Chef. Tantasqua culinary instructor Louis Lariviere commented, “We are very grateful for their collaboration.” James Bliss, Sturbridge Host Hotel’s executive chef, offered, “As a hospitality destination, it’s a sincere pleasure for us to connect with the future chefs in our community, and to work with such an impactful culinary program like the one right here at Tantasqua.” Along with Sturbridge Host Hotel, Rovezzi’s Ristorante has also been involved with Team Chef since the program’s inception. “We’re proud to be involved in this event – it’s such a benefit for our up-and-coming chefs to have the opportunity to showcase their talents and education, and the event really shows this community what Tantasqua is about,” commented Rovezzi’s owner and executive chef, Chris Rovezzi. He added, “We look forward to working with Mark, Louis and the entire Tantasqua community each year.” Repeat restaurants this year included Eller’s Restaurant and Uncle Jay’s Twisted Fork Bistro. “It’s such a great experience to work side by side with the students, motivating them, watching that light bulb go off over their heads when they have that last-minute culinary epiphany,” gushed Twisted Fork’s Chef Jay Powell. Chef Shane Anderson from Eller’s was really enthused by the event. “The students proudly got behind serving the public; they were so proud to put their best on the plate for people to try, and that’s exactly what motivates a true chef – the desire to please people with your creation.” Metro Bistrot and Sturbridge Seafood were new to the competition, and, from a judge’s point of view, they certainly provided a great deal of leadership, training and professionalism to the students at Team Chef. “It’s a no-brainer to jump into Team Chef,” said Jay Livennois, Metro Bistrot’s owner and executive chef, adding, “We’re lucky to have the chance to give back.” As for Chef Ken Yukimura at Sturbridge Seafood, one of the community’s newest restaurants, “The time we spend working with Tantasqua at Team Chef comes right back to us. Patrons appreciate a community-minded restaurant, and I think all of the commercial chefs are proud to pay it forward and help train our future chefs.” Local chefs also serve the Tantasqua culinary students in other ways, such as by serving on the school’s Program Advisory, which meets twice a year. “With guidance from these local area chefs, we are able to remain current with industry trends and best practices,” Wood said.

Tantasqua culinary instructor Louis Lariviere emphasized the program’s connection with the community, saying, “This competition is a great way to involve the community in the life of the school.” Lariviere, who guides the students through the program along with the help of other Tantasqua instructors, also said, “Team Chef is an invaluable educational experience for our students, as well as for the chefs who lead the teams. The proceeds from the event go to our scholarship fund and are earmarked specifically for students moving on to postgraduate studies in the culinary field.” continued on page 96

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Beyond the Sturbridge Host and the participating restaurants, Dexter-Russell has been a huge supporter of Team Chef. Each year they donate two sets of chef’s knives to students. Principal Wood lauded the local cutlery manufacturer for their ongoing commitment to Team Chef. “Dexter-Russell is such a great example of a community-minded business; their whole culture is so well-rooted in community involvement, and we’re very fortunate to have them in our back yard.” Lariviere added, “As I spoke with this year’s students, they all found the event to be a lot of hard work, a great deal of fun, and very satisfying. All participating students agreed that working with their lead chefs was a marvelous learning experience, especially for those students who had not previously worked in any other kitchen other than their shop at Tantasqua.” Lariviere also said that students were thrilled that their creations were so well-received by the public. “They found the community’s response to be very gratifying, and they are very appreciative,” he concluded. From our perspective here at Foodies of New England magazine, the Tantasqua Team Chef competition is a fun and exciting way to engage the students in a competitive partnership with professional chefs, provide necessary training and interaction with the consuming public, and build partnerships that will long benefit the local culinary community. A very important benefit is the development of relationships between these culinary students and the professional chefs, which has proven to result in scalable employment opportunities and real momentum for the culinary arts in this region. Bravo, Tantasqua Regional High School! Witnessing this kind of collaboration first-hand really left a great taste in our mouths. It’s crystal clear to the foodie community just what a Tantasqua culinary education looks – and tastes – like. Editor, FNE.

Judges’ Choice – Entrée: Team: Uncle Jay’s Twisted Fork Bistro Entrée: Pan-seared blackened duck with orange coffee sauce Team Members: Allissa Marcille (Sophomore, Tantasqua Regional High School); Mikayla Hathaway (Senior TRHS) Team Leader: Jay Powell, Owner, Executive Chef, Uncle Jay’s Twisted Fork Bistro, 509 Stafford Street, Cherry Valley, MA Judges’ Choice – Dessert: Team: Eller’s Restaurant Dessert: Coffee Toffee Brownie topped with Chocolate Mousse and coffee ganache served over coffee caramel glaze Team Members: Garrett Wetnicka (Senior, TRHS); John True (Sophomore, TRHS) Team Leader: Shane Anderson, Executive Chef, Eller’s Restaurant, 190 Main Street, Cherry Valley, MA People’s Choice – Entrée: Team: Rovezzi’s Ristorante Entree: Coffee-braised short rib served with summer corn salsa and alfalfa sprouts and atomized lemon vinaigrette Team Members: Seth Hazelton (Junior, TRHS); Richard Lambert, Jr. (Senior, TRHS) Team Leader: Matt Dion, Executive Sous Chef, Rovezzi’s Ristorante, 2 School Street, Sturbridge, MA People’s Choice – Dessert: Team: Sturbridge Host Hotel Dessert: Espresso cannoli with ricotta, espresso powder, Grand Marnier Team Members: Dominique “Dom” Boutiette (Junior, TRHS); Sam Silverman (Senior, TRHS) Team Leaders: James Bliss, Executive Chef; Michelle Emery, Sous Chef, Sturbridge Host Hotel, 366 Main Street, Sturbridge, MA

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Healthy at Home

Recipes by Elaine Pusateri Cowan Photography by Scott Erb and Donna Dufault (see ad on page 123)

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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One Part


Two Parts

Inspiration Inspiration begets inspiration. Last April, I was asked by the Worcester Center for Crafts (WCC) to give a demonstration on how to prepare and then plate a couple of my fast and flavorful signature dishes. For the demonstration, I was given the opportunity to peruse pottery from more than twenty of the most talented potters in the region. The artistry and beauty of these handcrafted pieces needs no further compliment (they speak for themselves), but what really drew me in was the functionality and durability of these pieces in the kitchen. As a home chef, I’m very attached to certain items—a great knife, a fabulous platter that goes from stove to table, and, last but not least, a durable little spice bowl to do prep with, to hold herbs or salts or spices in that won’t topple when I reach in. Basically, pieces that cradle and complement whatever may be inside. Needless to say, I wasn’t disappointed. After teaming up with the WCC, I was inspired to take this issue’s “Healthy at Home” on the road to the Asparagus Valley Pottery Trail in Western Massachusetts. And as the saying goes, “When in Rome,” I decided to feature two different but equally delicious asparagus recipes, which I made in the studios of Lucy Fagella of Lucia Pottery and Tom White of Tom White Pottery. Two incredible talents and while they may differ in style, they share a common thread—creating functional, elegant, and sometimes whimsical pieces that can be incorporated right into the kitchen. Serving the strong and savory Asparagus Puttanesca out of a Tom’s Roman Colosseum was a perfect pairing, as well as the subtle, smooth Cream of Asparagus soup in a petite chic polka-dotted bowl from Lucy. After this, I have to contest that everything really does taste better when it’s served beautifully.

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Foodies of New England

Cream of Asparagus Soup Ingredients: 1 pound fresh asparagus, trimmed and cut into 1-inch pieces 1 large Vidalia onion (diced) 1 carton vegetable broth 3 tablespoons salted butter 2 tablespoons flour 1 to 2 pinches of salt 1.5 cups whole milk 1 cup sour cream 1/2 pint fresh blackberries (garnish) DIRECTIONS 1. Combine asparagus, chopped onion, and 1/2 of the vegetable broth in a Dutch oven. Cover and bring to a boil over high heat. Cook until asparagus is tender, about 12 minutes. 2. Process mixture in a blender until smooth, set aside. 3. Melt butter over medium-low heat in the same Dutch oven. Stir in flour and salt. Cook, stirring constantly, for 2 minutes. 4. Whisk in remaining vegetable broth, raise heat, and stir constantly until mixture boils. Stir in asparagus purÊe and milk. 5. Put two-thirds of the sour cream in a small bowl. Stir in a ladleful of hot soup, then add the mixture back into the Dutch oven. 6. Stir while heating the soup to serving temperature. Don’t allow it to boil. 7. Garnish with a swirl of the remaining sour cream, some black raspberries and asparagus tips. Serve immediately.

Pottery by Lucy Fagella

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Asparagus Puttanesca Ingredients: 1 pound rigatoni 1 pound fresh asparagus (trimmed, cut into 1-inch pieces) 1 can anchovies (optional; not featured) 2 cloves garlic (minced) 1 cup pitted Kalamata olives (roughly chopped) 1 8-ounce jar sun-dried tomatoes, in oil (julienne) 1 handful sun-dried tomatoes, dry (julienne) 1/2 cup Pecorino Romano Cheese (grated) 1 tablespoon capers DIRECTIONS 1. Boil rigatoni for 5 minutes until slightly tender, then add asparagus. Boil together for an additional 4 minutes. Drain and set aside in a large, beautiful bowl. 2. Over medium heat, add a swirl of oil to large sautĂŠ pan. 3. Combine garlic, olives, sun-dried tomatoes and capers (and anchovies, if you like) and sautĂŠ until garlic turns golden brown. 4. Remove from heat and toss with rigatoni and asparagus. Scoop and toss until all ingredients are combined. 5. Toss in the Romano cheese and serve warm.

Pottery by Tom White


Foodies of New England

Foodies of New England


For more information on the Asparagus Valley Pottery Trail, visit For more information on Lucy Fagella, visit For more information on Tom White, visit


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Foodies of New England


Coming in the next issue of Foodies of New England!

Vegan, Vegetarian, Raw Foods!

5 Secrets to Gluten Free Success • Travel with snacks • Ask questions • Do weekly meal-planning • Eat whole plant-based foods • Be grateful Ellen Allard, Gluten Free Diva, is a Certified Holistic Health Coach trained at the Institute for Integrative Nutrition in NYC. She teaches people who are gluten free the tools for skipping right past the overwhelm and frustration of “What CAN I eat?” so that they can enthusiastically embrace the foods they CAN eat! Email to inquire about private and group coaching programs.

New England Fisheries

Wild Game Cooking with Chef Denny Corriveau


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finds Mango Passion Shrimp Chutney Ingredients 12 Extra large (raw peeled) Shrimp 1 Mango cut into 1/2” cubes 1/4 cup finely chopped Shallots 1 cup chopped Parsley 1 cup chopped Cilantro 2 cup chopped Baby Arugula 1/2 tsp. finely sliced hot peppers (optional) 1 fresh lime squeezed 2 tbsp. Olive oil Sea salt Dressing: 3/4 cup Passion Fruit Vinegar 1/4 cup Mango Vinegar 2 tbsp. Olive oil Sea salt and pepper to taste

Directions: 1. Combine all dressing ingredients and set aside. 2. In Large bowl, toss baby arugula, cilantro, parsley, mango and hot peppers (optional).


Bringing culinary delights to your home. Le Gastronome is a line of products from Mangé which will help to make many dishes flavorsome. The First of the series are Mangé’s Fresh Fruit Vinegars. The mixtures of fresh fruits sauces into cooking gives dishes the extra splash of freshness and taste which stimulates all the senses. These fruit sauces can be added to dishes from seafood to salads making them a very versatile sauce. These sauces also add a splash of color to all your culinary creations.


Heat olive oil in a sauté pan, until it is almost smoking. Place shrimp in the hot oil quickly, and sauté immediately to prevent the oil from splattering up.


Sauté shrimp until it is no longer translucent and pinkish/orange in color. Add a pinch of salt and remove from heat onto a plate. Let cool about 2 minutes.


Meanwhile, spread the salad on a plate, lay shrimp on top of salad and drizzle with Dressing mixture and fresh lime juice. Bon Appetit!!

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:

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If you’ve ever thought how great it would be to consult with a personal chef, the Lord Jeffery Inn in Amherst, MA has you covered.


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Inspired Local Cuisine The Farmer’s Market Package at Lord Jeffery Inn Written by Jeff Cutler Photography by Scott Erb and Donna Dufault


s part of their recently-introduced Farmer’s Market Package, you get complete access to Chef Dino Giordano and his creative, culinary genius as you collaborate to create a fantastic meal.

While the details are a bit more intricate, you essentially walk 20 yards from the Lord Jeffery to a local farmer’s market where you and Giordano choose ingredients for your special meal. As you and the chef get to know each other and discuss tastes and theme, the idea for a complete meal develops. Using locallygrown produce from the market and your input, he plans out a meal for you and a guest. According to Giordano, the experience is unique each time because each couple or group is different and the fresh produce available changes seasonally. But the concept is based in simplicity: it’s about connecting with your customer. “It’s really not complicated,” said Giordano. “It’s about cooking really good food for really good people.” continued on page 110

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Cooking with fresh ingredients is how Giordano likes to cook anyhow, so the Farmer’s Market Package developed naturally. Meals are crafted and served at 30 Boltwood, the Lord Jeffery Inn onsite restaurant. And the meals are always changing because fresh foods get the staff thinking about different preparations and combinations. “It’s a jumping board to create new items for the nightly menu,” said Giordano. “It spurs some creativity. A lot of our restaurant dishes come from this farmers market experience.” Though it’s primarily a couples’ experience, custom meals have been created for groups of half a dozen or more. The process is the same: getting to know each of the diners and then crafting the meal with their tastes in mind. Think you’ve got a great idea for a meal and want an executive chef to prepare it for you? Try a visit to the Lord Jeffery Inn…they have what you’re looking for.


Foodies of New England

Executive Chef Dino Giordano of The Lord Jeffery Inn

The Lord Jeffery Inn 30 Boltwood Avenue Amherst, MA 01002 413.256.8200

Foodies of New England


Sweet Sensations

TOMATOES Not Just A Summer Fruit


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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here are few things I appreciate more than my first perfectly ripe, sweet summer tomato each year. I look forward to the few short months in summer when tomatoes are in season and I am able to pick them from my own plants. Even as a small child, tomatoes were one of my favorite foods and I could never understand how my younger sister didn’t like them. To me everything about a tomato is beautiful and delicious: I love the clean, fresh flavor of the squishy jelly-like inside and seeds; how it is surrounded by the firm, sweet flesh; and how the flavor can subtly change depending on the variety and how they are served. Scientifically, tomatoes are a fruit (but more specifically a berry); but in many cultures, they are more commonly used for culinary purposes as a vegetable. As with many things, the legal classification in the United States has more to do with money and taxes than with science or botany. In 1893 the U.S. Supreme Court in a unanimous decision (Nic v. Hedden) ruled that the tomato should be classified as a vegetable and not fruit based on the ways in which it is most commonly used. The Court’s decision was based on the Tariff Act of 1883 which required tax to be paid on all imported vegetables— but not on fruit. Despite what the Supreme Court or anyone else may say, I love tomatoes used in recipes that traditionally call for fruit and I hope that you will experiment and find that you do too! This recipe is super simple and allows for lots of experimentation—you can play around with using different fruits, different ice creams, and (if you are feeling ambitious) you can replace the crushed cookies with a homemade streusel.

Summer Fruit Sauté Serves 4 Ingredients: 1 Tbsp unsalted butter 2 cups fresh grape, cherry or other small sweet tomato – sliced in half 2 Fresh Peaches, Plums or Nectarines – cut into small cubes 3-4 Tbsp sugar 1/2 vanilla bean 6 fresh mint leaves – chopped Crushed Amoretti cookies Vanilla Ice Cream DIRECTIONS 1. Taste the tomatoes and peaches, toss together with sugar as needed to sweeten 2. Place a large nonstick sauté pan over medium heat and add the butter to melt 3. Split the vanilla bean in half and scrape out the seeds 4. Add the vanilla bean, the seeds, and the fruit to the pan and sauté until just slightly cooked and warmed through. Remove from heat and add the chopped mint. 5. Place a large scoop of vanilla ice cream in each of 4 dishes, top with the warm fruit and crushed Amoretti cookies.

Foodies of New England


Brew Review

Major Beer Category: Ale Major Style Category: Weizen/Weissbier Sub Style Category: Bavarian Weissbier What Is A Weissbier? The use of wheat as one of the main ingredients in beer dates back to the Babylonian and has since been perfected by the Germans. Due to the high levels of protein present in the wheat it is an extremely difficult ingredient to us while brewing. Fortunately for us, brewers are some of the most creative people in the world and finding the right blends of wheat and malted barley became their passion, allowing them to create one of the most dynamic beers in the world. What Is A Bavarian Weissbier? The Bavarian Hefeweiss (hefe = yeast)/ weisse (white) is made with fifty percent or more wheat base and the balance filled with malted barley. The wheat gives the beer its cloudy color and the barley rounds out the mouthfeel. The magic in this beer comes from the yeast – a top fermenting ale yeast strain that marries the wheat and malt giving the beer a distinct flavor of banana and clove. Full of vitamin B-complex, this beer has been prescribed by German doctors to cure skin problems for centuries. Our Choice: Weihenstephan Hefeweiss.

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

Why did we choose this beer? Pairing beer with fruit is somewhat of a challenge. Fortunate for us, we’re professionals. We tried a number of different beers we could pair with a cranberry compote garnished cheesecake. What we found, was an amazing match between the clove flavor profile of the beer and the tartness of the cranberries. Couple that with a mixture of banana to play off the pears and cheesecake and … voila! Magic. Where can you find it in a 6-pack or 16.9 oz. bottle? KJ Baarons, Mass Liquors, Austin Liquors, Julio’s Liquors, Marlborough Wine & Spirits, Wine Nation. Where Can You Find It On Draft or In The Bottle*: The Dive Bar, The Boynton, The Horseshoe Pub, The Armsby Abbey, Sweet, The Texas Barbeque Company.

all things beer. ***Note: This beer may not always be available at the above locations at all times.


Foodies of New England

Foodies of New England


The Fruits of New England

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


oogle is useful for many things, but searching online for the best pick-your-own farms can be overwhelming—there are more than 270 in Massachusetts alone—never mind sorting growing schedules and kids’ activities. So I did some research for you. Do remember that most farms and orchards urge visitors to call first to confirm hours and what fruit is being picked.


Foodies of New England

The New England weather this summer has been more unpredictable than ever. On a hot but not-too-humid day, I outfitted my six-year-old with sun block and a hat, and we visited Charlton Orchards Farm & Winery (44 Old Worcester Rd., Charlton,, 508-2487820) on the last day to fill our cardboard platter with farmgrown strawberries. We drove up one of those winding, country drives where you’re not sure if you took the right turn until the 1733-founded farm, shop, and horses appeared. It was a short walk to the rows of strawberries where we joined a church group, a young couple, and another mother and her adult daughter. The strawberries were still plentiful, if small, and we enjoyed bouncing from row to row and delighted over finding the fattest berries. Charlton Orchards also grows apples, peaches, pears, plums, nectarines, blueberries, and raspberries. When we had baked in the sun until we felt like pies, we ventured back to the shop and made produce and candy selections. I also chose two bottles of wine (blackberry, pear) and hard cider made from fruit grown at the farm. On our drive home, we talked about what we would do with our harvest—a pie, smoothies, and strawberry shortcake … and where will we go, and what will we pick next? MAINE Circle B Farms 287 East Presque Isle Road, Caribou August – October (or until the last apple is gone) 207-498-8238 Circle B has more than 10 acres of Highbush Blueberries—some as big as a quarter, most as big as a nickel—to pick or purchase, fresh or frozen fresh, as well as apples. Amenities include a soda machine, water on tap, picnic tables, and shade. Apple varieties include Honeycrisp, Zestar, Cortland, SnowSweet, McIntosh, and Yellow Transparent. Circle B also has six pear trees and a small elderberry patch. continued on page 118

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McDougal Orchards 201 Hanson Ridge Rd., Springvale August – October 207-324-5054 Pickers have choices at McDougal Farms with nine varieties of peaches, eight varieties of nectarines, four different types of plums, Clapps and Bartlett pears, and 26 varieties of apples. Find an informative list of apple origins, flavors, and cooking suggestions on There are many extras to explore at McDougal’s, including hiking, hay

rides, farm animals, a corn maze, geocaching, a donut shop, and a fairy village where kids can build a fairy house. MASSACHUSETTS Cook’s Farm Orchard 106 Haynes Hill Rd., Brimfield July – Christmas 413-245-3241 Brimfield may be famous for its antiques, but everything is fresh at Cook’s: blueberries, apples (six varieties), plums, and peaches. (Did you know that peaches originated in China?) Come for the fruit and stay for the bakery, harvest festivals, a petting zoo, a hay maze, wagon rides, and live music.

A True Bistro

Tougas Family Farm 234 Ball St., Northborough June – October 508-393-6406 A local favorite, the Tougas calendar begins in June with strawberries and cherries, and continues with blueberries and peaches in July, blackberries and apples in August, and pumpkins in September. Truly a family farm—the three Tougas children grew up among the apple trees and strawberry patch—there is a barnyard, playground, and farm kitchen (homemade baked goods, ice cream, and apple cider donuts) to visit.

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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Design That Impacts The Eye & Connects The Brand

Richard Bridges Design is a graphic design studio specializing in brand identity, product packaging, collateral, and advertising, incorporating contemporary RHODE ISLAND Sweet Berry Farm 915 Mitchell’s Lane, Middletown June – October 401-847-3912 There are plenty of reasons to visit gorgeous Newport, R.I.—the cliff walk, historic mansions, sailing, five-star restaurants. For an afternoon off the beaten path, try fruit (strawberries, blueberries, raspberries, blackberries, peaches, apples, pumpkins) and fun (market, concerts, ice cream, café, mosaic gallery) at nearby Sweet Berry Farm, voted best local grower 2010-2014 by readers of Newport Life magazine.

design solutions with sophisticated elegance. Call today to learn how we can help your business grow.

sturbridge, ma 01566 508.517.5084 Foodies of New England



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”.


Foodies of New England

Drink Now!

For the end isRye!

“To speak of whiskey in the U.S. and not to talk of rye is truly a sin against the imbibing history of this country.” –Someone not famous, probably me

There was a time in this country that when you said “whiskey, please” you were ordering rye whiskey and only rye whiskey. Why rye, you ask? Well, even though it is closely related to both barley and wheat, rye will grow in poor soil conditions and holds up to colder climates. The other gains are better suited for beer and bread respectfully, rye is okay for both, but its flavorful talents were found to lay elsewhere. Our early forefathers were hard working, inventive, and, to put it nicely, thrifty. Anything that was not used, consumed or bartered had to be converted to a preserved state. You cannot get much more preserved than alcohol, plus it is a great deal easier to carry around for trade than a wagon of grain! (And lot more fun, too!) Rye fit the bill (mash bill anyways) to be planted on poorer soil areas of the farm and what was not used for staples would be combined with any other surplus grains and distilled. Rye’s popularity grew along with our budding democracy. Our county’s first President, Mr. George Washington, himself was a rye whiskey distiller. And so it went on: rye being converted to whiskey in the eastern states and sold to the expanding county. As a matter of fact, up until prohibition rye was king amongst distilled spirits in the U.S.! Even during prohibition rye whiskey was being smuggled in from Canada. The downfall for rye really came as prohibition ended. Most of the eastern distilleries were out of business or barely holding on, while other whiskies like bourbon (some who were allowed to remain open for medicinal purposes) had production back up and running with aged stocks. Rye languished for a while until only a few brands remained and seemed to be destined as a historical footnote. That was until a few years back: now there seems not enough rye whiskey to keep pace with a growing demand! What happened to reverse this wind of ill-fortune? Well, for one you had the resurgence of the cocktail culture. Mixologists (I prefer ‘bartenders’, but that’s for another time) started looking at other spirits besides vodka to make drinks. The more savory and less exploited whiskies of the world grabbed their attention. continued on page 122

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Next, the whole whiskey category exploded. Starting with single malts, as those prices seemed to rise because of its popularity, people were drawn to bourbon as a relative bargain. Rye started to gain some momentum then because scotch drinkers liked that, unlike bourbon, it lacked the sweetness and relied more on the spicy and dry side of the whiskey profiles. Finally, those cutting edge mixologists started looking back at old pre-prohibition cocktails—and many called for rye whiskey! So, now here we are in the rye of this apocalyptic storm! Everyone now seems to make rye, from young to old, from okay to great, and from moderate-


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ly-priced to sky-high. To help you slash though the myriad of rye whiskies, I thought I would give you my four horseman of rye! I picked these four because they span a good range of rye profiles in tastes, wide diversity of geographical sources, and all are readily distributed throughout New England. Let’s start in our own backyard! The first rye is distilled right in Gloucester, Massachusetts by Ryan & Wood. When Bob Ryan and this crew started their distillery, they found that the rye whiskey category was being slighted by the major suppliers, favoring bourbon production, with only a couple of rye labels available to consumers. Plus, Bob felt rye whisky was historically accu-

rate and geographically appropriate for Massachusetts and the colonial states. Bob knew like we discussed earlier that rye grain is a short season, cold weather crop and can stand harsher soil conditions. The rest as they say is history! When I recently asked Bob to describe his version of rye he painted a pretty picture: “We enjoy the flavor on the sip and the barrel oak showing on the breath. As we bottle at 86 proof, this will leave a bit of room for those notes to appear when just a bit of chill is used. I, myself, can be seen by the barbecue, a couple of our rye oak barrel chips smoking in the coals, while I sip Ryan & Wood Rye with just a bit of a quality ginger ale.” I’d like to add that Ryan & Wood Rye is also great in a Ward 8 cocktail! The second Rye is from Kentucky, right in the heart of bourbon country, and made by the only active father and son master distillers! Jimmy Russell has been distilling for over 60 years and his son Eddie for only slightly less than that, so when they put their family name on a product, it has to be good. Russell’s Reserve 6 year-old Rye barrels are selected only by Jimmy or Eddie after they have been aged in a heavy charred American oak and picked from the choicest locations in the rickhouse. The color is reminiscent of a Corojo wrapped cigar while the nose has notes of toasted almonds, vanilla, and a hint of allspice. All of these flavors repeat on the palate plus the addition of some caramel and finishing with cinnamon. The real treat of this rye is its smooth character. Yes there is warmth from the alcohol, but no real burn that one might expect from a spicy rye. I also think it makes a great Old Fashioned! The third Rye by is from Indiana via West Virginia—that may sound confusing, but it is not. Old Scout Rye is what is called a sourced whiskey, meaning that the whiskey is distilled then sold to a second party, in this case Smooth Ambler Spirits. I love stuff like this because you

One gallon carboy of 1911 rye at 119.5 proof. This whiskey was used as partial payment for a bailout of a distillery by a private individual. It has spent the last 50 years in the family homestead where it was discovered in late 2013.

can end up with an undiscovered gem that young distillers can’t match for age and quality. The guys from Smooth Ambler have tapped into some great barrels of Old Seagram’s Stock from Indiana. This exceptional whisky has a mash bill consisting of no corn at all: just rye and barley! All the barrels selected are moved to a rickhouse on their property in West Virginia that is specifically for the storage of their sourced

whiskey. Each batch of Old Scout Rye is comprised of 4 or 5 barrels, picked for their exceptional quality then blended and cut to a respectable 99 proof. Like all of the whiskey Smooth Amber produces, whether it’s the house-made stuff or the merchant-bottled whiskey like Old Scout, the rye is non-chillfiltered, leaving all that rich viscosity in the spirit. Old Scout Rye 7 year old is sweet and smooth, and spicy without coming across as medicinal. It’s my favorite Rye when I make a Sazerac Cocktail! The fourth and last rye is also a sourced whiskey, but this time it originates from our friendly neighbors to the north— Canada. Crafted in small batches, Masterson is a 100% Pacific Northwest rye, distilled in an old-fashioned pot still using only pure glacial water from the northern Rockies! The resulting spirit is then aged in perfectly-charred white-oak casks for over ten years to produce a truly exceptional Canadianborn whiskey. This process gives Masterson’s a delightfully unique taste profile, which includes a trace of pepper and spice, along with a soft lingering sweetness. Although there is a decent supply of this 10 year old rye in New England, it is a limited run. There are also scattered about some private single barrel offerings of this rye that have been aged an additional 60-120 days in French oak casks. Here is a great rye for the base of a very nice Manhattan! Enjoy!

Foodies of New England


Hot Pot,

A Universal Language “Nothing and no-one in the hot pot circle is refused acceptance.”


n a hot July night, central Massachusetts friends Ursula Arello from Princeton, Amanda Graves from Whitinsville, Barbara Guertin from Worcester, and Maria Rockwell from Grafton joined me at Chuan Shabu in Worcester for Chinese Hot Pot. We started with three menu dishes, spicy beef in hot wok, Mao’s style braised pork in soy sauce, and baked spicy ribs. The baked ribs seemed to have multiple peppers. I was surprised to find out that there was only one pepper used: szechuan pepper. Pleasantly perplexed by so many distinct scents and tastes, we tried to guess at other spices used. A few of the other flavors, herbs and spices were lime, coriander leaves, anise, sesame seed, root ginger and chili (a different variety than most Americans use). We ordered four broths (basic, savory, vegetarian, and spicy) and 1015 ingredients to add to the broth. We added ingredients as we talked, sometimes about the stew, sometimes about our lives. Everything was exceptionally fresh. Amanda remarked, “I can smell the flowers in my [Jasmine Green] tea!”


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Written by Christine Whipple Photography by Scott Erb and Donna Dufault

Wilson Wang, restaurant owner, grew up in the Si Chuan Province of China and recalls Hot Pot being a frequent family dinner. Wilson decided to open in January because there are no Hot Pot restaurants in central MA. Hot Pot is popular in Boston and New York. Here, Wilson is able to keep the prices down to make it affordable for families and friends to go out for a meal. Hot Pot refers to a variety of Asian broths, simmering in a metal pot at the center of a dining room table. Friends and family sit around the table, choose ingredients, and put them into the pot. There is a hot plate in the center of the table which cooks the stew and keeps it warm. Hot Pot choices include leaf vegetables, mushrooms, carrots, tofu, thinly sliced meat, seafood, a variety of noodles, and countless other choices depending on at whose table you are sitting. Daisy from Framingham, MA grew up in China. She said, “Most homes in China continue to cook Hot Pot meals. The traditional coal-heated hot pot has been replaced by electric or gas cooker

versions. Hot Pot is healthy for you. When I was sick, my mother would make spicy hot pot to make me sweat and release toxins. A Cantonese variation is especially good for sore throats. Manchurian Hot Pot uses Chinese sauerkraut to make the pot’s stew sour. The smell and taste of sauerkraut increases appetite.” Daisy’s mother told her, “Chinese lore says that the high temperature in the hot pot is symbolic of the warmth of the tender feeling that the people sitting around it have for each other. The hot pot is used for family dinner because the round pot forces everyone to sit in a circle. Nothing and no-one in the hot pot circle is refused acceptance. In our family dinner circle, it was understood that we were to forgive and accept everyone.” Chaun Shabu Restaurant 301 Park Avenue Worcester, MA 01609 508.762.9213

Start Your Day Off Right With our signature danishes in a variety of flavors, using authentic European recipes and methods. We also offer fresh fruit scones, muffins, coffee cakes, and sweet breads. You’ll also want to try our biscotti, assorted butter pound cakes (classic and combination of spices), Parisian macarons, individual desserts and gourmet cookies.

133 Gold Star Blvd. Worcester, MA 508-852-0746

Chaun Shabu owner Wilson Wang

Serving Worcester for over 50 Years! Wedding Cake Specialists Best of Worcester 2013!

Foodies of New England


Wines of Distinction

Flama d’Or: A Celebration of Spanish Proportions

Sparkling wines are among the most preferred and sought-after beverages in the world today.

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.


Foodies of New England

Originating from the granddaddy of all celebratory wines – Champagne – to the affordable, accessible, and wildly popular Italian Prosecco, sparkling wine has taken wine drinkers (and non-wine drinkers) by storm. Although their popularity has consistently increased of late, these wines have been around for centuries. Take Prosecco, for example. According to, it’s been produced as far back as Roman times using the Glera grape, which initially grew near the village of Prosecco on the Karst hills above Trieste, and was then known as Puccino wine. Now, of course, Prosecco comes from the grape of the same name, and is produced in the Veneto region of northern Italy. Naturally, other countries of viticultural importance, like Spain, have their own sparkling wine. After all, who likes to celebrate life more than the Italians, French or Spaniards? (Notice the Italians come first!) Spain’s Cava wine is a great example. Not without its own history, Cava is intended, like other European wines, to make use of the three indigenous grapes of the Penedés region of Catalonia in the northeast area of Spain, from whence the boisterous bubbly hails. As such, Xarel-lo (40%, and pronounced Shah-Rehl-Lo by the native Catalan, or you could insult the Catalan natives and pronounce it like the rest of Spain does, Hah-Rehl-Lo), Macabeu (40%, and pronounced Mah-Kah-Beh-Oh), and Parellada (20% and pronounced Par-Ay-Yay-Dah) are the principal grapes in this complex, but extraordinarily refreshing, sparkling wine. Of particular noteworthiness is the Flama d’Or Brut from Catalonia’s (Catalunya, in Spanish script) Castel D’Or Winery. This is a remarkable example of the tradition Spain has long observed, and that the rest of the wine-drinking world has long appreciated. Flama d’Or undergoes the same secondary fermentation in the bottle used to craft preferred French Champagne. This method (méthode champenoise) incorporates yeast and a small amount of added sugar to the already-fermented wine. This mixture is called liqueur de tirage. The bottle is then corked and pressure builds as the added sugar begins to ferment and carbon dioxide is created within the wine. The amount of pressure (or “pop”) one experiences opening a bottle of sparkling wine crafted using this method depends on the amount of added sugar. The Brut then undergoes 14 months aging in the cellar before release.

The result is a very fragrant wine full of flavor, delicacy and refinement. Fairly loaded with citrus vibrancy, it boasts an abundance of yellow pear, tart green apple, and lemongrass, and finished

with a cleansing and fresh acidity. A bonus: this wine is available at a very reasonable price (about $12.99 to $15.99 in Massachusetts) despite the laborious nature with which it is painstakingly produced.

Castel d’Or also produces another sparkler in the same sophisticated fashion: the Flama d’Or Brut Rosé. The principal grape used to make the Rosé, however, is the Trepat, a typical red varietal indigenous to the Conca de Barberà and Costers des Segre regions of Catalonia. Soft pressing and brief exposure of the juice to skin allows for only slight coloration and minimal tannic acidity. Aged 12 months in the cellar before released the Rosé is clean and bright, attractively pink in color with a medium intensity and violet highlights. The flavor magnifies strawberry and wild fruits with a subtle background of fresh mint. Rich and dense on the palate, it finishes clean and mildly dry, leaving its takers longing for more. Whichever you choose – the Flama d’Or Brut (white) or the Flama d’Or Rosé, you’ll be certainly well-pleased. This duo makes an incredible impression around the holiday table even before the cork is popped – the bottles are big, heavy, and scream quality and exclusivity, and the labels are immensely elegant with their white parchment paper and gilded gold accents. Walk into any home with Flama d’Or and you’ll be invited back again and again. Just be careful what you wish for… Foodies of New England gives Castel d’Or Flama d’Or Brut 92 points for its bright, balanced citrus quality and a persistently clean finish, and Flama d’Or Rosé 90 points for its warm, resonating, aromatic strawberry tones and soft, delicately-pleasing mouth feel. Flama d’Or is imported by Worcester-based Global Wines, Inc. Check their website for a retailer near you, at Whichever you choose, White or Rosé, Flama d’Or is an elegant evening in a bottle just waiting to happen. Editor, FNE.

Foodies of New England


Liberating Libations

ReFRESHing Cocktails from Garden to Glass “The ultimate goal of farming is not the growing of crops, but the cultivation and perfection of human beings.” - Masanobu Fukuoka

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.”


Foodies of New England

Freshness is a necessity, whether we are referring to fruits, veggies, or just food in general. Why should our cocktails be any different? I have few rules behind the bar, but fresh ingredients are a MUST! I always tell my patrons, “I make them like I drink them.” Which quite simply means I make drinks the way I would make them for myself—I want nothing short of the best. Buying produce at the grocery store is a good way to get fresh ingredients, but the absolute best way is either to grow your own crops or frequent your local farmers market. With all the pesticides, wax coatings, and GMOs (Genetically Modified Organisms) the large corporate farm companies use these days, staying local is, in my opinion, substantially healthier and tastier. Some local farmers do use pesticides out of necessity, but these pesticides can be simply washed off. The wax coating many companies and supermarkets use to preserve the item locks in pesticides, and the product must be soaked in water and vinegar in order to remove the wax. GMOs have become a big topic of discussion because large industrial farming companies are relying so heavily on them. They are in almost everything we buy; most soy, cotton, canola, corn, sugar beets, wheat, and dairy sold in the United States has been genetically modified. Many GMO crops are designed to require fewer pesticides, but the long-term health risks have not been fully studied. For cocktails, you can use just about any fruit, vegetable, or spice you want. Some fruits may not grow in the region where you live, so you might have to visit a grocery store. Just try to find one that has an organic section, and be sure to wash the produce thoroughly. In a restaurant or bar where the demand is high, some things will always be store bought and some things will only be available based on the season. But that’s what makes certain drinks special. Mojitos with local fresh mint in the summer, pumpkin martinis with fresh pumpkin and nutmeg in the fall, or fresh strawberry basil martinis in the spring. The change of the seasons, especially in New England, makes appreciate each fresh ingredient that comes along with it. The things I look for the most at farmers markets (they usually run from spring to fall) or recommend growing in the garden just for making drinks are: jalapenos, cucumbers, watermelon, strawberries, blueberries, pumpkins, squash, apples, raspberries, mint and basil. Citrus is harder to find unless you or the local farms have a greenhouse, as citrus trees need to be indoors in the winter months. My favorite ingredient to buy at the farmers market is honey. It can be used in many drinks, and local bee pollen helps with allergies, too.

Muddling is probably the best technique for most of these items. Depending on which one you use and what kind of drink, you may have to strain it after muddling as well. If you have a juicer, I highly recommend it. You can have a lot of fun with a juicer…become your own mixologist! Infusing is another route to take, but be sure to watch the time on the infusion and filter all of the produce from the alcohol, even the pulp. Jalapeños infuse really well, whereas cucumbers, strawberries, blueberries, raspberries, mint and basil tend to muddle nicely. Things like apples, squash, pumpkin, and watermelon are better for juicing. I believe that growing and gardening is the best way to

get the ingredients you need for a reFRESHing cocktail. Consider what well-known sustainable agriculture advocate and farmer Joel Salatin has said: “The first supermarket supposedly appeared on the American landscape in 1946. That is not very long ago. Until then, where was all the food? Dear folks, the food was in homes, gardens, local fields, and forests. It was near kitchens, near tables, near bedsides. It was in the pantry, the cellar, the backyard.” When you grow something with your hands, your sweat, your hard work, and your time…it tastes that much better when it’s time to enjoy it.

Recipes on page 130

Foodies of New England


Jalapeño Cucumber Watermelon Margarita Ingredients: 2 oz Silver Tequila 100% de Agave .5 oz Agavero orange liquor 1 oz Juiced locally grown watermelon infused with cucumber 1 Slice locally grown jalapeño 2 wedges of lemon 2 wedges lime 2 local grown cucumber slices Directions: Muddle lemon and lime, jalapeño and one cucumber slice, add ice. (Careful not to touch your face after handling jalapenos! Wash hands thoroughly.) Add tequila, orange liquor, and watermelon juice (let one sliced cucumber infuse in watermelon juice for 6 hours). Shake vigorously and use a fine strainer to strain over ice (fine strainer so you don’t get any jalapeno seeds). Garnish with lava salt, watermelon slice, cucumber slice, and lime wedge. For a nice nonalcoholic drink try the watermelon cucumber juice over ice with freshly squeezed lemon and lime juice. Float a couple cucumber slices and sit back and relax.

Fresh Blueberry Mojito Ingredients: Fresh locally grown blueberries (a palm full) Locally grown fresh Mint (4 leaves) Fresh lime wedges (3) Spoonful of sugar or simple syrup Directions: Muddle all…..add ice and 2oz premium silver rum. Shake vigorously. Top with soda water and garnish with fresh blueberries Enjoy Responsibly.


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Subscriptions Are Here! Tired of missing out on the latest issue of Foodies of New England? Subscribe now and have Foodies of New England delivered right to your door! “Foodie (Foo-dee) – a Foodie is a person with an ardent interest in food. Not necessarily a chef, a foodie is someone who thinks about food and researches the many ways to use different foods in creative and healthy ways, and enjoys talking about and working with food to his or her maximum potential.” - Domenic D. Mercurio, Jr., Foodies of New England.

Every issue is packed with engaging, informative articles and delicious, easy-to-make recipes. And of course... the award-winning photography! Check out our website for details & Bon Appetit! ®


Profile for Photographers of Foodies of New England

Foodies of New England Magazine V11 winter 2015  

Foodies of New England is a magazine focused on the cuisine scene throughout the region, be it food and drink, chefs, restaurants, farms, sp...

Foodies of New England Magazine V11 winter 2015  

Foodies of New England is a magazine focused on the cuisine scene throughout the region, be it food and drink, chefs, restaurants, farms, sp...


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