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Touring Boston’s Chinatown Seasonal Delights from New England’s Best Chefs Welcome to Paradise! Paradise Hills Vineyards & Winery in Wallingford, CT

Winter 2018 DISPLAY UNTIL JANUARY 31, 2018

f s e f hop Ch in C o ild r L e 76 W B oa See p a g

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Experience New England Dining at its Best


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

Photo: Heidi Finn

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


Foodies of New England


Winter 2018 Contributors Publisher: Mercury Media & Entertainment, LLC Managing Editor: Domenic Mercurio Contributing Editors: Julie Grady Thomas Jodie Lynn Boduch Director of Social Media: Jodie Lynn Boduch Much Ado Marketing Writers and Contributors: Ellen Allard, Adam Gerhart, Lina Bifano, Francesca Montillo, Jodie Lynn Boduch, Ryan Maloney, David Kmetz, Denny Corriveau, Renee Bolivar, Matt Jones, Joan Arnold, Briana Palma, Ed Londergan, Kelly Lynn Kassa, Sarah Connell, Bradley Schwarzenbach, Di Marie Mariani, Christine Whipple, Jeff Cutler, Daniel Lieberman Professional Photography: Scott Erb & Donna Dufault Erb Photography Art Director: Rick Bridges Richard Bridges Design Website: Jodie Lynn Boduch Much Ado Marketing Account Manager: Domenic Mercurio Foodies of New England Magazine Box 380 Sturbridge MA 01566 All content Š2017, Mercury Media Entertainment All Rights Reserved Printed in USA Foodies of New England assumes no financial responsibility for errors in advertisements. No portion of Foodies of New England, advertising or editorial, may be reproduced in whole or in part without the express written permission of the publisher. The information contained in this publication is believed to be accurate, however the publisher does not guarantee its accuracy. The opinions expressed by others within this publication are not necessarily those of the publisher or its employees. By accepting advertising neither Foodies of New England nor Mercury Media Entertainment is endorsing or guaranteeing the quality of service or products within those advertisements. Every effort is made to ensure that the advertisements come from reputable companies, however we cannot take responsibility for how an advertiser deals with the public.

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Winter 2018


Contents Features


Season’s Eatings

Seasonal Delights from New England’s Best Chefs



Hope & Main

Helping Local Entrepreneurs Jump Start Their Food Business


Odyssey Cruises Boston A Floating Restaurant


A Wicked Twisted Perfect Pretzel Two Brothers Baking the Perfect Pretzel


Bull Mansion


A New American Bistro in Worcester, Massachusetts


Welcome to Paradise

Paradise Hills Vineyard & Winery in Wallingford, Connecticut



Culinary Students Compete


Best in Foodie Crawls Boston’s Chinatown


Cover: The Dumpling Café in Boston’s Chinatown


Foodies of New England




History of...



Mulled Wine


Gluten Free

Mid-Winter Comfort Foods


Gardens by Renee The Wayward Gardener


Wild Cheff

Wild Boar Loin Chops with Cranberry Chimichurri


The Lazy Italian

Lazy Turkey Bolognese Sauce with Fresh Fettuccini


Sweet Sensations

Almond-Pear Crostata with Vanilla Whipped Cream and Balsamic Drizzle


Brew Review

Down the Road Brewing



Whiskey-Under Loch & Key O Canada!


Wines of Distinction MarquĂŠs de Reinosa Rioja Crianza


Liberating Libations Rustic Infusions

116 Winter 2018



The Publick House has been creating picturesque New England weddings for over 240 years as a full-service destination wedding venue!




2 Restaurants • Bakery & Yankee Gift Shop 10 Private Banquet Rooms for 8 - 275 Guests • Garden Tent for up to 220 Guests 2 Gazebos or The Meadow for Your Ceremony • 115 Overnight Guest Rooms • Outdoor Pool



CREATE YOUR OWN HISTORICAL ROMANCE Listed in the National Register of Historical Places

277 Main Street, Sturbridge, MA 01566 • 1-800-PUBLICK • 1-508-347-7323 Ext. 286 •


from the


Season’s Eatings! New England’s Best Chefs Share Their Secrets Well, in this issue, we’ve hunted down the best James Beard-nominated chefs from throughout the New England states to wrestle from their culinary imaginations their favorite cold-weather ingredient and most beloved dish featuring that very ingredient. Meet our famed-chefs from Myers and Chang in Boston, Massachusetts, Hugo’s in Portland, Maine, Moxy in Portsmouth, New Hampshire, Persimmon in Providence, Rhode Island and Present Company in Tariffville, Connecticut and discover their passion for seasonal cooking! If you’re not up for a do-it-yourself experience, then use the crisp New England weather as a muse for your next Foodies excursion through the streets of Boston’s

If you could shave the amount

Chinatown. Aromatic spice and fresh indigenous herbs waft gently through the streets

of hours you occasionally

ese establishment featuring great soup dumplings, Taiwanese vegetables, and rice

as you seek out our top three destinations: The Dumpling Café, a wonderful Taiwan-

dedicate to contemplation of

cakes; Shojo, an authentically Chinese location boasting the most inventive cocktails

which dish to attempt in your

and something even more unique, non-Chinese-chef Mark O’Leary, who assembles

kitchen or what will go over well at your next dinner party, wouldn’t you rather invest that lost time into something more gratifying – like actually preparing it!

a fabulous menu of traditional delicacies for our foodies; and finally, Peach Farm, the local haunt for Boston’s great chefs, with the freshest out-of-the-tank, salt & pepperseasoned seafood. Later, meet Adam Cheung, a.k.a. “The Fixer”, who made it all happen, thanks to his charisma and Mandarin translation prowess during our interviews with restaurant owners and chefs. When we’re not perusing the streets of Chinatown, we’re researching the origins of New England’s best fare. We believe that farms are the genesis of all things good, pure and natural, and we love writing about our local growers and producers. In this issue, we’ve taken a distinctive turn in selecting a farm feature. Yes, we’ve always outlined wonderful farms that produce the freshest meat, dairy and vegetables, but in this issue, we’ve discovered something a bit different. Daniel Lieberman takes us to Paradise Hills Vineyards in Wallingford, Connecticut, where purveyors craft wines so refined and delicious that even Bacchus would find himself wallowing in jealousy. After you’ve experienced the wines of paradise, venture up to central Massachusetts as we uncover a gorgeously-restored mansion-turned-restaurant. In the heart of the Commonwealth – Worcester – an historic mansion has been renovated and reborn to offer exquisite farm-to-table American delights and craft cocktails. Ed Londgren introduces us to Bull Mansion New American Bistro, a harkening back to the glory days of fine dining. continued on page 12


Foodies of New England

Winter 2018


Then, drive up Interstate 84 to Sturbridge, Massachusetts, where a tremendous group of aspiring chefs hone their skills at the Team Chef event. Guided by local professional chefs, these chefs-in-training at Tantasqua Regional Technical High School serve up creativity and excellence at this competition. Our own David Kmetz lays out their culinary battle plan inside. Every now and then, we all get a craving for a tasty, salty snack. Fortunately, we New Englanders have at our fingertips a truly ‘wicked’ good pretzel, produced locally and offered in over 250 venues including Whole Foods, The House of Blues, British Beer Company and Gillette Stadium (what better place to enjoy a wicked twisted pretzel? Check out Christine Whipple’s interview with Wicked Twisted Pretzels founders Josh and Shawn Briggs. If you’ve ever aspired to launch your own food-based biz, you’ll want to check out Hope & Main in Warren, Rhode Island. Diane Marini explores this culinary business incubator, offering entrepreneurs the tools they’ll need to embark on their foodie dreams. It’s the first of its kind in Rhode Island and has already proven to be an invaluable resource for the next generation of makers and bakers. If you’re a sea-worthy foodie, we know you’ll be interested in combining your love of food and admiration of the high seas on Boston’s Odyssey Cruise Ship. Jeff Cutler takes a first-hand look at this marvelous vessel, boasting a newly-revamped menu crafted by one of the most talented chefs in New England. Odyssey provides foodies with the perfect year-round tasty escape from the usual car-bound pursuit of gastronomic greatness. After all, why drive when you can cruise? And, of course, don’t forget to peruse our fantastic foodie departments, including Renee Bolivar’s Home Grown, Denny Corriveau’s Wild Cheff, Joan Arnold’s History Of…, Ellen Allard’s Gluten-Free, Lina Bifano’s Sweet Sensations, Matt Jones’ Brew Review, Ryan Maloney’s Whiskey… Under Loch & Key, Adam Gerhart’s Liberating Libations, and Wines of Distinctions by Yours, Truly. To our most-appreciated Foodies of New England readers… please take your time and enjoy the results of our efforts in this very special issue.

Domenic Mercurio, Jr.


Foodies of New England

Sturbridge Loves Baba! Experience the best of both world’s Chaun Shabu Japanese Hot Pot Experience and Baba Sushi!

Baba Sushi Sturbridge 453A Main Street Sturbridge, MA 01518 774.304.1068


Foodies of New England

Chilled tomato and bread soup

Season’s Eatings

A Connecticut

Gem Written by Ed Londergan Photography by Scott Erb and Donna Dufault


ucked away in the little town of Tarriffville, CT., between Springfield and Hartford, is Present Company, a wonderful restaurant that soothes the spirit and excites the taste buds. It is a warm, comforting space, a place you get the sense will provide memories for years to come. Chef Jeffrey Lizotte, Food and Beverage Manager Tom Gale, and Director of Catering & Corporate Sales Danielle Casey have put together an extraordinary dining experience.

Winter 2018


Chef Lizotte started his culinary career washing dishes at a restaurant down the street from Present Company. After graduating from Cornell University, he realized that his passion was to be a chef. His experience is impressive and his talents are considerable. A semifinalist for the James Beard Foundation 2017 Restaurant and Chef Awards in the Best Chef: Northeast category, he has worked at David Bouley’s Danube and Eric Ripert’s Le Bernardin in New York City. During his two years in France, he worked for Bordeaux’s La Tupina and the Michelin-starred La Bastide St. Antoine in Grasse. Gale, a veteran manager of other fine dining establishments in the Hartford area, has over 20 years of experience in the culinary field with an acumen for great food and wine. Casey worked alongside Tom and Jeff at ON20, Bricco Trattoria, and Grants Catering.

Chef Jeffrey Lizotte

“Hospitality is about pleasing people and having fun,” says Lizotte, “so our servers wear white Chuck Taylor Keds. Our guests enjoy that we make dining here a pleasurable experience. We believe that fine dining is a heightened level of service and experience with food.” Present Company uses only local ingredients, primarily from Clark Hill Farm and Holcomb’s Farm in West Granby and Brown’s Harvest Farm in Windsor. The passion, creativity, and expertise are evident in every bite. “There’s no reason not to use the freshest ingredients possible,” says Lizotte. The menu changes with the seasons, about every two months. Starters include a cold tomato and bread soup with aged sherry gelee, mimosa egg, and fried garlic gremolata that is exceptional from the first spoonful. Another guest favorite is chicken and dumplings, a confit of Amish chicken, foie gras raviolini, and mirepoix. During the fall and winter seasons, the leg of lamb (recipe featured here) is a guest favorite. The roasted eggplant risotto and tomato fondue nicely complement the Parmesan sausage stuffing. Another popular dish is the signature chestnut potage. Chestnuts typify the holiday season and this potage


Foodies of New England

Milk chocolate; jivari ice cream, cookie dough crisps, green tea chantilly

gives the warm, creamy culinary comfort that comes with instant familiarity even for those who have never before eaten a chestnut. Notable, too, is the Arctic char; everything from the slight saltiness of the roasted beets to the smooth creamy carrot to the sweetness of candied ginger are memorable and linger on the taste buds long after the fork is put down. Another main dish is the bone-marrow crusted grilled loin of beef with hot buttered potato and lettuce and ratatouille. A five-course tasting menu, offered with or without wine pairings, is new every day. Guests can customize it. “It is more of a road map than a set menu,” says Lizotte. An extensive but moderately-priced wine list provides an agreeable choice of wines for any meal. There is a good balance between the sparkling, rosé, white, and red wines. An open kitchen allows guests sitting in the back section to see and converse with the chef as he creates their meals. Whether a comforting fall or winter dinner, a summer garden party or other occasion, their catering provides the same level of food and service as at the restaurant. In addition to corporate events, they have provided an intimate experience catering small groups of 10 to 20 at people’s homes. The restaurant is closed to the public on Mondays so that private events with special menus can be accommodated. Go to Tariffville to experience extraordinary food, drink, passion, and creativity at Present Company. Present Company 2 Tunxis Road Tariffville, CT 06081 860-658-7890

Artic Char; carpaccio of salt roasted beets, creamy carrot and candied ginger

Winter 2018


Braised Leg of Lamb Parmesan sausage stuffed, roasted eggplant risotto, tomato fondue Ingredients: 1 boneless leg of lamb 2 lbs. sweet Italian sausage 6 oz. parmesan cheese, grated 2 liters veal stock 1 bouquet garni Directions: 1. Butterfly the lamb and pound between two sheets of parchment paper to achieve a 1-inch thickness. Mix the cheese with the sausage and place in a log formation, spread across the lower part of the lamb. Roll up in a jelly roll fashion; tie the composition with butcher’s twine to secure the cylindrical form. 2. Sear lamb in a large braising pan, browning evenly on all sides. Remove carefully, add the veal stock and bouquet to pan, and deglaze. Return the lamb to the braising pan, cover with parchment paper and foil, braise in the oven for 5 - 6 hours at 250°F. 3. Let cool in pan. Remove the lamb carefully and re-roll the lamb in plastic wrap to tighten the form. Let cool overnight and slice to desired thickness. Reserve cooking liquid for fondue.

Roasted Eggplant Risotto Ingredients: 2 cups carnaroli rice 1 white onion, small diced 5 oz. red wine, merlot 1 liter vegetable stock 4 Italian eggplants grated Parmesan lemon Directions: 1. Roast eggplant whole in the oven for 30 minutes at 350°F. Let cool, split open, and scoop out all the meat. Discard skin. Sauté the eggplant meat in olive oil until it begins to caramelize (10 minutes), stirring constantly. While hot, blend in standing mixer until a smooth purée is achieved. 2. Sweat onions in olive oil, add rice, and toast for 2 minutes over medium heat. Deglaze with red wine, and begin to add stock in portions while constantly stirring rice with a wooden spoon. Once rice is cooked through, add eggplant purée and fold in with a bit more grated Parmesan and season with salt and lemon juice.

Tomato Fondue Ingredients: 32 oz. lamb braising liquid 3 oz. tomato paste 16 oz. San Marzano tomatoes, canned 2 oz. sherry vinegar Directions: 1. Place all ingredients in large non-reactive sauce pot, reduce slowly over medium low heat for 2 hours, or until desired thickness is achieved. Strain and season with salt and sherry vinegar.


Foodies of New England


Foodies of New England

Season’s Eatings Apples and Oysters with the

Fastest Chef in



Written by Sarah Connell Photography by Scott Erb and Donna Dufault

he distance between Chef Matt Louis’ two restaurants in Portsmouth is roughly a quarter of a mile, but he can make the trip in under two minutes if he runs through the alleyway. With three James Beard nominations under his belt in just three years’ time, his career is at full tilt. “James Beard nominations bring volume and a level of discerning clientele that we use as an internal tool to better ourselves,” he explains. As a result, Louis’ team continues to elevate Portsmouth as a dining destination, drawing nightly crowds to both Moxy and Franklin Oyster House.

Winter 2018


research. The simple concept brought things into focus for McSharry as well, and together, they launched Moxy. Louis hadn’t planned on opening a second restaurant, but when McSharry pulled him away from his prep work to show him a vacant space in Portsmouth’s historic Franklin House, Louis saw the opportunity as a means to retain and further develop his team from Moxy. “I thought, ‘If I don’t do something more, my crew will be capped. A new place would keep these people moving and growing,’” says Louis. While consumers are apt to associate New Hampshire with products like apples (more on that in a minute), the state had never been known to highlight its oysters. “I wanted to create a platform for what the oyster farmers were doing. Their story hadn’t been told,” Louis says. With the launch of Franklin Oyster House, people flocked to Louis’ door in search of Great Bay oysters. Louis grew particularly fond of Bay Point Oyster Company, owned by Tim Henry, and together, they cultivated an exclusive Franklin Oyster. “The Franklin Oyster is briny, sweet, and full bodied, but also well balanced,” Louis says. His staff at the Franklin Oyster House sells 800 Franklin Oysters a week. Oysters are actually best eaten in colder months, making them a natural fit for fall. In the fall, Louis also loves to cook with apples. He prides himself on maintaining personal connections with his farmers Louis hails from Raymond, New Hampshire, just a short drive from the city of Portsmouth. He attended the Culinary Institute of America before hightailing it to California to work for legendary Chef Thomas Keller. Louis worked at Bouchon Bistro for a year before graduating to French Laundry, the storied establishment that has been deemed the best restaurant in the world by many a publication. When Keller opened Per Se in New York during February 2004, he brought his staff with him, Louis included. Louis learned a great deal from Keller about caring for products, developing relationships with purveyors, and fostering professionalism among one’s staff. By the time Louis found his way home to New Hampshire, he was hungry to start his own project. Louis made a list of individuals in Portsmouth he felt he could go to for advice. At the top of that list was restaurateur Jay McSharry, with whom he struck up an organic friendship; before they knew it, the duo had formed a powerful business team. Louis says, “He kept hounding me about a concept and I kept shunning the idea. I’m not a ‘concept guy,’ I’m a cook.” Things finally clicked for Louis when he took a trip to New York to stage for Chef Rich Torrisi of Major Food Group. “The first thing Rich asked was, ‘What’s your concept?’” recalls Louis. Torrisi shared his own concept, a fluid mission in which Italian food would be resurrected in one of the most iconic Italian neighborhoods in New York. Louis was astonished but also inspired by Torrisi’s objective vision. Once he could articulate a concept of his own--modern American tapas focused on smaller plates meant for sharing and inspired by local culture-- Louis was finally able to immerse himself in extensive


Foodies of New England

and loves nothing more than making the trip to the oldest continuously-operated apple orchard in America, Applecrest Farm. Louis loves the versatility of an apple. “You can stretch apples from raw to savory to sweet. It’s a product that offers endless applications.” Moxy and Franklin Oyster House both boast menus that change as often as the tides, but guests can always count on apples and oysters come fall. Moxy has been known to serve a baked Pemaquid Oyster with anadama-apple stuffing and trout roe caviar that will have you running to Portsmouth at a pace only outmatched by the likes of Matt Louis. Both of Louis’ Portsmouth establishments are open seven days a week; reservations are suggested.

“Oysters are actually best eaten in colder months, making them a natural fit for fall.�

Moxy 106 Penhallow Street Portsmouth, NH 03801 603.319.8178

Chef Matt Louis

Winter 2018



Foodies of New England

Season’s Eatings

“Authentic to Us”


Written by Briana Palma Photography by Scott Erb and Donna Dufault

hen renowned pastry chef Joanne Chang and her husband, Christopher Myers, opened Myers + Chang in Boston’s South End in 2007, Chef Karen Akunowicz was one of the first to visit. “I was so excited that I couldn’t wait,” says Akunowicz, who was both a friend and a former associate of Myers at the time. She dined at the funky Asian restaurant for the first time less than two weeks after it had opened, and like many others, she quickly became a regular. Four years later, Myers and Chang came to her with a proposal: Join the restaurant as its new executive chef.

Winter 2018


Though Akunowicz had honed her culinary skills in Italy and at

Chang’s Pork and Chive Dumplings and Auntie Mia’s Spring Rolls.

other Boston-area institutions, including as the sous chef at Oleana,

Still, there are so many hits on the menu that it’s hard to mix things

she had no formal training in Asian cooking. The challenge excited

up without disappointing at least a few patrons, Akunowicz admits.

her and she decided to jump in, head first.

“Little by little, I have to sneak it in so that everybody stays happy,”

“Like anything, you study, you eat at as many places as you can, you read a million books,” she says. “When I started here, I worked

she says with a laugh. “I assure them that we can always bring something back.”

six days a week and I put myself on the line on those shifts. I worked

For example, she says, “I have Sweet and Sour Brussels Sprouts

the wok station, and I tasted all of the food and I really committed

that I put on the menu every fall and they stay until the spring. When-

myself and immersed myself, not just in Asian food, but really in the

ever I take them off, I get a lot of emails and phone calls and Ins-

food here at Myers + Chang.”

tagram posts and comment cards about the Brussels sprouts not

It didn’t take long for Akunowicz to leave her own mark—and

being on the menu.”

traces of her Mediterranean training—on the menu, which originally

Luckily for Myers + Chang fans, Akunowicz’s most popular cre-

had been a collection of recipes and flavors from Chang’s childhood.

ations appear alongside all the old favorites in Myers + Chang at

“We always laugh—our Sichuan Dan Dan noodles are like my

Home, a cookbook that was released in September to mark the

bolognese that I learned when I was living in Modena, Italy,” says

restaurant’s 10-year anniversary. The goal, Akunowicz says, “is to

Akunowicz, who has earned three James Beard nominations. “It

give everyone some of the Myers + Chang magic to take home with

has soy sauce and pickled mustard greens and five spice and shii-

them—give them a little of the glitter and sparkle—and also to really

take mushrooms and all of these ingredients that make it decidedly

show them that they can master these recipes, whether it’s folding

a Chinese dish—but it comes from my personal background of the

dumplings or making our mussels or our nasi goring [Indonesian

year I spent living in Italy.”

fried rice].”

She adds, “When people talk about the food [at Myers + Chang]

As for the restaurant, despite an always-evolving menu and the

being authentic or not, Joanne and I always say that it’s authentic

start of a new decade of its life, one thing is sure to remain the

to us.”

same: Akunowicz and her team work to make craveable, exciting

While Akunowicz is constantly creating and adding new dishes to

food served in a fun and welcoming atmosphere.

the menu—parsnips, Brussels sprouts, and black vinegar are some

“We just always want to impress our guests at Myers + Chang,”

of the ingredients that inspire her this time of year—there are some

she says, “and make sure that everyone shows up to our little party

Myers + Chang classics that she says will never go away, like Mama

every night.” See recipe on page 28


Foodies of New England

Chef Karen Akunowicz

Myers & Chang 1145 Washington Street Boston, MA 02118 617.542.5200

Winter 2018



Foodies of New England

Wok Roasted Lemongrass Mussels with Garlic Toast Serves 2 Ingredients: 1 stalk lemongrass 6 medium garlic cloves 2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro stems 1 tablespoon fish sauce 1 1/2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil 2 pounds PEI mussels, cleaned, scrubbed, and debearded (see Note) 1 1/2 cups white wine 4 slices crusty white bread, or 1 small French baguette, split in half 3 tablespoons unsalted butter 1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lime juice 2 teaspoons sugar 1 fresh Thai bird chili or jalapeùo, sliced 1 cup fresh cilantro leaves (about 1/2 bunch) Directions: 1. Peel and discard the dry, papery outer layers of the lemongrass; trim off the top two-thirds of the stalk, which is also dry and papery, along with the very base and discard. Coarsely chop the pale, bendable inner core. You should have about 2 tablespoons chopped lemongrass. Mince 3 of the garlic cloves and add to the lemongrass. Add the cilantro stems and finely mince all three ingredients together. Place in a small bowl and stir in the fish sauce and (1/2) teaspoon of the black pepper. It will look like a rough pesto. Set aside. The lemongrass mixture can be made up to a day in advance and stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator. 2. In a wok or large flat-bottomed saucepan, heat the olive oil over medium heat for about 30 seconds. Thinly slice 2 of the garlic cloves into and add to the oil. Add the lemongrass mixture and cook, stirring, until the garlic starts to brown, 1 to 2 minutes. Add the mussels and wine. Turn the heat up to high, cover the pot, and cook for 5 minutes. 3. While the mussels are cooking, toast the bread until golden brown and spread with 1 tablespoon of the butter. Split the remaining garlic clove in half and run the cut side over the buttered sides of the bread. Set aside. 4. Take a peek inside the pot. When the liquid is boiling and the mussels have opened, add the remaining 1 teaspoon black pepper, the lime juice, sugar, and chili. Stir in the remaining 2 tablespoons butter with a wooden spoon. Cook over high heat for 2 minutes to incorporate the butter. Fold in the cilantro leaves and discard any unopened mussels, since they are not fit to eat. Divide the mussels between two bowls and pour the broth over the mussels. Serve with the garlic toast. Note: A trick on cleaning mussels is to cover them in cold water for about 20 minutes or so and they will spit out any sand that might be inside of them. Excerpted from Myers + Chang at Home Š 2017 by Joanne Chang & Karen Akunowicz. Reproduced by permission of Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. All rights reserved.

Winter 2018



Foodies of New England

Warm Salad of Different Radishes, radish kimchi, avocado, creme fraiche, EVOO

Season’s Eatings

Fall in a Bowl at Persimmon Restaurant


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

dventurous and modern, Chef Champe Speidel’s philosophical approach to food is also eminently practical. “I love new ingredients and odd combinations, but if it is not delicious and crave-worthy, then it doesn’t stick around as a dish.”

Keeping an open mind about what works and what doesn’t is undoubtedly a factor in the success of his 12-year-old restaurant, Persimmon. The recent relocation from Bristol, Rhode Island to Providence further underscores that willingness to adapt. And, the new space has a completely different vibe.

Winter 2018


Whereas the Bristol restaurant had a rep-

book on cookery I could get my hands on.”

utation for being “buttoned up,” – Speidel’s

A refuge, he adds, that he still enjoys today.

words – Designer Libby Slader helped bring

Although the seasons and local farms

together classic and trendy in the new lo-

drive the flavor-focused menu at Persim-

cation: restored pine floors, a refinished and

mon, Speidel is “not afraid to use perfect

stained cherry wood bar, and a no-table-

wild salmon from Washington State or win-

cloth style featuring sleek walnut tabletops.

ter black truffles from Australia.” For this

“We want the restaurant to be whatever the

feature, he was asked to select a favorite

customer wants at a specific moment in

fall ingredient and incorporate it in a special

their life. It could be a quick bite at the bar,

dish for Foodies. It was no easy task, he

a casual drink and a few small plates with

assures us.

friends, or a full-blown tasting menu with a wine pairing from our sommelier.”

“If it were spring, I could easily say asparagus; summer, sweet corn; winter, sun-

Speidel, a six-time James Beard semi-

chokes. But fall has so many different of-

finalist, is a graduate of Johnson & Wales

ferings and they all support one another.”

University and his interest in cooking came

Speidel ultimately selected hard squash and

from time spent as a butcher in high school

says he likes “to make soup with them and

and college. After attending college in Flor-

serve as a garnish the different varieties in

ida, Speidel says he was “caught up in the

various textures to enhance the final soup.”

early food mania of the 90s” and thus en-

This recipe also lends itself to variations—

rolled at the culinary school. The experience

for example, adding orchard fruits like

served him well both in and out of the class-

quince, pear, and apple as well as chest-

room, with stints at the now closed Empire,

nuts, grapes, walnuts, and warm spices.

Neath’s, and The Gatehouse, as well as

“The soup is literally fall in a bowl playing

Gracie’s and The Ritz Carlton in St. Thomas

all those flavors and textures off one anoth-

(to which he credits learning finesse). And if

er,” he says. “The squash is the star, but it

that’s still not foodie enough for you, Speidel

relishes the supporting cast.”

enhanced his experiences by reading “every

Braised octopus, tomatoes, shaved fennel, sweet herbs, dehydrated olive, yellow pepper juice


Foodies of New England

Top Tips from Chef Speidel Squash soup is a treat in the adept hands of a James Beard chef, to say the least. It’s an accessible dish for the home cook, too. With this in mind, we asked Chef Speidel what advice he’d offer, in general, to foodies-in-the-kitchen. Start with great ingredients, and buy good pots, pans, and knives. Also, he says, don’t worry about adhering too closely to a recipe. “Learn more techniques so you can adapt different ingredients into different situations. Read cookbooks that stress technique over the ‘celebrity chef’,” Speidel advises. “Learn more about food science so you truly understand what is happening in the oven and on the stovetop. The better technique you have will take all the stress out of hosting a small or large dinner party or casual gathering.”

Persimmon 99 Hope Street Providence, RI 02906 401.432.7322

Chef and owner Champe Speidel

Glazed Butternut Squash Soup Ingredients: 2 medium butternut squash 2 tbsp medium brown sugar 1 tbsp butter, melted 1 tbsp butter, not melted Salt to preference Nutmeg to grate 2 cups water 1 cup heavy cream Directions: 1. Preheat the oven to 375°. 2. Peel the squash and slice in half lengthwise. Remove the seeds rinsing them to wash away the gelatinous and fibrous matter. Dice the squash in even, 1-inch cubes. Drain the seeds and place onto a sheet pan. Sprinkle with a little salt and 1 tablespoon of the melted butter. Roast the seeds in the oven for about 15 minutes. Check the seeds every five minutes, shaking the pan each time. Set a timer to be certain the seeds do not burn. The seeds are done when they turn golden brown, are dry and have a pleasant, roasted aroma. Set aside to cool.

Casonsei pasta stuffed with Italian buratta, heirloom cherry tomatoes, basils, evoo

3. In a heavy-bottomed six-quart pot add the diced squash, remaining butter and brown sugar and place on a mediumhigh burner. As the butter and sugar melt continually move the squash about the pot to glaze. Control your heat so the squash does not brown, you only want to glaze it. The heat should be high enough that no liquid comes out of the squash, but low enough that it is not burning. Once the squash appears glazed and coated with the melted sugar and butter add the salt and water. Scrape the bottom of the pot to be certain nothing has stuck and let the water come to a simmer. 4. Continue simmering (NOT BOILING) until the squash is very tender, about 20 minutes. If you poke the squash with a fork it should be soft. At this point add the cream and bring back to a simmer. 5. Simmer for another 5 minutes and prepare a blender. 6. Add the contents of the pot to your blender. If the blender is too small do this in batches. You need to use a proper blender, not a stick blender. You also need a fine-mesh strainer to achieve the ultimate texture. The aeration of the blender and the final straining will create the best overall texture of the soup. It should feel like silk on the palette, like pure luxury. 7. Blend the soup for at least one full minute then pour through the fine mesh strainer into another container. This can be prepared ahead of time and you can simply cool the soup down by placing the container of strained soup into a large bowl and pour ice water around the soup container. Stir to allow the steam to escape and once the soup is cool to the touch place it into a covered container and keep in the refrigerator for up to three days.

Chocolate-coated sweet basil mousse, raspberries, crunchy vanilla meringue

8. If using right away keep the soup warm in a pot on a very low burner or diffuser. Warm some bowls in the oven, add the soup to the warm bowls, grate a little fresh nutmeg over the top and sprinkle the seeds atop the soup. For another added luxury, whip a little unsweetened cream to dollop on the soup. Serve immediately.

Winter 2018



Foodies of New England

Roasted Pork, Fermented Black Bean, Charred Scallion, Lap Cheong

Season’s Eatings

At Hugo’s, Community is the Mother of Re-Invention


Written by Bradley Schwarzenbach Photography by Scott Erb and Donna Dufault

t’s one thing to bring a new restaurant to life. You have time to do research. You can develop a cutting edge menu that follows the booming trends of the day, pick your spot carefully, wait for just the right moment, or create new expectations instead of catering to existing ones. There’s even the chance to choose the name of your dreams.

But what about taking over an existing restaurant? Therein lies a greater challenge. There will be regulars pining for “the usual.” A place and name with brand value you’ll need to maintain. Is it possible to transform a community mainstay while maintaining what made it successful in the first place?

Winter 2018


Swordfish Beccy, Kim Chee Glaze, Corn, Wakame

“The boards offer a rotating cast of fish characters, including chub mackerel lightly pickled and stored in olive oil, scallops, and salmon.” Hugo’s Restaurant in Portland, Maine is

beef. Having three restaurants in Portland

including chub mackerel lightly pickled and

the product of just such a challenge. When

enables us to get creative with provisions

stored in olive oil, scallops, and salmon.

it was purchased in 2012 by Mike Wiley and

like that. We’ll divvy up different portions of

“Our fish is sustainably farmed and only of

his business partners Arlin Smith and An-

beef to different sites,” Wiley says.

the highest quality. Again, a testament to our

drew Taylor, it had been open for 24 years.

“The local farms have been working with

community because Maine has such a rich

“We feel like we’re stewards of Hugo’s.

us for awhile and they’ve learned our tastes.

Continuing the mission of seasonally-driv-

It’s one of the great things about being here.

Wiley adds that he’s particularly proud of

en, locally-sourced dining experiences in

There’s such a depth of farming knowledge

Hugo’s bread program. “Kim Rogers, our

a slightly more casual atmosphere,” Wiley

in Maine.”

executive pastry chef, does unbelievable

fishing community,” Wiley says.

says. “We want to be engaged with custom-

Wiley pins a lot of Hugo’s success to the

buttermilk biscuits and boules. She cave-

ers, and we want our chefs engaged with

thriving foodie community of Portland, and

ages her butter in cheese shops so it takes

the foods. They are encouraged to try new

not just the eager palates of the diners. He

on a rich, deep flavor.”

things, experiment, and come forward with

even gives a lot of credit to the competition

When the talk turns to steak, Wiley’s pride

new ideas.”

and adds that they’ve elevated their cuisine

gleams like the Northern Lights. “We do ri-

The open-design kitchen at Hugo’s serves

while delivering great customer service.

beye steaks that have been dry aged for 60

as a proving ground for dishes across the

“The restaurant scene has just blown up [in

to 90 days,” he says. “I challenge any lum-

portfolio of Big Tree Hospitality, which also

Portland] in recent years. But, we all work

berjack in the vicinity to eat a whole one. It’s

operates Eventide Oyster Company and

very well together.”

a visceral experience.”

The Honey Paw in the Portland area. “[Hu-

When asked about must-try dishes,

go’s is] a product of our partnerships with

Wiley’s mind immediately turns to the sea-

our purveyors. We get lamb, rabbits, and

food, calling out their fish boards for being

pigs from Northstar Farms [in Windham,

as exceptional as they are experimental. The

Maine]. Sometimes we’ll get whole sides of

boards offer a rotating cast of fish characters,


Foodies of New England

Hugo’s 88 Middle Street Portland, ME 04101 207.774.8538

Chef and owner Mike Wiley

Jet Star Tomato, Lobster Knuckle, Nasturtium Vinaigrette, Buttermilk

Bluefin Tuna Crudo, Charred Chile Puree, Sungold Tomato, Summer Squash

“The restaurant scene has just blown up [in Portland] in recent years. But, we all work very well together.�

Profiterole, Grilled corn Sorbet, Sungold Tomato Gelee, Coconut

Winter 2018


Hope & Main: Mix 1 Part New Dream to 3 Parts Old School Written by Di Marie Mariani Photography by Scott Erb and Donna Dufault


n the mix of the cozy, historic, waterfront town of Warren, Rhode Island, Hope & Main sits, stately, at 691 Main Street. Its sign entices foodies and non-foodies (or should I say, soon-to-be foodies) alike. The sign’s design, with its fork and spoon and an open book on a plate, stimulates your senses. You wonder, “Can I eat here ?”. What is this century-old, red brick, three story school’s sign trying to ingrain in the minds of us passersby? Ah! It reads – “Make food your business.” And that is just what Hope & Main does. Hope & Main dreams and produces a financial reality for its owners, members, and community. It is the state of Rhode Island’s first culinary incubator.


Foodies of New England

Lisa Raiola is the Founder and President

“Then, the food leaves the state. “ Hope &

Schoolyard Market. Perhaps you’re a buyer

of Hope & Main. Lisa’s husband, Waterman

Main generates revenue, teaches members

being fed tantalizing new brands of food at

F. Brown, is the co-founder, as well as the Di-

about the culinary arena they are entering,

The Tabletop Show. Hope & Main promises

rector of Business Operations. The couple’s

and engages the community in its creation

to not let you leave hungry—there’s a lot

mission is “…to help local entrepreneurs

of a healthful, local food culture.

to digest.

jump-start early-stage food companies and

During one month’s time, 50 to 60 en-

food related businesses by providing low

trepreneurs share the four kitchens at the

cost, low risk access to shared-use com-

incubator. The meals , the dressings, the

mercial kitchens and other industry specific

granolas, the desserts and confections,

technical resources.”

and so on are widely distributed and sold

Lisa and Waterman are residents of pic-

in local grocery stores, restaurants, and

turesque Bristol, which borders Warren.

farmers markets throughout New England,

In 2009, Lisa found a building that would

New York, and even some delicious finds in

help her create her own food visions. This

New Jersey. Some of these businesses are

site was at the point where Hope Street of

award-winning, while others are in the pro-

Bristol and Main Street of Warren intersect.

cess of carving their niche.

The property at Hope and Main streets was

Hope & Main also has a series of seasonal

just what Lisa was looking for, yet it was un-

events. While the apples are ripe for pick-

available. Then, Raiola was brought to the

ing, The Schoolyard Market is the place to

18,000-square foot Main Street School.

be on a Sunday from 10am to 2pm June

While standing on the first floor, she won-

through October. And when the frost is on

dered if there were other people like her that

the pumpkin , you can “Meet Your Maker.”

want to start a food business who could

This indoor market carries you through the

benefit from a shared-use facility.

colder months. Demos, classes, meeting

In October 2014, the innovation of Hope

spaces, and party rental space are just a

& Main was launched. Since then, this trail-

few of the many other community aspects

blazer facility has had over 100 businesses

of Hope & Main. Special events are al-

nest there, then fly away to take part in

ways being cooked up. You may be a lo-

the food economy. “We only consume 1%

cal foodie or a foodie who can’t resist be-

of what we catch and grow,” says Raiola.

ing fed Shakespeare under the tent at the

Hope & Main - 691 Main Street Warren, Rhode Island 02885 Phone: 401-245-7400 See recipe on page 40

Winter 2018


Tres Leches Cake

by Hope & Main Member Diana Capellan Diana, who draws from her Latin roots in her baking, won Rhode Island Food Fight’s Great Cupcake Championship in 2016 and had the honor of being the People’s Choice in 2017 at the Rhode Island Food Fights. Ingredients: Cake: 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting the cake pan 1 tablespoon baking powder 4 large eggs, separated 1 cup sugar 1/2 cup whole milk 1 teaspoon vanilla extract Soak: 1 (14-ounce) can sweetened condensed milk 1 (12-ounce) can evaporated milk 1 cup whole milk Topping: 1 cup heavy cream 1 teaspoon vanilla extract 1 tablespoon powdered sugar 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon Directions: 1. Preheat the oven to 350°. Spray or lightly butter and flour a 10-inch cake pan with 2-inch high sides and then line with parchment paper. Grease the parchment paper. Mix the flour and baking powder in a medium bowl. Set aside. 2. In a large mixing bowl, beat whites using an electric mixer, whip the egg whites until frothy. With the mixer running, gradually add the sugar and continue whipping until stiff peaks form. Add egg yolks, 1 at a time, blending well after each addition. Add the flour mixture in 3 additions, alternating with the whole milk and vanilla in 2 additions. Pour the batter into the prepared pan and bake until a tester inserted into the center comes out clean, about 30 minutes. Cool the cake slightly, about 10 minutes, then invert onto a platter with 1-inch high sides. Pierce the top of the cake all over with a thick skewer. Mix the sweetened condensed milk, evaporated milk, 1 cup while milk and vanilla extract. Pour the mixture over the cake while warm. Cover and refrigerate until cold, about 3 hours or overnight. 3. Combine 1 cup heavy cream vanilla extract and powdered sugar in a medium bowl. Whip using electric mixer; beat the cream until soft peaks form. Spread the whipped cream onto top of the cake and sprinkle with the ground cinnamon.


Foodies of New England

Something for almost every taste!

Inspired by dishes from around the world, we prepare a menu of fresh sautéed and grilled cuisine using only the finest ingredients. Our menu features a variety of over 70 sandwiches, North Shore Style Roastbeef, homemade soups, fresh salads, charcoal grilled burgers and steaks. Catering services available for any occasion. Come in today and see why we were voted Reader’s Choice Award for Best Sandwiches!

624 Main Street • Holden, MA 01522 508.829.4848

Winter 2018



Foodies of New England

Seafood Tower - Maine Lobster, Alaskan King Crab, Jumbo Shrimp, Bay Scallop Ceviche, Sriracha Coacktail Sauce, Parsley Aioli

The Floating Restaurant -

Odyssey Cruises Boston Written by Jeff Cutler Photography by Scott Erb and Donna Dufault


ometimes people assume cruise ships are floating factories where the food is uninspired and the diners are dressed in leisurewear or swimsuits. Step aboard Boston’s Odyssey ship and you’ll be astonished by the style, grace, setting, and most of all, the excellent food. That experience is mostly

the responsibility of Anthony Parise, the executive chef of Boston’s Entertainment Cruises. Though it’s Parise’s first job aboard a ship, his inventiveness with food garners attention regionally and nationally. Formerly the chef de cuisine at the Liberty Hotel in Boston, he learned that dining is an experience that is affected by a variety of factors…not the least of which is the venue. One of the first lessons Parise learned aboard the Odyssey was that ingredients can act very differently aboard a sea vessel. Add to the sometimes rocking waves (though the Odyssey doesn’t venture out if seas are too rough) the simple issue of climate control and execution. One challenge was simply preparing bread. “You can be the greatest chef in the world, but what works on land does not necessarily work on the water. My first time on board, I knew that making bread was possible, and the team and I achieved a great product in the fall,” says Parise. “But during winter, without the boat on, warming dough was virtually impossible. And in the summer, dough turned to putty in the heat. It’s all about learning what challenges the water brings.” continued on page 44

Odyssey Signature Warm Butter Cake with Blackberry Sauce

Winter 2018


Further, Parise has to know all the cooking systems aboard the ship so he can stay on top of maintenance and fix cookware on the fly. Keeping food tasting consistently good is a primary goal as the Odyssey is just one of many ships in Entertainment Cruise’s fleet. To coordinate food service, preparation, and an exceptional dining experience, Parise relies on his team. “Watching your team grow is the most rewarding feeling I believe a chef can receive,” he says. “There is never an easy day. Each day you have challenges. Some we can solve quickly, some take a lot of time and understanding [and] most of all, patience. Trying to figure puzzles out and still put out good food is the most fun I can ask for.” To that end, Parise has a strong focus on his staff. Along with regular classes covering anything from butchering whole animals to learning food cost, he’s also a proponent of fostering a complete skill set. According to Parise, it’s great to have a strong focus and cooking skills, but the best chefs are the well-rounded ones who have broad knowledge about the entire operation. “We will move employees from other ships to the Odyssey when they display the focus and desire to keep growing,” says Parise. While it sounds like the Odyssey is all team-building, staffing, finances or other machinations, the truth is their food is amazing. From their most popular dish - the short ribs - to a collection of delightful desserts, this team creates an experience that’s more than just puttering around Boston Harbor. Parise says the short ribs are the favorite menu item across the entire Odyssey fleet (there are other ships in Chicago and Washington, DC and other cruise vessel brands in the company - And the dish requires patience and skill to prepare correctly. For example, it takes a few hours to prepare and also a few hours to cook and cool. Proper cooling is key so the ribs can reabsorb juices. Then comes sauce reduction and final prep. To make a tender, well-seasoned dish, the chef cures the ribs for a full day along with the trimmings. Then they make a homemade broth from that. All the preparation and care is behind the scenes, hiding the fact that even aboard a ship that serves hundreds of meals a week, their goal is to create a great meal. Parise says it can be a challenge because “there is no getting more in time; there are no shortcuts allowed on board.” He adds that the reason Odyssey continues to have a place in diners’ hearts is because the ship’s service is the closest to an à la carte product you can get. As he provides tasty memories to guests on the Odyssey, Chef Anthony Parise is making dinner on the water a dynamic dining experience.


Foodies of New England

Executive Chef Anthony Parise

Jumbo Lump Crab Cakes - Sweet Corn, Red Bell Pepper & Thyme Succotash with Cajun Cream Sauce

Winter 2018


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Foodies of New England

“History of...�

Written by Joan Arnold Photography by Scott Erb and Donna Dufault

Joan is inspired by the people who love to create and enjoy good food. Trained in law, she is a writer by avocation interested in the stories of people and the food they make. Joan explores the craftsmanship, history and emerging cultures that make up the New England food scene.


Foodies of New England

Mulled Wine “Some boyl these spices in Wine, which they then sweeten with sugar, and then let run through a Hyppocras bag, and afterwards bottle it up, and use when they please.” John French The Art of Distillation (London: 1653) To mull is to heat, sweeten, and flavor with spices. In cold and damp weather – not unusual for New England – an ordinary wine, spiced and heated, is warming, comforting, and delicious. The experience connects us directly to the lives of generations of Europeans who mulled wine as a defense against the cold, disease, and the dark of winter as well as in celebration. As wine making and viticulture was established in Europe, spices began to travel west along the Silk Road and ocean trade routes. Thus, the happy combination of wine and spices, mulled for practical as well as celebratory reasons, was born and spread. Hints of the use of wine and spices together have been found in ancient Greece and Egypt. The 5th century B.C.E. Greek physician Hippocrates, for example, may have favored the combination as healthy. (He also devised a method for filtering water that would later be used to filter medieval versions of mulled wine.) Apicus, the Roman food authority of the 1st century C.E., is credited with a recipe for a mixture of wine and honey, boiled and reduced, to which saffron, bay, roasted date stones, and macerated dates were added. The citizens of ancient Rome appear to have relished spiced wine. They celebrated the winter festival of Saturnalia with banquets that included Conditum Pardoxum, meaning “marvelous spiced wine.” continued on page 50

Winter 2018


Wine became a staple in Europe during the Middle Ages. It was preferred in part as an alternative to unsanitary water. When spices became more widely available, Hippocras, the spiced wine of the medieval period, was invented. Recipes for Hippocras usually included cinnamon, ginger, and cloves. But they might also include exotic spices such as carpobalsamum - the flower bud of the Balsam of Judea tree – or grains of paradise. The latter have the heat of ginger or cayenne and were credited with a

“In cold and damp weather – not unusual for New England – an ordinary wine, spiced and heated, is warming, comforting, and delicious.”

remarkable variety of cures including killing

mas that included mulled wines, punches, and wassail. Charles Dickens, in A Christmas Carol, describes a reformed Scrooge offering hospitality over a Christmas bowl of Smoking Bishop, a mulled wine punch featuring oranges and ruby port with red wine and spices. And privileged children might enjoy Negus at their birthday parties. Mrs. Beeton’s Book of Household Management includes a simple recipe of port wine, diluted with water, to which sugar lemon and nutmeg were added. Because the recipe was most commonly used for children, Mrs.

worms and being an antidote to poison. It

“cast them through your bags two times or

Beeton suggests the wine used should be

is likely that many housewives had a family

more as you see cause. And so drink it.”

nothing very old or expensive.

recipe for Hippocras. And if not, she could

The “bags” refer to cloth filters used to strain

Mulled wine – using wine neither old or ex-

consult a male author on the topic on how

the spices. It is from this filtering system, in-

pensive - is as welcome today as it has been

to prepare a proper Hippocras for her hus-

vented by Hippocrates, that Hippocras took

for centuries. For a version that is especially

band. In 1596, Thomas Dawson, writing in

its name.

suited to a New England winter, check out

The Good Housewife’s Jewel, suggested

In the 19th century the popularity of

using white wine, sugar, and spices, seeping

mulled wine was revived, particularly with

the mixture in an earthen pot all day. Then

the Victorian invention of a festive Christ-


Foodies of New England

Ina Garten’s recipe blending apple cider and red wine with honey, citrus, and spices.

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Hot Chocolate Balls made by chocolatesU featured in Foodie Finds on page 115.


Winter 2018



Foodies of New England

A Wicked Twisted

Perfect Pretzel Written by Christine Whipple Photography by Scott Erb and Donna Dufault

Wicked Twisted Pretzels makes 10,000 pretzels a day. Interviewing brothers Josh and Shawn Briggs was humbling. Their story is about ingenuity, persistence, fun and hard work, resulting in the only all-natural pretzel in the US. Shawn started out with a pretzel tutorial. “Most pretzels contain four ingredients-flour, salt, sugar, and yeast. Yeast makes the difference. How much and the quality completely changes the profile. We import organic German Malted Barley for our pretzels.�

Winter 2018


Josh was the Director of Recruiting for

Josh took the pretzels to Funky Murphy’s,

Westborough Road, North Grafton (in the

Bertucci’s, and Shawn was a training and

305 Shrewsbury St, Worcester, where his

same space, they are now 4,000 square feet

project manager at Bose Corporation in

band performed. The pretzels were a suc-

+ an outdoor freezer). The Briggs brothers

2011. Growing up in Upstate New York,

cess. The owner asked to sell them on a

hand made and delivered pretzels after work

they shared a childhood memory of amaz-

regular basis. Josh remembers that start.

almost every day and on Saturdays (200-

ing German pretzels.

“Our orders got big quick,” he says. “Two

300/day) for two years. “Every time we sold

more Shrewsbury Street restaurants asked

a batch of pretzels,” Josh says, smiling, “we

for pretzels. By months end, we were bak-

would buy another sheet pan.”

On Sundays, their families watched football games together.

A foodie who likes

to experiment, Shawn was searching for

ing daily.”

After a year, Funky Murphy’s owner said, if

the perfect Italian pizza recipe, when Josh

Shawn added that Wicked Twisted Pret-

the Briggs could provide frozen pretzels, he

observed that it would make great pretzel

zels was “established” on National Pretzel

would put them on his menu. They bought

dough.” They had searched nationally for

Day, April 26, 2012. They bought a fridge, a

their first freezer.

what they remembered. Each Sunday, the

mixer and two stainless steel tables.

“We realized that we needed to learn

brothers would make new pretzel batches

Realizing that they could no longer cook

more about distribution”, Shawn says, “and

for their families. After trying hundreds of

pretzels out of Shawn’s home, they found a

recognized the importance of joining trade

recipes, they baked the perfect pretzel.

400 square foot commercial kitchen at 135

organizations. Joining the Massachusetts


Foodies of New England

“Twisting pretzels is not easy,” Josh says, as we finished off our pretzel snack. “You have to twist about 100 pretzels before you get it right.” Restaurant Association (MRA) changed everything.” In 2014, Shawn and Josh walked an MRA trade show thinking, “Can we do this?” At the end of day three, they were about to leave; they walked by the Boston Gourmet Chef booth. The owner, Chris Gagnon, asked what they did. When they told him they made pretzels, Gagnon stood up from the box he was packing and said, “We would like to sell pretzels.”

Shawn says, “Chris placed a large order

and…we panicked. We didn’t know the language— food testing, shelf life, nutrition labels.” Later in 2014 they left their day jobs. “That first year was rough,” says Josh. “We took no salary. That was crazy.” Four months later, Gagnon introduced Wicked Twisted Pretzels to Whole Foods; they ordered immediately. “When they ordered a pallet of this, a pallet of that, asking for immediate delivery, we asked if we could have 6 weeks, “says Shawn, “and quickly learned about SKUs and pallets.” As business grew, he adds, “We decided that ‘local’ is important to us. People like to know where their food comes from. Local food and quality ingredients mean something.” “Twisting pretzels is not easy,” Josh says, as we finished off our pretzel snack. “You have to twist about 100 pretzels before you get it right.” Today pretzels are still hand-twisted, boiled, then lightly salted and baked. They also sell 3 flavors of mustard, based on a family recipe that goes back three generations. Wicked Twisted Pretzels are sold in over 250 locations, including the suites at Gillette Stadium, British Beer Company, and The House of Blues in Boston.

Shawn and Josh Briggs

Winter 2018


Gluten Free

Mid-Winter Comfort Foods Written by Ellen Allard Gluten Free Diva Photography by Scott Erb and Donna Dufault

Ellen Allard, the Gluten Free Diva,

the winter as hot, stick-to-your-bones comfort food. Of course, the first thing that comes to my mind is my much-requested stained from years of use recipe for Beef Stew which I make in a crockpot. But I ask you, what’s a Gluten Free Diva to do, especially when she’s trying to stick to her New

is an over-the-moon enthusiastically

Year’s Resolutions of preparing lighter, plant-based recipes? Broccoli Mushroom Crust-

hip and motivational Certified

less Quiche, gluten free and dairy free, that’s the ticket. Light and creamy in a comfort

Holistic Health Coach who helps

food kind of way, bursting with a delicate flavor that will have you rethinking conven-

clients banish the bloat and embrace gluten free lifestyle changes that enable them to fall madly in

tional comfort foods. And the menu includes Gluten Free Flatbreads sure to please. When I traveled to Tuscany, Italy in 2004, pre-Celiac diagnosis, I enjoyed many a pizza with salad atop it. Paying homage to that trip, I offer you an Arugula Salad atop flatbread that is really pizza crust in disguise. It’s perfectly legitimate to take a gluten free

love with the food that unequivo-

mix and reuse it with another purpose in mind. We gluten free folks have to get creative

cally loves them back. A graduate

whenever we can.

of the Institute for Integrative Nutrition, Ellen is a recipe developer, food writer, food photographer and videographer (www.glutenfreediva. com/blog/.) She passionately

And who can resist sweet potato fries roasted to perfection, glazed with agave and finished with a squeeze of lime juice? And I wouldn’t be the Health Coach that I am if I didn’t take the opportunity to share with you that sweet potatoes have a very high nutritional value. They are high in vitamin C, calcium, folate, potassium and beta-carotene, they have a low glycemic index which means when youe at them, your blood sugar level won’t be spiked as quickly as if you ate a white potato. And they’re great for your

promotes optimal health through

skin. Instead of spending a bundle of money on fancy creams, eat a sweet potato! And

informed food choices and whole

did I mention that they are a superior, fiber-rich food? All good reasons to add sweet

plant-based foods. She loves all

potatoes to your diet.

things food and health and is happy to talk to you about the same!



ong, cold days, brrrrrr. Nothing feels quite as comforting in the middle of

Foodies of New England

Winter 2018


Gluten Free Flatbread Ingredients: Bob’s Red Mill Pizza Mix 1 1/2 c. warm water 2 large eggs 2 tbsp olive oil 1 package active dry yeast (not rapid-rising) Rice flour for dusting (or use other gluten free flour) Corn meal, optional Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Add pizza stone to oven to preheat them as well. Alternatively use the back of a large cookie baking sheet. Place mix and yeast packet in the bowl of a stand mixer (or use a regular bowl and hand mixer). Combine the water, eggs and olive oil in a measuring cup and whisk to blend. With mixer running, add liquid to dry mixture, starting on a slow speed. When ingredients are blended, increase to high speed and mix for 3 minutes. Place bowl in refrigerator to chill dough for 30 minutes. Remove bowl from refrigerator. Use rice flour to dust the surface on which you’ll shape the dough. The dough will be sticky, but using rice flour and a wet ice cream scoop will help you work with it. Dip an ice-cream scoop into a cup of water to wet it, scoop the dough and then place on the floured surface. Sprinkle some additional rice flour on top of the dough and begin gently spreading it into the shape of a circle with the palm of your hand. Add flour as needed, if your hand begins to stick to the dough. When your desired shape and size has been reached, sprinkle one side of dough with some corn meal. Gently coax the dough you’ve shaped onto a spatula. Place on the pizza stone. Bake 4 minutes, then flip and bake another 4 minutes, or until both sides just turn golden brown. Depending on your oven, you might need to bake them for less or more time. Remove from oven and place on cooling rack for five minutes then place some of the arugula salad on top of each flatbread.

Arugula Salad Ingredients: Arugula Red pepper, diced Olive oil Lemon juice S&P Combine arugula and red pepper in a bowl. Drizzle with some olive oil. Add some freshly squeezed lemon juice. Finish with salt and pepper to taste. The amount of olive oil and lemon juice you use will be according to your own personal taste. I like equal amounts; you might find it too sour in which case add more olive oil.


Foodies of New England

Broccoli Mushroom Quiche Ingredients: 1 tbsp vegetable oil 1 c. chopped onion 1 c. sliced button mushrooms 2 c. broccoli flowerettes 6 large eggs 1/2 c. + 2 tbsp soy creamer 1 c. + 2 tbsp Daiya non-dairy cheese (cheddar flavor) a touch of freshly grated nutmeg 1/4 tsp sea salt freshly ground pepper Preheat oven to 375° F. Heat vegetable oil in a large cast iron skillet (or one that can go in the oven). Saute onion, mushrooms and broccoli in vegetable oil over medium heat for five minutes. Remove from heat. Meanwhile, beat eggs and soy creamer until blended. Add Daiya cheese, nutmeg, salt and pepper. After vegetables have been sautéed for five minutes and removed from heat, pour liquid mixture over sautéed vegetables. Place in preheated oven and cook for 25 minutes. Use a toothpick to check for doneness. Toothpick should come out clean. Let quiche stand for five minutes before serving.

Sweet Potato Fries Ingredients: 3 large sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into wedges 1 tbsp olive oil 1 tsp agave 1 tsp cumin 1/4 tsp chipotle powder 1/4 tsp salt Lime juice Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Place a baking sheet in the oven to preheat it as well. This will help crisp the fries. In a large bowl, toss the wedges of sweet potato with olive oil, agave, cumin, chipotle powder, and salt. Combine thoroughly so all the pieces are coated with the mixture. Spread the potato wedges on a baking sheet, in a single layer. Bake for 25 – 30 mimnutes, turning after the first 15 minutes, until browned and crisp. Let cool for 5 minutes before you serve them. Drizzle with lime juice just before serving.

Winter 2018


It’s not every day you dine in a restaurant that was a wedding present in 1875‌in the form of a mansion.


Foodies of New England

Cheese Board - Locally sourced and select imported cheeses, house jam, local raisin nut bread

A Mansion in the City Written by Ed Londergan Photography by Scott Erb and Donna Dufault


rchitectural charm combined with dark wood and warm marble creates a relaxing atmosphere to enjoy fine food and drink at Bull Mansion, a new American bistro in an ornate Victorian Gothic-style mansion in Worcester, Massachusetts. Listed on U.S. National Register of Historic Places and built by Daniel Wesson, one of the founders of gun manufacturer Smith and Wesson, the mansion was a wedding present for his daughter Sarah. She married George Bull, a pre-eminent ophthalmologist of the day. Victoria Mariano is co-owner of the restaurant as well as two other popular gathering spots in the city, live music venue Electric Haze and Hookah lounge Spiritual Haze. The restaurant and bar is on the lower floor with the Lincoln Ballroom on the second floor with four private rooms accommodating from 24 to 70 people on third floor. Despite being a mansion, the restaurant has a casual vibe, in contrast to several restaurants that occupied the building before it. . “All ages and types of people take pleasure in their time here,” Mariano says. “They enjoy themselves with the surroundings, the food, and entertainment.” continued on page 62

Winter 2018


Mariano knows that local sourcing means trust, so 98% of their raw ingredients are locally sourced. They get beef from Clover Springs Organic Farm in West Brookfield, cheese from Cricket Creek Farm in Williamstown, produce from Overlook Farm in Brookfield and Applefield Farm in Stow, dairy products from Gibson’s Dairy in Worcester, and pork from Christian Hill Farm in Barre. “Local sourcing teaches people that farmers are helping them take care of their bodies by producing great food,” Mariano says. The lunch menu includes a delicious grilled cheese that has local, soft ripened rind cheese, slices of pear, turmeric honey, sea salt, and winter greens on a multi-grain bread. The best-selling lunch item is the Mansion Burger, which features four layers (one for each level of the mansion); ingredients change with each season. The dinner menu includes offerings such as Pastrami Salmon, flatbreads of sweet potato, spicy sausage, and roasted beet. Entrées includes Moroccan Lamb Tangine, Pumpkin Scallion Waffles with buttermilk fried chicken thighs and spiced local maple syrup, and Beer Braised Pork Shank with caraway apple cabbage, roasted potato, lemon herb gremolata and tomato Gansett beer gravy. The weekend brunch menu has an “ultimate Bloody Mary” setup that includes the Pastrami Salmon as well as applewood bacon and fried quail. The chef at Bull Mansion, Gary Ankin, lived in Germany until he was a teenager. He pulls from this and a variety of restaurant experiences to create interesting dishes. “Gary has an adventurous personality and we want to make sure he has what he needs to continue to be creative,” Mariano says. “Yes, it is a business, but you have to play a bit. I want the staff to enjoy what they do.” In keeping with the style and atmosphere of the building, Bull Mansion has quarterly speakeasy events, where guests in period clothing listen to jazz and ragtime music while enjoying their favorite cocktail. You might just feel like you’re stepping back to an era when meals were taken at a more leisurely pace.

Charcuterie - locally sourced and house crafted meats, house “tiger” mustard and olive bread


Foodies of New England

Bull Mansion 55 Pearl Street Worcester, MA 01608 508.755.6070

Executive Chef Gary Ankin

Tuna Noodle Bowl - house ramen broth, sushi grade tuna, cilantro. cabbage, sprouts and 149° egg, imported Soba noodles

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

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

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Gardens by Renee

Written by Renee Bolivar Photography by Scott Erb and Donna Dufault

Renee is a professional landscaper who has turned her passion for growing clean fruits, veggies, herbs and edible flowers into a successful and “growing” business. Renee’s mission is to connect people to their food, to nature and to one another. Through her business, Renee teaches people how to grow their own food through one on one consulting, hands-on workshops, design, build, and maintenance of edible landscapes, writing and Garden2Glass™ events. For more growing tips and garden love, check out Gardens by Renee on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and Instagram @Gardensbyrenee


Foodies of New England


Wayward Gardener

As the season winds down here in New England, I find myself preparing for the winter months, all the while thinking ahead to the next growing season. Call it independence, self-reliance, or perseverance. Seed saving and propagation are very important to me. I think I might be an undercover prepper. My biggest goal for the 2017 season was to grow, collect, and save as many seeds as possible. It’s pretty simple. You let your plants flower and then go to seed. Once the seed pods are dry, you collect them, save them, and use them for future plantings. Ralph Waldo Emerson wrote, “It is simpler to be self-dependent. The height the deity of man is to be self-sustained.” I subscribe to this theory whole heartedly. It’s partially why I collect seeds and propagate my own plants. I also save seeds for the security, thrift, and satisfaction. Each year I see the prices of seed packets go up and up. The corporate seed hybridizers are buying up small seed companies left and right; they’re replacing rare, heirloom types with their patented hybrids. The result is less choice, more cost, and sadly, dependency. continued on page 68

Winter 2018


So, what’s a girl to do? Keep growing. I’m on a mission. Every year I rely less and less on seed companies to provide me with what I need to grow. I’ll likely never have to purchase seeds of dill, cilantro, green beans, carrots, parsnip, arugula, garlic, or Sungold and Black Cherry tomato ever again. As long as the plants that we grow are open pollinators of heirloom, we’re good to go. Collecting seeds doesn’t take a whole lot of skill. You simply let your heirloom or openpollinator plants do exactly what it is that they were meant to do…grow. (Last year I left a few carrots in the ground to overwinter. This spring they shot up a big flower stalk. I let it grow to provide lots of sweet nectar for our bees and other pollinators.) Let the flowers turn into seed pods, dry them, and collect the tiny seeds for planting. It’s fun and very rewarding. Growing your own food and gardening isn’t just an act of cultivation. It’s an act of love, strength, and independence. For more information on Gardens by Renee, visit You can follow Renee on Twitter @gardensbyrenee, Pinterest gardensbyrenee/growyourown, and Facebook gardensbyrenee.


Foodies of New England

Winter 2018


Welcome to Paradise! Paradise Hills Vineyard & Winery in Wallingford, CT Written by Daniel Lieberman Photography by Scott Erb, Donna Dufault


Foodies of New England


l Ruggiero—Uncle Al—sets up glasses for a wine tasting. He arranges the bottles to be sampled on the bar in the main building of the winery. He leans on the bar, smiles, and says: “Welcome to Paradise!” Richard and Albert Ruggiero grew up in Hamden, Connecticut. The brothers

were always involved in making wine according to the traditions of their Italian immigrant family. Richard, his wife Brenda, and Al dreamed of owning a winery where they could grow their own grapes and make fine wine, so they bought the property in Wallingford and opened Paradise Hills in 1997. The name of the winery is a serendipitous combination of street names from Hamden: the family lived on Hill Street, and Paradise was a nearby cross-street.

Winter 2018


The winery is set on 65 acres of rolling hills along Connecticut’s historic George Washington Trail (General Washington passed through Wallingford in search of provisions for his troops in 1775. History does not record that he was shopping for wine, although he is known to have visited John Swathal’s tavern.) Grapevines cover about nine acres of Paradise Hills. Planting started in 1997, so there are plenty of mature vines today in 2017. The soil is a rocky clay that provides great drainage—essential for top-quality grapes. The Ruggieros grow both traditional vinifera (a common European grape) and cold-hardy hybrids. When the grapes are ripe, they are tested for sugar content to decide when they are ready to harvest. Family members do all of the harvesting with help from volunteers recruited via the winery’s newsletter and social media. Once all grapes of a given variety have been picked, they’re weighed to measure how much yield per row they have produced. Then they’re brought to the crush pad, put through a crusher and destemmer, and fermented in stainless steel vats. Fermentation takes from two to four weeks, depending on the variety. After fermentation, aging is done in vats and bottles. White wines are aged for nine months, reds for two years. About 3,500 cases of wine are produced each year. The winery features a spacious, comfortable Tuscan-style tasting room with a custom-made copper wine bar and mahogany tables. Right outside the tasting room, tables overlook the vineyards. An outside bar is open during the warm months. Visitors are encouraged to bring their own food to enjoy along with Paradise Hills’ exceptional wines. A tasting consists of six pre-selected wines for $10. For $15, a souvenir glass with the Paradise Hills logo is included. Other wines on the menu not included in the tasting collection can be sampled for $2 per wine. And of course, wine may be purchased by the glass or bottle. We tasted a delicious Chardonnay, the excellent red President’s Choice, and a refreshing Washington Trail Rosé. On the drawing board for 2018 is a Wine Club to offer more intimate and immersive experiences for wine lovers who enjoy being part of the Paradise Hill community. Ideas include a wine-of-the-month club, exclusive tastings, and dinners in partnership with local restaurants. The Ruggieros are deeply committed to sustainable agriculture and reuse practices. The main building is geoheated and cooled, and energy-saving gravity-fed machinery is employed wherever possible. Passion


Foodies of New England

for the future of wine making and horticulture in Connecticut led them to establish a scholarship at Lyman Hall High School, where Ruggiero sisters Margaret and Natalie graduated. All tips received at the winery go to the Annual Scholarship Fund to help support Lyman Hall graduates studying Oenology (wine science) or Plant Science. Paradise Hills Winery is one of the 38 wineries in Connecticut participating in the Connecticut Farm Wineries Passport program, and it’s one of 26 along the Connecticut Wine Trail. Visitors to wineries in the passport program who collect stamps during their visits are eligible to win prizes in a drawing held in the fall. The winery is open seven days a week year round. Friday evenings and Sunday afternoons feature live music. All wine tastings are first come, first served. No reservations are taken, but prior notification by email is required for groups of eight or more.

Paradise Hills Vineyard & Winery 15 Wind Swept Hill Road Wallingford, CT 06492 203.284.0123

Winter 2018


“The Ruggieros are deeply committed to sustainable agriculture and reuse practices.�


Foodies of New England

Brenda and Albert Ruggiero

Winter 2018


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

Falling Ahead with



’m sure that you are familiar with “Spring Forward” and “Fall Behind” as it relates to time, but I always choose to fall ahead with the flavors of my food. As we move toward the colder months, taste profiles change and menus adapt to fulfill our desires for fall flavor and heartier eating. I love to cook some time-honored cool weather recipes, but I equally enjoy my continuing quest for pioneering new paths for advancing flavor. Fall ingredients present a great opportunity to explore and expand your reach. You can harness this potential by taking things like grass-fed meats or sustainable fish and introducing them to herbs, spices, and seasonal items that integrate well with fall themes.


Foodies of New England

Winter 2018


Some of what I describe can be accom-

dried fruits, and sauces made with cider,

berry bog and watching the annual cran-

plished by joining a winter CSA at your local

wine, or flavored liquors, you are in theme

berry harvest. Go to a picturesque apple

farm. It will help you eat closer to the source.

for this time of year. In its original form, dried

orchard and breathe the fresh air while you

Plus it’s like being woven into your own per-

chilies, cumin, smoked sea salts, and blood

bite into a crisp apple and taste the cider

sonal version of Chopped: Every week when

orange can certainly transport boar’s South-

that those apples produce. Take a drive to

you visit the farm, you’ll discover items in

western nature to light.

With the added

a local farm and pick out some fall squash,

your box that you can creatively make into

benefit of select peppers, roasted chiles,

and when you return home, combine that

new fall dishes in your kitchen.

nopales (cactus), or a flavorful mole, a wild

cooked squash with some sage and maple

Fall, more than any other time of year,

dish of boar can warm you up on a cold day

syrup, and use it in a layer of a fall-themed

makes me crave the flavor of wild game. It

and have you saying Ole! Foraged foods


offers a unique food experience that differ-

also play quite nicely into pairing up with

Fall ahead by experiencing flavors that

entiates itself from other types of food of-

wild boar. I was almost giddy recently when

usher you into the fall season. Open up your

ferings. I often get asked what type of wild

I found a new artisan partnership for Wild-

culinary focal lens to explore and experience

game is my favorite, and which one do I

Cheff that specializes in foraged foods as I

fall food.

enjoy cooking most. One favorite is wild

was building out my vision for how I would

boar. I have always found boar compelling;

share my love of wild game with you.

its sweet and succulent qualities draw you

Depending on which fork you take in the

to it, and for this time of year, it’s a natural

road, boar pairs well with bold or fruity red

fit for my menu. In comparison to domes-

wines, and if a cold beer seems more ap-

ticated pork, you will discover that the wild

propriate, you can’t go wrong with a double

version has much more depth of flavor—in

IPA, pumpkin ale, or amber lager.

a good way.

There is purity of flavor that you can bring

Boar is also very adaptable and plays well

to reality when you infuse passion into your

with other ingredients on the plate. Herbs

cooking. Fall ingredients are all around you,

such as garlic, rosemary, sage, turmeric,

and New England has an abundant sup-

and thyme will bring about its rustic charm;

ply of options through the many things that

and with the addition of root vegetables,

grow here. Get inspired by visiting a cran-


Foodies of New England

See recipe on page 80 Denny Corriveau is Award-Winning Master Game Chef and the Founder of the Free Range Culinary Institute, the only national wild game cooking school in the country. As a trendsetter in the field of wild game culinary arts, and Wild Game Evangelist, Denny has evolved over the past 25+ years as a nationally-noted authority on “best practices” regarding the culinary side of wild game. You can learn more about Denny @

Winter 2018


Wild Boar Loin Chops with Cranberry Chimichurri Ingredients: 1 rack of wild boar WildCheff Roasted Garlic Powder WildCheff Cinnamon Chile Rub 1 lb of organic carrots, peeled and cut on bias 1 tablespoon of WildCheff Blood Orange Olive Oil 1-2 teaspoons of WildCheff French Sea Salt 1 tablespoon of farm fresh butter For the Chimichurri: 1/4 cup of frozen cranberries 3 cloves of fresh garlic, minced 1 cup of cilantro 1 cup of Italian flat leaf parsley 1 shallot 1-2 tablespoons of WildCheff Blood Orange Olive Oil 1 tablespoons of WildCheff Cranberry Balsamic Vinegar Juice of 1 lime 1 teaspoon of pure sea salt 1/4 teaspoon of pepper *All WildCheff products available at


Foodies of New England

Directions: 1. Remove the rack from the refrigerator, take away any packaging. Slice off individual chops from the rack, and then coat them with WC blood orange olive oil. Now, season both sides of the chops with desired amount of sea salt, WC Roasted Garlic Powder, and WC Cinnamon Chile Rub. 2. While the loin chops sit, place the chimichurri ingredients into a food processor and pulse until chopped, but do not puree them. Allow the pulsed ingredients to sit so flavors merge while the chops are being prepared. 3. To prepare the carrots, place the cut carrots into a steamer basket and season the top of them with French sea salt. Steam them until they are just beyond the raw stage and al dente. Drain the water from your pot and place the cooked carrots into the hot pan. Add the butter and olive oil to the carrots and gently stir to melt the butter and mix everything. They are then ready to plate. 4. To cook the chops, heat up your outdoor grill to 500°. Place chops onto hot grill, and once the first side gets seared, turn them over with a pair of tongs and repeat on other side. You are looking to cook them about 4 minutes per side to achieve optimal results; a medium-rare to medium internal doneness. Remove chops from grill and let rest for 5 minutes before serving. 5. To serve, place carrots in center of plate. Rest boar chops against the carrots with bones facing upward. Drape the chops with the chimichurri and drizzle flavored balsamic. Close your eyes when you take your first bite and let your imagination and palate usher you into fall flavors. Note: Boar should be served no differently than most game steaks; pink in the middle to enjoy prime flavor.

Subscriptions Are Here! Tired of missing out on the latest issue of Foodies of New England? Subscribe now and have Foodies of New England delivered right to your door! Check out our website for details & Bon Appetit!

The Shrine Welcomes Pilgrims Year Round

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

Winter 2018


Honey-doo: Culinary Students Compete Written by David G. Kmetz Photography by Scott Erb and Donna Dufault


ow does one become a pro chef, line cook, or key cog in the culinary and hospitality business? Here’s one good way: Educating and nurturing--with strong discipline--culinary students who will be cooking and serving our meals out in the years ahead.

Culinary students at Tantasqua Regional High School in Sturbridge, Massachusetts recently got a first-hand im-

mersion into the demanding process at the 2017 Team Chef Competition, a fund-raiser for the school’s culinary arts scholarship program. The 7th annual event took place April 2, 2017 at the Sturbridge Host Hotel. For the competition, Tantasqua culinary students and local chefs join up to prepare a savory en-tree and dessert of their choice. As in years past, there were six teams, each with one or two students and a head chef mentor. The participating restaurants were: Cornerstone Café at Tantasqua Regional High School (Sturbridge), The Castle Restaurant (Leicester), Uncle Jay’s Twisted Fork (Cherry Valley), Rovezzi’s Ristorante, Sturbridge Host Hotel, and Sturbridge Seafood (the latter three, all in Sturbridge).


Foodies of New England

It was an intense team effort, with the

teams have propane-fueled hot plates and

formally plated piece for visual review only

judges and attendees enjoying an embar-

coolers fitted out with a bit of gear, pans,

by the judges and then it was whisked off

rassment of riches in the form of flavors

utensils, and not much else. The judging cri-

to the photographer for its ‘Mr. DeMille’

and plating presentations. Students are put

teria focused on appropriate temperatures

moment. Photos of the platings and teams

deep into the discipline of prep and plating

of hot and cold dishes, flavor profiles / domi-

were provided by student Elias Nelson.

out and get the buzz of competing at a pub-

nant ingredients, attention to a mix of tex-

At noon, the event was opened to the

lic event under heavy time pressure with-out

tures and ‘mouth feel,’ plus overall creativity

general public and the throng patiently wait-

their usual arsenal of tools and equipment.

and plating. Many chefs were seen hovering

ing outside got to join the judges and staff

The competitors’ special ingredient this

over their dishes intently with tweezers and

for the afternoon feast. Winners were cho-

year: honey.

towels, making final minute adjustments to

sen by ballot box for people’s choice and

Set-up and prep by the teams started

toppings and keeping those plate edges im-

by a voting matrix with assorted criteria for

around 10am, with formal plating and pre-

maculate for the best visual effect and pho-

the judges. Not easy, this judge can attest,

sentations to the judges at 11:15. The

tography. Several of the teams presented a

continued on page 84

Winter 2018


as the dishes were very diverse in approach, creativity, and combinations of ingredients; this year’s assortment included organic honey flower, Granny Smith apples, apricot honey glaze, flame roasted Fiji apples, turmeric, pureed root vegetables, fried leeks, collard greens, jalapeño fritters, pistachios brittle, mascarpone, jasmine rice, charred asparagus, mustard seed caviar, to list a few. Judges’ Choice winners: Entrée: The Castle Restaurant for Pan-Seared Scallops with a Honey and Tomato Confit; Dessert, Rovezzi’s Ristorante, Jasmine Green Tea and Honey-Infused Risotto Pudding. People’s Choice winners: Entrée: Sturbridge Host Hotel, Honey/Yogurt Marinated Pork

Cornerstone Café at Tantasqua Senior High School: Joshua McClusky and Marissa Parker (sophomores) with Chef Adam Popp.

Shoul-der topped with a Roasted Veggie and Honey Puree and Wine Reduction; Dessert: Sturbridge Seafood, Puff Pastry Profiterole with a Honey Brittle. A big thanks from this writer to the other judges and Louis Lariviere of the Tantasqua Culinary Program for putting such a fine event together. One more

of Carly









Host Hotel team, offered her intimate take on the whole experience. Her piece is in the sidebar. So get your napkins out and have a conceptual sit-down planned for a few years hence when student Phaneuf and her eager talented classmates start hammering out the tasty orders at a restaurant near you.

Rovezzi’s Ristorante in Sturbridge: Maxwell Hunter (senior) with Chef Erica D’Amico.

Sturbridge Seafood in Sturbridge: Riley Feeney (senior) with Chef/Owner Ken Yukimura.


Foodies of New England

Chef Jason Rollman, and junior student Tayla Shepard.

A Student’s Perspective “Competing in Team Chef, with the Sturbridge Host, was an eye-opening opportunity. I experienced the excitement and pressure that chefs deal with each day, first hand. The Host’s chefs, my teammate Jake, and I were able to create two mouthwatering dishes while incorporating this year’s main ingredient, honey. We cooked up a winning entree of honey-marinated pork shoulder topped with a honey roasted vegetable purée,

Ethan DeForge (junior) and Haley Grimes (freshman) with Chef/ Owner Jay Powell and his wife Nancy.

a wine reduction, and fried leeks. Our dish was so popular that after the competition it was later added to the Host’s menu! However, my team and I simply cannot take all the credit. Chef Adam Popp at Tantasqua High School helped Jake and me become the creative culinary students we are today. Without the cul-inary program at the high school to prepare us with the etiquette, attitude, and knowledge to have in the kitchen, the competition would have been much more challenging. This exciting, adrenaline-pumping event is one I hope to participate in again next year.” -Carly Phaneuf, sopho-more, part of the Sturbridge Host Hotel team

The judges this round were - Domenic Mercurio (Publisher of Foodies of New England and owner of Mercury Media), David Kmetz (Foodies of New England writer) Chef Tyler Reinhart - (former trainer and recruiter at Johnson and Wales University), Chef Steven Blair (trainer and recruiter at Johnson and Wales University).

Winter 2018



Foodies of New England


Your Next Foodie Destination:

Boston’s Chinatown Written by Kelley Lynn Kassa Photography by Scott Erb and Donna Dufault

For many reasons, most Americans don’t think of Chinese cuisine as “dining out” food; we’ll go to fancy French restaurants, high-end Italian places, and expensive Japanese sushi spots, but we’re satisfied to “grab” take-out Chinese at the place in the local strip mall. There are a lot of reasons for this, mostly around the socioeconomics of immigration (to learn more about the topic, read “The Future is Expensive Chinese Food,” The Atlantic, July 13, 2016). There are many cuisines we lump into the broad category of “Chinese food,” and there is truly unique and outstanding dining to be found in Chinatown. Boston’s Chinatown, established in 1890, is the only established Chinatown in New England and should be on every foodie’s destination list. We recently spent a day touring Chinatown with Adam Cheung, who created and was born in Chinatown, checking out a few of the best restaurants in Chinatown. Winter 2018



Foodies of New England

Shojo Not your Grandparents’ Tiki Bar Shojo is one of three restaurants owned by the Moy family, who opened their first place in the early 1980s. Opened in 2012, this small place with modern décor and hip hop music describes itself as offering “options that are a modern take on Asian dishes and ingredients.” Examples include ramen, crispy fish and chip tacos, duck fat fries and the Shojonator, a quarter pounder hamburger with bacon, pickles, and “kimcheese” sauce.

Winter 2018


But we came for the cocktails. Shojo has deservedly built its reputation around its innovative and modern approach to classic cocktails and traditional tiki drinks. “Our approach is to be simple but different,” says Michael Patterson, bar manager. “At first glance we’re just like any other bar. We have music, TVs and drinks. But our music is hip hop, our TVs show kung fu, and our drinks offer options you won’t get anywhere else. “Take a look at what we have at the bar. We have no Midori, no olives. The closest drink we have to a ‘standard’ option is a mai tai. But we put our own spin on that, too.”

Con, Bartender

Mike Patterson, Bar Manager


Foodies of New England

One of Shojo’s unusual tiki drinks is the Orizuru Fizz. Its first point of departure is that there’s no rum in it. Instead, the drink features Mizu shochu, which Patterson describes as a Japanese spirit that’s similar to vodka. The shochu is mixed with lime, heavy cream, egg whites, and framboise for a sweet, but not too sweet, tiki drink. Perhaps most unusual (in a good way), is Shojo’s Frangelicobased tiki drink, The Loneliest Monk. The name, as you can imagine, pays homage to Thelonious Monk, by way of lyrics from Wu Tang Clan. Patterson and his team of bar staff take Frangelico, Plantation 5 year-aged rum, Jungle Rum, pineapple, and lime and combine them to make a fruity but nutty tiki drink. Visit Shojo and you might feel the way Patterson did upon his first visit. “I came in to see if I’d like the place,” he says. “Between the drinks, the Kung Fu and the hip hop, I knew I’d either spend all my money here, or I’d have to make all my money here.”

Shojo 9 Tyler Street Boston, MA 02111 617.423.7888

Hlee Yang, PR Manager

Winter 2018



Foodies of New England

DUMPLING CAFÉ Come for the Soup Dumplings … Stay for Much More Dumpling Café is only the second Taiwanese restaurant to open in Chinatown. During the Chinese Communist Revolution, many people from China relocated to Taiwan. Since then, Taiwanese cuisine has evolved to incorporate ingredients, tastes, and dishes from China as well as dishes native to the island of Taiwan.

Winter 2018


The restaurant is known for its soup dumplings, listed on the menu as mini juicy buns, with pork or with pork and crab. If you’re not familiar with soup dumplings, you’re in for a surprise. The soft, pillowy dumpling opens to reveal hot, savory, steaming soup. If you are just visiting Dumpling Café for appetizers, other best sellers on the menu include dumplings and the scallion pancake with roast beef. There are plenty of options for dumplings (which can be steamed or fried), including beef and cabbage, pork and leek, and seafood. However, we recommend trying the dumplings and staying for much more (or coming back for a second visit). Surprisingly, one dish you might want to try is the nearly ubiquitous General Gao’s chicken. The dish was invented in Taiwan, as part of a threeday banquet for General Douglas MacArthur and his troops. The chef of that event eventually came to the U.S. and brought the recipe with him. Other Dumpling Café standouts include Cantonese lobster with ginger and scallions, Szechuan-style flounder, beef tendons and tripe (a cold dish), and lamb with cabbage (Szechuan). Dumpling Café is a must for its soup dumplings – but definitely try to fit in much more.

Feng Fei Chow


Foodies of New England

Dumpling CafĂŠ 695 Washington Street Boston, MA 02111 617.338.8859 Winter 2018



Foodies of New England

PEACH FARM Dine like the Chefs – Visit Peach Farm Peach Farm is one of the most well-known restaurants in Chinatown. Rumor has it if you ask many local chefs where they go to eat when they get off of work, they’ll respond with, “Peach Farm.” We can’t confirm (or deny) that, but owner Kam Leung does say Peach Farm is “the place for seafood.”

Winter 2018


The restaurant, which serves authentic Cantonese cuisine, was established 23 years ago. Two months after opening it received two

pod stems sautéed with a Chinese berry known for its medicinal properties.

stars from a local restaurant critic; 20 years later business is boom-

Leung points out that Peach Farm only uses the highest quality

ing and the accolades pour in. You’ll find the place most crowded

ingredients. For example, his chefs comb through bunches of pea

during dinner service and when people stop in for what’s known as

pods and usually only use 70% of them. They eliminate the ones

a “midnight snack.”

that are past their prime, which would make the dish bitter. He also

Be prepared, though, to have much more than just a snack. Plan

informed us that some of his seafood is local, while other items

to feast – especially on its seafood. We started with Spicy Salted

come from California and Seattle. He sources the best product for

Shrimp. These are whole shrimp, with the heads fried with salt and

each dish.

pepper and the bodies cooked in a soy-based sauce. If you haven’t

Another popular Cantonese “must have” dish is the steamed fish.

tried whole shrimp, this is the opportunity to do so – you get crunch,

It’s a simple dish with complex flavors. After steaming the fish, Chef

a little spice, some salinity, and savory shrimp in a few bites.

Yang heats ginger and scallions in oil and pours the hot oil over the

Chef Andy Yang, who is very well-known in Chinatown, is particu-

fish, enveloping it in the warm essence of the spice.

larly proud of his salt and pepper calamari. “The temperature of the

Boston’s Chinatown is a culinary treasure offering more – and

oil is very important to get the calamari light and crispy,” says Chef

significantly better – examples of the many cuisines we consider

Yang. “Another big difference is that we fry our calamari in a pan,

“Chinese food.” It’s worth the trip. In fact, it’s worth many trips.

not a deep fryer.” While you may find calamari in many places, Peach Farm offers some dishes that are much less common. One was a surf clam, sliced, then cooked with garlic and scallions, and served back in its (clean) shell with stir-fried vermicelli noodles. The other was pea


Foodies of New England

Peach Farm 4 Tyler Street Boston, MA 02111 617.482.1116

Chef Andy Yang

“Peach Farm is one of the most well-known restaurants in Chinatown.�

Owners Kam and Moi Leung

Winter 2018


Adam Cheung, of Boston, our “Fixer” Fans of Anthony Bourdain’s various shows, most notably No Reservations and Parts Unknown, are likely familiar with the term “fixer.” Bourdain often relies on a local fixer to help translate when speaking with local restaurant owners and chefs and to provide additional information on local customs and traditions. While we don’t want to compare Adam to Bourdain’s most famous fixer, Zamir, Adam was instrumental to our success in interviewing the owners and chefs at some of these restaurants. Be assured, patrons have little to no difficulties communicating with the servers and staff in Chinatown. For our in-depth conversations and detailed questions, Adam’s ability to speak with the chefs, owners, and managers in Mandarin was instrumental in our efforts. Adam also provided us with plenty of additional information about Chinatown, its customs, and its food. For example, lobster, which is a bottom feeder, is considered to have a lot of “fung” in it. By cooking it with ginger and scallions (which Adam pointed out is a natural anti-histamine), the properties of the ginger push the raw “fung” taste out of the lobster. We also learned from Adam why it is important to drink tea with your meal, instead of after your meal. Many of the traditional dishes are considered oily, and the tea helps with the oil and digestion. Spending time with Adam and his “auntie” Agatha Tong, a lifelong resident of Chinatown with deep roots in the school system and one of the Churches, allowed us to talk about various issues Boston’s Chinatown is currently facing – gentrification, skyscraper encroachment, and more.


Foodies of New England

Foodies of New England would like to thank Adam for spending time with us in Chinatown. Special thanks to Marc Hurwitz of Boston’s Hidden Restaurants ( for the introduction to Adam.

Winter 2018


The Lazy Italian

Written by Francesca Montillo Photography by Scott Erb and Donna Dufault

Francesca is the Founder and Owner of Lazy Italian Culinary Adventures. Her business offers cooking classes in the Boston area as well as culinary and wine excursions to Italy. A native of Calabria, Francesca is passionate about home cooked meals and less passionate about spending hours in the kitchen to achieve them! She likes to simply the Italian cooking process as much as possible while still maintaining authenticity and deliciousness. Francesca’s culinary education and appreciation comes from the best possible source, her mother, and she credits her for her own love of cooking and baking. You can learn more about Francesca at:


Foodies of New England

Lazy Italian Cooking The year was 1991 and we had been in the US for about three years at that point. I was about to graduate 8th grade and was excited to receive my diploma and yearbook from St. Francis of Assisi School. I was acclimating to life in the United States as best as any young teen can and the excitement of moving on to high school was brewing. When I opened my yearbook, the first page I inadvertently turned to was the “Class Prophecy.” You know, the page where your classmates predict what will become of you in the years to come. I quickly scrolled the list of names looking for my own and read: “Francesca Montillo will host a cooking show called ‘How to Cook Italian Food the Right Way.’” And there you have it: I was going to be a celebrity chef! I’m not sure why my classmates would predict this; at 13 or 14 years old, I don’t recall demonstrating a particular knack for cooking. Was I considered a great cook by virtue of simply being Italian? Was it a birthright? Whether it’s justified or not, it’s true that Italians are often perceived as great cooks. But perhaps it was the lunches I would bring in and enjoy in the cafeteria—far more elaborate than the traditional PB & J sandwiches around me! My mom always made sure I was well fed. After all, you can take Italians out of Italy but not Italy out of Italians. (And for the record, I am still waiting for Food Network to call.) Today, I wear many hats, one being culinary instructor. I mostly teach what I call “Lazy Italian” cooking classes. Despite the tonguein-cheek name, the classes are about being efficient in the kitchen. I prefer, and in turn, teach, recipes that don’t take too long to prepare, that don’t have a long laundry list of ingredients, and that don’t call for a one-off ingredient that will be used in one recipe and end up in the back of the cupboard, never to see the light of day again. And these are the recipes my students prefer, because as much as we all might enjoy a delicious homemade Italian meal, we don’t all love spending hours in the kitchen to achieve it (not even a native Italian). continued on page 104

Winter 2018


The recipes I’ve selected for this issue are festive, delicious, and don’t take a long time to prepare. The “Lazy Turkey Bolognese” is much lighter and quicker than the traditional version. Seeing as the upcoming holidays will give us plenty of opportunity to overindulge, this is an ideal way to enjoy a lightened up traditional dish without cutting out flavor. And what would this time of year be without a pumpkin recipe? By using a semi-homemade stock, my pumpkin risotto takes little effort but offers maximum flavor. To end it all, a great sweet to go with your espresso is a must. A delicious treat that is sure to adorn my dessert table once again this holiday season: my hazelnut butterballs. Italians love hazelnuts! I mean, how easy can this recipe be? You don’t even have to crack open an egg. So enjoy these recipes—without feeling the least bit guilty about them being just slightly lazy, or shall we say, “efficient.”

Lazy Turkey Bolognese Sauce with Fresh Fettuccini Ingredients: 3 – 4 tablespoons olive oil 1 – 2 small carrots, finely diced 1 – 2 celery ribs, finely diced 1 small or 1/2 medium onion, diced Salt to taste – about 1 teaspoon 4 oz pre-diced pancetta 2 – 3 cloves of garlic, chopped 2 Tablespoons chopped parsley 3 – 5 leaves fresh basil (if in season and available) 1 16 to 20 oz package ground turkey 1 28 oz can of crushed peeled tomatoes 1 1/4 cups of water (milk or cream can be substituted for a creamier sauce) 1 lb. fresh fettuccine (found in the refrigerated isle of any grocery store) Directions: 1. In a medium sauce or sauté pan set to medium heat, add the oil, carrots, celery, onion, salt and simmer for 3 – 4 minutes. Add pancetta and simmer for an additional 1 – 2 minutes. Add the garlic, parsley and basil. 2. Add the ground turkey and using a wooden spoon, break up the meat and brown all over, cooking it for 5 minutes. 3. Add the tomato sauce and water, reduce heat and allow simmering for 30 minutes. 4. Cook fresh fettuccini according to the instructions (usually only for a few minutes) and top with the sauce. * This recipe makes enough for 1 lb of fresh fettuccini. If you are using less, leftover sauce can be refrigerated for up to 3 days or frozen for future use. Thawing in the refrigerator overnight is advised for any frozen sauce.


Foodies of New England

Winter 2018


Pumpkin Risotto Ingredients: Approximately 5 – 6 cups of vegetable stock made from 1 large vegetarian buillon cube 1 small or 1/2 medium onion, finely chopped 3 tablespoons olive oil 1 1/2 tablespoons butter 1 cup of Arborio rice 1 tablespoon parsley, chopped 1/2 cup of dry white wine (any white wine that is not sweet) 2/3 cup freshly grated Parmigiano Reggiano cheese 1/2 cup pumpkin puree (add another 1/4 cup if you desire a stronger pumpkin flavor) Salt to taste Directions: 1. In a medium soup pan, bring about 6 cups of water to boil. Add one large vegetarian bullion cube and allow to fully dissolve. Reduce heat to low and keep stock warm while preparing the risotto. 2. In a large sauté pan, add the onion, butter, and oil and simmer over medium heat for several minutes. 3. After the onion has become translucent, add the rice and sauté for several minutes. Stir the rice to coat with the oil and butter mixture and so the rice just slightly toasts. Add the parsley. 4. Add the wine to the rice and cook until the wine has dried up; this will take just about one minute. 5. When the wine has dried up, add one cup of stock to rice. Allow broth to cook in rice before adding the next cup of stock. 6. Continue the process of adding one cup of stock at a time until the rice is almost, but not fully cooked. It should be tender but firm. Process will take about 18 – 20 minutes. 7. Add the pumpkin puree to the rice and blend well so no white remains and the pumpkin is evenly distributed. Cook an additional 2 minutes, until the pumpkin is heated thoroughly and flavors have been well blended. 8. Remove from heat and add the grated Parmigiano Reggiano cheese. The risotto is best served immediately. * Any risotto you make will be best served upon preparation. For maximum flavor, use just grated Parmigiano cheese. Using a microplane to grate will give you a light and fluffy cheese that will melt almost immediately into the rice.


Foodies of New England

Hazelnuts Butterballs

Yields 36 – 40 cookies Ingredients: 1 1/2 cups whole hazelnuts 2 sticks butter (left at room temperature for several hours) 1/4 teaspoon salt 1/2 cup powdered sugar 1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract 2 cups flour 2 cups powdered sugar for rolling & dusting Directions: 1. Preheat oven at 350° 2. Using a food processor, pulse hazelnuts until they are very finely ground, almost resembling breadcrumbs, but do not over pulse into a paste. Set aside. 3. Using a stand or hand-held mixer, blend softened butter, salt, powdered sugar and vanilla until very well combined. 4. With the mixer on low, add the chopped hazelnuts and mix just until combined. 5. Slowly add the 2 cups of flour to the mixture until well blended. 6. Using a 1-inch cookie scoop or a tablespoon, scoop cookies and roll between your hands 7. Place rolled cookies on cookie sheets that have been lined with parchment paper and bake for 20 - 22 minutes. Rotating the sheets halfway through baking. 8. Gently remove cookies from the cookie sheets and let cool just slightly. While still warm, gently roll cookies in the additional cups of powdered sugar. If they break or crumble, allow cookies to cool for one more minute. (This step is done while the cookies are still warm so that the sugar adheres better.) Plate and serve.

Winter 2018


Sweet Sensations

Almond-Pear Crostata

with Vanilla Whipped Cream and Balsamic Drizzle Written by Lina Bifano Photography by Scott Erb and Donna Dufault

An avid cook and mother of two, Lina Bifano values the importance of home-cooked meals for her family. She understands that time constraints and children’s schedules can often dictate how a family eats—so she develops strategies that allow her family to still enjoy delicious, healthy meals, even at a moment’s notice. Her travels throughout Italy and France have been the inspiration for all of her recipes and Lina has incorporated those ideas into modern, familyfriendly fare. The desserts she creates— with sophisticated flavors that can be easily achieved by anyone—give even the novice home cook the opportunity to wow family and friends alike.


Foodies of New England


hile visiting the picturesque town of Huntington, New York, I came across a local shop called Martoni Imports that sold their own brand of balsamic vinegar directly from Modena, Italy. Having heard that they do vinegar tastings for anyone interested, I decided to give it a try. The sales associate greeted me with

a smile and proceeded to place a selection of different balsamic vinegars in front of me with small tasting spoons and imported breadsticks made “casarecci” style. Astounded by the obvious differences with each pour, it quickly became apparent that all balsamic vinegars are not created equal, and great balsamic vinegar isn’t something found on local supermarket shelves. I tasted all of their wonderful selections and chose one that I felt had a unique flavor profile and could be used for both sweet and savory recipes. Armed with a bottle of fragrant and delicious balsamic vinegar, I was determined to turn it into a dessert. It didn’t take long for my experimenting in the kitchen to yield a light and refreshing crostata that allowed the aged balsamic vinegar to complement the other flavors present instead of overpowering them. The pears in this recipe are of the Bosc or D’Anjou variety, which impart noticeable flavor while maintaining good structure throughout the baking process. The nutbased crust is one that I use often, especially when I have a softer or fruit filling, because it holds the ingredients well and the nut can be any variety that you have on hand. I like to use almonds for this one, as almonds go well with pears. If you’re going to serve this dessert with balsamic glaze on top, be sure to use an aged balsamic that is sweet, but still imparts a woodsy, aged flavor. If the only thing on hand in your pantry is grocery store bought balsamic, you should probably boil it to make a thicker reduction, adding some sugar as needed, before drizzling atop your crostata.

See recipe on page 110

Winter 2018



Foodies of New England

Almond-Pear Crostata with Vanilla Whipped Cream and Balsamic Drizzle Simple flavors can often yield surprising results. In the case of this crostata, aged balsamic vinegar brings a modern feel to a classic dessert. Enjoy! La Crostata Crust Recipe (Makes 3 crusts) Ingredients: 3 sticks unsalted butter, softened 1 cup ground almonds (not roasted, unsalted) 1 1/2 cups confectioner’s sugar, sifted 1/2 tsp salt 1/2 tsp vanilla extract 2 large eggs, beaten 3-4 cups all-purpose flour, sifted Directions: In a mixing bowl, beat the butter and sugar until smooth. Scrape down the sides of the bowl, and add all remaining ingredients except for the flour. Slowly add the flour until the mixture comes together like a cookie dough. It should be soft but not crumbly at all. You might not need all 4 cups of flour. I like to sift my flour over a large paper plate and by bending the sides of the plate I can add it to the mix slowly until it reaches the consistency I want. This is especially helpful when I’m using a mixing machine as opposed to a hand mixer. Once the dough comes together, divide it into thirds. Each crust takes one third of the dough. Freeze the other two portions. Place the portion you’ll be working with in a plastic zipper bag and refrigerate for 3 hours. Almond Filling 1 stick unsalted butter, room temperature

Using a hand mixer or wire whisk, mix all ingredients together until medium-stiff peaks form, being careful not to over mix. Whipped cream can be stored in the refrigerator, covered, for up to one week. Balsamic Drizzle 1/2 cup aged balsamic vinegar Used in this recipe: Martoni’s Aceto Balsamico di Modena, PGI *Real balsamic vinegar can be used as-is, or if the vinegar is from the grocery store, you can create a glaze by boiling to the desired consistency and adding sugar to taste. Baking & Assembly Preheat your oven to 350° Once your dough has chilled, roll it out on a floured surface into a circle, approximately 1/4” thick. Lay the dough over the tart pan (there is no need for greasing), push the dough into the bottom and up the sides of the pan and trim the excess. Using a fork, poke holes across the bottom and sides and bake for approximately 20 minutes or until the crust is golden brown. Traditionally, you could also do this by laying a piece of parchment over the crust and filling with dried beans or pie beads. Either way works. Remove from the oven and set aside to cool for a few minutes. Raise oven temperature to 375°. Spoon chilled filling onto baked and cooled crostata. Peel and core pears, thinly slicing them, and arranging them in a circular pattern atop the raw filling. Garnish with sliced almonds, as desired. Bake for 30-40 minutes. While still warm to the touch, glaze top with apricot glaze mixture and allow to cool. Serving Dollop a large spoonful of whipped cream atop each plate, placing the sliced crostata on top. Lightly drizzle with balsamic vinegar. Garnish with slivered almonds, if desired. Serves 8-10.

2/3 cup granulated sugar 2 large eggs 1/4 cup all-purpose flour 3/4 cup plus 3 tablespoons organic almond flour Sliced almonds, for garnish (optional) In a mixer, beat together sugar and eggs until smooth, adding flour and almond flour, alternately. Once mixed together, add the butter and continue to stir. Place in refrigerator until ready to assemble. Pear Topping 3-4 Bosc or D’Anjou pears (halved, peeled and cored) 1/4 cup of apricot preserves, diluted with 2 tablespoons of warm water. (Used to glaze crostata after it comes out of the oven) Whipped Cream: 1 cup of cold heavy cream 1/4 cup powdered sugar 1 tablespoon vanilla extract

Winter 2018


Brew Review

Through the Glass Darkly (or, Hello Darkness, My Old Friend)?

Reviewing beer and ale for an article that won’t appear for 2-3 months is one of the bigger challenges I face. I am adamant that the beer I review will be from New England and available at the time of publication. Down The Road Brewing, newly moved to Everett, Massachusetts from Williamsburg, has risen heartily to the challenge. After an initial try out of their Patchwork Kilt, Scottish Ale at Julio’s Liquors in Westborough, my interest was piqued. I reached out to the brewery and chatted with the brand represenWritten by Matt Jones Photography by Scott Erb and Donna Dufault

tative, Brendan Van Voris. Not only did he make a variety of their continuing offerings available to me, he delivered a full cooler. As I write this, head brewer and owner Donovan Bailey is knee-deep in the final stages of a new brewery and taproom. The range of offerings from DTR is diverse and creative. The artwork and packaging is appropriate and inspired by a love of beer and folklore. The beer that I have chosen

Matthew Jones is a curmudgeon

from their line-up is from batch 3 of the brewery’s Darkest Hour, Russian Imperial Stout. All I can say is, by the legs of Baba Yaga’s hut, this is a great beer. Properly luxurious,

and a crusader for a world of

rich, and true to the type, this Imperial Stout, a style of beer famously developed in Rus-

quality and originality. He has spent

sia for the Czars, is roasty and malty with a dark syrup texture. I found myself musing

the last 25 years restoring books,

on the undertones of an Eastern European loaf of Russian raisin bread or a really great,

documents maps and globes.

sugar-encrusted New England hermit cookie. The toasted barley and faintly resiny hops

When he is not teaching Japanese martial arts or climbing mountains, chances are he will be testing out

are immediately evident from the first pour. The head is short-lived and modest but the color of coffee ice cream. Carbonation is delicate but very present. At 14% ABV, be warned: It’s best to share a full-sized bottle with a friend. The bourbon-like level of alcohol is not for beginners. As the level in the glass goes down, the creaminess and

the merits of best brewed or

maltiness of this brew take command. Very smooth, so drinkable, and so dangerous.

distilled libations.

Elements of chocolate, coffee, Sultana raisins, and baking spices are balanced against the clean, faintly citrus Centennial Hops. Somehow, at the finish, the exquisite bitterness passes into the cleanest finish I have ever experienced in an Imperial Stout. I’ll say it: magical. Along with the Stout, DTR delivered some of their end-of-season offerings as well. The summery Feyborn Berliner Weisse with strawberry rhubarb was a welcome surprise, bright and refreshingly sour, particularly good paired with grilled sausages. The Rasenmäher Kölsch exemplifies the effervescent and light Pilsner-style beer all of Cologne is obsessed with. The Patchwork Kilt was a surprisingly easy to drink sessionstyle Scotch Ale. Who knew that so much flavor could be packed into 4.5% ABV? Down The Road’s, Henzelmann’s Festbier is a stellar tribute to a truly drinkable Munich lager. Let’s hope this 2016 seasonal offering sees another batch for 2017. I am looking forward to October. Cheers, everyone!


Foodies of New England

Down The Road Brewing 151 Bow Street, Everett MA, 02149 617.454.4255

Winter 2018


FUN FACT Did you know? That according to a recent survey by Esquire Magazine, 93% of Americans pick up and read magazines an average of 43 minutes a day. Still think you can get that much exposure from a billboard or the web? Try advertising with us and savor the rewards! Foodies of New England


Foodies of New England


chocolatesU Hot Chocolate Balls chocolatesU began when three longtime friends, Becky Kuehn, Amy Camargo, and Hector Camargo started the business to teach people how to make artisanal chocolates. It was not long until they realized that their customers were much more interested in eating chocolates than making chocolates. This was the beginning of Hot Chocolate Balls. Hot Chocolate Balls are chocolate confections that are melted in hot milk to make REAL hot chocolate. Made with the best quality couverture chocolate, rich cocoa powder, and honey, Hot Chocolate Balls are available in six delectable flavors: Original Dark, Original Milk, Salted Caramel, Mocha, Mint and Aztec. For the holiday season, several limited edition flavors will be available including: Gingerbread, Maple, Marshmallow, and something very special – Saturday Morning Cereal Balls, which are chocolatesU’s signature hot chocolate plus those special breakfast cereals best enjoyed while watching cartoons on Saturday morning.

Check out our website! Follow us on Facebook at or on Twitter @chocolatesu

^ Do you have a New England based food product or cook book you’d like to see on the pages of Foodies Magazine? Learn more here: Winter 2018



Under Loch & Key

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


Foodies of New England

O Canada! Over the last year or so I’ve been interviewed by several publications on the state of the Canadian Whisky market in the United States. I’ve given my opinion that there is a sea of great whisky sitting in Canada waiting for American whisk(e)y drinkers to discover. Not only does the whisky taste great, it’s also well-made, diverse, and reasonably priced. I see only growth for our friendly neighbors to the north, as long as they are innovative and aggressive in the US marketplace. At this point the interviewer usually points out that Canadian Whisky consumption is on a downward trend in the US and that Canada’s own Parliament just chose a Scottish Whisky as their official whisky (it was Aberlour 12yr). In all fairness the contest was for “scotch,” which Canadian Whisky is not, but it’s still pretty embarrassing when you’re trying to promote your own domestic product. So, I then have to concede both of those points, but then I counter with a true whisky lovers’ logic. Yes, Canadian Whisky is on a downward trend, but it’s the volume “value” brands that are dragging the category into a death spiral. (I’m not going to mention any names, but take a gander in your grandparents’ liquor cabinet; there will probably be some dusty bottles in there.) I, however, am touting brands that are embracing quality and highlighting great flavor profiles that will ultimately give Canadian whisky its time in the sun! So, the interviewer and I will then exchange points and counter points. When I hang up the phone, I realize that all the verbal sparring I just endured will only be read by industry insiders. All of those great Canadian Whiskies will remain undiscovered by the people that really matter: YOU! So, I’d like to make my case for you to give Canadian Whisky a try by highlighting some expressions I think are worth a spot in your clean and dust-free liquor cabinet. continued on page 118

Winter 2018


I know I made the comment earlier about your grandparents’ dusty bottles, but I don’t want you to think there are no cool innovative expressions coming out of “established” brands. To that point, the next whisky up is Crown Royal Black ($45). Now, many Americans probably recognize Crown Royal; it’s the currently number one selling Canadian Whisky in the US. This is a newer expression from the same company. As its name might suggest, this is a darker and more robust version of its sibling. Crown Royal Black is not exactly black, but more of a dark mahogany, and at 90 proof, it has a higher alcohol content than its older brother. Don’t let this whisky’s higher proof dissuade you, however. It is surprisingly rounded. On the initial nose you’ll find vanilla, toffee, and Maduro cigar notes. As you drink, this expression becomes almost reminiscent of a bourbon/rum combination with caramel and maple flavors mixing with woody spice. The finish is warm and heavier on the oak without being overwhelming. Pleasant enough to drink on its own, it also has plenty of flavor to stand up to ice or in a cocktail.

Since I’ve been preaching about Canadian Whisky, I only thought it fair that I put my money where my mouth is; that’s why I purchased an entire barrel of Caribou Crossing ($60). This whisky from the Sazerac Company notes itself as Canada’s first singlebarrel Canadian Whisky, being selected from an inventory of over 200,000 barrels. I had tried the whisky when it first came out in around 2010 and was happy to add it to my collection. When I was offered a few years later a single barrel for the Loch & K(e)y Whisk(e)y Society, I was more than thrilled. Each barrel has its own distinct characteristics, so I will describe the expression in more general terms in case you are not fortunate enough to find the Loch & K(e)y barrel pick. First, I love the color of this whisky. Its golden hue is almost radiant and the nose is full of vanilla, citrus peel, and a hint of fresh cut oak. The whisky itself is soft and creamy with a slight toasted caramel on the tongue. It’s only 80 proof, so there are really no hard edges. The finish closes with more citrus, leaning toward oranges and a nice amount of rye spice.


Foodies of New England

The last whisky I want to highlight really drives all my points regarding the quality, affordability, and innovation that is Canadian Whisky. Lot 40 Rye ($35) is distilled at the Hiram Walker Distillery in Winsor and only uses 100% unmalted rye (also from Canada) to produce this 86 proof expression. The process for making this whisky is a little different. After an initial distillation in a column still, a second distillation occurs in a copper pot still; the use of copper pot seems to concentrate the rye character. After distillation, this freshly-made spirit is laid to mature locally in new oak barrels. The next step is to skillfully combine the barrels into small batch consisting of whiskies aged between 7-12 years. Then comes my favorite part: cracking a bottle open and drinking it. I love the bright new penny color of the liquid and aromas of citrus, anise, wood spice, and a bit of Bing cherry on the nose. On the palate, the evidence of those new oak barrels shows itself with vanilla and spice notes; I get hints of sweet tea, too. The finish is quite long and ends up with a candied spice lingering on the tongue. Yes, all this for under $40. Fantastic! So, the next time you’re out for drinks with friends or at your local liquor store, give a Canadian Whisky a chance! You never know— your next favorite whisky could come from north of the border. And remember, there’s never a bad day for good whisky.

Winter 2018


Wines of Distinction

Spain’s Rioja Has Deep

(and Noble) Roots It’s been said that, when you want to remember someone’s name, repeat it three times and it’ll stick in your mind. Ok, here’s one worth remembering… Written by Domenic Mercurio, Jr. Photography by Scott Erb and Donna Dufault Styling by Dona Bourgery

Marqués de Reinosa… Marqués de Reinosa… Marqués de Reinosa. In Rioja, Spain, the Marqués de Reinosa (Mar-kays-day-Ray-noh-sah) vineyard is one

Known in restaurant circles as

of the best representations of the region’s quality, integrity, history, and nobility. Estab-

The Wine Guy, Domenic is focused

lished in the late 1800s, the property has over a century of production rivaling even the

on food and wine education.

finest and most famous bodegas that date back deep into Spanish history. It is said that the Marquis of Reinosa, after whom the winery is named, enjoyed a

Domenic’s enthusiasm and passion

happy life, marked by his military service as a Marine and later his work as a Senator,

for food and wine, propelled him into

until his death in 1908. The Marquis established the winery in the Rioja town of Autol,

a local TV wine education series,

and it soon became famous for being - among other things – one of the first in Spain

The Wine Guy, in which he took

to export its wines to foreign soil.

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

With such noble heritage and being so far ahead of its time, Bodegas Marqués de Reinosa has always maintained a certain pioneering spirit, wisely combined with tradition, agricultural prowess, and oenological know-how, in order to garner the respect and appreciation of the most discerning palates. Like all wines, the final product has much to do with the fruit’s nutritional source. In the case of Marqués de Reinosa, the soil into which the Bodegas’ vines sink their roots are hydrated by the Cidacos River and insulated by the Sierra de Yerga and Peña Isasa cliffs. In this setting, the “cradle” in which the vines grow is carefully tended. The weather conditions, with Mediterranean climate influences, contribute their intense character to the wines. Indeed, it’s a sort of microclimate, with a soft blanket of dew

features New England’s best,

and cool temperatures during the evening, bolstered by hot, dry sun throughout the

award-winning chefs, and their

day. The result – in the instance of the vineyard’s remarkable Crianza - is a vibrant and

signature recipes.

abundant presence of bracing tannic acidity and high levels of natural sugar, fermenting into alcohol, with a touch of residual blackberry, plum, and cherry flavor culminating in the dry, persistent finish. The spicy notes stand out over the supportive base of varietal fruit with balsamic aromas. You can also pick out hints of toasted oak, spice, and very subtle bakery aromas, like cinnamon and caramelized brown sugar.


Foodies of New England

“Like all wines, the final product has much to do with the fruit’s nutritional source.” the ageing requirement imposed by DOCa elevates to 5 years, with at least two of those years being in oak and the remainder in the bottle. The wines of Bodegas Marqués de Reinosa are understated and undervalued. The quality of this Crianza is exceptional, and it bears repeating that its taker will be rewarded with a complex, vibrant, and fruit-packed experience, tempered by a balanced ageing effort implemented by toasty French oak casks imparting spice, smoke, chocolate, and coffee aromas. WARNING: In the wake of a Marqués de Reinosa Rioja Crianza tasting, you may experience euphoria, delight, happiness, and an intense desire for repetition. Foodies of New England happily bestows 92 points on Marqués de Reinosa Rioja Crianza: FNE.

Made of 100% Tempranillo grape, the

means ageing for a minimum of 2 years,

Crianza has excellent aromatic intensity. In-

with at least 1 year in oak and 1 year in the

deed, the very definition of Crianza in Spain

bottle for softness before release.

has to do with the oversight by the Consejo

For other wines of the Rioja region, in-

Regulador DOCa (Denominación de Ori-

cluding Reserva and Gran Reserva, DOCa

gen Calificada) Rioja, a regulatory commit-

mandates further ageing.

tee in Spain that designates Spanish wine

Reserva, the wine must be aged for at least

appellations as “Old World.” As such, they

3 years prior to release, with a minimum of

must adhere to stricter guidelines than their

one of those years being in an oak cask or

“New World” counterparts. For Crianza, this

barrel. In the instance of the Gran Reserva,

In the case of

Winter 2018


Liberating Libations

Rustic Infusions One of the best things about living in New England is rustic dining. “Rustic” meaning of or relating to the countryside, rural, or having a simplicity and charm that is considered typical of the countryside. When I think of rural, countryside, and simplicity, I can’t help but think of American heritage. And behind the bar it doesn’t get more American than Bourbon. This winter I will be featuring Bourbon infusions which not only define American, countryside, and simplicity. It also warms the soul in the cold harsh months of the winter. Let’s start with Bourbon itself. It is made from a minimum of 51% corn and then

Written by Adam Gerhart

a blend of wheat, rye and or malted barley, creating the “mash.” It is then fermented

Photography by Scott Erb and Donna Dufault

and distilled and then placed in American charred oak barrels to age where it gains its color and flavor from caramelizing sugars in the wood. Bourbon matures the longer it ages—but over-aging, just like over-infusing, can wreck a good bourbon. In 1964

Adam Gerhart has been bartend-

Bourbon was recognized as a distinctive product of the United States by the United

ing since he was 17. Growing up

States Congress and 95% of it is produced in the good state of Kentucky. It doesn’t

in upstate New York along the

get more American than that.

Hudson River, he worked his way up from washing dishes in the restaurant industry and worked in all positions a restaurant has to

in 1858 by Philadelphia tinsmith John Landis Mason (also American!) These jars create an airtight or hermetic seal that allows for perfect infusion atmosphere and it keeps well—and looks cool and rustic too!

offer. Adam feels that learning-by-

Most all Bourbons are unique in flavor and have different notes depending on the

doing is the best training method,

specific ingredients that are used and how the Bourbon itself oxidizes and matures. But

and considers it a very big reason

most common brands of Bourbon can be used in infusing.

for his success. Making a guest’s experience

As far as the type of infusion it is quite up to the infuser. You may use almost any ingredient you can dream of, but some work better than others. Each berry, bean, nut, fruit, spice, pepper, or whatever is used will vary in infusion times, but the fun is in the

memorable and giving them a quality

tasting and experimenting. Fruit usually takes less time (3 days to a week) to infuse,

drink is where Adam’s passion lies.

as where nuts, spices, and beans usually take longer (about 3 weeks). The longer you

Adam believes that, if he and the

infuse, the better the flavor—but don’t push it.

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.”


Now infusions, fitting the theme nicely, are quite simple at heart. And what better way to infuse, age, store and serve them, than in—a Mason jar. The Mason jar was invented

Foodies of New England

I love to experiment with infusions. There are so many different possibilities and combinations. You can use fruit with spices, peppers with heat, nuts with brown sugar, you can mash them, you can roast them, you can make syrups, mix them, shake them: there are so many fun things to try. Or you could just keep it simple which is the route I learned to like. Just one citrus or one ingredient sometimes is the best flavor without overpowering the spirit of the Bourbon itself. Infusions should be sealed in a Mason jar, stored in a cool dark place, shaken every day or so, and tasted (of course: the best part!)

BLOOD BULLEIT UNFASHIONED In a Mason jar: 1 cup of Bulleit Bourbon 2 Blood oranges sliced and slightly muddled Age for about 2 to 3 weeks to taste. Use a coffee filter to remove all fruit and debris two or three times. Then in a NEW Mason jar: 1 maraschino cherry Half a teaspoon of sugar Dash of Orange Bitters Muddle all together Fill with ice 2 oz of Infused Bourbon Shake, return to Mason jar Splash of soda Zest and flame a blood orange peel And garnish with a couple blood orange wheels Simple, classic, American, rustic feel next to a roaring fireplace will make your winter much more cozy and bearable. Cheers! Winter 2018


“People who love to eat are always the best people.” — Julia Child

Profile for Foodies of New England

Foodies of New England Winter 2018  

Touring Boston's Chinatown. Seasonal Delights from New England's Best Chefs. Paradise Hills Vineyards & Winery in Wallingford, CT. Odyssey C...

Foodies of New England Winter 2018  

Touring Boston's Chinatown. Seasonal Delights from New England's Best Chefs. Paradise Hills Vineyards & Winery in Wallingford, CT. Odyssey C...