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Fall 2013

The Color of Food!

A Foodies Rainbow

Gluten Free Chocolate Recipes Best in Foodie Trails Chocolate, Cheese & Wine

Shy Brothers Farm A Unique Dairy

The History of... Cinnamon Scan to go to the Foodies of New England website


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”

Chocolate Frangelico Semifredo

Chef Enrico Giovanello - Avellino Restaurant, Sturbridge, MA 2 cups heavy cream 2/3 cups superfine sugar 1/3 cup cocoa powder 4 eggs, separated 1 cup Frangelico 3 tablespoons confectionary sugar 1 ¼ cups skinned hazelnuts, roughly chopped

Serves 10 Line a 6-cup loaf pan with aluminum foil. Heat ¾ cup heavy cream in a small sauce pan. Combine the superfine sugar, cocoa and egg yolks in a bowl. Pour the hot cream on top and mix well. Pour back in the saucepan and cook over low heat, stirring continuously until the mixture is thick enough to coat the back of a spoon. Do not allow the custard to boil. Stir in the Frangelico and remove from heat. Cover the surface with plastic wrap and allow to cool for ½ hour. Whip the egg whites in a clean dry glass bowl until stiff peaks form. Whip the remaining cream in in a large bowl until soft peaks form. Add the confectionary sugar and continue whipping until incorporated. Lightly fold the chocolate custard into the whipped cream. Now fold in the egg whites. Now fold in the hazelnuts. Spoon into the pan, smooth the surface and cover with foil. Freeze overnight. Leave at room temperature for 5 minutes before serving in slices.

Visit us at: www.frangelico.com or Like us on Facebook at: facebook.com/Frangelico


BREAKFAST

LUNCH

DINNER

COCKTAILS

Welcome to Livia's Dish, the ultimate in exquisite Italian/Mediterranean cuisine. Our dishes are prepared with the freshest seafood and meats and are matched perfectly with a new world of herbs, spices and culinary techniques. Whether it’s for breakfast, lunch or dinner, come see what makes Livia’s Dish truly “A Unique Dining Experience.”

Breakfast & Lunch Hours Monday - Saturday: 7:00am - 3:00pm Sunday: 8:00am - 3:00pm Dinner Hours Wednesday - Thursday: 4:00pm - 9:00pm Friday - Saturday: 4:00pm - 10:00pm

1394 Main Street Worcester, MA 01603 508-926-8861 www.liviasdish.com


Fall 2013 Contributors Publisher: Mercury Media & Entertainment, LLC Managing Editor: Domenic Mercurio Contributing Editors: Julie Grady Thomas Jodie Lynn Boduch Christopher Dufault Stephen Plays 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, Honee Hess, Stacy Horowitz, Kelley Kassa, Isabela Bessa Pelto, Kara Powers, Marni Powers, Michelle Collins Professional Photography: Scott Erb & Donna Dufault Erb Photography Art Director: Rick Bridges Richard Bridges Design Website: Jodie Lynn Boduch Much Ado Marketing Account Managers: Carol Adlestein Foodies of New England Magazine Box 380 Sturbridge MA 01566 domenic@mercurymediallc.com scott@erbphoto.com jodie@muchadomarketing.com rick@richardbridgesdesign.com All content Š2013, Mercury Media Entertainment All Rights Reserved Printed in USA Foodies of New England assumes no ďŹ nancial 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.

Like us on Facebook www.facebook.com/ FoodiesofNewEngland

Follow us on Twitter @ FoodiesofNE

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Contents Features

14 The Color of Food A Foodies Rainbow

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Café de Boston Bringing Europe to the Hub

46 Andrea Restaurant A Place That Can’t Go Away

54 Anzio’s Brick Oven Pizza A Better Brick Pizza Place

62 Shy Brothers Farm

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A Unique Massachusetts Dairy

70 Livia’s Dish Mediterranean Cuisine

76 The Best in Foodie Trails Chocolate, Cheese & Wine!

110 Shrimp in a Pumpkin A Foreigner’s First Thanksgiving

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116 Kozara Sibling Rivalry

124 Vaillancourt Folk Art From Chocolate to Chalkware

Cover: Poached Cod Lion: Butter/saffron poached cod loin, turmeric potatoes, yellow squash, mango puree, saffron foam and edible flowers from Chocopologie.

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Departments

50 History of...

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58

Cinnamon

58 Gluten Free Chocolate—A Never Ending Love Affair

74 Pasta (and Life): 101 Colors of Fall... Re-inspired

96 Food for Thought The Art of Cheese-Making

102 Healthy at Home Vitamin G, “Carbonara”

112 Sweet Sensations Black Bottom Panna Cotta

114 Brew Review American/Raspberry Barleywine

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Whiskey-Under Loch & Key Beautiful Blends

126 Wines of Distinction Cape Cod Bay Prosecco

128 Liberating Libations Dessert Martinis

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Magazine


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. WATERMELON CAMPARI GRANITA Chef Enrico Giovanello Avellino Restaurant, Sturbridge, MA

1 lb. rind and seeds removed 2 tablespoons superfine sugar 4 tablespoons Campari ½ teaspoon lime juice Serves 4 Puree the watermelon in a blender or food processor. Heat the sugar, lime juice and Campari in ¼ cup water in a saucepan until dissolved. Add the watermelon and mix well. Pour into a plastic container, cover and freeze. Stir every 30 minutes with a fork during freezing to break up the ice crystals and give a better texture. Keep in the freezer until ready to serve. Serve in a martini glass with fresh mint.

Visit us at: www.campari.com Like us on Facebook at: facebook.com/campari


LETTER

FROM THE

EDITOR

“Fall: A Rainbow of Foodie Flavor”

Quiz: What’s better than great flavor? Hint: It’s a trick question. The answer: Not much, but when you add great color to it, the total experience becomes a feast for the senses.

With that in mind, we decided to challenge our best chefs to create their signature dishes using a favorite color – their one favorite color. As it turns out, it was quite a challenge for them, indeed; but they all rose to it gracefully, flexing their culinary and creative muscles throughout the long, tedious process. Who would have thought that an incredibly appetizing meal could be concocted out of ingredients that are entirely purple? Like kids at a carnival, our chefs were overjoyed and excited throughout this entire Color of Food Challenge. So, go ahead, foodies, experience and enjoy their creativity and talent within the pages that follow. But, remember, foodies do not live by color alone. The enjoyment of food can also be amplified by our very own New England surroundings. Knowing this, we’ve visited some of the most exquisite Foodie Trails the northeast has to offer. From the sweet and tasty chocolate trails of Connecticut, to the savory cheese trails of Vermont, to the intoxicating wine trails of Massachusetts, we’ve laid-out a delicious map of flavor and fun for you this fall season. After your excursions along the Foodie Trails, check out some incredible features and articles that pepper the pages in between, like Christine Whipple’s look at how Hurricane Sandy devastated restaurants along the New England seacoast, and how these chef-owners are making a rugged, New England come-back. Then, venture inland a bit with Jodie Boduch as she covers food trends at Café de Boston. Further west, surrounded by the beauty of New England foliage, is Shy Brother’s Farm, a foodie sensation operated by four brothers (two sets of twins, in fact) who turn out the freshest cheese and dairy you’ve had! See what Peggy Bridges digs up with this family of farming foodies in this issue’s Farm Feature. As we all know, autumn in New England is ripe with pumpkin recipes, but did you know that Brazil has its own pumpkin dish that marks the season? It’s Brazilian Pumpkin Shrimp, and it’s something to behold. Speaking of sights that widen your eyes, check out the feature written by our own David Kmetz on Anzio’s Brick Oven Pizzeria in North Grafton, Massachusetts – a true, brick-oven experience in Italian authenticity, taste and tradition. Of course, the Italian tradition is steeped in the history of pizza and pasta. So, who better than chef and Foodie-writer Tom Verde to wax about Italy’s main meal? Check out his musings and historical perspective on the world’s most famous food, Pasta. And, when you’re good and hungry for an Italian meal, take a ride over to Livia’s Dish on Worcester’s West Side. A small Mediterranean bistro emphasizing artisanal and local ingredients, Livia’s Dish and uses only fresh-baked breads, homemade sauces and farmer’s cheeses in its recipes. Or, if you want a taste of the East, check out our feature on Sushi-Master Wilson Wang’s newest achievement, Kozara. From ornate and unusual cocktails to the most eye-popping and delicious Japanese pork, chicken and beef tapas, Kozara is truly amazing! If you’re looking for something totally original and rare to give this Holiday season, check into a European food tradition with its roots planted firmly in the ancient Americas – chocolate molding. Honee Hess brings this incredibly interesting continued on page 12

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Lamb Shish Kebab with Tabouleh, Grilled Vegetables, & Shepherd Salad from CafĂŠ de Boston

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craft to light in this issue, and shows how family-owned Vaillancourt Folk Art achieves the wow-factor in every piece. Of course, our usual group of fabulous Foodie writers graces the balance of this issue. If you want to stay healthy, have a Gluten Free Brunch with Ellen Allard, or enjoy a step-by-step recipe, completely laid-out with frame-by-frame photography, in Healthy at Home with Elaine Pusatieri-Cowan. Naturally, Foodies wouldn’t be complete without a luscious recipe from pastry-great Alina Eisenhauer’s Sweet Sensations. Spices, spices, and more spices… Jodie Boduch heats up your fall dishes with cinnamon, the perfect holiday flavor finder, in History of Cinnamon. My personal favorite food is Italian. One problem: how do you give Italian cuisine a New England autumn flavor? Well, we just happen to have the Guru of Italian delights, Chef Christopher Rovezzi, penning his recipes in Pasta (And Life): 101. In this issue, Chef Chris shows us why the Italians and the Pilgrims would have made such terrific couples. Warm up with your Grand Chancellor of Beer, Matt Webster, as he introduces you to yet another craft beer sensation in his Brew Review. Then there’s Ryan Maloney (from Scotland’s famed Loch & Key Society), who takes us through a very interesting and educational tour of blended Whiskies in Whiskey… Under Loch & Key. And, just in case craft beer and Whiskey are not on your list of must-haves this holiday season, you’ll be thrilled to reach for a glass of tempting Prosecco. Check out Wines of Distinction and find out why this brilliant bubbly is definitively known as the world’s most popular sparkling wine. What’s that? You prefer a sweet, pre-meal beverage? Great! Then you’ll need to check out Adam Gerhart in Liberating Libations. He’s crafting the “I’d Like Samo” (I’d like some mo’) Martini, an incredibly decadent cocktail that’ll knock your socks off, all spiced-up with a chocolate, coconut and caramel twist. A coolweather treat! Whatever you fancy, this issue has all the ingredients (and recipes) for a palate-pleasing holiday party. Enjoy the creativity, the color, and, above all… the flavor!

Domenic Mercurio, Jr. Editor/Publisher

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ɄɑȹȘɄȵȵɄɬɕȘɤȽȃɜȨɄȽ

Form follows function, but not at the exclusion of grace, style and elegance. From the unseen structural soundness to the obvious attention lavished on every detail, each Fine Lines project is a testament to the traditions of fine woodworking. Whether you want a custom kitchen for your home, an expanded bar area for your restaurant, a perfectly-designed wine rack, or a unique cutting board in any style and shape, Fine Lines has the experience, tools, and abilities to make your vision a reality. 4 Old Stagecoach Road • Sturbridge, MA 01566 • 508.347.3645

www.finelineswood.com


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Fresh produce from Sid Wainers


A Foodie’s

“Rainbow” Written by Domenic D. Mercurio, Jr. Photography by Scott Erb and Donna Dufault

New England is famous for its colors, especially in autumn. Indeed, the shades of red, orange, yellow, green, and others are incredible to behold and captivate our sense of sight. But, what about our other senses? What about the all-important senses of smell and taste? What might a foodie count on as a catalyst to muse his or her olfactory cues or prolific palate? What about…FOOD?!

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Would like to welcome our new advertisers SKYY Vodka Livia’s Dish Campari Frangelico J. Anthony’s Italian Grill Nuovo Restaurant Anzio’s Brick Oven Pizza Kozara Lounge The Twisted Fork Flying Rhino Café Meacham Energy Solutions Fine Lines Woodworking Atlas Distributing Pepper’s Fine Catering

Foodies of New England would like to acknowledge the following artists whose work was featured in the Spring issue: Wood Cutting Board: Michael Yglesias, Los Angeles, CA Dark Ceramic Tray: Takashi Ichihara, Granby, MA Blue Ceramic Plate/Tray/Cups: Marion Angelica, Minneapolis, MN Courtesy of the Worcester Center for Crafts Gallery Store

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Fortunately for you, we are now about to stumble into the presence of culinary greatness. The creations birthed by our expert chefs and showcased throughout the following pages will pique not only your sense of sight, but, more than the foliage of the northeast and much like the power of association illustrated by Dr. Pavlov, they will also crest your imagination where smell and taste are concerned – and we foodies are certainly concerned with those! In this issue, we’ve broken out of the norm and challenged some of the best chefs in New England to do the unthinkable (and for some, the impossible) – create a dish comprised almost entirely of their one favorite color. Now that’s a problem of a different color. As we presented the task to these and other chefs, we heard a lot of the following, “Hmmm, one color, eh?” or “Let me think about this for awhile…” and “I’ve never really done anything like that before…” with the occasional “You want me to use PURPLE for food?!” Well, the champions have risen to the task! They have studied, experimented, prepared dozens of preliminary versions of their entrees, and agonized over their final product before our food stylists and photographers could snap a single photo. And, at the end of the day, they were all reeking of satisfaction in their ability to manifest greatness, pull through the trials and muster-up a creation that would deem them worthy… worthy to be called a Foodie of New England featured chef. Enjoy their work, foodies… Enjoy the Foodies Rainbow. FNE.


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Open faced stuffed cabbage with rice, ground pork meat, tomato, onions, garlic and fresh herbs ďŹ nished in a braised meat sauce


NUOVO’S Purple Period Written by David G. Kmetz Photography by Scott Erb and Donna Dufault

J

Joining the rank and file along “Restaurant Row” on Shrewsbury Street in Worcester, Nuovo, the dream of owner Alex Gjonca, opened in June 2011. Alex and wife Loreta hail from Albania and fled the country over 23 years ago to escape the then oppressive communist regime for a better life in the U.S. Like many so-called lifers in the restaurant and service trade, Alex started young by helping out in the family kitchen, washing dishes, stirring pots, simple prep. Though his family is big into law—there are several judges in the Gjonca fold—Alex was drawn to the culinary arts and the joy it brings to friends, family and just about everybody.

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“I had an intellectual curiosity about food, ingredients. How they were changed from being raw and hard into something else entirely; how proteins and starches are broken down and converted into delicious fare, once properly prepped, cooked, seasoned and served.” So his family relented and Alex immersed himself in the two-year culinary school in Tirana, Albania’s capital and center of political, economical and cultural life. There, everything was made fresh and from scratch, nothing out of a can or box, an approach that has been carried through Alex’s career. Among the many stages of his ca-

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reer, he worked on a team that prepared meals and banquets for a German Chancellor and a Contessa in Italy. Wondering who? You’ll have to ask the man yourself. Still, Alex was eager to leave the European block and try his skills in America. Landing in Providence, RI with almost no knowledge of our language, culture, economics and culinary biases, Alex had to take a few steps back and start as a dishwasher. Working his way up the ranks as chefs and co-workers recognized his talent and dedication, Alex moved from one end of the Blackstone Valley dumbbell to the other, Worcester, which happens

to have one of the largest concentrations of Albanians in the Northeast. The roster of eateries he served is both impressive and varied—Ellen Harry’s, Arturo’s, Westborough’s Marriott Hotel in Westborough, Worcester’s Ramada Hotel, Cose Cafe, Nick’s Mediterranean, Pepe’s, Leo’s, Anthony’s, Black Orchid, Cafe Amore and Boston’s Il Bico. He then broke ranks and decided to open a Pizza Tower in Lincoln, RI with a business partner, followed by Village Pizza in Quinsigamond. But 10 years later, Alex found another opportunity to open his own restaurant when the space that recently housed Worcester’s Tribeca went on the market. Alex wanted a place where folks could come to relax, enjoy and take their time and so Nuovo was born. With a full bar, lounge and outdoor patio, it has the capacity to seat 80, but Alex hasn’t lost sight of what got him here: family. He heads up the kitchen while Loreta is the restaurant manager. Offering a creative mix of Italian, Mediterranean and Albanian dishes, the food is prepared per order with care, attention and love. It’s all served in a soft, subdued calm setting with low lights, mellow music and an atmosphere conducive to quiet conversation. Fellow Shrewsbury Street restaurateurs take note—no big lights, loud


Executive Chef Alex Gjonca

Salad made with purple cabbage, onions, and olives with olive oil, lemon and parsley dressing

music or aggressive, trendy buzz here. Clearly his formula has been a solid one, as business has doubled the past two years in spite of a shaky local economy. Besides the restaurant on the main level, Nuovo boasts wonderful upscale function rooms upstairs. Compared with the main rooms downstairs, the distinction is dramatic—casually elegant rooms are flooded with sunlight. Equipped with a full service bar, wine cave and TV monitors, these private rooms are ideal for any meeting or gathering from 20 to 120 people. But just a note, it’s booked through February 2014. Alex’s response to “The Color of Food” piece was an unusual one. He let the other four chefs select their favorites first and he would choose whatever was left, in this case, purple. His Purple Period meal is crafted from an imaginative mix of kale, eggplant, wild rice and stuffed purple cabbages. The inspiration for the dish was based on traditional Albanian fare, but with his own personal twist. To start, a salad with purple cabbage, red onion, olives and olive oil topped with a lemon and parsley vinaigrette. Next, oven-baked cabbage involtine, which consists of savory purple cabbage rolled and stuffed with wild rice, ground pork, tomato, onion, garlic and fresh herbs. Following that is a variation on the same ingredients, but this time left open-faced and braised in a reduced rich meat sauce. Finally, oven-roasted, stuffed mini eggplants known as melanzane in the Mediterranean, which are filled with rice, sautéed garlic, tomatoes and fresh herbs. In all, it’s certainly a sumptuous feast for both the eyes and palette. Nuovo 92 Shrewsbury Street Worcester, MA 01604 508.796.5915 www.nuovoworcester.com Foodies of New England

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Rabbit Mortadella with Sicilian Pistachio, Green Vegetables and Nasturtium Leaf Vinaigrette


50 Shades of

Green

With a Side of Orange Written by Stacy Horowitz Photography by Scott Erb and Donna Dufault

N

Nestled in the woods of Portland, Maine, Duckfat is the most recent creation co-owned by culinary sensations Robert Evans and Nancy Pugh. If there were ever a color to represent Duckfat and all that it embodies, it would be green with a side of orange. Evan chose green because it symbolizes both the food chain life cycle and his love for the outdoors.

“It’s a color I’ve gotten to know and love from working with it for so long. Also, I chose it because it is where all food starts. It is also symbolic of the food chain life cycle along,” he said, adding that green also implies “fresh ambiance.”

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To emulate the restaurant’s tie with the environment and commitment to using locally sourced products, the Rabbit Mortadella dish is a typical menu item that features all things green. A collage of greens is used in this dish: dark leafy greens, the bright green pods of snap peas, the green of string beans, and green radish pods. The other mixture of green comes in the form of Salad Sicilian Pistachio and stercian leaf emulsion as well as fava beans, English peas, and peashoots. Duckfat is a large proponent of using organic, local farm-to-table products. Evans said they have their own potato farm in Maine that focuses on older varieties with flavor, not the genetically modified potatoes so widely used today. The seasonally-driven menu, which changes every day, features local meat, and 75% of all vegetables are sourced locally. The salads and soups are geared towards the flavors of the season and change the most frequently.

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The specialty green menu item, a fan favorite, was a chilled asparagus soup with asparagus tips, Berkshire ham, and whipped crème fraise. The atmosphere at Duckfat, including its fun menu touches, would be a bright burst of orange. The restaurant can best be described as sophisticated comfort food. “A Panini is ham and cheese sandwich, tomato soup, cold cuts, and soda are all items that people remember as comfort food. We do a roundabout play on comfort food without trying to replicate it,” said Evans. The menu isn’t so much a gateway to the past as a modern interpretation of your childhood favorites: Think peanut butter and jelly and tuna melt sandwiches. For dessert, consider a gelato float. The signature staple, duck fat, is used to make citrus-scented doughnut holes as well as the Duckfat Caramel milkshake. Other fanciful milkshake continued on page 68


Rabbit Mortadella with Sicilian Pistachio, Green Vegetables & Nasturtium Leaf Vinaigrette Ingredients: Rabbit Mortadella 1 ¾ lb rabbit, diced and chilled 1 lb pork fat back, diced and chilled 34 g. salt 3 g. insta-cure 300 g. crushed Ice 9 g. garlic 15 g. dextrose 1 ½ g. mace 1 g. cinnamon ½ g. cayenne pepper Garnish 50 g. fat back, diced and blanched for 5 minutes 20 g. Sicilian pistachios 2 g. black peppercorns, cracked In a food processor add ½ of the ice, rabbit meat, salt, insta-cure, garlic, dextrose, mace, cinnamon, and cayenne pepper. Puree to a smooth paste, pausing and scraping down the sides when needed. Keep going until the meat reaches 45° on an insta-read thermometer. Add the chilled fat back and remainder of crushed ice. Puree until it reaches 62° on an insta-read thermometer. Fold in the garnish and wrap in plastic wrap to form a tube and tie the ends. Poach in a simmering water bath until cooked and firm to touch, about 40 minutes. Place in an ice bath until chilled. Remove from plastic wrap and slice.

Chef Robert Evans

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A Twist of

ORANGE from Uncle Jay Written by Brad Schwarzenbach Photography by Scott Erb and Donna Dufault

R

Risotto seems to have appeared on every Italian menu in the country. It makes sense: there are seemingly endless variations and possibilities to create. It’s become a very popular way for chefs to demonstrate their creativity and ingenuity.

We tasked Jay Powell—owner and head chef at Uncle Jay’s Twisted Fork in Worcester—to create a signature dish incorporating the color orange. Now that I’ve met and spent some time with Jay, I should not have been surprised that he took the challenge extremely literally.

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Lobster Saffron Squash Risotto with Truffle Squash Sauce

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“Orange is fall in New England,” he says with his personal brand of friendly emphasis. “Look at the trees. You’ve got three colors: orange, red, and yellow. Those last two, they make orange.” My elementary school lessons on primary and secondary colors jibed with this assessment of the palette of autumn. Like just about everything else at the Twisted Fork, Powell’s Lobster Saffron Squash Risotto with Truffle Squash Sauce is a tricky dish made up of simple ingredients. And further, those ingredients aren’t necessarily ones you’d expect to find together. But in the end it does all, indeed, come together into a bright, fresh, orange masterpiece. “It, obviously, all begins with the rice,” Powell says. He cooks the long-grain white rice to about three-quarters done and the starches start to release. Then come the veggies. This part is key. Powell uses three kinds of squash: butternut, acorn, and buttercup. The squashes—

perfectly orange and in-season—add sweet nuttiness and an abundance of color. Powell also adds finely-chopped orange bell pepper which further sweetens the dish. “The key there is that nothing in the risotto—other than the protein—can be bigger than the grains of rice.” But, it’s also at this point, that Powell reached his moment of brilliance with the dish. Here, he adds some saffron. While also bringing the level of orange to a difficult-to-believe degree, it tempers the sweetness of the vegetables and starch with an earthy umami flavor. Some heavy cream and butter are added to bind it all together and give the risotto its signature creaminess. Then, finally, the dish earns its New England badge with chunks of Maine lobster. The meat takes on the orange of the saffron and adds hints of red for a dish that looks almost too pretty to eat. The dish is topped with slices of yellow tomato and whipped truffle oil infused with a little more saffron. continued on page 94

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Chef Jay Powell


Lobster Saffron Squash Risotto with Truffle Squash Sauce Sauce Ingredients: 1 blender 1 6-8 quart pot. 1 1/2 cups butternut rough chopped ½ cup diced onion ½ cup raw carrot peeled and rough chopped ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil 3 cups chicken stock 3 cloves of garlic 1 pound butter (cubed) 2 Tbs. truffle oil white or black salt pepper Pre-heat pot then add olive oil. Add squash, onions, garlic and carrot and sauté until they start to caramelize. Add chicken stock to cover everything and bring to a slow boil. Cook until carrots are tender (do not let stock level reduce past ½ of the veggie: this is needed in the blending portion, add more stock if needed) Add truffle oil when carrots are tender. Take off heat and start ladling into blender (if you can get it all in, great, if not do as many batches as needed). Turn blender on and add about all the cubed butter, add a bit of salt and pepper to taste. If the blender binds add some warm chicken stock (if you have to do multiple batches cut back on butter per batch). Blend from low to high. Taste for salt and pepper and sometimes I add a fresh squirt of lemon and run for a bit longer. Keep Warm.

Risotto Ingredients: 8 quart pot – stainless steel 4 quart pot ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil 1 cup Arborio rice 3 cups chicken stock ½ cup white wine (a what-you-would-drink chardonnay) ½ heavy cream ½ parmesan cheese ½ pound fresh lobster meat ½ cup diced orange tomato ¼ cup each butternut, acorn, butter cup squash and orange bell pepper all diced small 1 big pinch of saffron In 4 quart pot add stock and white wine, bring to a boil for a minute and reduce heat. In larger pot bring to med high heat add olive oil. Add all of rice and stir for about 2 minutes. Add enough stock to pot to just cover rice and start to stir with wooden spoon. Once stock has reduced and the rice is almost dry add the saffron and do another batch of stock the same as the first and keep stirring. Once stock has reduced again add all of the veggies except tomatoes and stock as the first time – stir. Do the same steps until rice is al dente and becoming creamy. At this point add cream and lobster meat. Stir until it reduces a little but, not dry like other stages. Add cheese and stir. The rice should be just creamy, not dry. Serve in a bowl. Add tomatoes to top and drizzle sauce all over.

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Poached Cod Lion: Butter/saffron poached cod loin, turmeric potatoes, yellow squash, mango puree, saffron foam and edible owers


YELLOW:

A Study in Vibrant Imagination at Chocopologie Written by Jodie Lynn Boduch Photography by Scott Erb and Donna Dufault

T

Think about yellow for a moment.

Perhaps warmth and sunshine come to mind, or maybe happiness, joy, and optimism dance across your imagination (ah, imagination — another attribute yellow represents). In Western culture, it’s a happy hue. In China the color is reserved for royalty; in Buddhism, it represents freedom from worldly cares. And it’s no accident that “yell” and “yellow” derive from the same linguistic base—“-ghel”—which means both “bright” and “to cry out.”

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Yellow wants to get noticed. Chef Christian Wilki’s elegant dish, created specifically for our Color of Food theme, certainly captures the eye—and the palate. First, a few words about chef Wilki’s home base, Chocopologie Café. This little slice of culinary and confectionary heaven in Norwalk, CT is owned by renowned chef and award-winning chocolatier Fritz Knipschildt. Born in Odense, Denmark (home of Hans Christian Andersen), Knipschildt started Knipschildt Chocolatier in 2000 and opened the café in 2005. His life, he says, has always been about food, beginning with European food travels with his family and an official start in the restaurant industry at age 13. Training at well-known European restaurants under well-known chefs prepared him for a stint at Le Chateau in New York. He then found success working for the well-to-do in New York and Connecticut before venturing into chocolates because, as he said, there was a “lack of cool artisan chocolates” in Connecticut. Knipschildt Chocolatier has earned, among other awards, six nods from NASFT (National Association for the Specialty Food Trade) for either products or packaging.

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With Chocopologie, Knipschildt wanted a place where people could enjoy good food and hang out. “I love what I do,” he said quite simply. It shows: The café has received some fantastic press from publications ranging from the New York Times to O, The Oprah Magazine, and it’s received numerous Best of Gold Coast Connecticut awards for Most Decadent Dessert, Best Chocolate Shop, and Best-Tasting Wedding Favors. The café offers a behind-the-scenes peek at handmade chocolates and a superb menu of dining and dessert

items. How about an appetizer of escargot with beurre de chocolat and garlic bread? Or a buckwheat crêpe of goat cheese, prosciutto, and ratatouille? Perhaps the baguette with curry chicken and watercress catches your eye, or perhaps the coq au vin with french fries and string beans. Oh, and then there’s dessert. To list only a few items doesn’t do the menu justice, but here’s a sampling: sweet crêpes of every variety, bonfire s’mores for two, almond cake with frozen orange mousse, chocolate truffle beignets, and boozed dark chocolate cups


Beef Filet with Pickled Chantarelles and Carrots Serves 4

Ingredients: 6 oz beef filet per person 1lb chanterelles 1lb carrots 1lb Idaho potatoes Garlic White wine vinaigrette Thyme 1 pint demi-glace sauce 4oz butter 1/2 qt heavy cream Clean the chanterelles and peel the carrots. Place the chanterelles and crushed garlic in a bowl and add white wine vinaigrette and a small amount of thyme. Wrap the bowl with plastic wrap and place on top of a heated oven (400 degrees). Peel off the outer layers of the carrots so only the marrow remains; use the left overs for purée. Place leftover carrot pieces and heavy cream in a pot and boil until tender. Place the tender carrot pieces in a blender and add a small amount of the heavy cream that was used for boiling the carrots. Blend until smooth. Add salt and pepper to taste.

Chef Christian Wilki

(paired with one of several alcoholic beverages). And now for that beautiful dish. Knipschildt’s chef Wilki created poached butter and saffron cod loin with tumeric potatoes, yellow squash, mango puree, saffron foam, and edible flowers. Wilki explained his inspiration for the dish as such: I wanted to take advantage of the vibrancy of the color while using products that were as local as possible. This dish represents what I’m surrounded by daily. The squash came as locally as Fritz’s vegetable garden and the cod is

nod to all of the fresh seafood we have in Norwalk and around New England. Wilki has a passion for cooking and said he is constantly trying to outdo himself. He added that he takes mental notes from the different kinds of food he encounters daily, then he tries to see how he can innovate the concepts. Also born and raised in Odense, Denmark, Wilki started in the restaurant business as a dishwasher at an early age. From there he worked his way up through the kitchen until he began culinary school, from which he graduated as a chef in

Peel the potatoes and cut them into 1 1/2 inch slices. Cut the slices potato with a circle cutter, 1 piece per slice of potato. Add the circle potatoes to a pan together with butter, water, and salt. Let the water evaporate from the pan so the potatoes will start frying in the butter until golden brown, and flip them over to fry on the other side as well. Meanwhile sear the meat and place in the oven for roughly 10 minutes; take out and leave to rest. Chop the rest of the thyme and add to the demi-glace; add butter while whisking so the sauce won’t separate. Heat up a pan and sauté the carrots and chanterelles in butter and oil. Plating: Place the carrot puree as a line on the bottom of the plate. Drag a spoon through it, then add the meat in the middle and place potato fondants next to the meat mixed roughly. Add the carrot marrows on top of the potatoes and place the chanterelles neatly on the carrots and potatoes. Serve the sauce on the side and serve. Bon appetit.

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Paint the Town Red with

XO Café Written by Kara and Marni Powers Photography by Scott Erb and Donna Dufault

O

On the east side of Providence in the historic John Updike House is the XO Café, a cozy, hip, 75-seat restaurant with a commitment to farm to table cuisine.

Rebranded two years ago, the bold interior décor boasts exposed brick, expansive framed mirrors, cascading chandeliers, leopard print leather booths and a prominent mural with such figureheads as Salvador Dahli, Audrey Hepburn, and Elvis.

The overall lounge appeal with a dimly lit setting offers a fun, modern dining and cocktailing experience. With a romantic vibe and noticeable red highlights, it was no surprise that Executive Chef Martin “Marty” Lyons chose the color red to feature his dish.

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Roast Pork Tenderloin in Spiced Beet Brine

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An enthusiastic fan of Providence, Marty says it is easy to find “a touch of culture if you want it”. Executive Chef Marty Lyons

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With a commitment to “harvest to table” cuisine, the New American menu focuses on fresh, local ingredients with a twist, conceptualized and mastered by Executive Chef Martin “Marty” Lyons. Marty grew up in Whitehall, a historic, industrial-driven town in upstate New York. His interest in cooking began at an early age while scrambling eggs at a community gathering and cultivated as he worked at a local cafe in town and ultimately at an oncampus restaurant while obtaining his Associates Degree in Occupational Studies in Culinary Arts from SUNY College of Agriculture and Technology. He left upstate in his early twenties and moved to Providence where he earned his Associate of Science in Food and Beverage Management and Bachelors of Science in Service Management from Johnson and Wales University. Marty has worked in some top Providence restaurants including Loie Fuller’s, L’Epicurio, and most recently Nick’s on Broadway. A passionate guy who is completely invested in his craft, Marty has transformed the XO Café menu since joining the team last September. An enthusiastic fan of Providence, he says it is easy to find “a touch of culture if you want it” and offers great recommendations on food, music, craft breweries, and small dive bars. He aspires to be like his fellow chef friends that have cultivated and groomed their concepts, and generated a trustworthy clientele. He is driven by local, seasonal dishes and everyday he seeks local farms, and farmer’s markets. To prepare a dish with the limits of using one color, he sought inspiration from his upbringing in upstate New York. Growing up surrounded by vibrant, warm-hued foliage in autumn, Marty remembers helping his grandfather pull red beets from the ground and apple picking at local orchards. When conceptualizing the dish, he started with three components that have gone together for hundreds of years during the fall harvest- pork, red cabbage and apples. The deep red color of the meat is achieved by dying the loin in beet juice brine. The red and purple hues continue with the accompaniment of sweet braised red cabbage. The crispy, pickled apples offset the softer components of the dish. Not only does Marty’s dish incorporate the color red, it also features fresh, locally sourced ingredients, as seen in the following recipes. XO Café 125 North Main Street Providence, RI 02903 401.273.9090 www.xocafe.com

Roast Pork Tenderloin in Spiced Beet Brine, with Red Creamer Potatoes, Braised Cabbage, Pickled Apples, Baby Mustard Greens, and Spiced Wine Reduction Spiced Beet Brine Ingredients: 3 large beets washed, peeled, and juiced (approx. 2 cups juice) - 2 cups water - ½ cup kosher salt - ½ cup brown sugar - 1 Tbls. black pepper corns - 1 cinnamon stick - 3 green cardamom pods - 3 whole cloves - 3 allspice berries - 3 star anise pods - 3 sprigs fresh thyme (1 reserved for roasting) -1 tsp mustard seed - 1 each bay leaf - 3 garlic cloves - 2 pork tenderloins, trimmed of silver skin, and halved. Yielding four 7-8 oz. portions - 2 Tbls unsalted butter -baby red mustard greens

Juice the beets in a juicer (If you do not have a juicer you can dice, and puree them with 2 cups of water). Next, bring 2 cups of water to a boil and add salt, sugar, peppercorns, cinnamon, cardamom, clove, anise, thyme, mustard, garlic, and bay leaf. Remove from heat and let steep until cooled to room temperature. Add the beet juice and transfer to a non-reactive container. Place the pork in the brine and let chill at least for 24 hours in the refrigerator. Pickled Apples Ingredients: - 1 cup water - 1 cup cider vinegar - ½ cup maple syrup - 1 bay leaf - 6 peppercorns - 1 cinnamon stick - 2 cloves - 2 allspice berries - 2 anise pods - 1/2 tsp. kosher salt - 2 large red apples

Combine the water, vinegar, maple syrup, pickling spices and kosher salt in a small saucepan. Bring to a boil then reduce heat to low, and cover and simmer for 8-10 minutes. While mixture cools, wash and cut apples into eighths. Pour the brine into a bowl with the apple slices, cover and place in the refrigerator for at least 24 hours. Foodies of New England

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Spiced Wine Reduction Ingredients:

Roasted Potatoes Ingredients:

1 quart full-bodied red wine (Malbec, Zinfandel, or Cabernet Sauvignon) - 1/8 tsp. salt - ½ cup sugar - 1 tsp peppercorns, bruised - 1 cinnamon stick - 2 cloves - 1 vanilla bean - 1 tsp. orange zest

- 1 lb. baby red creamer potatoes, washed and halved - 3 cloves garlic, chopped - 3 sprigs rosemary, stripped and bruised - 1 Tbsp. olive oil - Kosher salt - fresh cracked pepper

In a small heavy bottomed saucepan, combine all ingredients and heat over medium high. Cook down the wine syrup, uncovered, until thick enough to lightly coat a spoon. Immediately place the reduction into another container to cool down. Use the syrup at room temperature. Braised Cabbage Ingredients: 1 head red cabbage, cored, cut into quarters, thinly sliced - 2 oz. unsalted butter - 1 large Spanish onion, halved, thinly sliced - 1 tsp. garlic, minced - 1 Tbsp. ground mustard seed - 1 Tbsp. ground juniper berry - 2 cups apple cider vinegar - 1 cup granulated sugar - 1 Tbsp. kosher salt - fresh ground pepper

Heat a large heavy bottomed pot over medium heat. Add butter, and let brown. Add garlic, onions, juniper, and mustard seed, season with salt and pepper and cook until the onions become translucent. Deglaze the pan with the cider vinegar, and the add cabbage and sugar. Turn heat to low, and stir the mixture occasionally until the cabbage mixture is dry and translucent, about 20-25 minutes. Cover and keep warm until plating.

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Place a cast-iron skillet on the oven’s middle rack and preheat the oven to 450F. Place potatoes in a large pot of water, and add 2 Tbls kosher salt. Bring water to a boil, and reduce to a simmer to blanch potatoes until tender, about 8-10 minutes. Drain the potatoes in a colander and let them cool slightly. Add the potatoes to the preheated skillet, and drizzle with a Tbsp of olive oil. Add the garlic and rosemary to the potatoes with a generous sprinkling of salt and pepper, and toss. Roast for 20 minutes or until golden brown. Roasting and plating the pork Preheat oven to 400F. Season the pork with fresh cracked pepper (no need for salt because of the brining). Heat the oil in a large ovenproof sautÊ pan over medium-high heat until the oil is simmering hot. Place pork in pan and sear on all sides. Add the butter, and thyme. Place pan in oven and roast until an instant read thermometer reads 120F in the center (or thickest) part of the loin after about 10 minutes. Remove pork from the oven and baste with the browned butter and thyme. Place on a cutting board and allow to rest at least 10 minutes. Place cabbage on the plate. Divide roast potatoes and pickled apples evenly among each plate. Slice each piece of pork into 4-5 even pieces and arrange atop the cabbage and potatoes. Drizzle the spiced wine reduction over the top of the pork and garnish with baby red mustard greens.


Giving ‘Incredible’ New Meaning

Hey foodies, what’s the most incredible, delicious, unique culinary creation you’ve experienced lately? Well, if you haven’t been to Kozara Lounge, the answer is, ‘Nothing.’ Treat yourself, or that special someone, to Wilson Wang’s latest innovation in Asian Fusion eclectic dining: Kozara Lounge.

301 Park Avenue, Worcester, MA 01609 508-762-9213 www.kozaralounge.com Reservations recommended


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Rovezzi’s has always been known as the ultimate in fine Italian dining, but many may not know about our fresh, hand-made pastas. With our comfortable atmosphere and personal attention, Rovezzi’s is the perfect meeting place for a casual dinner or that important business meeting. If you don’t see exactly what you’re craving on the menu, just ask our chef to customize a dish to satisfy your appetite. Rovezzi’s Restorante - “Buon Appetito Miei Amici”

Located at the corner of Rt. 20 and School Street Sturbridge, MA • 508-347-0100 www.rovezzis.com


6HFUHWVWR*OXWHQ)UHH6XFFHVV ‡7UDYHOZLWKVQDFNV ‡$VNTXHVWLRQV ‡'RZHHNO\PHDOSODQQLQJ ‡(DWZKROHSODQWEDVHGIRRGV ‡%HJUDWHIXO 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!

Would like to thank Chef Enrico Giovanello of Avellino for his Campari and Frangelico recipes. Stop in today and try them!

Email support@glutenfreediva.com to inquire about private and group coaching programs.

www.glutenfreediva.com

Advertise with Foodies of New England 508-479-1171

502 Main Street Sturbridge, MA 01518 508-347-2321 www.avellinorestaurant.com

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Café de Boston Brings Europe to the Hub Written by Jodie Lynn Boduch Photography by Scott Erb and Donna Dufault

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he menus across the Boston dining scene are dotted with European influences—French bistro fare, Asian fusion cuisine, and of course, Italian gastronomy in abundance. Most of the city’s dining experiences, however, are stylistically American. Levent Berksan sought to change that when he opened Café de Boston. Berksan, who grew up in Istanbul, Turkey, introduced the European “marketplace eatery” concept to the Financial District in 2011. Freshness and variety, welcome to your ideal format: several made-to-order and self-serve stations where customers select exactly what they want, how much they want, can mix and match offerings, and can request modifications. Customers also have the option to either dine on site or opt for takeout.

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Executive Chef Sezar Yavuz

The location is no accident. “It’s particularly fitting in the Financial District of Boston,” Berksan said, “where people are on-the-go and in need of fast, scratch-made food that’s a good value and tastes great.” With change comes reaction—and the reaction to this new-to-Boston concept has been very favorable. Berksan notes that some people are surprised to discover so much global food under one roof; sometimes they don’t know where to begin (that’s a good thing!) And Café de Boston doesn’t just appeal to the corporate crowd. Families find it convenient for children because there are so many options, parents can please many different wee palates all in one place. All this variety keeps Executive Chef Sezar Yavuz, who has run kitchens in high-profile hotels in Paris, Saudi Arabia, and Turkey, very busy indeed. It’s quite the team effort to create so much from-scratch food each day. When asked about his hiring criteria, Berksan responds that “it takes a talented staff that can multitask, stay organized, and be on their toes. I look for smart chefs that can take direction and turn out delicious food. It’s also helpful if they have a background in several global cuisines.”

Above: Café de Boston Dessert Tray Pictured at left: Humus, Muhammara, Tabouleh, Couscous, Black Bean Salad

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continued from page 43

The create-your-own salad bar is the most popular station. Their selfserve meze bar is also a customer favorite, with Mediterranean-inspired hot and cold dishes, including stuffed grape leaves, zucchini fritters, chickpea salad, and eggplant musakka. Café de Boston also does more than just lunch. They open at 7:00am and have fresh breakfast options that include scrambled eggs, steel-cut oatmeal, corned beef hash, home fries and buttermilk pancakes as well as the café’s signature Mediterranean breakfast of feta, olives, Greek yogurt, homemade organic oat granola, muesli, and hardboiled eggs. As for Berksan, his favorites are the traditional Turkish items like the kebabs, muhammara (a red pepper dip) and falafel because they remind him of home. “And since I’m always on the go,” he added, “I love the breakfast egg sandwiches and the strong coffee that we bring in straight from Turkey.” The most rewarding aspect of owning the restaurant, Berksan says, is seeing familiar faces that have made Café de Boston part of their daily routine. “I think it speaks to the extensive menu and the high quality that we deliver – it’s never boring for them to return time and again, as they always have so many new options to try,” he said. They say you can’t have it all, but in terms of dining options, Café de Boston comes pretty close.

Owner Levent Berksan

Café de Boston 75 Federal Street Boston, MA 02110 617.482.1006 www.cafedeboston.com

Strawberry Banana Crepe with Chocolate Sauce

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Photos courtesy of paulsrobinsonphotography.com

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Andrea Restaurant “…a place that can’t go away.” Written by Christine Whipple Photography by Scott Erb and Donna Dufault

T

here was a sign leaning against a house (which looked uninhabitable) that read Andrea Restaurant. Being an intrigued, unabashed food writer, I proceeded to knock on the door. In a cozy kitchen, Michelle Colucci explained that yes, the sign belonged to her family, and we began our storied visit.

“Everyone along the shoreline took the warnings seriously,” explained Michelle, when asked about Hurricane Sandy. “We followed the storm via the weather channel and prepared accordingly.

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We emptied our inventory from walk-ins to refrigerated rental trucks and emptied our basement storage to rented moving vans. Computers, electronics, and furniture were moved to the second and third floors of the hotel. The last step was to move ourselves to higher ground.” “I’m not sure we were supposed to be out on the shore the morning after the storm, but we were there. We surveyed that terrible damage. Every business on Atlantic Avenue was affected by the storm.” Sun Reporter Cynthia Drummond remained on Misquamicut Beach during Sandy, detailing moments such as the one on October 29th, at 3:45 pm: “twenty-five foot breakers are hitting the Andrea porch and bouncing through the Andrea windows.” The next day, the Westerly Sun displayed an aerial photo of the Andrea Hotel, “…totally destroyed by hurricane Sandy…the entire back portion ripped open and exposed.” “Help was immediate,” Colucci said. “Our community was amazing. Old employees, past customers, and total strangers came and did not leave until Misquamicut was whole again.” The Chamber of Commerce and Misquamicut Business Association were exceptionally helpful, quickly becoming one collaborative force rather than two business groups. “A lot of the damage caused by the hurricane is not covered by insurance, these groups were champions in helping us raise the money we initially needed.” I asked if there were memorable moments that made the rebuilding process easier. “We had countless family meetings and debates over the winter about creating a new facility layout. We laughed about potentially starting out with a food truck. At one point, my mom handed everyone, including the children, a piece of paper and asked us to draw what they thought the Andrea continued on page 48

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should look like. We knew we would need to park cars, provide entertainment, and—for this first season—room for a tent. My sister Rebecca’s and my drawings—which were very similar— were combined into one.” She continued, “There was never a moment that we questioned rebuilding. This is our job. Rebecca and I sat down and had a long conversation about the business. We talked about what we liked and didn’t like about running a restaurant together. In the end, we decided that we love what we do: it has defined our family for over 60 years and without it we would be lost.” The Colucci Family has owned the Andrea restaurant and hotel and for 3 generations, since 1946. The fourth is ready to help. The menu, “Casual American, with an emphasis on seafood,” reflects a wide variety of seafood, including customer favorites like sea scallops. Burgers, chicken, soft tacos, soups and salads are also available. Each month throughout the summer you will find entertainment under the tent and on the veranda,

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where the fireplace is always warming the night air. One customer, on an unusually chilly July evening, said, “This is our Thursday spot. We eat, listen to music, dance, and are glad to support the rebuilding of a place that can’t go away.” The restaurant is open from Easter weekend through Columbus Day weekend. To make reservations at the Andrea Restaurant, 89 Atlantic Avenue, Westerly, you can email info@andreahotel. com or call 401-348-8788.

Hurt and Heart for Foodies Hurricane Sandy devastated New York and New Jersey. What much of New England did not know is that parts of Southern New England were beaten, battered and destroyed. During the aftermath, New England Communities came quickly to the aid of coastal communities, pulling families and businesses out of stunned disbelief as they surveyed what they lost. Foodies will introduce you to a few New England families and restaurants over our next few issues. We hope that you’ll join us in supporting our Food community and the families who make food part of the fabric of their lives.


“History of...”

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

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

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Cinnamon


Unless you live under Plymouth Rock (hey, we discuss Thanksgiving in this issue), you’re familiar with cinnamon. Think of the strong and deeply-fragrant spice as a relative who shows up with his bags every fall. You tell him to make himself at home, and cinnamon is so versatile, such a help in the kitchen, that you invite him to extend his stay right through the winter. Apple pies, poached pears, oatmeal cookies, coffee cake: cinnamon has bakers everywhere wrapped around his little finger, and he knows it. Now that is a cozy spice.

Bark, Bite, and Boom Cinnamon is cultivated from the inner bark of a small evergreen tree. Its name, derived from the Arabic and Hebraic amomon, means “fragrant spice plant.” Cinnamon sticks resemble little tubes, which is exactly what the Italian term for it (canella, from their word for cannon) signifies. Speaking of cannons, next time you find yourself humming the theme from “Bridge Over the River Kwai,” pause mid-hum to remember how you learned from this article that “kwai” is the Cantonese word for cinnamon. The spice’s (tree) roots are in Sri Lanka. Ceylon cinnamon, therefore, is considered the ‘true’ cinnamon. It’s also pricey and rare, with a milder flavor and scent than the kind that comes to stay at your house each fall. This, the most common commercial variation, is cassia tree cinnamon. There are also a multitude of wild cinnamon trees throughout the world. As for climate, cinnamon likes it tropical and grows well in Southeast Asia, South America, and the West Indies.

An Imperial Spice Cinnamon, prized in many cultures throughout history, has always been one of the cool kids. Its preservative properties are the result of bacteria-inhibiting phenols that prevent spoilage. This came in handy in Ancient Egypt, where it was used as part of the embalming process. On a more palatable note, these same properties have made it useful for preserving meat in pre-refrigeration days. The strong-smelling spice also helped mask odors of mummies and meats alike. The Romans valued cinnamon as well—about 15 times the value of silver per weight, according to Pliny the Elder in the first century. Emperor Nero, who was a few marble pillars short of stability, burned cinnamon as a sign of remorse after offing his wife. Cinnamon played a significant role in Europe’s expansion into Asia and was the Dutch East India Company’s most profitable spice by the 17th century. After seizing Ceylon from the Portguese, the Dutch got really bossy about their new prize. Not only did they demand excessive quotas from Ceylon’s poor continued on page 52

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Poached Cinnamon Pears Ingredients: 4 servings 4 any type pears 2 cups Burgundy wine 1 cup water * optional (1 cup your favorite white wine) 1-2 cinnamon sticks 1 whole nutmeg juice of a half of a lemon 2 tab. honey or sugar fresh mint Peel pears, slice thin piece off bottom of each pear. Combine in a 3 quart saucepan wine, water, lemon juice, cinnamon, nutmeg, honey. Cover and bring to a boil,add pears lower to simmer and cover. For very ripe pears cook for 10 min. for unripe as long as 30 min. laboring caste, but they also also bullied a king near India into letting them control the cinnamon trade. They bribed him and threatened to destroy it all if he didn’t comply. The Dutch couldn’t hang onto their prize forever, though. They lost Ceylon to the French in the Revolutionary Wars, and the French in turn lost it to England in 1795. By the mid-19th century, the discovery that cinnamon could be grown elsewhere ended the cinnamon monopoly.

Pierce with a fork to check if tender, remove from poaching liquid and serve warm or cool. Sprinkle pears with cinnamon sugar, top with mint sprig and serve on a bed of pomegranate seeds. For a festive twist place on top of your favorite ice cream or yogurt.

Don’t Eat the Cinnamon Cinnamon is tricky to spell for some, hard to say for others (well, for tiny kiddos, anyway—go ahead, ask a 3-year-old to pronounce it), and it’s even harder to swallow. Here’s what not to do with cinnamon: In recent years, a YouTube-inspired phenomenon known as the ‘cinnamon challenge’ has surfaced. Powdered cinnamon has a pungent flavor and smell, and it dries up the mouth--all factors that make it very difficult to swallow. The ‘challenge’ is an attempt to swallow a tablespoon of cinnamon in less than a minute. Few people succeed, and many who try end up in the ER. Some have even ended up on ventilators or with collapsed lungs. In small doses and appropriate forms, however, cinnamon is valued for medicinal uses. In medieval times, it was used cinnamon in medicines to treat sore throats, coughing, and hoarseness. It’s also widely avaiable today vitamin form as a metabolic supplement. Now, back to your autumn house guest: he leaves a messy kitchen behind, so make sure you stay on top of him for that. Otherwise, enjoy cinnamon’s oh-so-flavorful visit.

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Food stylists: Dona Bourgery and Susan Barba


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Better Brick Pizza Place Written by David G. Kmetz Photography by Scott Erb and Donna Dufault

P

izza. Over the last century it has been southern Italy’s gift to the world, and what could be simpler? Fresh dough, tomato sauce and cheese topped with a few herbs and a drizzle of olive oil. And yet, even in its most basic guise, so many places get it wrong. Flabby wet crust, overly sweet sauce, tasteless tomatoes, rubbery cheese and overdone toppings…all from a modest temperature oven. Sound familiar? In spite of all the diverse culinary artisans New England has to offer, it’s still littered with the dried, dead crusts of pies that never reached pizza Nirvana. For shame!

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But all is not lost. Rising from the ashes of yet another pizza parlor parody comes Anzio’s. Located in North Grafton, it was founded just last summer by husband and wife team Todd and Kathleen Harrington. Though modest in scale, it’s as worthy of the word “palace” as any pizza emporium in the northeast. Everything is made fresh daily, from the sauce and toppings to the dough, which, Todd admits, took a few attempts to test, adjust, refine, reject and perfect. Todd and Kathleen are from Connecticut and New Jersey, respectively; he grew up just south of New Haven and was hence smitten by Pepe’s, a local legendary pizza parlor, and it remains the inspiration for Anzio’s today. And Kathleen hails from another pizza Mecca in northern Jersey where good crisp pies are the rule and who died and made you boss, eh?

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Having moved to the area with an extensive background in the food service business nearly 15 years ago, Todd and Kathleen searched the regional landscape for top quality pizza joints in the area (as per their definition) and found none. Their immediate reaction: “Hey, there’s a void here. Let’s fill it!” So they set about finding a worthy location for the pizza business they had in mind. After months of searching and several dead ends, Todd got a call back from the landlord of a recently failed pizza place. It was mostly a turn-key and that loss was the Harrington’s gain—they could fit it out to their liking—and in August 2012, Anzio’s was born. Now firing on all cylinders, Anzio’s has a serious brick oven from Baker’s Pride, capable of 700°F, that ensures a great crust. To this native New York writer, the crust and sauce are spot on—crusty with a nice char, not heavy or oily but rather chewy and delicious. Perhaps the most iconic New Haven style pizza is the Bianco Special Clam, a highlight for Anzio’s. Clams, evoo, garlic, oregano, mozzarella and a homemade garlic cream sauce, it’s superbly crafted and savory throughout every bite. Besides specialty pizzas and specific customer requests, they also offer daily slice specials for lunch between 11:30am and 2:30pm—two large slices of either cheese or pepperoni, plus any drink from the fridge for $5.99 and $6.99 respectively. There is also a fine assortment of appetizers, calzones, panini, pastas, salads and desserts, again, made fresh every day. One of the more rustic appetizers is the Artisan Flatbread topped with olive oil—fresh herbs, mozzarella, arugula, and prosciutto drizzled with a vintage balsamic glaze. Magnifico! Last fall, Anzio’s received a beer and wine license. All the wines are Italian and offered by the glass and the bottle. Reasonably priced, the list includes

reds such as Montecepas Cabernet Sauvignon and Malbec, Botter Merlot and whites from Bellissima Via Veneto Pinot Grigio and Botter Chardonnay. While draft brews include Sam Adams Seasonal, Blue Moon, Wachusett Green Monster, Dogfish Head IPA and most recently Ithaca Flower Power IPA. Pricing is very reasonable. Given the quality of the ingredients and the careful prep and craft involved, it’s a bargain in many cases. Small classic 12-inch pies start at $9.95, large 18-inch pies at $12.95 and even with the works no pie tops $19. Panini cost under $8 and salads range from $6 to $8. In addition to a full menu, Anzio’s offers on-site and off-site catering, serving roughly 20 guests in-house and as many as 100 off-site. Full and half trays of assorted Italian specialties are featured, such as panini, lasagna, manicotti, chicken and eggplant parmesan. If you crave truly great New York/New Haven style pizza or just want to learn what all the buzz is about, there’s no need to drive at least two hours to get your fix. Anzio’s Brick Oven Pizza 135 Westboro Road North Grafton, MA 01536 508.839.4900 www.anziosbrickovenpizza.com

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Gluten Free

Written by Ellen Allard Gluten Free Diva www.glutenfreediva.com 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!

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Chocolate: A never ending love affair The mere mention of chocolate and I begin to swoon. It’s a love affair that started a long time ago and I’m as smitten now as I was when that first piece of chocolate crossed my lips. So when Foodies of New England gave me the choice to do my piece about chocolate or something else, there was only one direction for this Gluten Free Diva to head. Honestly, I can’t even remember what the something else was because as soon as I heard that chocolate was an option—well, say no more. You might be asking yourself whether you even have to worry if chocolate is gluten free. The simple answer is that if you’re following a gluten free diet, and if you’re compliant, then everything you eat needs to be verified gluten free. I know, ugh. It’s almost like taking on a fulltime job, figuring out what is and isn’t gluten free (PLUG: that’s where my health coaching comes in very handy! Need help going gluten free or staying gluten free, let me know!) For now, there’s only happy talk when chocolate is part of the conversation, assuming it’s gluten free chocolate. Wait, I can tell. You’re still wondering how gluten and chocolate could be part of the same sentence. I can tell. I’ve seen that look on the face of others who wonder how they will ever survive without their beloved chocolate. Simple rule of thumb: always check with the manufacturer. Plain and simple. You never know whether the chocolate you’re eating was processed on a line that had other foods containing gluten, in which case cross-contamination is a huge possibility; or it might be sweetened with barley malt, which contains gluten. Funny thing is, despite my unbridled over-the-moon love of chocolate, since cleaning up my diet by going gluten free and focusing on greens and grains and fruits and beans, my sweet tooth has diminished enormously. But then again, there does come a time when a little bit of chocolate is just the ticket. So, here I am, your very own Gluten Free Diva. Wanna a ride on the chocolate train?


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Chocolate Almond Joy Bars Ingredients: 1 c. almond flour 1/3 c. coconut sugar 1/3 c. coconut oil, liquified 1/2 dropper of vanilla creme stevia (I use Sweet Leaf) 1 egg, beaten 1/2 tsp vanilla extract 1/4 tsp. sea salt 1/4 c. finely chopped pecans 1 c. chocolate chips, melted 1/2 c. moderately chopped pecans dash of cinnamon Mix almond flour, coconut sugar, coconut oil, vanilla crème stevia, egg, vanilla extract, sea salt and ¼ cup finely chopped pecans and blend thoroughly. Bake 350 degrees for 20 minutes. Melt chocolate chips over double boiler. Remove from pan and place in bowl. If the chocolate mixture doesn’t seem that spreadable, add a teaspoon (or more) of coconut oil to it before spreading on the baked bars. Mix with pecans and a dash of cinnamon. Spread over baked cookie mixture with offset spatula. Remove from the oven, place on a cooling rack. Once it has reached room temperature, cut into squares and then place in freezer. It tastes best right out of the freezer, though watch those teeth! Adapted from Shirley Braden’s recipe for Dark Chocolate Walnut Bliss Bars. I omitted the gluten free all purpose flour, coconut flour and walnuts and replaced them with almond flour and pecans. I also added cinnamon as I think that cinnamon and chocolate are a marriage made in heaven.

Chocolate Cookie Dough Milkshake Ingredients: 2 c. unsweetened almond milk 1 tbsp vanilla extract 2 tsp unsulphured molasses 5 pitted medjool dates 1 frozen banana 2 tbsp chia seeds ¼ c. almond butter ½ tsp cinnamon 4 tsp cocoa powder 1 tbsp agave syrup 8 ice cubes Place all ingredients in heavy duty blender (I used a Vitamix) and blend until smooth.

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Chocolate Orange Mousse with Date Nut Crust Ingredients: Crust: 1/2 c. walnuts 1/2 c. pecans pinch sea salt 3/4 c. pitted medjool dates 1/2 tsp cinnamon Put all in food processor, mix until very crumbly. Set aside. Mousse: 12 oz chocolate chips (I used Trader Joe’s dairy free) 1 tsp vanilla extract 1 tbsp agave syrup 1 tbsp orange liqueur, optional 4 drops wild orange doTERRA** essential oil, optional 1 14-oz package silken tofu (shelf stable kind) Melt chips in double boiler. When melted, remove from heat and add vanilla extract and agave syrup, and optional orange liquor and doTERRA Wild Orange essential oil. Mix until well blended. Set aside. Put tofu in food processor and blend until smooth. Add chocolate mixture and blend until smooth. Press the reserved date mixture into individual tart pans with removable bottoms. Use your fingers to press the mixture on the bottom and up the sides of the tart pan. Pour some of the mousse mixture into each pan. Chill until thoroughly cold.

Chocolate Chip Scones Adapted from glutenfreegoddess.com

Dry ingredients: ¾ c. Jules Gluten Free Flour ¼ c. sorghum flour ½ c. potato starch ¼ millet flour ¼ c. almond flour ½ c. coconut sugar 2 tsp. baking powder ½ tsp. baking soda 1 tsp. xanthan gum 1 tsp. cinnamon ¾ tsp. sea salt 1 c. chocolate chips

Wet ingredients: 2 large eggs ¼ c. melted coconut oil ½ dopper Vanilla Crème Stevia (I use Sweet Leaf brand) 1 tsp. vanilla extract ½ c. almond milk 1 tsp. lemon juice or apple cider vinegar

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Cover a large rectangular baking pan with parchment paper. Combine dry ingredients, mixing thoroughly. In a separate bowl, whisk wet ingredients, blending well. Add wet ingredients to dry ingredients, blending thoroughly. It will be a little sticky. Pour onto parchment paper. Using lightly floured hands, shape into flattened disk. Score into 6 triangles with floured knife. Bake 15 minutes or until golden.

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Shy Brothers Farm A Unique Massachusetts Dairy Written by Peggy Bridges Photography by Scott Erb and Donna Dufault

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leisurely drive through the scenic town of Westport, Massachusetts will take you past quaint Cape-style homes with weathered clapboard siding and blue hydrangeas adorning the front yards. With the faint smell of salty air from the nearby ocean, the area also boasts beautiful vistas of ďŹ elds and farms that were established long ago. One of them is Shy Brothers Farm.

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Owned and operated by a team of four brothers, who are actually two sets of twins, the Shy Brothers Farm is a one of only two remaining dairy farms in Westport and it produces some unique and award-winning soft cheeses. Their Hannahbells® and Cloumage® are both artisanal specialty cheeses with a lactic tang that makes them outstanding accompaniments to everything from salads to desserts. Most notably, Cloumage has recently become all the rage at some top New York City, Boston and Providence restaurants, such as Il Buco Alimentari & Vineria of New York City, Deuxave of Boston, and Chez Pascal of Providence. Recipes are being fashioned with the artisanal curd by chefs in Philadelphia, Newport and Cape Cod as well. With the help of their friends Barbara Hanley and Leo Brooks, the Santos brothers are committed to continuing the dairy farm that their family started three generations ago. As the sale of milk has become decreasingly profitable due to government regulation, the Shy brothers have delved into cheese-making to save the farm and maintain the family tradition they value so much. To ensure that they approached the cheese-making endeavor properly, they even traveled to Europe to receive training on how to make cheeses using an authentic European

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process. Their cheese-making operation is overseen by Karl, the youngest of the four brothers, who has a remarkable ability to identify the smells, tastes and consistencies that are key in determining the precise flavor and character of both the Hannahbells and Cloumage cheeses. The duties that make up the comprehensive farming operation are divided between the four brothers. Before Karl oversees the cheese production, the mechanical maintenance of the farm and equipment is taken care of by Kevin; Arthur does basic repairs and feeds the cows that produce the precious milk; and Norman handles the daily milking of the cows. Karl, Kevin, Arthur and Norman all love farming and are great at “jumping in and getting it done.” As each brother focuses on what he does best, together, they happily pursue a labor of love. Shy Brothers Farm cheeses can be purchased online or at a number of regional purveyors in MA, RI, CT, NH, VT, NY and NJ that are also listed on the website. Shy Brothers Farm 1325 Main Road Westport Point, MA 02791 508.333.2626 www.shybrothersfarm.com


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“The Shy Brothers have delved into cheese-making to save the farm and maintain the family tradition they value so much.�

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flavors include Strawberry with Thai Long Pepper, Willd Maine Blueberry, and Burnt Maine Honey. You will not wax nostalgic for your basic soda floats after tasting the whimsical soda flavors at Duckfat, which are entirely made in-house. Basic soda flavors like orange, root beer, and tonic have special spices added to them to give them a whole new flavor. Think Orange Crush with a touch of sweet saffron or Maine Tonic with a splash of raw cider vinegar, honey, and maple. Duckfat’s large fan base loves the restaurant’s famous duck fat fries. What sets them apart? “We use classic Belgian fry technique which involves double frying. We also cut all of our fries in-house. A lot of work and care is what I believe is our secret,” said Evans. As for this award-winning chef’s favorite menu item, it’s the corned beef tongue sandwich—they ferment their own sauerkraut and dressing. In fact, everything at Duckfat is made in-house (with the exception of the bread). The Charcuterie items such as terrines and salamis are new every day and among the few things not available for takeout. With locally grown products and a quirky menu that will make you wonder what else Rob has up his sleeve, Duckfat will give you an experience that makes others green with envy. Duckfat 43 Middle Street Portland, ME 04101 207.774.8080 www.duckfat.com

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Serving Memories Since 1946 Remember the time when things were simpler? When you walk into Harry’s Restaurant, you’ll feel like you did growing up, walking into mom’s kitchen as the smells of home-cooked meals lingered in the air. Our friendly staff will make you feel right at home with our exceptional service and gracious hospitality as they serve up the best in breakfasts, lunches and dinners. From delicious fried clams and onion rings, to lobster rolls, soups and salads, there’s something for everyone. We even have low carb menu options for diabetics. Harry’s Restaurant - Great food, just like it used to be.

149 Turnpike Road Westborough, MA 01581 508-366-8302 www.harrysrestaurant.com

Follow us on Facebook HarrysRestaurantWestborough


Livia’s Dish Mediterranean cuisine with a new world twist Written by Sandy Lashin-Curewitz Photography by Scott Erb and Donna Dufault

odern families are so busy that baking from scratch and cooking with meats, vegetables, and fruits just off the farm seems like something belonging to a bygone era. Visit Livia’s Dish, and find a foodie oasis—a place that travelers remember and locals prize. Chef Enton Mehillaj and his wife, Oriola Koci, love to cook and try new foods at home with their two daughters. Their youngest, Livia, is an adventurous eater who inspired the name of this congenial eatery—her parents’ first business venture. These young entrepreneurs exude determination, a passion for Italian and Mediterranean-inspired food, and for the people they serve. They shop frequently at local farms and producers for fresh meats and seafood, dairy, produce, herbs, and spices. Everything is made or baked in-house. The food is so fresh, Chef Mehillaj cut the power to the walk-in freezer, and there is no microwave at Livia’s.

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“People can follow a recipe at home, but when they go out, they want more,” says Chef Mehillaj, a 2013 Worcester’s Best Chef competitor. A chef with a designer’s sensibility, he believes that presentation is a crucial ingredient, and no dish leaves the kitchen without his creative touch. Menus are designed with care and with an element of surprise. Dinner entrees include pasta three ways, a filet of roasted salmon, and the steak comes in tips, the chicken in roulades, and the lamb on a shank. See the Livia’s Dish Facebook page before you go to find exclusive specials and wine pairings. For lunch, panini come thick, meticulously layered, and bursting with flavor. Tuscan steak and Provolone; grilled vegetable, a succulent mix of eggplant, zucchini, summer squash, Portobello mushroom, and roasted tomato; roast turkey with fresh spinach and creamy parmesan; and grilled chicken with mozzarella, marinated tomato, and pesto. Choose also from 8-ounce burgers, salads, and substantial lunch entrees. Chicken and Vegetable Stack; Chicken Paillardes sandwiched between grilled eggplant, squash, tomatoes, and portobello’s with a light garlic and white wine sauce

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Dessert lovers must sample the flaky chocolate Panini, juicy chocolate strawberry skewers, or indulge in a homemade cannoli. To make Livia’s Dish even more inviting, Mehillaj and Koci decided to open for breakfast. “We saw a need for an upscale breakfast with fresh ingredients at an affordable price,” said Koci, and the food delivers. Light, fluffy pancakes and waffles and broken egg breakfast panini are gratifying alternatives to Worcester’s prevalent diner fare. Word spread, and in the mornings, the parking lot is packed with the vehicles of Livia’s regulars. “I love making omelets, and we offer eggs Benedict—with a twist—every day,” says Chef Mehillaj. He dresses his “Not Quite Eggs Benedict” with focaccia, Prosciutto, and his own Hollandaise. The Mediterranean is a prime example of Chef Mehillaj’s omelet magic: a precise melding of airy eggs, fresh spinach, roasted peppers, feta cheese, and salty, vibrant Kalamata olives.

Chef Enton Mehillaj and his wife Oriola Koci The Mediterranean; Fresh Spinach, Roasted Peppers, Kalamata Olives and Feta Cheese

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Braised Lamb Shank; Braised Long and Slow with Port Wine, Fresh Vegetables, Roasted Garlic

Chocolate Panini; Creamy Mascapone Cheese and Dark Chocolate Pressed on a Buttery Croissant

The care that Mehillaj and Koci have for their customers and the fare they prepare led them to become WooFoodcertifed (a city-wide effort to eat out healthy, begun by three University of Massachusetts Medical School students). “We don’t skip the indulgent dishes,” says Koci, but, they do offer a number of more healthful options—egg whites, fruit instead of fries, and they will wrap up half your meal prior to serving; just ask. The team at Livia’s Dish serves food that tantalizes foodies of all ages, and they welcome customers into their family—a family you will want to visit often. Livia’s Dish 1394 Main Street Worcester, MA 01603 508.926.8861 www.liviasdish.com

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Pasta (and Life): 101

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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Colors of Fall... re-inspired T

he question was put to me, “How do you transform a classic Italian staple into a seasonal delight for fall in America?” So, in the spirit of playfulness AND a desire to teach people to truly enjoy cooking and not take it too seriously, I came up with a dish that showcases a classic technique of pasta making and pairs it with some flavors and colors of autumn. We all know the flavors of fall: root vegetables such as turnip, parsnip, and carrots; fall fruits like apples, cranberries, and pears; and spices like cinnamon, nutmeg, and allspice. Not to sound unappreciative for the traditions of our homeland, but isn’t it getting just a tiny bit boring? In my restaurant, every season I try to mix Italian recipes and techniques with American tradition. The dish I feature here is a great example of what I do around Thanksgiving. I take hearty handmade gnocchi and simmer them in a cream sauce with roasted butternut squash, parsnip’s and hot sausage. The sauce gets scented with a dash of nutmeg. Then I add a small handful of sun dried cranberries for sweetness and to balance the heat from the sausage. I toast the gnocchi in a nonstick pan with a bit of olive oil to give them a completely different texture. This fusion idea, mixing flavors and cultures, is surely nothing new. I recently devoured a signature maki roll comprised of tempura shrimp, sweet potatoes, and roasted turnips all rolled up in sticky rice wrapped in seaweed. The combination was fantastic! When teaching folks how to cook my goal is ALWAYS to take as much fear out of the process as possible. Once I can get someone to master the fundamentals…for example, making fresh gnocchi… where they go from there is limitless. The key is to surround yourself with quality ingredients (local whenever possible!) and just have fun. The next time you find yourself standing over a counter full of ingredients that you have gathered for a traditional “holiday “ meal, pull out your favorite ethnic cookbook and start to experiment. Replace items from the recipes with things on your table. Turkey Parmigianno? Fettucini with pumpkin alfredo sauce? Green bean casserole layered atop veal scallopini?... Hey, I’d eat that!


Gnocchi recipe Ingredients: 6 medium potatoes (russet or any baking potato) 1 1/2 whole nutmegs, pods grated 1 tablespoon salt pepper 1 egg yolk 1 cup ricotta cheese 1 cup semolina flour 2 cups flour DIRECTIONS Preheat the oven to 425°F Bake the potatoes for an hour until they are crispy on the outside and fluffy on the inside. Let cool. Remove the insides with a spoon and mash them, using a potato ricer or a fork, until they are very smooth. Place the potatoes in a bowl and add the nutmeg, salt, a pinch of pepper, the egg yolk, and the ricotta. Mix these together to combine. Then place the mixture in the bowl of a stand mixer and, using the paddle attachment, add the flour on low-medium speed. Once the mixture has come together, remove it from the bowl and cut into fist-size balls. Let rest for 2 hours in the refrigerator, uncovered. Spread the semolina flour in an even layer on a clean smooth surface. Roll a ball in the palms of your hands and then form it into a rope about the width of a cigar. Cut each of these ropes into 1-inch pieces, the size of your knuckle (nocca in Italian). To cook, drop the gnocchi into salted boiling water. When the gnocchi float, they are done.

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Eleven 14 Chocolate Bar


BEST in FOODIE TRAILS

Extraordinary Chocolate, Extraordinary Chocolate Lab Written by Julie Grady Thomas Photography by Scott Erb and Donna Dufault

Excellent cuisine simply boils down to chemistry, but the crafty chocolatiers at Chocolate Lab don’t just preach it, they live by it. From Bean to Bar The folks at Chocolate Lab have a mission: “to celebrate the cocoa bean-to-chocolate bar journey by means of creating innovative chocolate items that uplift and bring joy to cocoa farmers, chocolate consumers, and the artisans who create these items.” And the joy won’t stop there. You can feel good about every bite because Chocolate Lab is fair trade focused.

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Traditionally, chocolate hasn’t always been made in its country of origin; cocoa beans cultivated in one part of the globe traveled to another before being made into the heavenly substance we know as chocolate. Such trade practices have caused disparity in the agrarian economies where cocoa originates. To combat this, Chocolate Lab uses single-origin chocolates, many of which are manufactured entirely in their cocoa-growing countries of origin. Through showcasing companies that support fair practices, Chocolate Lab connects New England consumers directly to cocoa farmers from around the globe, which essentially means a redistribution of value in those agrarian communities. Price premiums can be realized as well as secure price stability, all of which helps contribute to a better product and a better lifestyle. It’s “beyond fair trade.”

Say Enchanté to Chef François Kwaku-Dongo Chocolate Lab shares the same top culinary master as the eleven14 Kitchen, and he is just as captivating as he is talented.

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Chef François Kwaku-Dongo has a 10,000-watt smile and an impressive C.V., but frankly that’s an understatement on both accounts. He’s perhaps most known for is his six-year stint as the Executive Chef at Wolfgang Puck’s Spago in the early 90s, but before Los Angeles was New York, and before New York was his grandmother’s cocoa farm in Cote d’Ivoire. Hailing from a country with an estimated 2 million cocoa farms, it’s no surprise that he’s passionate about chocolate, but his journey to Chocolate Lab wasn’t exactly planned.

Back in Cote d’Ivoire, his grandmother was ahead of her time—she urged that her grandchildren attend school. Eventually François found himself in New York City studying literature at Borough College and working nights cleaning restaurants. Soon he was offered a position as a part-time prep cook, then a line cook, then sous chef, and the rest is history. Of course that’s the abridged version. François worked his way up quickly through restaurants such as Alo Alo, Remi, Chinois on Main, and Postrio. He has also traveled the globe learn-


ing Japanese cuisine in Japan with Chef Makoto Tanaka and French cuisine in France with Chef Marc Meneau at L’Esperance in Saint-Pere-sousVezelay, Chef Bernard Loiseau at La Côte d’Or in Saulieu, and at L’Oustau de Baumaniere in Les Baux-de-Provence, and at Troisgros in Roanne. In addition to his work at the eleven14 Kitchen and Chocolate Lab, François serves as the culinary director for The Omanhene Cocoa Bean Company, an organization that produces premium, fair trade chocolate products and distributes them around the world.*

I’ll Have Everything Chocolate Lab is truly an experience. But, be warned, the menu is vast. Pace yourself. With the help of Chef Didier Berlioz, who oversees the desserts for the eleven14 Kitchen, Chocolate Lab offers sweet treats from impeccable candies and truffles to macrons, meringues, and gelato. With on-site facilities guests can actually witness the magic that goes into creating just about every item on the menu. There’s something for the traditional, the adventurous, and even the non-chocolate lover. Chocolate croissants, scones, sugar brioche, and other pastries are served from 6:30am to noon, while linzer tarts, fresh fruit tarts, and giant chocolate chip cookies are available from

Chef Didler Berlioz and Chef Francois Kwaku-Dongo

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11:00am to 9:00pm. There are always truffles, chocolate candies, and an assortment of gelato (be sure to try the 80% Omanhene dark chocolate, the pistachio stracciatella, or the winter pear). Or, you can dive into a chocolate waterfall with skewers of fresh strawberries, homemade marshmallows, or homemade gelato bars. Just as remarkable as the chocolate offered is the extensive selection of teas and coffees, all of which are brewed to order. The loose-leaf teas feature everything from Earl Grey to Assam and the oolong Phoenix Honey, but perhaps more intriguing are the rare loose teas such as the green Buyokuro and the oolong Tung Ting. Reliable herbal infusions Rooibos and Lavender Mint round out the menu. The coffee and espresso here are top notch, and it isn’t just due to the ristretto shots that guarantee that luscious crema. The baristas are incredibly informed, passionate, and well trained when it comes to the range of singleorigin, direct, or fair trade beans. Delicate and nuanced, each variety has its own story and journey from bean to cup and is enhanced according to your method of choice—the classic pourover method or the chemistry-inspired siphon method. And this is just a glimpse of the menu. Possibly the best advice is to be bold, try something new. The chefs, the baristas, and the staff are there to guide you. Be sure to take advantage…and take your sweet tooth. *The biographical information used in this article was researched and written thanks in part to The Omanhene Cocoa Bean Company. To find out more about them and Chef François Kwaku-Dongo, visit www. omanhene.com. Located inside the J House, 114 E Putnum Avenue, Greenwich, CT 06878; Tel. 203.698.6990; www.choc-lab.com; Prices are listed on the website; Open daily.

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Blaze a Trail… of Chocolate Unbeknownst to most, Connecticut offers a luscious and local Chocolate Trail, chuck full of top-notch chocolatiers, truffles, cakes, macarons, tarts, coffees, and specialty drinks. So forget vineyard hopping and pub-crawls, take the trail less traveled. Here are a few FONE favorites.

Devine Treasures – Gluten-Free, Sugar-Free and Vegan-Friendly in Manchester Vegan? Diabetic? Gluten allergy? When food restrictions strike, it can seem like a definitive condemnation into a tasteless, flavorless abyss, but don’t worry. Devine Treasures is the answer to all of your gluten-free, diabetic, and vegan prayers. Owner and Founder Diane Wagemann won’t compromise when it comes to ingredients or quality. Using organic, local ingredients free of refined sweeteners, animal products, and gluten, she takes her Quebecois grandmother’s recipes and bumps them up to meet contemporary healthy standards. Located at 404 Middle Turnpike West, Manchester, CT 06040; Tel. 860.643.2552; www.dtchocolates. com; Open Monday 11:00am to 6:00pm, Tuesday through Friday 11:00am to 7:30pm, Saturday 10:00am to 6:00pm and Sunday noon to 6:00pm.

Cocoashak – Fun and Fine Chocolate in Cheshire Mojitos, margaritas, and mint juleps… Thirsty yet? Don’t bother. In the form of one small truffle, Cocoashak can satiate just about any craving. In 2011, Chris Koshak and his wife Jennifer opened this enchanting shop where the flavor combinations are bold and the chocolate is classically handcrafted. Trained at the Culinary Institute of America, Koshak has always been intrigued by chocolate’s ability to take on a variety of flavors and that passion certainly shows up in his fearless menu. Locally sourcing as many ingredients as possible and steering clear of any artificial flavorings, Cocoashak’s philosophy is simple: Keep it fresh and keep it seasonal. But not all of their scrumptious flavor combinations are available everyday, so call ahead for menu options. Some not to miss truffles are the vegan-friendly Thai One On—complete with lemongrass and Matcha green tea—the Aztec Spicy and the Thin Mint Oreo. Located at 55 Elm Street, Cheshire, CT 06410; Tel. 203-272-2128; www.cocoashak.com; Open from Tuesday through Friday 10:00am to 6:00pm and Saturday 10:00am to 4:00pm; Order in-store and over the phone; Group tours and classes available.


Tschudin Chocolates & Confections – Family Friendly in Middletown With a children’s entrance that leads directly to the production area, Tschudin Chocolates is a dream come true for any chocolate-loving child (or parent). The café is open for birthday parties, tastings, and tours—just be sure to call in advance. And for all of you adults out there, perhaps the best news is that it’s BYOB. Truffles and bubbly, who could say no? Located at 100 Riverview Centre (on the corner of Main and Court Streets), Middletown, CT 06457; Tel. 860.759.2222; www.tschocolates.com; Open Monday through Thursday 11:00am to 9:00pm, Friday and Saturday from 11:00am to 10:00pm, Sunday from 11:00am to 8:00pm.

Hungry for More? The Connecticut Chocolate Trail is so extensive, here’s a list of other great stops: Bridgewater Chocolate Factory and Factory Store - Brookfield Deborah Ann’s Sweet Shop – Ridgefield Chocolate Rain Shop – Norwalk Knipschildt Chocolatier & Café Chocopologie – Norwalk H. Mangels Confectioner – Milford Thomson Brands – Meriden Fascia’s Chocolates – Waterbury Munson’s Chocolates – Bolton, Farmington, Glastonbury, Mystic, Orange, South Windsor, Westport, West Hartford, West Simsbury

Dianne Wagemann

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Selection of Von Trapp Cheeses


BEST in FOODIE TRAILS

The Many Paths to the

Vermont Cheese Trail Written by Kelley Lynn Kassa Photography by Scott Erb and Donna Dufault

The Vermont Cheese Trail features nearly 45 cheesemakers throughout the state. Half of these are open to the public and half are private, full working farms. We spoke with three of these private farmers and cheesemakers for their stories. Homage to a Family Legacy Sebastian von Trapp is on a mission to honor the legacy of the family farm as well as to preserve it. Based in WaitsďŹ eld, Vermont, the von Trapp Farmstead is 40 minutes from the Trapp Family Lodge and was purchased in 1959 by Werner (who was Baron von Trapp’s youngest son) and Erika von Trapp. Foodies of New England

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Sebastian von Trapp, 33, has turned what was exclusively a dairy farm into one of the premier cheese making farms in the state. “There are not many cheesemakers up here who are third-generation farmers,” said von Trapp. “Farming is over 50% of the work that goes into cheesemaking. It takes a lot of work to make the milk for the cheese.” And those cheeses are some of the best artisanal cheeses along the Vermont Cheese Trail. The von Trapp Farmstead makes several varieties; Oma (which is German for grandmother) is the original cheese made by von Trapp. It’s a washed-rind Tomme aged 60 – 90 days. Due to the size constraints of the operation, much of the Oma cheese is aged offsite, at the Cellars at Jasper Hill. Other cheeses made by von Trapp include Mt. Alice, a Camembert-style cheese that is aged for three to five weeks. It has just enough funk to be intriguing to the biggest cheese lover, while still being approachable for those just venturing into the world of high-end cheese. The last two cheeses made by von Trapp are Savage, a bold, nutty, Alpine-style cheese and Mad River Blue, a mild and approachable blue that is aged for three months.

A Dedication to One Great, Farmstead Cheese John and Janine Putnam’s farm, Thistle Hill Farm, started out with 26 Hereford cattle to sell as beef. Once the economics of raising cattle in Vermont became clear, the Putnams swapped out their entire herd for Jerseys. After a stint as just a dairy farm, the Putnams turned to cheesemaking. But they didn’t want to make just any type of cheese – they wanted a challenging, complex cheese that would delight cheese eaters and keep themselves engaged in the process. The Putnams make one single cheese—Tarentaise. They researched cheese in Switzerland, France and Italy and decid-

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ed this Alpine cheese could be made well in the climate of Pomfret, Vermont. There is truly nothing like Thistle Hill Farm’s award-winning Tarentaise. It has layers of complexity that emerge as it comes up to room temperature. Putnam’s farming and cheesemaking techniques make it softer and richer in its aroma than commercial cheeses. And it’s the only cheese in Vermont made in a traditional copper vat. “We had this vat made to our specifications and had to jump through a number of hoops to have it here at our farm,” said Putnam. “But it is a big contributor to the cheese. It doesn’t make sense to try to make an authentic Tarentaise in an inauthentic way.” The Putnams are truly dedicated to the practice of making true farmstead cheese. The cows are milked in the morning, turned to cheese, aged, and packaged all at the small farm. “We refuse to buy milk for our cheese. The milk we use comes from our herd, grazing in our pastures, eating hay we’ve harvested on our land,” said Putnam.

The Crooked Path to Crooked Mile Cheese Meet Roberta Gillott of Crooked Mile Cheese and eventually you’ll learn the crooked path she – and her family – took to get to Crooked Mile Cheese. After a stint in the Peace Corps, Roberta ended up in Alaska. Eventually, she and her family, husband John, daughter Lauren and son Benjamin, moved to Vermont and bought an old farm. As they rebuilt the farm, Lauren was reading the Little House on the Prairie books and decided she wanted an animal to milk. They decided on goats – since goat milk is very good for you – and haven’t looked back. What started as a herd of two has turned to a herd of 32. “The chemistry side of making cheese really interested me,” said Gillott. “I love doing the research on the different cultures and what gives the cheese different flavors. “


Crooked Mile Cheese makes a variety of goat cheeses, including blocks of plain chevre, blocks of chevre with cracked peppercorns, and blocks of chevre with Herbes de Provence. They also offer ginger chevre, a smooth, firm block of super fresh chevre topped with sweet and tangy ginger syrup, and roasted pepper and garlic chevre, where the smoky flavors of the roasted pepper and garlic swim in organic olive oil with the creamy block of cheese. The farm makes chevre spreads as well, coming in basil and garlic, chive and spring onion, cracked pepper, and maple. Compare Crooked Mile’s cheeses to other goat cheese and you’ll be struck by its purity and clean flavor. According to Roberta, the secret to that crisp taste is the farm’s cheesemaking process. “The goats graze in our backyard. We milk them, process and pasteurize the milk and then make the cheese within 12 hours.” You really don’t get fresher, better goat cheese than that made at Crooked Mile.

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Cheese, Glorious Cheese at the Annual Vermont Cheesemakers Festival By Kelley Lynn Kassa Each July cheese lovers from across the U.S. and the world gather at Shelburne Farms in Shelburne, Vermont, to celebrate cheese. This year’s Vermont Cheesemakers Festival featured more than 40 Vermont-based cheesemakers showcasing the wide variety of cow, goat, and sheep cheeses made throughout the state. According to Vince Razionale of Cellars at Jaspar Hill, “The festival has really evolved into a great showcase for cheesemakers. It’s a good balance between ‘civilians’ and cheesemakers.” For the price of $50, attendees could sample cheeses and artisan food products from nearly 60 other vendors. The offerings ranged from hot sauces and honeys to jerkys and jams to coffees and candies. There were also a number of Vermont-based distilleries, wineries and brewers. The event also included demonstrations and workshops on cheddaring and the seasonality of cheeses. Attending the Vermont Cheesemakers Festival is one of the best ways to get a one-day glimpse of the Vermont Cheese Trail.

John and Janie Putnam

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BEST in FOODIE TRAILS

The

Massachusetts Wine Trail Offers a Bouquet of Experiences Written by Brad Schwarzenbach Photography by Scott Erb and Donna Dufault

Quick. Think of a U.S. state that you associate with wine. Let me guess. You thought of California. However, if you’re in New England and jetting off to the opposite coast is prohibitive, there is a nascent wine trail growing in Massachusetts whose grapes are showing excellent potential.

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Let’s begin a journey down the burgeoning Massachusetts wine trail just west of Boston in Lincoln, MA. In this bucolic New England town full of beautiful hillsides you’ll find Turtle Creek Winery and its owner/winemaker Kip Kumler. Turtle Creek is an extremely small scale operation, yielding fewer than 1200 cases of wine per year. Turtle Creek doesn’t claim nor aim to be a massive tourist destination. Tastings and tours are by appointment only, and only on Sunday afternoons. The benefit of touring micro-wineries is a one-on-one and educational experience in the rudiments of winemaking. For Kumler, winemaking in the harsher climate of New England is a true challenge. In fact, the slogan for Turtle Creek is “Classic wines from noble grapes, in a dangerous neighborhood.” In this case, dangerous refers to the conditions for growing grapes. “We get about an eighth of the yield of a California winery. However, our grapes are in line with French government standards,” Kumler said. For those who visit Turtle Creek, they will find—in addition to exquisitely-crafted fine wines—the human experience that wine can create: “Wine goes with stories,” Kumler said. “It goes with people. It goes with renewing relationships. It’s magical.” continued on page 92

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Kip Kumler from Turtle Creek Winery

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Our next winery on the trail provides a more traditional wine tourism experience. From Turtle Creek, head west on Route 2 then a short hop south on 495 to Bolton, MA. As we get farther from the city the landscape becomes more rural. Get off the highway in and enjoy the rolling hills of Nashoba Valley Winery. Picnic tables populate the outdoor seating area. Inside the large wooden farmhouse are a variety of wines, spirits, beers, and foods that can be brought home or consumed on the grounds. There are tastings every day and weekend guided tours of their substantial wine-making facility. On a warm summer day, it would be easy to picture oneself in Napa while strolling the Nashoba grounds; even easier to end up spending the whole day there. However, in the fall, the landscape is quintessentially New England. Heading further west now, down I-290, get off at one of the Shrewsbury exits and into the picturesque Worcester suburbs. Go around to the small door on the side of the white house and you’ll ďŹ nd Frank Zoll toiling away in his basement.

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In addition to the wineries profiled here, the Massachusetts Farm Wineries and Growers Association is an excellent resource for wine tourism in the Commonwealth. Turtle Creek Winery For tours and tastings email reservations @turtlecreekwine.com or visit www.turtlecreekwine.com

Nashoba Valley Winery Tastings all week. Tours on Saturdays & Sundays. Visit www.nashobawinery.com

Zoll Cellars Winery For tours and tastings call 857-498-1665 or visit www.zollwine.com More information about Massachusetts wineries visit www.masswinery.com

This former pastry chef is full of energy and ideas for new wine blends that take full advantages of the grapes the area provides, as well as select imports from California and South America. Zoll also does tours and tastings by appointment only. “Any time people come to a Massachusetts winery, they’re going to get an education because what we’re doing here—with the kind of grapes we get—they’re not always familiar with,” he said. But, like most of the other winemakers in the region, Frank Zoll—a native Long Islander—is enamored with New England. “I want to bottle the essence of Connecticut, Rhode Island, Massachusetts...there’s something exciting about being able to take the product of our land and make amazing flavors. Salt from the ocean. The clean air. What I give to people is truly a reflection of this region.” With the leaves turned and the mercury falling, now is the perfect time of year to hop in the car and explore Massachusetts wineries. Foodies of New England

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“It, obviously, all begins with the rice,” Powell says. He cooks the long-grain white rice to about three-quarters done and the starches start to release. Then come the veggies. This part is key. Powell uses three kinds of squash: butternut, acorn, and buttercup. The squashes—perfectly orange and in-season—add sweet nuttiness and an abundance of color. Powell also adds finely-chopped orange bell pepper which further sweetens the dish. “The key there is that nothing in the risotto—other than the protein—can be bigger than the grains of rice.” But, it’s also at this point, that Powell reached his moment of brilliance with the dish. Here, he adds some saffron. While also bringing the level of orange to a difficult-to-believe degree, it tempers the sweetness of the vegetables and starch with an earthy umami flavor. Some heavy cream and butter are added to bind it all together and give the risotto its signature creaminess. Then, finally, the dish earns its New England badge with chunks of Maine lobster. The meat takes on the orange of the saffron and adds hints of red for a dish that looks almost too pretty to eat. The dish is topped with slices of yellow tomato and whipped truffle oil infused with a little more saffron. The result? “It should fold into the mouth and just explode with flavor. Lobster and saffron!” Powell exclaims. “That saffron is so powerful. Oh, the way it colors the rice and adds

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that savory umami taste.” He doesn’t come out and say it, but I sense real pride in Powell’s voice. “[The dish] was just something I tried. Lobster and squash can be a great combination when done right. But adding the saffron really was the key. Not only for the color, but the flavor. It provided the platform for the entire dish.” Powell says. “I will say that my unofficial taste tester was at a loss for words when they tried it.” The creativity of Powell’s Lobster Saffron Risotto permeates Twisted Fork’s entire menu. The dishes carry traditional New England ingredients but always with a slightly exotic twist that prevent them from being just more of the same. He pairs fresh mussels with Portuguese linguica. To a traditional eggs benedict he introduces crabmeat. “It’s classic food but always with a twist. We’re not a diner, but we’re not formal either. It’s a bistro atmosphere. We’ve placed our focus on the service and the always fresh food,” Powell says. “We want to be a place where you know the food will be awesome but you don’t have to wear a suit. I like to invoke memories. You know, the stuff you can’t get from fast food places.” Uncle Jay’s Twisted Fork is currently looking into a new location in the Worcester area. Call 508-892-5437 or visit http://www.unclejaystwistedfork.com for more information.


Food for Thought

The Art of Cheese-making An age-old art steeped in tradition and culture

F 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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or some people, cheese is not just a food: it’s a staple. Some practically worship it, and then there are those who don’t care much for it at all. If you’re in the worship category you probably like cheese on, or in, just about anything. It’s versatile, nutritious, and absolutely delicious! Okay, obviously I’m one of those worshipers. Perhaps it’s my French heritage, but I could eat cheese any time of the day or night, with breakfast in an omelet, crumbled atop a salad of fresh greens, or even as a dessert platter served with fresh fruit after dinner. Some cultures are famous for making cheeses and for using them in their culinary pursuits. The French and Italians are especially noted for their cheeses and the recipes in which they use them. Switzerland is also famous for producing many types of cheese. Wine and cheese are practically staples in many European cultures, which is why wine and cheese pairings are hugely popular, even here in the United States. There are subtle flavors in cheeses that complement certain wines, and vice-versa. Exploring these food relationships is a hobby for many and can be a very rewarding pastime. If you’ve decided to try our Foodie cheese trails, a little background knowledge about cheese-making might provide you with a better appreciation for the complexity of the products you’re sampling. And if you’re looking for cheeses to complement the wines you’re tasting on your Foodie wine trail, you’ll definitely benefit from some “Cheese-making 101.” The making of cheese is not just a scientific process: it’s truly an art. And what’s astounding is that there are hundreds of different cheeses made from what would seem like the same fairly simple process that begins with curdling milk, then separating the curds from the whey. To the contrary, there are myriad subtle factors that can influence the type and flavor of cheese during the cheese-making process. In fact, the process is so complex that it seemed dizzying to me when I visited the Shy Brothers Farm cheese-making operation in Westport, Massachusetts. The Santos brothers of Shy Brothers Farm are actually shy. In fact, they are two sets of hard-working fraternal twins who prefer to busy themselves with the operation of their family farm and the cheese-making business, while the selling of their cheeses and most of the contact with the outside world are handled by their good friends Barbara Hanley and Leo Brooks. From their Holstein and Ayrshire cows the Shy Brothers produce two types of soft cheese, both having a sweet, full flavor and creamy consistency that lingers wonderfully on the tongue. Their Hannahbells® (named after the Santos brothers’ mother)


are tiny little thimble-shaped cheeses made in four delicate flavors: Classic French, Lavender, Rosemary, and Shallot. When I tasted these I immediately wanted to get a bottle of dry white wine and enjoy a selection of them as an afternoon snack. Their Cloumage® is a spreadable French-style lactic curd that had me envisioning a chicken breast stuffed with it and some fresh herbs. (I share this recipe at the end of this article.) Cloumage® has actually become a sought-after commodity in numerous New York restaurants, and both Cloumage® and Hannahbells® have won

awards and been featured in publications such as the New York Times, Edible Boston, and the Wall Street Journal. After Barbara had explained the delicate and complicated process with which the Shy Brothers make their exceptional cheeses, I was much better able to appreciate the “fruits” of their labor. You’d need a professional level course and years of training to fully understand how cheese is made, so here’s a pared down version of this intricate process that varies in almost limitless ways for every cheese that is made.

Cheese-making begins with choosing the milk, which is ultimately a large determining factor in the type and flavor of the resulting cheese. There are many choices which include everything from pasteurized homogenized cow’s milk or raw cow’s milk, to goat’s milk, or even sheep’s milk. In the next steps a bacteria starter such as cultured buttermilk, yogurt, or pure culture is added to acidify the milk. The use of a starter is followed by the introduction of rennet to the solution, which contains an enzyme that essentially causes the milk to curdle, forming solids that we know as curd. At this stage it is important to achieve a “clean break” of the curd from the whey. The curd is separated from the whey using cheesecloth, the whey is discarded or removed for some other use, and the curd is then further processed in any number of ways to achieve the final desired cheese product. Many cheeses are “molded up,” meaning that a small amount of mold is added to create a particular flavor in the cheese. Some familiar types are blue cheese, gorgonzola, or Roquefort. Hard cheeses require the use of a cheese press, and some cheeses are waxed to prevent drying out during the aging process. While getting my own introduction to cheese-making at Shy Brothers Farm, I was amazed to learn that the most subtle factors can influence the flavor of the cheese. Something as seemingly insignificant as the time of day that the cows were milked to provide the usual daily supply to make their cheeses can result in a different flavor of the cheese. Environmental factors such as temperature, feed, and possibly even air quality also affect the flavor of the cheese. In fact, some believe it’s the salty sea air and chemical makeup of the grass the cows graze on that give the Shy Brothers’ Hannahbells® and Cloumage® cheeses their unique flavor. continued on page 98

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So these numerous factors and this lengthy, delicate process can yield everything from soft cheeses like mozzarella, brie or camembert, to molded cheeses like blue cheese or gorgonzola, or hard cheeses like Swiss, cheddar, asiago, or parmesan. We taste cheeses with our sense of smell, the feel of the consistency in our mouths, and of course the flavor, so take note of these things the next time you’re sampling something new to you. Regardless of what type of cheeses we choose to eat or cook with, the products we enjoy are the culmination of countless minute details and a highly sensitive process that should truly be appreciated as an art.

Whether you choose to cook with cheese or just enjoy a sampling of cheeses with crackers or fruit, each eating experience is an adventure of exploration. Try cooking with soft cheeses stuffed in meats or tossed with pasta, top a salad or a pizza with a hard shredded cheese, use cheese in a dessert recipe like a cheesecake, or assemble a platter of selected cheeses to enjoy with some elegant crackers and fruits, and perhaps a nice bottle of wine. No matter how you slice it, it’s a feast for the senses. Source: www.biology.clc.uc.edu Here are a couple of ways to enjoy some great cheeses.

Quinoa with Veggies and Gorgonzola Cheese

Fruit and Cheese Platter This is an easy one, since it doesn’t require any cooking and only a small amount of preparation. Choose a selection of cheeses that offers some variety for the taste buds. For example, a nice assortment might be a wedge of brie, some Jarlsberg or Swiss, and perhaps a type of havarti. Arrange artfully on a platter with small, bite-size fruits such as grapes, strawberries, or pieces of melon. If you wish, an array of crackers can accompany the cheeses, but be sure not to choose crackers that have too strong a flavor. You want them to enhance the flavors of the cheeses, not overpower them. Some of my favorites are Bremner Wafers and Carr’s Water Crackers. Provide a small knife for each cheese, and be sure to allow space for the cheeses to be cut. Serve with one or two wine pairings, maybe a red and a white, and voila! You have a sophisticated afternoon hors d’oeuvres platter or a dessert to top off a satisfying dinner.

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Ingredients: 1 cup quinoa 2 cups chicken broth 1/3 cup chopped sundried tomatoes 1/3 cup chopped onion 1 cup sliced baby bella mushrooms 1/3 cup diced zucchini 1/3 cup chopped black olives 1/2 cup crumbled gorgonzola cheese 2-3 cloves minced garlic 3 tbsp. butter Preparation: Heat the chicken broth in a saucepan to boiling; add the quinoa and cook according to package instructions (about 15 minutes). In a large nonstick skillet, sauté the onion, garlic and mushrooms in the butter, adding the zucchini after about one minute. When zucchini is softened, add the olives and sundried tomatoes, stirring to blend and warm the mixture. When the quinoa is cooked, add it to the vegetable mixture. Stir in the gorgonzola cheese and mix well. Serve warm or chilled.


Chicken Breast stuffed with Cloumage® and Sundried Tomatoes Ingredients: 4 boneless skinless chicken breasts 2/3 cup Cloumage® soft cheese (from Shy Brothers Farm) ¼ cup chopped sundried tomatoes (packed in oil) 2 fresh chives snipped into1/4 inch pieces (about 2 tbsp.) 2-3 cloves garlic, minced Bread crumbs for coating Parmesan cheese for coating 2 tbsp. butter Preparation: Slice each chicken breast in half to “butterfly” them, leaving one side still connected. Cover chicken with plastic wrap and pound until about 3/8 inch thick. In a small flat bowl, mix seasoned bread crumbs with a couple of tablespoons of Parmesan cheese. Coat each chicken breast with bread crumbs and parmesan cheese mixture on both sides. Melt the butter in a non-stick skillet on mediumhigh heat. Brown the chicken breasts on both sides until cooked through (about 8-10 minutes). While chicken is cooking, mix Cloumage® cheese, sundried tomatoes, garlic and chives in a small bowl. When chicken breasts are done, remove each to a plate, put ¼ of the Cloumage® filling on one half of each breast, then fold the other half over it to form an open “pocket.” Serve with a fresh vegetable such as squash, green beans or asparagus.

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6WDUW<RXU 'D\2II 5LJKW 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.

2010 with high honors. During school Wilki had internships in Norway and in Copenhagen; after receiving his degree, he went on to work for a well-respected restaurant in his hometown. When he decided to move his career to the United States, he joined Chocopologie. Yellow was indeed an excellent color choice for Chocopologie. Knipschildt’s extensive career and Wilki’s promise as a young chef are a reflection of the pair’s bright, imaginative, and enlightened approaches to sweet and savory dishes alike. Chocopologie Café 12 South Main Street Norwalk, CT 06854 203.854.4754 www.chocopologie.com

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Healthy at Home

Recipes by Elaine Pusateri Cowan Photography by Scott Erb and Donna Dufault

www.elaineslife.com Elaine strives to create beauty everyday. Whether sheâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s designing web pages or interiors, preparing appetizers or entrees and even reďŹ nishing furniture or making art, she always looks to satiate her appetite for all things artistic. As an artist, foodie, interior designer and amateur photographer, Elaine believes in the quality of a 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 equipped with a stocked pantry and local produce can whip up quick, fresh, and delicious meals every night.

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Vitamin G, “Carbonara” Vitamin G is what my father affectionately called carbonara. In Dad’s version he used an entire bulb of garlic—hence the title, Vitamin G, which was lightly browned, never burned, in a whole lot of olive oil. I have respectfully toned down my father’s version so that you can enjoy the carby goodness without regret, but before I get into the breakdown of the nutrition facts, I would like to accentuate all of the positives. This recipe is guaranteed to make you happy. Guaranteed! First of all, foods high in carbohydrates increase the production of serotonin in the brain causing a calming or anxiety-reducing effect. Far be it from me to argue with science. Secondly, this recipe is best when it’s a team-sport. I made it alone for the photo shoot, but that is rare. Make this recipe with someone you love, time with family and a friend in the kitchen is probably the most important ingredient that you can add to any recipe. Assign sous chefs! It’s a delight for me to watch my little cheese-graters/egg-beaters at work! Thirdly, you can make Vitamin G anytime of day: it’s essentially bacon, eggs, and macaroni. So: breakfast, lunch or dinner? You decide. I think this dish represents happiness to me because as a child it was the go-to for when an unexpected guest dropped by, a late night snack, or after a wedding, or funeral for that matter. My dad would invite everyone back to our home for an unpretentious bowl of comfort, made with love. Vitamin G can be whipped up quickly, the ingredients simple and usually on hand. Do not skimp on this one, the right ingredients— especially the organic eggs and cheeses are essential to the flavor. I like knowing where my eggs came from, what the chickens eat and that they are treated well. Luckily for me, my sister-in-law keeps chickens. The flavor and brightness in color in the yolks are exceptional. As always, if no one is keeping you in eggs, support your local Farmer’s markets— you will always be able to find fresh eggs there. Juggling being health-conscious and a foodie isn’t always easy. For example, the sodium content in Pecorino Romano cheese and Parma prosciutto is on the high end, but I am a firm believer that with moderation and portion control and amping up the “good calories” you can enjoy almost everything! This recipe breaks down to 581 calories per serving and only 60 from carbs, which is actually a dead-on healthy per meal allowance, and the eggs provide 32 from protein. So...Mangia!

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Vitamin G, “Carbonara” serves 6, 581 calories per serving Ingredients: 5-7 slices of pancetta (Italian Bacon) 5-7 slices of Parma prosciutto 1 generous pinch of red pepper flakes 6 cloves of garlic 5 shallots ¼ cup of Chardonnay 8 organic eggs ¼ cup parmesan reggiano ¼ pecorino romano 1 cup of pasta water 1 bunch of fresh basil Pasta: 1 pound of fettuccine 1 tsp of salt DIRECTIONS Prep all of the ingredients: 1. Put a pot of water on to boil. 2. Grate the cheeses.

1. Add fettuccine to the boiling water—cook for nine minutes.

3. Thinly slice the garlic and shallots.

2. Heat an extra large skillet with a swirl of olive oil.

4. Dice up the sliced pancetta and prosciutto.

3. Add the meats, as soon as they begin to get caramel in color, add the garlic and shallots.

5. Beat the eggs. 6. Have the red pepper flakes and salt portioned into pinch bowls so that you do not have to fuss with opening jars when things heat up.

4. Add a sprinkle of red pepper flakes.

7. I prefer to crush black peppercorns* with a mortar and pestle so I have better control on the amount.

6. Sprinkle a pinch of freshly cracked black pepper.

*There is a distinct difference between freshly ground/cracked pepper. Do not use ground pepper.

5. Deglaze with a ¼ cup of wine. Use a wooden spoon to loosen the meats, shallots and garlic from the pan.

7. Remove a full cup of the unstrained pasta water from the pot, set aside.

8. Cork the Chardonnay.

8. Strain pasta and add to the skillet for two minutes, then pour into a large stainless steel bowl.

Once the ingredients are prepped this recipe goes really quickly, approximately 10 minutes, the heat of the cooked pasta and additional pasta water are actually what cook the egg, so be sure to have everything close by the stove.

9. Rinse the skillet and fill with an inch of water, return to the stove, setting the bowl ontop of the skillet filled with water. 10. Add the beaten eggs, and cheese, and carefully incorporate- the pasta will start to get a little harder to stir as the eggs cook, gradually add the pasta water that you reserved until you get to a creamy not watery consistency. 11. Garnish with a bunch of fresh basil.

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Coming in the next issue of Foodies of New England!

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Shrimp in a Pumpkin (and a Foreigner’s First Thanksgiving Experience) Written by Isabela Bessa Pelto Photography by Scott Erb and Donna Dufault

Y

ou never forget your first Thanksgiving meal! That’s true for many foreigners who come to this country every year, especially if their culture doesn’t have a Thanksgiving Day. Last fall was my debut at my mother in law’s house: a huge stuffed turkey, velvety mashed potatoes, succulent green bean casserole, cranberry sauce, butter and brown sugar roasted squash and stunning pumpkin and pecan pies with everything looking pretty on the table. Following prayers and thanks and food on the plate, the whole family was staring at me waiting for my opinion about the food. Suspense. While they were delighting themselves with the meal, it took me about fifteen minutes to start getting used to all that different flavors that didn’t have a place in my food memories or my affective memories. There was no connection to my past, to my childhood, or to the places I’ve visited. It was a unique experience that I knew would be part of my life from that time onward. “Ok” was my first answer, breaking down some expectations and maybe (I hope not) hurting the feelings of the hardworking “mom” cook. The cranberry sauce was the hardest part – I’ve never eaten cranberry before. I confess that I only started to enjoy the meal when we were almost finished and the flavors started to make sense to my taste buds. Later on that day I enjoyed the leftovers much more.

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The desserts, however, were simply wonderful from the first bite. Pumpkin pie was also something new, creamy, spicy, and yummy. It tasted great with a cup of fresh brewed coffee. Oh that pumpkin! Even though I’ve never tasted the pie before, that took me back in time. Now I was feeling at home...so comforting that for a moment my eyes were lost in the horizon and my lips were lightly smiling on their own. All the voices around me disappeared until I woke up myself from that quick daydream with a deep breath and came back to finish eating that piece of heaven. It’s amazing how food and memories go together and how some dishes can be delicious or not that “wow” based on memories rather than the food itself. Back to the pumpkin. We use to find it almost all year round where I come from (Brazil), and it’s so versatile that it’s prepared many, many different ways. This Shrimp in a Pumpkin recipe is one of my favorites. The natural architecture of the vegetable to serve the dish makes it distinctive. Then you scoop that pumpkin flesh, creamy cheese, and the shrimp into a beautiful and flavorful combination. As well, I didn’t know that there was a specific season for pumpkins here and tried to find one at the beginning of spring. “Come back on the fall,” said the salesman at the market. I’ve been waiting. The time is now. Hope you don’t miss the chance to try this.

Shrimp in a Pumpkin Ingredients: 1 medium pumpkin or (other similar vegetable, like squash) 3 tablespoons olive oil 3 garlic cloves minced 1 onion finely chopped 1 ½ pound raw medium shrimp, peeled and deveined Juice of 1 lime 3 tomatoes chopped (or 1 cup of tomato sauce) 1 red bell pepper chopped 1 green bell pepper chopped ½ cup of coconut milk (or heavy cream) 2 cups of Catupiry cheese* 3 tablespoons of fresh chopped cilantro (or parsley) ½ tablespoon ground annatto (also called achiote— optional) Salt, pepper and red pepper flakes to taste Grated Parmesan Cheese Directions Preheat oven to 350F. Wash the pumpkin, cut the top off as lid shape and remove all the seeds. Dry and scrub some salt on the inside of the pumpkin. Wrap the pumpkin with aluminum foil, place in a baking sheet and bake until soft (about 90 minutes). Season the shrimp with the lime juice, salt and pepper if using frozen shrimp, allow them to thaw completely and rinse before seasoning. Heat the olive oil in a large skillet and sauté the garlic and onions with the annatto. Add the tomatoes and bell peppers and cook until the vegetables are soft. Stir in the shrimp and coconut milk, and adjust salt, pepper, and red pepper flakes to taste. Cook for about 5-7 minutes partially covered until shrimp is done. Scrape some of the pumpkin and add it to the sauce as a thickener and to incorporate flavor. Turn off the heat and mix in ½ cup of Catupiry and cilantro. Using a spoon, spread a layer of Catupiry on the inside of the pumpkin and pour in the shrimp sauce. Sprinkle some parmesan cheese on top and put the filled pumpkin back to the oven for about 15 – 20 minutes. Serve with rice. Make sure to scoop the pumpkin, the creamy cheese, and the shrimp sauce when you serve. If the pumpkin isn’t big enough, use the leftover sauce to refill the pumpkin as your guests are eating it. * You can find Catupiry Cheese in some Brazilian markets. If not, substitute for a mix of 1 cup of cream cheese and 1 cup of brie. Foodies of New England

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Sweet Sensations

Black Bottom Panna Cotta

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 the current season of Bravo TV’s hit show The Real Housewives of New York City. Sweet 305 Shrewsbury Street Worcester MA 01604 508-373-2248 www.sweetworcester.com

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When I heard that this issue of Foodies would feature articles highlighting the color of food, the cheeses of Vermont and chocolate from Connecticut came to mind. I thought I would create a recipe that incorporates the idea of black and white as it pertains to color since black is the absence of color and white is the presence of all colors. When I started thinking about black and white I remembered a favorite childhood treat that my father used to buy at a local bakery: black bottom cupcakes. Black bottom cupcakes are essentially chocolate cake with a layer of cheesecake baked on top. With the upcoming holidays in mind I wanted to create an easy, elegant, grownup dessert inspired by this childhood memory. One of my favorite go-to, easy, elegant desserts for entertaining is panna cotta—a natural fit for this dessert! Panna cotta is a popular Italian dessert generally from the Northern Italian region of Piedmont, although it is eaten all over Italy. The literal translation of panna cotta, “cooked cream,” does not do this delicious dessert justice. In fact, panna cotta is not cooked at all. Neither is it complicated like custards which are made with eggs and require water baths, baking, and chilling. Instead, sugar and gelatin are melted in cream and the whole mixture is then turned into individual serving dishes and chilled. In this version I have added a layer of chocolate cake (the “black bottom”) as well as some goat cheese to the custard which gives it a slight tang and adds to its depth of flavor. Ingredients: 2 cups heavy whipping cream 1/2 cup whole milk 1/2 cup sugar 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract 1 teaspoon powdered gelatin 3 ounces mild chèvre goat cheese (room temperature) 1 single layer 9” chocolate cake (any recipe you like— or store-bought in a pinch!)


DIRECTIONS Divide the chocolate cake evenly between 6-8 martini, wine, or other glasses of your choice, lightly packing the cake to create an even layer in the bottom of each glass. Set aside while you make the panna cotta. Sprinkle the gelatin over 2 teaspoons of water to soften. Set aside. In a large saucepan, combine the heavy cream and 1/2 cup of the sugar. Bring to a simmer over medium heat but do not let boil, then turn off the heat and whisk in the softened goat cheese, whisking until the pieces of cheese are totally incorporated and the mixture is smooth. Add the vanilla and the softened gelatin and whisk again to dissolve the gelatin. Whisk in the whole milk. Strain the hot mixture through a ďŹ ne-mesh strainer into a measuring cup with a pour spout. Pour the mixture over the chocolate cake dividing it evenly between the glasses. Refrigerate for at least 3 hours or overnight. Garnish with fresh fruit or chocolate shavings. ENJOY!

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Brew Review

Major Beer Style: Ale Major Style Category: Strong Ale/Fruit Beer Major Sub Style Category: American/Raspberry

Barleywine What is a Pilsner? This category of beer as defined by the Beer Judge Certification Program (BJCP) includes Old Ale, English Barleywine and American Barleywine. The color spectrum for each of these respective styles ranges from rich gold to light amber or dark reddish-brown. Old Ales feature nutty, caramel, and molasses-like flavors. English Barleywines are bready, biscuity, and with distinct flavors of toffee and deep toast. American Barleywines, while similar in taste profile, are easily distinguished through the exuberant use of hops. The alcohol content for each respective style ranges from 6% - 12% ABV.

Written by Matt Webster Photography by Scott Erb and Donna Dufault

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

What is an American/Raspberry Barleywine? Originally introduced to the beer-drinking community by the illustrious brewers of England in the late 19th century, this style of beer was created as a direct response to the English distaste for French vintners. Brewed specifically with higher alcohol content to appeal to the aristocracy, these beers were meant to be drunk like a fine tawny port. While the name may suggest wine, the fermentation magic happens with malt—copious amounts of malt. The brewers of America have since added their own flare to the style by increasing the hop dosage, thus creating a subtle, yet distinct, bitterness on the palate. The addition of fruit(s) should be complimentary and natural to the style of beer in both aroma and mouthfeel. The alcohol content ranges from 8% to 12% and is best served at 50 – 55 degrees F. Our Choice: Berkshire Brewing Company Raspberry Barleywine (South Deerfield, MA) – www.berkshirebrewingcompany.com Why did we choose this beer? Brewed and packaged once a year around Valentine’s Day, this beer is made with a half-pound of fresh local raspberries per barrel. The addition of raspberries gives the beer a vibrant pink hue and helps it obtain the very well-disguised 9% alcohol content. Slightly tart with a well-balanced hop profile it pairs perfectly with Black Bottom Panna Cotta. Where can you find it in a 22 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, Armsby Abbey ***Note: This beer may not always be available at the above locations at all times.

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Sibling Rivalry Written by Michelle Collins Photography by Scott Erb and Donna Dufault

The lines for his sushi restaurant were getting too long, so Wilson Wang decided to open a second restaurant – right next door. “Our biggest competition is not another restaurant, it’s myself,” Wang said.

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Japanese Shrimp, Beef and Lamb Tori with Wellfleet Oysters


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ozara opened in March with the goal of providing BABA Sushi’s customers Asian fusion tapas and creative cocktails to ward off their hunger while they waited for a table. The one thing Wang didn’t anticipate, though, was that his sushi customers would end up staying at Kozara because the food, atmosphere, and libations are just that good. Chef Wang is no stranger to praise. He is ranked number 9 in the country by the American Asian Restaurant Association, he was voted Worcester’s Best Chef People’s Choice last year, and has received additional acclaim from Worcester Living and Worcester Magazine. “I’m going to [be] number one in Worcester, or do nothing,” Wang said. Kozara’s menu is chocked full of innovative dishes that vegans, vegetarians, and omnivores can appreciate. Asian Hushpuppies with jalapenos that are stuffed with cheese and served with a Thai chili sauce is one example of what to expect. Another is the Kozara Sliders, which come with your choice of roasted pork or duck mixed with cilantro, jalapeno, onions, and homemade barbecue sauce, served on steamed buns. In addition to the tapas, Kozara also boasts a raw bar as well as skewered meats and vegetables, which are cooked on their custom-built charcoal grill. “[There are] not a lot of [tapas] in Worcester,” Wang said. “It’s something different.” But the small plates at Kozara taste even better when washed down with one of their inventive beverages. Mango mojitos, jalapeno martinis, and seasonal concoctions—such as strawberry drinks in the summer—are just a taste of what to expect when you belly up to Kozara’s continued on page 118

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bar. You won’t find any sugar-laden mixes here, though – the drinks are prepared with only fresh ingredients. Although Kozara’s menu is one element of the restaurant that prevents its customers from wanting to leave, the atmosphere helps, too. “People like the atmosphere, they like the environment,” Wang said. “[It’s] cozy and kind of sexy.” Romantic dim lighting, chic tables and chairs, and a bar lit up with a tastefully colorful backdrop are just a few of the touches that make Kozara’s décor chic yet approachable. When the college kids are in town, a DJ provides a nightclub setting on Fridays and Saturdays after 10:30 p.m., but Kozara is anything but a college bar. The vibe is consistently sophisticated, making this a great spot for a date night or evening out with friends. Another perk of Kozara is that it has a parking lot – that is, until next summer. Wang has plans to build an outdoor patio to not only provide outdoor seating, but to help connect his two restaurants, as the patio would be shared by both. Although Kozara started out as a way to help combat the lines at BABA Sushi, this sister restaurant has proved to be one solid addition to the family. Our suggestion: have a few tapas and a cocktail at Kozara, then finish the night off with some fresh maki or sashimi next door. No need to play favorites. Beijing Steak

Kozara 301 Park Avenue Worcester, MA 01609 508.762.9213 www.kozaralounge.com

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Mango Summer Rolls


Asian Hushpuppies with jalapenos that are stuffed with cheese and served with a Thai chili sauce is one example of what to expect.

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Whiskey Under Loch & Key

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Written by Ryan Maloney Photography by Scott Erb and Donna Dufault

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

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“The blend is tastier than the sum of its parts.” — Aristotle (sort of)

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As a Classical Studies Major, my Professor would have floored me for messing with a quote from one of the greatest minds EVER, but it’s been quite a few years since college and I’m trying to make a point. In the world of whisk(e)y, Single Malts and (to a lesser degree) Single Barrel whiskies have garnished most of the spotlight, but blends are the real medium of artistry for whisk(e)y. Now before some of you “experts” correct me and say, “But single malts ARE blends of barrels from the same distillery!” Yes, I do know this and there is true mastery from blenders at the distilleries who produce fantastic expressions. However, for this article I am talking about blends that incorporate different mashes, methods of distillation or whiskies from several distilleries. These types of expressions create a painting using multiple whiskies as the palate to produce their masterpieces. Let’s look at three whiskies that embody this delicious whisk(e)y art form! continued on page 122

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PɑɤȐȨɕɜɑɄ

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 www.unclejaystwistedfork.com Reservations are recommended

Ask about our early holiday order discount! Call Greenbriar Gift Baskets

508.864.5079 • 800.558.0807

www.greenbriargiftbaskets.com info@greenbriargiftbaskets.com

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The first whisky comes to us from The Lost Distillery Company of Scotland and is called Auchnagie. Even if you are familiar with most of the Scottish distilleries, you may not have heard of the Auchnagie Whisky because this particular distillery was dismantled in 1912! No, you won’t be drinking one hundred year old whisky, but you will be tasting a pretty new and innovative concept in whisky blending. The Lost Distillery Company is re-creating expressions of legendary whiskies lost almost a century ago by blending single malts from different distilleries that are available today. You might ask, “Is this an exact copy of the whisky that was available pre-1912?” No it is not, since few examples exist for comparison, but it does capture the essence and the craft of the original. I like to compare this method to the art forgeries of Eric Hebborn. Mr. Hebborn duped many in the art world with his beautiful paintings that were “mistaken” for works by the Masters. His paintings, although stylistically dead on, were not copies of known pieces, but for many admirers the final works were deemed superior to the artist he was portraying! I found this first expression from The Lost Distillery to be very rich on the nose with heather notes plus hints of vanilla and white chocolate. It is delicate on the pallet, finishing with ripe fruit overtones and just a hint of toasted oak. So, drink this whisky and dream fondly of an expression lost over a generation ago. The next blend is actually classified as a “Small Batch” here in the U.S., but that label really does this whiskey a disservice. Four Roses Small Batch is made up of four different bourbons blended together by Master Distiller, Jim Rutledge. The fact that Four Roses Distillery has four different bourbons to blend together is odd, but the really unique part is that this distillery actually produces TEN different bourbons! Four Roses produces two types of mashbills, basically grain recipes, one is a low rye content and the other a high


a Georges Seurat painting. For those of you not familiar with Mr. Seurat’s works, they are made up of tiny dots that when looked at from a suitable distance create a beautiful scene, A Sunday Afternoon on the Island of La Grande Jatte is probably his most famous. Hibiki is made from over thirty different single malts from two distilleries, Yamazaki and Hakushu, all being over twelve years old and one being aged at least thirty years! All the components were stored in various types of casks (ex-sherry and exbourbon), including a very rare Japanese oak called Mizunara and some casks that previously held plum

liqueur. All of this is then brought together with a twelve year old grain whisky from the Chita Distillery. When you experience this whisky, yes it is an experience; there is a feeling of “clean” or “fresh” on the nose followed by honey and orange marmalade. On the palate the plum presence is apparent, but so are sherry and even some citrus. All of this finishes with some spice, a trip inside a granary and sense of peace. So, like a Seurat painting, Hibiki 12 year is made up many small parts that come together to showcase one of the most balanced and complete whiskies available today. Now that I’ve shown you some of my favorite and tastiest pieces of art from my personal collection, please feel free to pick up a reproduction at your favorite liquor store! However, keep in mind, not to be afraid to find your own beautiful blends.

rye content. Plus, they have five proprietary yeast strains to ferment these mash bills. So, two mash bills multiplied by five yeast strains equals ten different bourbons. As a result, The Master Distiller has a very diverse in-house palette to create a beautiful bourbon portrait. In the case of the Small Batch Bourbon, Mr. Rutledge blends together two versions of the low rye mash bill and two versions of the high rye mash bill to achieve his vision. And what a vision it is—the nose is reminiscent of rich fruit with a hint of caramel. The palate is creamy with overripe red berries and the finish is smooth and lingering. If you are into bourbons or would like to be, this one should not be missed. The last whisky, Hibiki 12 year old from Japan, brings home the point of convergence to achieve something greater. As a matter of fact, part of the philosophy in making this whisky is to create art beyond what is apparent. Whenever I think of this whisky I always think of

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From Chocolate to Chalkware Written by Honee Hess Photography by Scott Erb and Donna Dufault

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European food tradition with its roots in the ancient Americas hardly seems the appropriate catalyst for a start-up business in hand-crafted folk art, but the family-owned and run Vaillancourt Folk Art is not your ordinary business. First, the food tradition:cocoa was brought to Europe from South America sometime in the 1500s and originally was consumed only in liquid form, primarily by European nobility. It wasnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t until 1839-1847 that milk chocolate was created giving the chocolate a less bitter taste and then a process of making hard chocolate was invented.

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Chocolate was the rage—every town in Europe had several chocolate shops, each vying with the other to make their chocolate in a unique form that would be a hit. Shops competed by creating very decorative and intricate molds in which the chocolate candy would be formed, many in the likeness of Santa and other Christmas characters. Flash forward to 1984: a broken leg left Judi Vaillancourt of Sutton stuck at home with lots of time. Presented with a gift of three antique chocolate molds, Judi—ever the artist—began experimenting with using them to cast ornaments, first with beeswax, and then using a contemporary form of chalkware. Those first beeswax castings sold out immediately, and long-story-short, Vaillancourt Folk Art was born. Judi continues as the artistic director and designer of Vaillancourt’s chalkware figures, most of which are holiday-themed. Today, the business employs 20, including several artists at their Manchaug Mills studio. The antique molds are used 99% of the time to make their signature pieces, even when an old mould is modified to add an appropriate item, like a Red Sox hat on a snow man or a Santa holding a Nantucket Basket. “Mold-making is quite an art,” says Tom O’Malley, Ceramics Program Director at the Worcester Center for Crafts. “Many ceramic and glass artists today create molds--

to get the kind of intricate detail that the Vaillancourt pieces have is very tricky.” Food safety laws prohibit these molds from forming chocolate these days. Instead, Vaillancourt uses them to produce high-quality, American-made chalkware folk art that are destined to become heirlooms. From chocolate to

chalkware, these antique molds are currently on view at the Vaillancourt Christmas museum. Tours are offered by request every day of the year depending on availability of the staff. Pre-registered group tours which last for one hour, and include a gift, are also available for a small fee.

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Wines of Distinction

“Cape Cod Bay Prosecco: A Vacation in Every Glass”

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

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

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he Shakespearean city of Verona, Italy, is dotted with small restaurants and bars where Prosecco is enjoyed routinely at mid-day, in late afternoon, or throughout the exciting night. On the Cape, life is enjoyed in a similar fashion, and Cape Cod Bay Prosecco is the perfect catalyst. By itself, this sparkler is absolutely brilliant, but blended with passion fruit or orange juice, well… now you’re learning how to really relax! Inspired by the glorious sights and diversity of New England’s favorite destination, Cape Cod Bay Prosecco delivers that same relaxed lifestyle and enjoyment; any time of year, for any occasion, or for no reason at all. Whether you’re passing time with friends or just relaxing at home, this Prosecco will give you a satisfaction reminiscent of strolling Chatham Lighthouse, whalewatching in a boat off Monomoy Island, or just touring through the eclectic art galleries of Hyannis. “Our mission at Cape Cod Bay Wines is to offer all wine drinkers an escape from their daily routine, a short respite for the palate and mind, to deliver the spirit to a place of reward and relaxation – Cape Cod Bay,” comments Mike Noonan, president of Global Wines, the Worcester-based importer of Cape Cod Bay Wines. So, if it’s called Cape Cod Bay, why is this wine imported? Global Wines searched out many winemakers and discovered that the best wines were being produced in France and Italy. Specifically, their French vineyards produce Cape Cod Bay Sauvignon Blanc, Chardonnay, Cabernet, Merlot and Rose, while the Italian counterparts make the Cape Cod Bay Pinot Grigio, Sparkling Moscato and Prosecco, the subject of our feature. The idea is this: Why step off of the rustic dunes of Truro to experience such worldly greatness, when you can have it delivered right to you? So, what makes this Prosecco so special, apart from its homage to New England’s most popular vacation destination? Well, compared to many other Prosecco wines, it’s a true value and expertly made. Prosecco, as a grape and a wine, has become quite the refreshing sparkler. It’s reached for by the Veronese of northern Italy frequently at lunchtime and as an “apperitivo” before meals. It’s even relied upon, as many know, for brunch in the form of a refreshing “Mimosa” (when blended with orange juice) and is often mixed with peach, pineapple, cherry, pomegranate, ginger and pear juices. Talk about festive! We chose Prosecco as a terrific Fall and Holiday wine because of the growing popularity of the wine among sparkling wine enthusiasts. Part of their appreciation for this everyday-is-a-celebration wine is that, when the occasion calls for Champagne, Prosecco can be used at a much more reasonable


price, and tends to appeal to a wider group of wine drinkers than the pricey French bubbly because of its sometimes softer, fruitier taste. So, what is the difference between Champagne and Prosecco? We thought we’d take some time to explain (and simplify) a few of the main variations. One of the first things we learn about wines is that they are either named after the grape varietals used to make them, the wine producer, or the region in which they are produced. For example, a Zaccagnini Montepulciano d’Abruzzo is produced at the Zaccagnini Winery in Italy using Montepulciano d’Abruzzo grapes. Things get a little different when we’re talking about sparkling wines. Champagne is called champagne for three reasons. First, only Champagne that is produced in Champagne, France, can be called Champagne; everything else is just sparkling wine. Prosecco, on the other hand, is named after the grape varietal only, and can be produced anywhere in Veneto, Italy. Second, Champagne must be produced using Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, and/or Pinot Meunier grapes, which are also grown in the same region. In order to be considered a true Prosecco, Prosecco wines must be made with Prosecco grapes, and must be produced in the Veneto region of Italy. So, the French have Champagne, and the Italians have Prosecco. The third factor that distinguishes Champagne and Prosecco is the fermentation process. Champagne is fermented using the traditional method Champenoise. Champenoise is a method by which barrel-fermented wines are turned into a blend, called a Cuvée, and sugar and yeast are added to initiate a second fermentation process, which takes place right in the bottle. The resulting pressure and carbonation are the elements that give the wine a sparkling, or fizzy, character. Bottles are then corked and stored until the carbon dioxide gas that is produced causes the yeast to consume the sugar. As we said, this is where the bubbles come from, and only true champagne is fermented first in barrels and then in bottles. Prosecco is a little different. Like Champagne, Prosecco undergoes two fermentation steps, but both are done in large, temperature-controlled, stainless steel vats instead of one in a barrel and one in a bottle, like Champagne. This

process, called the Charmat process, relies on the vats to speed up the fermentation process, and makes production less expensive. Charmat, also known as the Italian method, is usually the process employed for sparkling wines meant to be consumed when they are young and fresh. Regarding taste, Prosecco is very light in alcohol content (usually around 11%) and, like Champagne, comes in a Brut, or dry, version. However, many Proseccos offer fruit-forward versions which appeal to the novice wine drinkers. Another item worth mentioning is that Prosecco is produced in various qualities: IGT, DOC and DOCG, with varying degrees of cost. IGT stands for Indicazione Geografica Tipica, and is the lowest-rated of the three. This Italian governmental term points to origin of the Prosecco grapes, indicating they come from the general area of Veneto, and not any one specific vineyard. DOC, or Denominazione Origine Controllata, indicates that the particular wine in that bottle comes from a specific estate, and not a group of growers. DOCG, or Denominazione Origine Controllata e Garantita, is a term reserved for wines whose origins are guaranteed by the Italian government to come from where the label states. As you might imagine, the price climbs as the rankings go from IGT to DOCG. Go for DOC or better, as the less-expensive IGTs can sometimes result in a very unpleasant headache. Cape Cod Bay is DOC, so it’s a very good-quality Prosecco. It becomes an excellent Prosecco when you consider the price (around $12.99, or about $2.00 cheaper than similar quality Proseccos). Great lifestyle... It’s closer than you think. And great lifestyle is what Cape Cod is all about. It’s about relaxation and enjoyment; your time to take in all the beauty that makes Cape Cod so unique and wonderful. So relax into your Adirondack chair, your hammock, or your living room sofa and enjoy your new lifestyle… enjoy your world… your new YOU… and celebrate life anytime with a glass of Cape Cod Bay Prosecco. Crisp, clean, fresh yellow apple and white peach fruits, quenching lemon zest, and aromas of tart grapefruit, round out this Prosecco. Finishes soft and mild with lingering citrus fruit essence, Cape Cod Bay Prosecco is Foodies-approved at 89 points.

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Liberating Libations

Written by Adam Gerhart Photography by Scott Erb and Donna Dufault

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

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Give Me Some Mo’ of that Liquid Dessert! As a bartender for almost 13 years it seems hard to pick one drink to feature. But when that crisp clean air eases Summer into Fall, the leaves start to change and all I can think about besides football is Halloween and dessert! So I thought fitting to feature one of my “Adult Dessert” Martinis. The “I’d Like Samo”(I’d like some-mo’) is the Martini of choice this fall. With not only its delicious coconut, caramel and chocolate flavors, but all dressed up, it pleases the eye as well. I combine chocolate coconut vodka with a mixture of caramel, coconut, and chocolate syrups, a little butter shots and Godiva white and chocolate. Shaken together with a caramel and chocolate marble, a toasted coconut rim, and of course a Samoa Girl Scout cookie for garnish, this drink will make your taste buds dance before it even hits your mouth. This drink came to me, like all of the dessert drinks I make, how do I take something like a cookie, a piece of cake, Crème Brûlée or any other dessert, and turn it into an alcoholic beverage, or “Adult Dessert.” It takes a few times to get it right but the fun is in the trying! Once the flavor is replicated, it’s all about dressing it up the right way and showing it off. As a mixologist, not only do I want the guest to be excited about what I’m putting in front of them, but the rest of the bar should be eyeing it as well. The “wow factor” is what it’s all about. I have fun with the Girl Scout cookies because, first of all, they taste so good. More than that, you can use them in so many different ways, and you are supporting a good cause at the same time. What a great feeling when you’re sipping


down dessert. So many people I hand dessert menus to look it over and see things they like, but what they really want is another drink and something sweet at the same time, without losing their… ahem, feeling of “lofty liberation.” So why not give them all of that in one beautiful, delicious cocktail? I really take pride in giving someone exactly the cocktail they wanted (or needed). Seeing their faces light up when you set the drink in front of them is one of my greatest pleasures. The fall is a great time for cocktails, and there are so many flavors and spices to work with this time of year, including apple cider, cinnamon, pumpkin, cranberry, and the list goes on and on. I absolutely love working with these things and making unique drinks anytime of year, but my sweet tooth really comes out in the fall. So, come on down and try one, I guarantee you’ll be saying, “I’d Like Samo”, too! Cheers!

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RECIPE 1oz chocolate coconut vodka ½ oz of chocolate Godiva and dash of white chocolate Godiva One squeeze of chocolate syrup, caramel syrup and cream of coconut Splash of Butter shots One Samoa Girl Scout cookie

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Rim with toasted coconut

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Foodies of New England

129


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Foodies of New England Fall 2013  

The color of food. Gluten free chocolate recipes.

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