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Culinary Getaways Local excursions featuring worldrenowned chefs

Best of...

New England Steakhouses Nancy Chang’s An “Unexpected” Experience Pasta 101 Ricotta Cavatelli Grow Your Own... Edible Flowers & Tasty Herbs

Summer 2015 DISPLAY UNTIL OCTOBER 10, 2015



tequila you can taste

Liquid Sunshine 2 oz Cabo Wabo Blanco Tequila Fresh lime juice 1/4 oz Grand Marnier Fresh-squeezed tangerine juice Dash of sour mix Combine all ingredients over ice and shake vigorously. Top with Grand Marnier and garnish with a lime and tangerine.

Deliciously Italian with an International Appeal Aperol is the perfect aperitivo. Bright orange in color, it has a unique taste, with infusions of selected ingredients including bitter and sweet oranges, rhubarb, and many other herbs and roots in perfect proportions. Try some today and taste the difference.

The Wanderer 2 parts Cabo Wabo Reposado Tequila 1 part Aperol Half a lime 1/2 oz of cachaรงa 1/4 oz agave syrup Muddle lime, combine all ingredients and shake vigorously. Strain over ice and garnish with a lime wheel twist.


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

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Contents Features


Culinary Getaways

Local Excursions Featuring World-renowned Chefs



Something GUD

Bringing the Farmer’s Market to You


He Said, She Said

Reflections on the James Beard Foundation Dinner


Nancy Chang’s

An “Unexpected” Experience


Wild Cheff Denny Corriveau


The Allure of Tatanka


Cas-Cad-Nac Farm Vermont Raised Alpacas


Best in New England Steakhouses Succulant, Sizzling Steaks Done Well


Growing Your Own Edible Flowers and Tasty Herbs


Lettuce Be Local


Connecting Farms with Businesses and Consumers


Cooking a Quality Steak

Cooking Nuances for a Better Tasting Steak

Cover: Steak with Beurre Rouge Sauce from The Essex Resort and Spa


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History of...





Gluten Free Summer BBQ’s


Pasta (and Life): 101 Ricotta Cavatelli


Food for Thought Dean’s Beans; Part 2


Healthy at Home Linguine Vongole


Sweet Sensations New York Style Cheesecake


Brew Review Babes in Beerland


Whiskey-Under Loch & Key


Pairing Whiskey with Food


Wines of Distinction Niche Wine, Nice Price


Liberating Libations Liquid Summer

120 Foodies of New England


Rich, Warm & Inviting...

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4 Old Stagecoach Road • Sturbridge, MA 01566 • 508.347.3645

Enjoy our Historic Drover’s Roast Join us as we prepare a 1700’s American trailside feast recalling the days of John Pynchon, the colonies’ first cattle drover. • Huge Outdoor Feast • Fire Pit Roasted Prime Rib • Chowder and Fritters right from the Cauldron • Horsedrawn Wagon Rides • Crafts People • Live Entertainment & Militia June 21 – Father’s Day September 13

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Fresh! Yummy Fun!

From our Farm to your Plate Whether you’re a foodie, or someone who appreciates delicious food straight from the garden, this is the dining event for you! Relax and unwind with... • Hors d’oeuvres • Cool Refreshing Drinks • Informal Garden Tour • Chef Demonstration • Enjoy our Magnificent Backyard View! July 15 - Chicken August 12 - Collaboration with West Brookfield Agricultural Commission August 26 - Pork September 2 - Braised Short Ribs September 23 - Lamb Shank Tickets are limited and are available online at

Check our website closer to dinner dates for menu details Tickets are non-refundable & non-transferable

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


from the


New England: Deliciously Warm

Lifestyle is about enjoying moments and creating memories, and many families and cultures would argue that food is the magic ingredient to facilitate those ends.

In New England, we’re fortunate to be surrounded by chefs and other foodies who enjoy their region and the culinary arts so much that they have dedicated their lives to enriching those of other foodies. Such an example is the Culinary Getaway, where foodies are able to tour their own region, take a few days here and there at historic and beautiful inns, and also learn more about masterful culinary instruction at the hands of talented and passionate chefs. Yes, you can get away from it all — and then bring it all back home to your own kitchen — as you learn new and exciting ways of making each day better and tastier right in your own home. To start you on your way, we’re bringing you to Providence’s premiere luxury bed and breakfast — historic Jacob Hill Inn — which has hosted such iconic New England family names as Vanderbilt, Aldrich, Firestone, and Grosvenor, to name a few. The food will be fabulous (of course it will… you’ll be preparing it!) From there, we’ll venture east to Connecticut to relax at Saybrook Point Inn & Spa. Nestled between Long Island Sound and the Connecticut River, Saybrook Point is home to Chef Leslie Tripp, who leads foodies in an exclusive Gourmet Intensive Weekend that incorporates seafood so fresh and diverse that, “Three fishing boats out of Judith Point are dedicated to Saybrook Point Inn.” Over to The Essex Resort & Spa in Essex Junction, Vermont, where contributor Jeff Cutler gets all the tasty details on this culinary resort and passion is at the root of everything they do. Home of the Vermont Tennis Vacation, the Links at Lang Farm Golf Course, and Northern Lights Rock & Ice, there are many ways to work off the calories in between culinary lessons! Still in the Green Mountain State, we venture over to the Weathersfield Inn located in Perkinsville, home of the Hidden Kitchen and Culinary Adventures. Here, famed guest chefs teach culinary topics from vital knife skills to nose-to-tail preparation of a full whey-fed pig. Onward to the Squire Tarbox Inn at Westport Island in the great state of Maine, where Julie Grady explores the lineage of Chef Lara De Pietro, who runs the bucolic inn alongside her illustrious family — her worldly mother Roni, her brother Kyle, who runs his own organic vegetable farm nearby, and her classically-trained, Swiss-born, gourmet chef father Mario De Pietro, whose résumé includes such New York gems as The Four Seasons, Tavern on the Green, and The Brasserie. You don’t want to miss this one, foodies. Got a craving for a great steak? Take note of the sizzling hot features outlining New England’s Great Steakhouses. Starting with the famed Oregon Club in Ashland, Massachusetts, we begin our exploration of what a great steak is, and who’s got the best ones around. At the hands of co-owner, chef, and meat-master Chris Scanlon, the finest cuts are prepared with attention and commitment to perfection. continued on page 12


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Scallops from Squire Tarbox Inn

Foodies of New England


Ten Prime Steak & Sushi in Providence does steak any way foodies want it — but it’s always done well. The Elkhay family — with John as the creative genius and culinary maestro — is anchored by Lou Cruz, executive chef, who delivers perfection grilled to perfection, each and every time. Northbound now to New Hampshire and the oldest seaport in the United States — Portsmouth — home of Demeters Steak House, a classic American steakhouse fit for the 21st century foodie. Afterward, we’re delving into home agriculture, guided by the green thumb of Renee Bolivar, our resident foodie expert on how to make delicious herbs and spices grow in and around your home all year long! Celebrity Chef Alina Eisenhauer and 2014 Worcester’s Best Chef champion Neil Rogers explain what it’s like to be selected to create a dinner at the world-famous James Beard House in New York City, and Kelley Kassa writes about Something Gud, a sensational concept that specialized in bringing farmers markets directly to foodies’ doors all year long. Speaking of freshness, read all about how the Farm to Table concept benefits from Lettuce Be Local, a local effort that seeks to bring the freshest ingredients to your favorite local restaurants. If spice is your flavor, check in with our “Wild Cheff” Denny Corriveau, who lays out his famous Buffalo Fajita recipe. And if that isn’t hot enough, be sure peruse Jodie Boduch’s History of Pepper — you’ll be amazed at what you don’t know! Or, go on the lighter side at Nancy Chang’s, the hippest and healthiest Chinese restaurant this side of Manhattan. And later, be sure to check out the rest of our regular sheath of fabulous foodie departments, with Ellen Allard’s Gluten Free BBQ recipes and learn how to keep the “healthy” in your favorite flavorful foods. With flavor in mind, we move over to Elaine’s kitchen for a true look at Linguine Vongole (Linguine with Clams), made truly Healthy at Home. Then there’s master Italian chef Chris Rovezzi, who harks back to days of old when pasta was pasta and food (as well as life) was simple. Go back to the glory days of Italian fare in Pasta (and Life): 101. Later on, our own Peggy Bridges continues her story about Dean’s Beans, an incredibly philanthropic and world-winging coffee maker who brings the best tasting grounds to New England, in Food for Thought. To go along with that sensational aromatic brew, we invite you to see what Alina Eisenhauer is baking up, Sweet Sensations. And where would we be this season without the best beer, wine, whiskey, and libations to go with all of this foodie greatness? Check out Wines of Distinction for a look at New Zea-


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land’s famed Steve Bird, and his artisanal Sauvignon Blancs. “Favor a beer,” you say? Matt Webster, our Grand Chancellor of Beer has just what you need in, The Brew Review. At the end of a hard day, foodies all like a little creativelyconcocted cocktail, and Adam Gerhart mixes the tastiest warm-weather treats; or, as we know them to be: Liberating Libations. If you like the craftsmanship of a fine Whiskey, please give Ryan Maloney a read. His introspective take on how Balvenie Single Malt Scotch whisky pairs with the best steaks the Capital Grille has to offer will delight your senses, and make you reach for a bottle of Balvenie… and your grill!

Domenic Mercurio, Jr. Editor/Publisher

Scallop Ceviche from Essex Resort & Spa


Foodies of New England

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

Sometimes, we just need to get away from the seemingly-constant barrage of meetings, cellphones, email, text messages, and phone calls. In a time when technology is omnipresent in our lives — maintaining its grip on our attention — we’re taxed with a continuous flow of requests for our time, attention, advice, expertise, and help. So, who do we reach out to when we need a break? Well, if you’re an “A” type personality, and feel the inherent need to be plugged in to what’s happening in the world around you at every given moment, then we’re about to introduce you to a fascinating way in which you can legitimately take a short respite from your grinding routine, decompress, stay productive, and even learn something new that we foodies crave — how to be a culinary rock star.

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“From state to tasty state, New England is peppered with historic inns and the greatest culinary hot spots complete with exclusive culinary lessons from world-renowned chefs.” Yes, you fortunate foodies, dotting the rolling landscape that surrounds you in this great New England region of ours are quaint, cozy, elegant and charming, inns that pamper, coddle, and teach foodies how to be better… well, foodies! From state to tasty state, New England is peppered with historic inns and the greatest culinary hot spots, but did you know that many offer a relaxing weekend complete with exclusive culinary lessons from worldrenowned chefs? Indeed they do, and we’ve vetted them out for you. All you need do is make the reservation and pack your apron. As you foodies know, following a recipe off of the page can be a fun process, but learning at the direction of an accomplished, charismatic chef really boosts your confidence and abilities. Learning by doing — especially where culinary matters are concerned — is so much more appealing, and it truly reinforces your knowledge and skills as a kitchen warrior. These culinary getaways are relaxing, yet energizing. They offer our foodies the ability to learn indelibly at the instruction of chefs who know how to make it look easy, and they give you the ability to go back home, whip up something truly impressive for your family or friends, and do it all without stumbling through a recipe. After all, you’ve already created this inspiring dish alongside a master chef, and now it’s your turn to make it look easy! Yes, these culinary weekends are so inspiring that they should have a disclaimer that reads “Warning: This culinary getaway may cause you to quit your job and become a chef.” -FNE.


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Stuffed French Toast


Foodies of New England

FUN for

FOODIES in Seekonk, MA Written by David G. Kmetz Photography by Scott Erb and Donna Dufault


Looking for that rare rural retreat only a few steps from rampant civilization? The Jacob Hill Inn may well be a perfect fit. Just north of Rte. 44 near the Providence, RI/ Seekonk, MA line, this inn offers bucolic rest and relaxation along with a broad assortment of culinary treats, training, and excitement. If “Getting there is half the fun!� still holds sway, the transformation of this facility from diamond in the rough to well-polished jewel is a prime example of a worthwhile journey. Innkeepers Eleanora and Bill Rezek started with no hospitality experience but saw the potential of the place, rolled up their collective sleeves, and began the rebuilding process. Foodies of New England


A brief history: The original building dates from the 1720s and was built by the Allyn Family. In 1792 the Deacon Calvin Jacob bought the property; because of his prominence in the community, the area became known as Jacob Hill. The property stayed in the Jacob Family for over 100 years. In 1915, the Grosvenors purchased the property and made major renovations. After that, the property was sold to the Jacob Hill Hunt Club, whose members included such names as Vanderbilt, Chaffee, Gladding, and Firestone. The Hunt Club disbanded in ‘43 and the buildings became a private residence. It had three previous owners until Bill and Eleonora made their decision in 1991 to dive in. The couple devoted the first three years on upgrades; most of the work being done on their own. Working with the town to augment bylaws to allow bed and breakfasts was a major undertaking in itself, but persistence and diligence paid off, as their first room opened the end of 1994. Eventually the carriage house was converted to living quarters for the innkeepers. Since then they have worked—progressively—on upgrading the facility from stem to stern. The barn was converted into a world-class facility with breakfast and common rooms featuring billiard tables, along with five upscale suites. There are 12 room/ suites total. All the rooms are beautifully furnished and decorated with a discriminating hand, without being stuffy or formal. One of the reasons the Rezeks chose the property was its 50 + rolling acres with views, a pool, and tennis court, (all of which had to be updated of course). The visual splendor was a worthy lure: The Jacob Hill Inn is the highest professionally rated bed and breakfast in Greater Providence, RI and the only one with a solid 5/5 rating on, Recent awards include Zagat’s “Top U.S. Hotels, Resorts & Spas” and “Top 10 Most Romantic Inns.” The Inn has also been awarded the prestigious “Four Diamond Award” from AAA


Foodies of New England

for 14 consecutive years (less than 4% of the 58,000 AAA properties have this rating). Listed by Travel + Leisure as the “Top Place to Stay While Visiting Providence,” Jacob Hill was also recently highlighted as a “Luxury Bed and Breakfast” on The Travel Channel’s website. One of the culinary features offered to guests is The Fun For Foodies program. It was the brainchild of Eleanora and another innkeeper from Vermont that was part of the Select Registry’s “The Distinguished Inns of North America” group. “We decided that there should be at least one Select Registry Inn from each state that was not affiliated with another outside program,” says Eleanora. “Each Inn needed to offer some food-related experience, whether it be cooking classes, places to go for specialty food, and/or food tours.” For more information see The inn offers food packages with Johnson & Wales University in Providence. The Inn’s breakfast specialty is Stuffed French Toast. “We create many varieties, and I have toyed with the idea of making a menu of all the different kinds of breads and stuffing and letting guests pick what they want. The most requested is the raspberry stuffed,” says Eleanora, “It’s delicious, with a wonderful mix of thick crunchy toast joining a soft fruit filling. My favorite is the cinnamon orange and I’m willing to share the recipe. I also make the best granola (secret recipe). I’ve wanted to sell it to other busy Innkeepers in our area, as guests always ask to buy it!” Inspired by the large Portuguese population in the area and access to great New England seafood (the Inn is only minutes away from Narragansett Bay), Jacob Hill offers Portuguese cooking classes. Recent additions to the Fun For Foodies program are new “Extraordinary Epicurean Experiences” for 2015. (Packages

“The inn offers bucolic rest and relaxation along with a broad assortment of culinary treats” available only by advance reservation made directly with the Jacob Hill Inn). With the purchase of any of the Fun for Foodies Vacations, guests receive a list of “Everyday Bites,” which are foodie-favorite places to add to their itinerary as desired — no appointments needed. These include local dairy farm tours, cheese and gourmet shops, brewery and winery tours and tastings, farmers markets, orchards, and maple sugar houses. After a Jacob Hill Inn “Fun for Foodies Vacation”, there are six participating Select Registry inns in New England offering similar Fun for Foodies regional culinary experiences and exceptional accommodations. Even though running an inn of such high standards is a full time job, Eleonora Rezek wouldn’t change a thing. “I feel so good about what we chose to do. Not only did we save a historic property, but we opened it up to anyone who wants to stay here,” she says. “We’re happy doing what we do, and after all these years, to be able to say that is something in itself.” Stuffed French Toast anyone? See recipe on page 22

Historic Jacob Hill Inn 120 Jacob Street Seekonk, MA 02771 888.336.9165

Innkeepers Eleanora and Bill Rezek

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Cinnamon Orange Stuffed French Toast Ingredients: 1 tsp. butter 2 eggs 1/8 cup milk 1/2 tsp. Vanilla 6 slices cinnamon swirl bread 4oz. Cream cheese Orange marmalade Powdered Sugar Garnishes: Orange slices and Parsley Optional bacon or sausages cooked, Maple syrup Utensils: Whisk for the eggs and wide shallow Bowl Plastic spatula One none stick fry pan or electric griddle Directions: First let the cream cheese soften (Do not use the whipped soft kind in a tub). Next spread 3 slices of bread with the soften cream cheese. Spread the other 3 slices of bread with about a tbsp. of orange marmalade each. Put together bread slices 1 w/cream cheese and 1 w/orange marmalade like a sandwich. Melt a tsp. of butter On a non-stick fry pan or electric griddle set at 300° F or medium heat. Break the eggs into your bowl and add a splash of milk and vanilla, whisk the eggs. Dip the sandwiches in the egg mixture and lay on the griddle or pan. Brown each side, flipping with the spatula. Cut on the diagonal and arrange 3 pieces on each plate. Sprinkle with powdered sugar and add a garnish. Serve with sausages or bacon and Maple syrup if needed and enjoy.


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A Gourmet Immersion Experience at Saybook Point Inn and Spa Written by Kelley Lynn Kassa Photography by Scott Erb and Donna Dufault


You know you are at a foodie destination when the artwork on the walls includes actual menus from decades past. In business for 130 years, the Saybrook Point Inn & Spa has evolved from offering chilled tomato juice and jellied consommĂŠ as appetizers in the 1950s, to today, where it not only delivers excellent dining at its restaurant, Fresh Salt, but it also provides guests with a full-on, immersive foodie experience.


Foodies of New England

Seared scallops with sweet potatoe purĂŠe and balsamic drizzle

Foodies of New England


Fresh Salt is at the center of all things food at Saybrook Point Inn & Spa. In 2011, the inn’s owners completely overhauled its existing restaurant, Terra Mar, and turned it into Fresh Salt, named for its location where the Connecticut River (fresh water) meets the Long Island Sound (salt water). Today the seafoodheavy menu delivers seasonal dishes of local, fresh food. While that may sound like many other restaurants these days, Fresh Salt really brings “local” to a new level. Take, for example, its raw bar. Fresh Salt serves only oysters sourced within 50 miles of the resort – and not just the ubiquitous Blue Points. On any given day the raw bar may feature Mystic oysters, Cops Island oysters, or Matunuck oysters from Potter’s Pond in South Kingstown, Rhode Island. “We have three boats out of Point Judith, Rhode Island, dedicated to us,” says Chef Leslie Tripp. “They go out daily and bring us not only the ‘standards’ of tuna, swordfish, fluke and scallops, but also whatever else they catch. This lets us present not just the most common fish varieties, but also those that may be new to some of our guests.” But Saybrook Point Inn & Spa offers foodies much more than a great meal. Food lovers of all culinary skill sets can attend Gourmet Intensive Weekends that combine food education with hands-on learning and even some field trips. The weekends are led by Chef Leslie and his team and offer a wide-range of culinary experiences that guests find delightful. Each weekend starts with a welcome reception on Friday night, where guests meet Chef Leslie and learn what’s planned for the weekend. Come Saturday morning after breakfast, the participants spend the day learning about the provenance of the ingredients they will be using and then get down to business learning how to create specific dishes. Saturday night is a full dinner sharing the dishes they made. On Sunday, guests get to par-


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ticipate in preparations for Fresh Salt’s famed Sunday Brunch, after which they sit down and enjoy the results of their work that morning. Each weekend gourmet “bootcamp” has a theme. This past winter Chef Leslie and his team taught guests about New England foods and how the current dishes still represent the culture and food traditions of those who first settled here. During that weekend, participants sampled local cheeses, beers and wines while working in teams with the chefs to make short rib pot roast, lobster rolls, and clam chowder.

“Each weekend gourmet “bootcamp” has a theme.” “We had guests who had never broken down a lobster before,” says Chef Leslie. “By the end of the day, they had learned how to make lobster rolls, lobster ravioli, and even lobster bisque made from the shells of the lobsters.” March’s Gourmet Weekend presented participants with a “Tour de France” experience that focused on the techniques and the flavors of French cooking. Those guests learned how to make a roasted pork tenderloin with spicy honey, truffle chestnut soup, and poached pears in a spiced mulled wine. As of our visit, Saybrook Point Inn & Spa was planning future Gourmet Weekends for “B&B Innkeeper Bootcamp” and a Father’s Day weekend “Grillin’ and Chillin’” experience. Chef Leslie and his team also provide private culinary experiences as corporate outings and teambuilding events. One local large company had their Board of Governors compete in an “Iron Chef”-like competition. It was a fun, approachable experience that, rather diplomatically, ended in a tie. See recipes on page 28

Saybrook Point Inn & Spa Two Bridge Street Old Saybrook, CT 06475 800.243.0212

Chef Leslie Tripp

Foodies of New England


Recipes from Fresh Salt, Saybrook Point Inn & Spa Courtesy of Chef Leslie Tripp Note: These were some of the recipes taught during the Saybrook Point Inn and Spa’s New England Foodie Weekend

Crisp Oysters Ingredients: 12 Oysters shucked, shell reserved 1 cup of buttermilk 1 tablespoon of tabasco 1 cup potato flakes 3/4 tablespoon onion powder 3/4 tablespoon garlic powder 3/4 teaspoon paprika Pinch cayenne DIRECTIONS In bowl, soak oysters in buttermilk and hot sauce for 15 minutes. Combine potato flakes, onion powder, garlic powder, paprika and cayenne. In heavy bottom pot, heat enough oil to come half way up sides of pot to 375° F. Drain oysters and toss in potato flakes. Fry oysters until crisp, drain on paper towels.

Red Chili Crema Ingredients: 16 ounces mayonnaise 6 ounces sriracha 1/4 cup lime juice salt cayenne Combine all ingredients in a bowl and chill.

Mango Relish 4 servings Ingredients: 1 cup of plum tomatoes seeded and diced 1 3/4 cup diced ripe mango 1/4 cup diced red onion 1/4 cup chopped dry cranberries 1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice 1 tablespoon rice vinegar 1 teaspoon sugar Salt pepper to taste 1 clove garlic minced 1/4 cup olive oil Combine all ingredients.


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Rhode Island Clam Chowder

Apple Spice Scones

Serves 8 Ingredients: 24 cherrystones washed 1 tablespoon unsalted butter 1/2 pound slab bacon-diced 1 Spanish onion diced 3 ribs of celery diced 12 red bliss potato, cubed 1/2 cup white wine 4 springs fresh thyme leaves 3 bay leaf salt, pepper to taste 1/4 cup fresh chopped parsley

Ingredients: 9oz apples, peeled and chopped 12oz all-purpose flour 7.5oz cake flour 0.5oz kosher salt 0.75oz baking powder 2.25oz sugar zest of 2 lemons 9.5oz butter, cubed & very cold 1.5oz egg, whole 1.5oz egg yolk 11.25oz heavy cream 2 tbsp cinnamon 1/2 tsp nutmeg 1 1/2 tbsp vanilla bean paste (or vanilla extract)

DIRECTIONS Put clams in large pot and add 4 cups water. Cover, set over heat, and cook until clams have opened (10 minutes). Strain clam broth through fine strainer, set aside. Remove clams from their shells, set aside. In heavy stock pot put on stove, add butter and turn heat to medium; add bacon, stirring occasionally until bacon starts to brown. Remove bacon from pot, set aside. Add onions and celery to the fat, cook stirring frequently until soft. Stir in potatoes and wine, and continue to cook until the wine has evaporated and potatoes start to soften. Add 4 cups of clam broth, thyme, and bay leaf. Simmer gently until potatoes are tender. Chop the clams, stir the chopped clams and reserved bacon. Add black pepper, simmer, remove from heat. Remove bay leaf, discard. Let sit one hour. Serve. Garnish with parsley and oyster crackers.

DIRECTIONS Peel and chop apples to a small dice. Weigh and cut butter into small cubes and place in the refrigerator until needed. Sift dry ingredients to ensure there will be no lumps in your product. Whisk together the whole egg, egg yolk, heavy cream, spices, and prepared apples. “Cut” butter into dry ingredients until butter has broken into smaller pieces and is incorporated throughout—ingredients should resemble a mealy dry dough. Slowly add 1/3 of wet ingredients to dough until incorporated, scraping down bowl with a spatula. Continue this process until all ingredients are combined. Flour a work surface to roll and cut the dough. Remove dough from the bowl of the mixer and place on surface. Cut the dough in and roll until 1/2 inch thick. Place your preferred sized cutter on the dough and quarter. Continue this process until all of dough has been cut. Bake at 350° F for 20 minutes.

Foodies of New England


A culinary escape, right in the heart of New England:

The Essex Resort & Spa Written by Jeff Cutler Photography by Scott Erb and Donna Dufault


What’s better than having a fantastic, high-end meal at a fancy restaurant? When that restaurant is actually a vacation destination and a world-class chef is showing you how to prepare delicious meals!

The Essex Resort & Spa in Burlington, Vermont is known as “Vermont’s Culinary Resort” because they have perfected the art of combining a vacation getaway with food prep courses for everyone from foodies to the average diner. The facility is also the only culinary resort in Vermont — a badge the team at The Essex wears with pride.


Foodies of New England

Steak with Beurre Rouge Sauce

Foodies of New England


The Essex’s leadership team is committed to the highest level of customer service, and that is carried throughout all departments. Run with an eye toward memorable experiences and the best in dining adventures, the team focuses on guests and their food experiences. The Director of Culinary Operations, Chef Shawn Calley, has a fantastic reputation and a rabid foodie following. With Calley on staff, The Essex has been able to attract a number of upand-coming chefs. Their enthusiasm has driven the resort to even greater things in recent years. With its variety of cooking classes — from basic knife skill lessons to the complete preparation of a five-course meal — The Essex delivers a memorable experience to all who stay there. The Essex offers a positive and memorable experience focused on local tastes, learning, and relaxing while taking home some great new skills. Further,


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“The mission is simple: our passion for food is at the root of everything we do.” because of its resort style, the classes are designed so students/guests have plenty of time to learn, create, cook, and then enjoy their creations — and all recipes are provided to students to take with them. It’s an experience that goes far beyond a basic cooking class. In the same way The Essex is a local gem, their pantry is stocked with local foods. Calley says sustainability, local sourcing and freshness are vital for the best flavors. “Our culinary team is dedicated to using as much local food as possible,” says Calley. “Depending on the season, it could be vegetables from our own gardens, or it could be pork we raised on site. We purchase foods from many

local growers, vintners, brewers, cheesemakers, and more. We have several Vermont brews on tap and serve flights of local craft brews in The Tavern, as well as suggest beer pairings along with wine pairings at dinner in Junction.”

The chef adds that the menus are developed with taste, variety, and seasonality of foods available. The entire staff listens to guests and tries to offer cooking classes for virtually every taste, interest and skill: from cooking with beer to how to make a French meal, start to finish. Pricing for an overnight stay fluctuates seasonally, but is a reasonable $159 per night at the low end. Further, The Essex is always creating new packages that include spa services, the food preparation workshops, simple bed & breakfast offerings and much more. Interested guests are asked to watch the website for new programs and upcoming promotions. Ultimately, The Essex Resort & Spa’s mission is to combine customer service and superior facilities with their ability to deliver a memorable culinary escape. Their focus on food and fun ensures that this happens. Wrapping up The Essex’s unique style, Calley says, “The mission is simple: our passion for food is at the root of everything we do.”

Chef Anthony Spine gives some instruction to a student

See recipe on page 34

The Essex, Vermont’s Culinary Resort & Spa 70 Essex Way Burlington, VT 05452 800.727.4295

Foodies of New England


Preparation: We can start by making the stuffing, in your food processor add the chicken breast, garlic, carrot, celery, onion, Dijon, and eggs. Turn on until the chicken is in small pieces. While the food processor is still running add the cream and continue another minute until smooth. Scoop mixture into a bowl and floods in the breadcrumb, parsley, salt and pepper. Refrigerate. Drain the water from the beans place fresh water in beans with the bay leaf, thyme, and rosemary cook for 35 min or until soft. Drain the beans then let cool slightly. Add beans to food processor with olive oil and blend until mostly smooth. Season to taste.

Essex Resort Rabbit Saddle

sous-vide rabbit saddle with escarole, baby butter bean purée Serves 4 Ask your butcher for 4 rabbit saddles; the saddle is composed of the tenderloins and the belly. For stuffing: One 7 oz chicken breast 3 cloves garlic 1/2 bunch parsley rough chopped 1/4 cup small diced carrot, celery, and onion 1/2 cup heavy cream 2 large eggs 1 1/2 cup brioche bread crumbs 1 Tbsp Dijon mustard 1 1/2 tsp ground pepper 1 tsp kosher salt


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Creamed Escarole 1/2 pound chopped and rinsed escarole 1 shallot minced 2 leeks cleaned and minced 2 cloves garlic minced 1/4 cup white wine 2 Tbsp butter 3/4 cup cream salt & pepper to taste White Beans (soak overnight) 1/2 lb dried white beans 2 bay leaves 5 sprigs thyme 1 sprig rosemary 1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil

Lay each saddle on a piece of plastic wrap that is twice the size of the rabbit. The saddle should have two flaps that are thin with the middle of the saddle having the loins. Scoop two tablespoons of the filling on top of the loins use the thin flaps to cover the filling. Form it into a nice cylinder then use the plastic wrap to keep the shape. Wrap with plastic wrap one more time then wrap with aluminum foil. Then repeat with the other three loins. Add the loins to a pot of water that is on medium heat and the water is just starting to have little small bubbles forming (around 160° F). Add the wrapped rabbit to the water and cook for one hour at even temperature (don’t let the water boil). Remove and let sit for three minutes. Remove wrapping and cut each loin in half. For the escarole add everything to pan and cook slowly until the cream has thickened. Season and serve.


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Duck Breast with house made apple butter sauce and spatzle, and brussel sprouts


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School’s in Session at


Squire Tarbox Inn Written by Julie Grady Thomas Photography by Scott Erb and Donna Dufault


Gourmet dinning doesn’t have to be a nightly thing. In fact it shouldn’t be, otherwise you’d expunge the extra from extraordinary. Does that mean meals should be utilitarian? Certainly not. Chef Lara De Pietro, from the idyllic Squire Tarbox Inn in Westport Island, Maine, has the answers to keeping it fresh in the kitchen and on the table—just sign up for one of her classes.

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Food Science Sensation Lara runs the bucolic inn alongside her illustrious family— her worldly mother Roni, her brother Kyle, who runs his own organic vegetable farm nearby, and her classically trained, Swiss-born, gourmet chef father Mario De Pietro, whose résumé includes such New York gems as The Four Seasons, Tavern on the Green and The Brasserie. “Food doesn’t have to constantly be glamorous, but it should be sensual,” she says before avidly extrapolating. “And communal, and tangible, and enjoyable. And not scientific, not numbers; I hate that side of things.” Which is rather interesting considering Lara earned her Bachelor’s in Health Science Nutrition from Seattle’s naturopathic Bastyr University. After declining further coursework to become a dietician, she decided to move back East and share her breadth of knowledge. “It used to be that everyone was familiar with food. Everyone knew how to put something nutritious and tasty on the table. Now, people are disenfranchised from their food,” she remarks. “Moving back, I wanted to create a place where people can experience food on a different level.” A level that isn’t scientific but sensory. Take a walk through the gardens and interact with your food, see the colors, smell the flowers, feel the leaves, taste the serviceberries—fresh. Then experience it all again, only this time for dinner. That attitude was the very genesis of opening their kitchen to the public. The decision to move forward was organic, and so was the produce. Classes were the answer to better everyone’s food experience, an attempt to bring high quality food back to the masses through a little knowledge and empowerment.


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Executive chef Mario De Pietro and chef Lara De Pietro

Location, Location, Location The Squire Tarbox Inn sits amidst quintessential Wiscasset countryside: surrounded by fields, stone walls and woods, a calm salt-water marsh beckons beyond the pasture where several barns keep goats and chickens. Take in the lush vegetable and herb gardens, or meander along the walking paths. There’s also birding on Westport Island’s two reserves. But whatever you do, be sure to get cooking!

Local Maine Crab Cake: Sauteed house grown spinach and garlic

Whole Food, Fat Wallet Gourmet is changing. Farm-to-table is still going strong. The fear of fat is diminishing. Whole foods eating is for more than just vegetables. These are just a few of Lara’s takes on the state of foodie trends, but it’s the latter that is perhaps the most intriguing, which why The Squire Tarbox Inn now offers a course on butchery. “Whole foods cooking is one of the latest rages, especially with grains and vegetables, but when it comes to meat, people have just grown accustomed to that packaging, I guess,” Lara muses. Knowing how expensive organic cuts can be, buying a larger part of the animal can actually save you money in the long run and give you more control over what you’re eating. Instead of paying for a pack of chicken breasts, buy the entire bird. After spending an extra dollar or so and butchering it yourself, you’ll have: two thighs, two drumsticks, two breast fillets, two inner fillets, two wing drumettes and two mid-joint wings, plus any bones for broth and skin for crackling. You’ll also get a shot at the elusive oyster cuts, two delectable small pieces of dark meat located near the thighs. The secret cuts add even more value to your purchase, but they’re also half the fun. “If you by the roast, the butcher won’t give you that hidden cut just underneath it,” divulges Lara. “If you buy it yourself, you get that. There’s more meat for your buck.” If butchery isn’t for you, there are other courses in sauces, cheese making, foraging, nutrition and even private lessons. So what are you waiting for? There’s no reason you shouldn’t be cooking, so grab a few friends, your S.O., your sister, yourself—it doesn’t matter—just make a weekend out of it and learn something new. The Squire Tarbox Inn 1181 main Road Westport Island/Wiscasset, ME 04578 207.882.7693

Hey Teach! So what’s on the schedule? Here’s a quick overview: Sauces and Beyond, a weekend with Chef Mario: This is perfect for anyone looking for a leisurely weekendlong course that will take any basic meal to new heights. After breakfast each morning, you’ll go over the basics, from maximum flavor stocks to the French classics and even different mayonnaises and salsas. You might even get to eat what you create in the kitchen for dinner! Butchering 101, a weekend with Chef Mario: Don’t be shy, grab a handful of friends and get your hands dirty! One the first day, you’ll learn how to slice two large cuts of beef and make steaks, roasts, stew meat and hamburger. You’ll also go over how to break apart a chicken and a fish. It doesn’t stop there—you’ll learn to use up the “leftovers” by making stocks, patés, curing or even pet food. By the end of the weekend, Chef Mario will also walk you through how to cook some of the unique cuts you butchered. This course is worth every penny because learning how to slice larger parts of meat means slicing your weekly spend! Wild Plant and/or Mushroom Foraging, a weekend with David Spahr: With a packed lunch provided by the Inn, you’ll head off on a half-day or full-day walk with David, a Maine foraging legend. (Check out his incredibly informative website, What ever you collect can be incorporated into that evening’s dinner. The second day is completely yours to enjoy. Nutrition Education with Lara: She won’t give you personal diet advice here, but she will share with you her vast knowledge of holistic eating. If you have a particular topic you’d like to discuss, let her know in advance and she’ll tailor the course for you. Classes are either 30 minutes or an hour. Cheese Making, with Lara: You can either stay at the Inn or just come for the 90-minute class. Together, you’ll make several soft cheeses, from feta and chèvre to mozzarella, ricotta and a quark-like cheese. Learn how to choose the right cheese for the right recipe and don’t forget to take your creations home with you! FYI Some classes require a minimum of two people and must be booked in advance, according to the season. There may also be discounts for large groups and some meals may be included. For a complete list of prices, go to or call (207) 882-7693. Foodies of New England


The Inn at

WEATHERSFIELD Hidden But Spectacular

Written by Bradley Schwarzenbach Photography by Scott Erb and Donna Dufault


This unassuming inn, restaurant, and cooking school in Weathersfield, Vermont, is the perfect example of what can be accomplished when you dream big, work hard, and exceed your own expectations.

“We definitely didn’t set out to own an inn or restaurant,” says owner and school director Marilee Spanjian. “My husband and I wanted to build a cooking school to promote the connection between food and health. Also to teach core skills like butchering, canning, and baking… What we found was that most cooking schools were in strip malls!”


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Jersey Girls Farm Veal Schnitzel with roasted brussells sprouts, Grafton Clothbound Cheddar polenta

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Crossing the idyllic New England landscape of The Inn at Weathersfield’s grounds, it’s difficult not to feel connected to the natural world. “We sit on 21 acres, off of the main road,” Spanjian says. Maple trees dot the landscape, each holding its own iconic sap bucket. The 14 raised garden beds provide most of the vegetables and herbs used in the Hidden Kitchen cooking school that Spanjian has built out of the main inn’s barn.


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It’s in this “hidden” school where true foodie magic is being taught to eager students of all generations. The curricula Spanjian creates are designed specifically to “take cooking to the next level,” she says. A recent three-day course brought gourmet butcher Cole Ward to the school where students received intensive training all the way from vital knife skills to nose-to-tail preparation of a full whey-fed pig. “It was fasci-

nating to watch the students make their first cuts and amazing to see them use every single part of the animal,” Spanjian says. Of course, the newly-minted butchers got to take home their homemade pork sausage. The experience the inn’s Hidden Kitchen school provides is designed to allow students the chance to get up close and intimate with chefs and authors like Betsy Williams of the Mrs. Thrift books. But Spanjian is quick to point out that the school isn’t designed for pros only. “It’s designed for the home cook who has basic skills or even those just starting out. You should not be intimidated. We want our students to feel comfortable,” she says. The location itself helps ease students, lodgers, and diners feel at ease. “Our space encourages participation,” Spanjian says. And a great deal of the provisions used in the school and the inn’s restaurant are sourced locally from places like Cas-Cad-Nac Farm from which the restaurant gets its alpaca meat for Alpaca Bolognese: garganelli pasta with an alpaca ragout, fennel pollen, and local alpine cheese. A native Californian, Marilee Spanjian was drawn east by what she describes the “honest and clean living” of New Englanders. “People here are concerned with and make a real effort to eat locally. Not so much for vanity but because it’s good for you… When we set out to find a place for our school we looked all over Vermont, New Hampshire, Massachusetts, and Maine,” she says. Events at The Inn at Weathersfield run the foodie gamut from pit roasting classes in the summer, to wine cellar dinners, and traditional Native American meals for which a chief of the Abenaki tribe speaks about their cuisine and heritage. “All of our events are tailored to the seasons and we use local chefs,” Spanjian says. “Also, we make it a point to have a strong vegetarian menu.”

“It’s more than just a demonstration [at the Hidden Kitchen],” Spanjian says. “It’s hands-on, one-to-one … and more than just a meal, it’s a food experience.” The Inn at Weathersfield has accommodations for 12 guests with modern amenities but a rustic feel. The restaurant is open Wednesday to Sunday starting at 5:30pm. There is a main dining room, tavern, and private Chef’s Table dining area. Reservations are recommended for the dining room. Guest rooms and tables in the dining room can be booked by calling (802) 263-9217 or emailing Also, schedules for cooking classes and full culinary experiences including lessons, dining, and lodging are available by visiting their website. The Inn at Weathersfield 1342 Hwy 106 Weathersfield, VT 05151 802.263.9217

Cas-Cad-Nac Farm Alpaca Bolognese by Chef Tim Bittner

Ingredients: 5 lbs ground alpaca 1/2 lb bacon diced 1 head fennel brunoise (finely diced) 10 cloves garlic minced 4 onions brunoise 1 bunch celery brunoise 3 carrots brunoise 2 Tbsp oregano 32 oz crushed tomato pureed 2 cups red wine 2 cups half & half pinch nutmeg S & P to taste Prepare (approx) 3 lbs pasta of choice (recommend penne, however, we use garganelli or cavatappi in the restaurant) Directions: 1. In a Rondeau, (wide, shallow pan), brown alpaca with the bacon. 2. Add vegetables and cook until tender. 3. Add wine and cook for 10 minutes. 4. Add rest of ingredients and simmer for 10 minutes. 5. Transfer to 290° F oven and cook covered for 2 1/2 hours. 6. Cook pasta of choice & in separate pan, heat pasta with sauce. 7. Garnish with parmesan & chopped chives. Makes 12-14 healthy servings

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Brings the Farmers Market to You

Written by Kelley Lynn Kassa Photography by Scott Erb and Donna Dufault

Many foodies love farmers markets for their fresh and local produce, meats, eggs, fish, and more. But most unfortunately, farmers markets in New England are not really year-round. While there are several winter farmers markets, they are nowhere near as prevalent as the markets that run from April through October. Something Gud, based in Somerville, Massachusetts has solved that problem—they bring the farmers market to you.


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Above, Leah and Carlos packing orders for customers.

“We wanted to build a communitybased business that was good for the environment, good for local businesses, and good for consumers’ taste buds and social conscience,” says Nick Kranz, co-founder of Something Gud. “We’re what’s called a Benefits Corporation. We’re a for-profit company, but we have a third party report on our business, enabling us to show how transparent we are about trying to help local farms and businesses.” Something Gud is thriving because the products from over one hundred vendors and farms are excellent. “I’ve never tasted such wonderful food. And what’s amazing is the most recent report on Something Gud found that 73% of our products are sourced within 50 miles of Boston.” Something Gud combines the fresh, local goods of farmers markets with the choice found in traditional grocery stores. Unlike common farm shares, Something Gud does not require upfront costs or commitments: customers can purchase boxes for delivery or pick up week-by-week, and can select exactly what they want in their order. Just some of the selections provided by Something Gud include milk products from Thatcher Farm in Milton, Massachusetts, yogurt from Sophia’s Greek continued on page 46

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Pantry in Belmont, Massachusetts, humanely raised free range chicken and eggs from Feather Brook Farm in Raynham, Massachusetts, pastas and sauces from Valicenti Organico in Hollis, New Hampshire, seafood from Red’s Best in Boston, sustainably raised meats from Lilac Hedge Farms in Berlin, Massachusetts, and more. Something Gud also offers its customers curated boxes-of-the-week, in a number of options. In addition to a standard curated box, consumers can select boxes that are Paleo, pescatarian, Grab+Go, vegetarian, vegan, organic, and gluten-free. New customers can sign up for a trial box, which comes at a discounted price. It includes a curated selection of local vegetables, fruit, mixed salad greens, and kale. The folks behind Something Gud will also put a few of their favorite packaged and bottled products in your box. The organization also provides its customers with a weekly newsletter highlighting recipes for that week’s box of goodies. A late-winter seasonal veggie box provided customers with organic thyme and organic petite mesclun mix from Gilberties Herbs, organic Chantenay carrots from Langwater Farm, co-conventional golden oyster mushrooms from Rhode Island Mushroom Company, organic spinach and organic shallots from Red Fire Farm, conventional butternut squash from Joe Czajkowski Farm, organic spicy radishes and red beets from Winter Moon Roots. In addition to delivering great products and produce to its customers, Something Gud has formed true partnerships with its farmers. “In some cases, we’ve helped grow their businesses so that they can skip the labor-intensive process of attending farmers markets,” says Kranz. “But what’s much more interesting is that our farmers are coming to us for information on what is popular with the customers, and what they should plant


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and harvest for upcoming growing seasons. This partnership provides insight for the farmers, while also ensuring we are offering our mutual customers what they want,” continues Kranz. Something Gud offers home and business delivery on Mondays, Thursdays and Sundays in the Greater Boston area, and offers pick-up at its Somerville location on those days as well. Consumers can also have Something Gud boxes delivered through Instacart.

Ali, Nick, Leah, Darron & Carlos

“History of...”

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

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


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Once upon a time, pepper was single. Sure, its coupling with salt made it one half of the world’s most enduring marriage of spices. But in its bachelor days, pepper commanded a high price, was considered a luxury item, and influenced the “must find” to-do list of European explorers. No wonder it wanted to settle down after a while. The Pepper Palette Pepper, native to India, comes from the tropical vine Piper nigrum. Whole peppercorns are the dried berries from this plant; they grow in clusters like miniature grapes, albeit with decidedly less wine potential. As those pretty bottles of multicolored peppercorns suggest, several varieties of pepper exist. Black, green, and white pepper derive from the same plant. Similar to tea, the differences come from when in the growth cycle the pepper is harvested and how it’s processed. Black pepper comes from unripe green berries that have been dried out, and within this variety, Tellicherry Black from South India is the most popular and the most pungent. Sarawak Black (from Borneo and Malaysia) is milder, and aromatic Lampong Black (from Sumatra, Indonesia) is a favorite in curry. Mild, fresh-tasting green pepper also comes from unripened berries; in their fresh form, the peppercorns are used in Asian cooking, particularly Thai cuisine. The dried green peppercorns (with which Westerners are more familiar) are pickled prior to drying— which retains continued on page 50

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their hue. White pepper, slightly different in flavor, is the only one that waits around for the ripe berries. After being soaked in water for a week or so, the husk of the berries comes off, and the interior seed is then dried. And what about those racy pink peppercorns strutting through the mill? Floral and zesty, they actually come from the evergreen Peruvian pepper tree. Presumably they have a Hatfield-McCoy thing going on with the other types, as pink pepper is sometimes called “false pepper.”

“Pepper was so valuable in Europe that in medieval times it was used as currency for things like taxes, tributes, and dowries.” The Traders’ MVP If an ancient Roman did some time traveling to the presentday US, he would think us all wealthy judging by pantry contents alone. And Ramses II might be a little insulted that the peppercorns stuffed into his nostrils at mummification are now available at Stop & Shop. This “black gold”—expensive to ship along tightly controlled trade routes—even became a ransom demand. In 410, when Alaric the Visigoth sacked Rome, he left a note saying “give me 3,000 pounds of pepper or the Colosseum gets it.” Ok, he left out the Colosseum part, but he really did demand—and receive—that quantity of pepper as part of the ransom. Indeed, pepper was so valuable in Europe that in medieval times it was used as currency for things like taxes, tributes, and dowries. The Dutch idiom “peperduur” (“pepper expensive”) is a nod to this tradition. The English expression “peppercorn rent” means a nominal sum, but like so many evolved meanings, it once signified quite the opposite. Pepper served as an impetus for explorers, too. The Venetians (the overachieving traders that they were) got greedy over time and set their prices too high. As a result, Vasco de Gama, Sir Francis Drake, and Christopher Columbus, among others, set out to find pepper elsewhere and establish more trade routes. Unfortunately, Columbus had a “Boy, is my face red” moment, when he brought home the wrong kind of pepper (chili, from the West Indies). Nevertheless, over time more trade routes did open up, and pepper accounted for 70% of the spice trade. Prices eventually dropped and began to, ah, pepper cuisines in countries all over the world. Then pepper and salt fell in love and… well, the rest of the story will likely show up on your dinner plate tonight.


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Tri Color Peppercorn Pinwheels and Peppercorn Balls By Dona Bourgery Ingredients: Vine Tomatoes Fresh Mozzarella Roll Sliced Green, Pink, White Peppercorns crushed Olive Oil Fresh Basil Leaves Directions: Crush peppercorns with a mortar pestle and set aside. For each pinwheel layer sliced tomato, basil and mozzarella, place on a serving platter. Sprinkle tops with crushed peppercorn mixture, drizzle with olive oil and serve. For the Peppercorn balls dip in olive oil and roll over peppercorn mixture, serve on a platter over a bed of basil leaves. Another serving suggestion is make small skewers, with cherry tomatoes,olives, mushrooms or any fresh vegetable or cold cuts of choice and serve.

Tri-Color Peppercorn Bean Salad By Dona Bourgery Ingredients: White Beans Garbanzo Beans Red Pepper chopped Red Onion chopped Green, Pink, White Peppercorns crushed Olive Oil Lemon Juice Fresh Basil chopped Directions: Toss above ingredients in a bowl with the olive oil and lemon juice. Sprinkle with more of the peppercorn mixture, garnish with basil leaves and serve.

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He Said, She Said: Reflections on the James Beard Foundation Dinner Written by Alina Eisenhauer and Neil Rogers Photography by Scott Erb and Donna Dufault


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“Food is our common ground, a universal experience” - James Beard An Idea is Born He said: I barely noticed it was even there—it was hidden in a pile of mail that was set on my hot line prep table one Sunday morning. I did my prep list, started getting the line set, and picked up the mail to read later. Then I saw the envelope: “James Beard Foundation” was printed in the top left corner. It was quite heavy, and I knew exactly what it was. I opened it, pulling out the top page. And there it was: a letter on official letterhead inviting Alina Eisenhauer and me to cook at the James Beard House. It was like Charlie getting the golden ticket and taking his grandfather to see the Chocolate Factory. Being able to cook in the house that Beard built, a legendary kitchen and a place of culinary magic, was soon to be in my grasp, and I couldn’t wait.

To preface this, I knew we were getting the chance to cook there, but it’s one of those events, one of those times in your life when you need something concrete to make it feel real. One day Alina came into the back of the kitchen and asked the loaded question, “So, do you want to cook at the Beard House? I can get us a dinner.” With much enthusiasm I gave a “Hell yes!” response. I was trying to play it cool, but I think the quickness of my response, and the sparkle of want in my eyes, gave it away. I couldn’t believe this could really happen. She said: A few weeks after cooking at the James beard House for the first time I, my co-chef for the dinner and our Sommelier decided to get commemorative tattoos of the event. As I sat in the tattoo parlor having the words James Beard tattooed on my arm my cell phone rang, it was my friend Laura.

Laura called to say that she was cleaning out and old house and a book had just fallen off of a shelf and nearly hit her, a book she thought I might want. What she said next gave me goosebumps, the book was a very old copy of James Beard’s “Cook it Outdoors”. I took this as a sign that not only did Mr. Beard approve of my new tattoo but that I needed to cook at the Beard House again. This time I would honor him by cooking dishes based on his recipes, and so the idea for “He Said, She Said” was born. When I moved Sweet Kitchen & Bar into our new home [72 Shrewsbury Street, Worcester, MA] next to Volturno Pizza, we quickly became one big restaurant family. It just seemed to make sense to me that Volturno’s Executive Chef at the time, Chef Neil Rogers, should be the person to join me in presenting this special dinner. continued on page 54

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Culinary Dialogue He said: Over the course of the next month, Alina said she had been emailing the organizers of the dinner. I was getting anxious, just wanting some confirmation, a little string on which to grasp. Then I finally got an email talking about the dinner, dates, things we needed to know about cooking at the Beard House. Then we had to tackle the menu. Alina came up with the idea of a “He Said/She Said” dinner. We went back and forth about a fivecourse menu with hors d’oeuvres. We pored over Beard’s books, looking for fun, classic dishes that we could both create our own versions of. After what seemed like ages, the menu was done, the date picked out, and the wait—well, that was the next hurdle. I assembled friends, all people whom I trusted, to cook alongside me. When there was about one month to go before the dinner, prep lists were finished, recipes were still being worked out, and food being requisitioned. I was reminded of one of the greatest lessons that most great chefs know: the importance of building relationships with your purveyors and producers. I’ve always treated them as my friends, not people from whom I purchase my goods. I can’t believe how generous everyone was; pretty much everything but our lobsters was donated. Everyone was behind us, two chefs from Worcester who were getting the chance of a lifetime. Let’s talk about Worcester. It’s one hell of a city. A city that makes leaps and bounds every year, slowly rising to do bigger and better things. There are now some fantastic restaurants, bakeries, and bars that would get national attention if they were in a different location. It feels great to be a part of this movement, at the forefront of it, bringing some recognition to the city we love. And now two chefs cooking at one of the greatest venues in the country, together to celebrate the food of


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James Beard. I’ll take it! She said: I had the idea that it would make for a memorable dinner and provide for great dialogue on the evolution of food and the difference of (or lack of difference) between the male and female chef’s perspective if we compiled a menu of James Beard dishes and each created our own interpretation

of the dishes to be presented side by side. I wondered if there would be a clear and noticeable difference between our food, if guests would immediately be able to tell which dish was the male chef’s and which was the female chef’s. In the months and weeks leading up to the dinner we were often in each other’s kitchen tasting parts of dishes, bounc-

ing ideas off of each other, discussing ingredients…but one thing we never did was to prepare our completed dishes for each other before the night of the event.

As we neared the time when the guests would arrive and we were all busy putting finishing touches on things a sense of calm came over the kitchen, we were all relaxed, ready, and excited.


Without a Hitch

He said: The two weeks leading up to the celebrated day were a blur. I was at the restaurant nonstop prepping, receiving, getting all of the little things done. It was like I had done this a million times before. There was no anxiety, no stress. I was so enthralled, so over the moon, that it was like a vacation. We arrived a Thursday night for the Friday dinner, and after all these months of everything moving so fast, there was a point when time stood still. It was like Christmas Eve waiting for Santa to put presents under your tree. You know the feeling: minutes go by like days, hours go by like weeks. I could barely sleep, got up early, and headed out to get to the house as soon as possible. The next 14 hours went by so quickly. As soon as we stepped into the kitchen at the Beard House, everything came together. All of our extra prep and hard work paid off that day. By 1:00 pm we were prepped and ready to go. We left to have lunch and see some of NYC. Did you know fried chicken and tacos make for an excellent lunch to keep you on your toes? She said: My team and I arrived in New York early the morning of the dinner. Neil and his team had arrived the night before and were already unpacked with their things organized in the kitchen. After helping us unload, Neil and his team left to take in the sights and explore New York for a bit while my team and I settled in and unpacked. It was then that it really hit me: This was going to be a totally different experience than my first trip here. I’d be lying if I didn’t say that I was, if only for a moment, nervous. My first dinner at the Beard House was one menu, 10 dishes, pre-

He said: The rest of the night went off without a hitch. Everyone stepped up and went above and beyond, putting out some excellent plates. We were laughing, joking, and downright having the time of our lives. I don’t think I ever laughed that hard for such a long time. We gave our pre-meals, counted our plates, organized our mise en place, and got to work. It was fluid, like this day had happened before. It all came together perfectly. The plates were amazing, the food tasted great, and the crowd enjoyed every bite. It was as magical as I could have hoped. Both teams killed it that night and put out some amazing food. We did what we were trying to accomplish: honor James Beard, his food, and his legacy. I can say that I know now what if felt like for Charlie to ride in the elevator at the Chocolate Factory. She said: Course after course went off without a hitch, both teams working side by side, at times lending a hand to each other, with jokes flying as if it were just another normal night in the kitchen. As I watched each course go out with our dishes presented together I was proud of what we had accomplished and admittedly a bit surprised by the fact that we seemed to fall a bit more into, what some might consider, gender stereotypes with our presentation than I had expected. It was clear by the end of the night that we had accomplished what we set out to do; we had provided a truly memorable meal and honored the legacy of James Beard. I hear there may have even been a wager or two as our guests debated which chef made which dish and the merits of each interpretation…

sented by two chefs with one team. It had been flawless from start to finish, it was sold out, and it was without a doubt the best service of my life—which is a lot of pressure to live up to the second time around. The fact that we were doing two versions of each dish this time meant that we would be putting out 20 dishes over a two-hour period, with two teams, in a kitchen not much bigger than what most people have in their home.

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A little taste of Italy, here in New England!

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


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The Worcester’s Best Chef Culinary Competition would like to thank its judges, Masters of Ceremonies, and Hosts, as well as the many groups and committees that make this landmark culinary event so highly anticipated each and every year:


WBC Committee:

Chef Peter Eco: Executive Chef Worcester Country Club

Jodie Boduch – Social Media Director, Website Management. Carole Donovan –Event & Chef Coordinator, Graphic Design; Owner, Image Boosters. Nino Giamei – Registration Captain, Music Coordinator. Chef John Lawrence – Back of the House Captain; Co-Owner, Pepper’s Fine Food Catering. Domenic D. Mercurio, Jr. – Founder and President, Mercury Media, LLC., Creator & Executive Producer, Worcester’s Best Chef competition. Traci Parath – Event & Chef Coordinator; Back of the House Manager.

Barbara Houle: Retired food editor – Worcester Telegram & Gazette; Columnist - Table Hoppin’, Worcester Telegram & Gazette; Columnist - Dining In and The Dish, Worcester Telegram & Gazette Columnist - Worcester Living magazine. Chef Chris Liazos: 35-year owner/chef of the former Webster House Restaurant, Worcester Chef Tom Little Executive Chef, Pepper’s Fine Catering Chef Albert Maykel III: 19 years in the culinary industry. Attended Johnson & Wales University. Executive Chef/ Co-Owner of EVO Dining in Worcester 2013 WBC Judges’ Choice, People’s Choice and Iron Chef champion. Chef Cornelius Rogers: 2014 WBC Iron Chef champion 2014 WBC Judges’ Choice champion Executive chef de Cuisine Niche Hospitality Group Masters of Ceremonies: Jen Carter & Rick Brackett, WXLO Morning Show VIP Reception Host: Christina Andrianopoulos Producer and Talk Show Host 6th Sense and Beyond City Vibes Metro Charter TV3 Iron Chef Masters of Ceremonies: Chef Alina Eisenhauer: Award-winning Executive Chef of Sweet Kitchen & Bar in Worcester. Regular competitor on many of Food Network’s most popular shows, including Sweet Genius, Chopped, Cupcake Wars, and more. Chef Chris Rovezzi: Executive Chef, Owner – Rovezzi’s Ristorante, Sturbridge, MA 2012 WBC Iron Chef champion 2012 WBC Judge’s Choice champion 2007 WBC People’s Choice champion

Exclusive Food Photography: Scott Erb & Donna Dufault – Owners, Erb Photo Closed-Circuit Video & Broadcasting: Peter Lapriore – Owner, Lapriore Video.

Mr. Ignatius Chang came to Massachusetts with a world of experience behind him.


Foodies of New England

Nancy Chang’s An “Unexpected” Experience Written by Christine Whipple Photography by Scott Erb and Donna Dufault


e started in Taiwan and moved on to highend restaurants and private clubs throughout Europe, landing in Westborough, where he worked for the Fox Hound Steak House.

During the next 10 years, his family moved to America from different part s of Taiwan. In 1989, six of Chang’s family members and their families moved from Texas to Massachusetts to help him open Nancy Chang’s in West Boylston. With fond memories of his first location, Chan smiled and said, “The restaurant business changes fast. You have to know when to grow, whether to a new location or to make new food choices.” After a triple bypass surgery in 1998, two years after moving Nancy Chang’s to Chandler Street in Worcester, he introduced a menu that used healthier oils and was free from MSG. When I asked Chang how he substituted MSG, he explained that MSG is a chemical; the restaurant substitutes it with chicken broth and bone stock. “ Nancy Chang Food doesn’t have a punch. People don’t like MSG in their food.” When they realize that they don’t have a headache and other side effects, he adds, they come back. continued on page 60 Lobster Cucumber Boat

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Grilled Shrimp with Lemon Sauce

A few years later, when a friend’s daughter was diagnosed as a celiac, he was inspired to introduce glutenfree food. Soon after, Nancy Chang’s added vegan fare and diabetic-friendly options to the menu. Today, UMass Hospital physicians recommend Nancy Chang’s as a dietary option to heart patients, and Fallon Community Health Plan recommends the restaurant as a healthy eating destination. Chang also owns a restaurant in New York. “In New York, change happens fast and people always want to try something new,” he says. “The change has been more gradual in Worcester, [but] today our customers want the same thing in both places. They don’t want to eat as much, so we go to half


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the size and everyone is satisfied.” He also adds that “tapas is the future— small portions and lower prices,” noting that the restaurant introduced 60 tapas dishes in early 2015. I invited some friends to help me review Nancy Chang’s food: Kim Ledoux, Kathy Parella, and Max Guertin from Worcester; Sunny Shattuck from Upton; and Mark Bosakowski from Deerfield Beach, Florida were immediately impressed by the extensive menu. We first tried the Shanghai Pork. Sunny’s first impression was a favorable one. “This is very pretty, [has] great presentation, and smells incredible,” she said, adding after her first bite, “and tasty, too!” Mark gave it an A+, saying “The sweetness is perfect, I love the

crunchy vegetables, and it’s got lots of flavor.” We moved on to the Shrimp Taco. Max liked the noodles on top and thought the shrimp were perfectly cooked. Sunny said it had a “nice kick!” and Mark savored the “great aftertaste.” We all liked the mayonnaise base in the Lobster Cucumber Boat. We were also impressed at how fresh everything was, especially the lobster. Kathy said it was akin to the kind of lobster “you would find in a Rockport [Maine] restaurant.” Mr. Chang gave us instructions on how to eat Shanghai Dumplings with vinegar and ginger. Often called “soup dumplings,” their steamed, thin-skinned buns filled with ground pork also

contain a heap of jellylike aspic, making them both challenging and fun to eat. Here’s the how-to: 1. Fill your soup spoon with a base layer of Chinese black vinegar. With your chopsticks, pick up the dumpling by the pleated tip and place it in the spoon. 2. Bite off an opening in the top to release steam from the dumpling, then stuff a sliver or two of ginger inside or on the top. 3. Count to five (so you don’t burn your mouth), and slurp the whole thing at once. Kim found these “Very delicate and tasty”. Chang went out of his way to make us feel at home, as he does every guest. “When you come to Nancy Chang’s,” he says, “it’s the food, the experience, the wine, the music, the entire package that will make your visit memorable.” To learn more about Nancy Chang’s, view their menu or make reservations, go to or call 508-752-8899.

Thai Chicken Dumplings

Pork Buns

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Gluten Free

Gluten Free Summer Nights Spell BBQ Written by Ellen Allard Gluten Free Diva Photography by Scott Erb and Donna Dufault

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


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Nothing says summer like firing up the grill. Hot and sticky summer evenings, fireflies lighting up the night, the promise of roasted marshmallows. But what if you don’t own a grill? Or you live on the 25th floor of a high-rise apartment building? Or you crave that smoky goodness but don’t feel like grilling? Enter stage right: BBQ Soy Curls. Once I discovered that I could rehydrate, marinate, and bake these little strips of chewy deliciousness, I knew that the tastes of summer barbecue would make a regular appearance in my gluten free kitchen. If you go to Butler’s website (producer of Soy Curls),, you’ll read that Soy Curls are made from “select certified non-GMO, whole soybeans, grown without chemical pesticides.” Butler soaks the beans in spring water without any chlorine and then dries them. I find them to be a wonderful, versatile alternative to meat that is healthy, delicious, and super easy to use. You can order them directly from Butler’s website. Whether you’re a vegetarian or vegan, or you are trying to cut down on the amount of meat you consume, Soy Curls are an easy and delicious alternative. A couple of caveats. While I’m usually a Gluten Free Diva make-everythingfrom-scratch kind of gal, in certain situations, I opt for easy. In these cases, Trader Joe’s Organic Sriracha & Roasted Garlic BBQ sauce fits the bill. And while it isn’t particularly spicy nor does it have too much of a Sriracha or roasted garlic taste to it, marry it with the Soy Curls and toss it on a gluten free English Muffin or hamburger bun, throw on a couple of pickles and red onion slices and I’m instantly transported to a full-fledged summer barbecue. Now all I want to hear is the familiar bells of the ice cream truck as it makes its way through my neighborhood. Think they might have gluten free, dairy free ice cream? Want to make your own Sriracha Roasted Garlic BBQ sauce? Here’s a recipe that looks great:

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BBQ Soy Curls Sandwich Ingredients:

Preheat oven to 350˚ F.

4 cups boiling water

Pour boiling water over soy curls. Add 1/4 cup BBQ sauce, wheat-free tamari, optional hot sauce, 1 Tbsp Arizona Dreaming Spice Blend and 1 Tbsp Chicken Taco Blend. Mix with spoon. Let marinate at least 30 minutes. Scoop up handfuls of Soy Curls, squeeze out as much liquid as possible.

1 package Butler Soy Curls 1/4 cup + 1/2 cup Trader Joe’s Organic Sriracha & Roasted Garlic BBQ sauce 1 tbsp wheat-free tamari 1 tsp hot sauce, optional 2 tbsp Penzey’s Arizona Dreaming Spice Blend (or any gluten free southwestern blend of spices) 2 tbsp Penzey’s Chicken Taco Blend (or any gluten free taco mix) Gluten free English muffins or hamburger buns Romaine lettuce leaves Pickles, sliced thin Red onion, sliced thin


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Put Soy Curls in a bowl. Add remaining 1/2 cup BBQ sauce, 1 Tbsp Arizona Dreaming Spice Blend and 1 Tbsp Chicken Taco Blend. Mix well. Lay the Soy Curls on a large, flat jelly roll pan. Bake for 45 minutes. At the halfway point, move the Soy Curls around with a flat spatula to keep them from sticking to the pan. To assemble your sandwich, add lettuce, BBQ Soy Curls, onion, and pickles to a toasted gluten free English muffin or hamburger bun.

Purple Sweet Potato Salad Ingredients: 4 medium purple sweet potatoes olive oil 2 scallions, chopped 2 celery stalks, chopped Small red pepper, yellow pepper, orange pepper, seeded and chopped 1/2 cup parsley, chopped Champagne Mustard Vinaigrette (see recipe below) Preheat oven to 400˚ F. Cover large jelly roll pan with parchment paper. Set aside. Peel sweet potatoes. Chop into 1” chunks. Lay on prepared jelly roll pan. Drizzle potatoes with olive oil and then use hands to gently coat sweet potato chunks with oil. Use only enough oil to barely coat the potatoes. Roast for 30 minutes. Remove from oven and set aside until completely cool. Add scallions, celery, peppers, parsley and mix. Pour desired amount of Champagne Mustard Vinaigrette over salad and gently stir to combine. Allow at least 30 minutes before serving in order for flavors to come together.

Champagne Mustard Vinaigrette Ingredients: 2 tbsp champagne vinegar 6 tbsp extra virgin olive oil 1/2 - 1 tsp Dijon mustard 1 tsp agave 1 small garlic clove, minced Salt and pepper to taste Combine all dressing ingredients together and whisk until thoroughly blended.

Foodies of New England


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

The Allure of

Tatanka L

ike many varieties of wild game, buffalo is one of the ultimate free-range foods. Bison are grass-fed, allowed to roam, and are not given hormones, antibiotics and other chemicals. The Native Americans referred to it as Tatanka, and today Americans are rediscovering this sustainable meat resource for its many health-driven qualities. Buffalo is rich in flavor (without being gamey), low in fat, and high in protein; it’s also easier to digest, and it may just help lower your cholesterol. All in all, it’s the perfect choice for those who’d like to eat red meat with no downside. Versatility is buffalo’s middle name, as it can be enjoyed in many similar ways to beef.


Foodies of New England

Foodies of New England


Readily available in most major food stores today, buffalo is commonly found in the form of sirloin steaks and ground burger. This is a great way to have an initial food experience with this prime meat as it’s very approachable and not overwhelming. Most markets provide sirloin steak in a cryovac package of two 6-ounce steaks, which is a great portion size given its richness. You can enjoy these steaks on the grill; pound them out into medallions for chicken fried steak, fajitas, or braciole; or dice the meat for a braised stew or unique breakfast hash. The key to cooking lean meats like buffalo (venison is parallel) is to incorporate some type of fat into the cooking process, which will keep the meat moist. If grilling or sautéing your steak, never cook it beyond medium-rare to medium. The meat should maintain a


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pink interior when finished to achieve the result of a moist and tender steak. As it relates to adding fat to maintain moisture, my recommendation is olive oil rubbed on the exterior of the meat followed by seasoning. If you want to experience something truly special, use a flavored olive oil in theme with your recipe and a quality fresh spice and/or preservative-free spice blend. Let’s say for example, that you’d like to make fajitas. Pound out the steaks with a meat mallet, and then place the steaks on a large plate, then coat the steaks with blood orange- or lime-flavored olive oil. Now season them with Southwestern spices and pure sea salt. Allow the meat to come to room temperature while your grill heats up. Next, take a large bowl and place some sliced Vidalia onions and red, orange, and yellow bell peppers, along with sliced

poblano peppers. Drizzle olive oil and season (smoky blends work best), and smoked sea salt. Toss to coat. Once the grill is heated thoroughly, place the steaks on the hot grill and your veggies on a flat cast iron alongside the steaks. You’ll end up with the most flavorful fajitas you’ve ever tasted—and healthy, too! Burger is burger, is it not? Why spend the extra money for buffalo burger? Well, all I can say is make a buffalo chili or a homemade buffalo burger once and you’ll never go back. Anyone who has made chili with venison versus beef knows this first-hand Again, the key here is moisture. Add olive oil to the burger when you make any recipe and it will instill the much needed element to balance the lean meat and produce a tender result. So much of today’s food supply today is tainted. We all strive to eat healthier, and the closer we can get to the source of our food, the better. Knowing where our food comes from and how it was raised or grown ensures that we can feel more comfortable and connected to what we put into our body. Call it buffalo, bison, or Tatanka. The rest of us are learning something that Native Americans discovered long ago: this is one of the most desirable and healthiest types of meat in the world. There’s something to be said about staying connected to sustainable food. About the author: Denny Corriveau is Award-Winning Master Game Chef and the Founder of the Free Range Culinary Institute, the only national wild game cooking school in the country. As a trendsetter in the field of wild game culinary arts, and Wild Game Evangelist - Denny has evolved over the past 25+ years as a nationally noted authority regarding his “best practice” methodology regarding the culinary side of wild game. You can learn more about Denny @

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Enjoy the


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

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


Cas-Cad-Nac Farm Vermont Raised Alpacs Photography by Scott Erb and Donna Dufault

Located on the southern slope of Mount Ascutney in southeastern Vermont, Cas-Cad-Nac Farm is owned and operated by Ian and Jennifer Lutz. They have been actively breeding Alpacas since 1997 and maintains a herd of 200 - 300 animals. Widely recognized as one of the premier breeding stock producers of Alpacas in the United States. They have won many distinguished awards. In addition to selling breeding stock domestically and internationally, the Lutzes co-own the Vermont Fiber Mill & Studio in Brandon, Vermont, where the majority of the farms annual fiber clip is processed and sold. 30 - 40 animals are processed annually into a limited supply of fine meats. These are available to discerning chefs and home cooks.


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Owner Jennifer Lutz

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“We have a special appreciation for what it means to live a life connected to the land and its use through agriculture.�

Cas-Cad-Nac Farm 490 Wheeler Camp Road Perkinsville, VT 05151 802.263.5740 Foodies of New England


Pasta (and Life): 101

Written by Christopher Rovezzi Photography by Scott Erb and Donna Dufault

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


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Funny how things work out… While getting ready for the photo shoot for this issue of Foodies, I was stuck on which direction to go in terms of the article. You would assume that the story would be written already since the photographers were about to snap some pics... but you’d be wrong: I do it in reverse. I create a dish while they set up, and, based on what I cook, I start to formulate a story to go with the dish. On this day the photographers (Scott Erb and Donna Dufault) brought me a small package of Alpaca sausage from a recent visit to a local farm. Alpaca sausage? PERFECT! Since “cooking classes” is the basic theme of this issue of Foodies, this article will be a quick lesson in the fundamentals of Chris Rovezzi’s philosophy on cooking. The most important thing I teach is to not be scared. It’s ONLY food. Keep the phrase in your head: “What’s the worst that could happen?” And the answer: “It won’t taste good” — that’s the worst that could happen! So try again, make adjustments, analyze the flavor (or lack thereof) — and, if necessary, try again! I placed the alpaca sausage on my cutting board in front of my sauté station, put a pan on high, and started to play. I knew that I wanted a hearty pasta to pair with the sausage so I chose my favorite, ricotta cavatelli. I decided to limit the ingredients to let the sausage be the focus of the dish. Olive oil, minced garlic, diced tomatoes, a splash of white wine, a pinch of fresh herbs, and then 2 cups of my marinara sauce... well, I THOUGHT it was marinara. It turned out to be a homemade barbecue sauce that we were experimenting with. I didn’t realize the mistake until I tasted my concoction. The honey in the barbecue sauce made it very sweet... Too sweet?... I could’ve dumped the whole thing and started again. Instead, I took it as a challenge. As long as the end result is tasty it really doesn’t matter what happens along the way. I made some adjustments with spices to offset the sweetness and I finished the dish. A bit of torn basil leaves and few passes of Parmigiano-Reggiano through the cheese grater and to the table. Given their positive reaction — and had I not told them of my barbecue sauce mistake — my fellow foodies would never have known. The lesson is, don’t be scared. It’s not about following a recipe; it’s not about pompous chefs in crisp white jackets and tall paper hats charging you a lot of money to show you how talented they are and sneering down their nose making sure to point out how green you are. It’s about enjoying the process. It’s about treating cooking as an artistic experience and getting a little bit better each time you practice. It’s about the feeling you get when you see the expression on a loved one’s face who is enjoying the meal that you made. It’s about the excitement in your four-yearold daughter’s eyes when she gets to mush her hands in the bowl with all the meatball ingredients. Cooking at home should NOT cause stress. Now... cooking professionally? Well, I’ll save that for the next issue!

Ricotta Cavatelli Ingredients: 1 1/2 cups all purpose flour 1 1/2 cups semolina flour 1 lb firm ricotta cheese 3 whole eggs DIRECTIONS Put all of the flour into a bowl. Make a well in the flour, and add the cheese and eggs. Gradually work the mixture together, adding more flour if necessary, to make a soft but not sticky dough. On a lightly floured surface, knead the dough until it is smooth. Let the dough rest at room temperature, wrapped in plastic, for 30 minutes. Form the dough into a round and cut into quarters. Working with one quarter at a time on a lightly floured surface, roll the dough into a rope one quarter inch in diameter. With a dough cutter, cut the rope into half-inch pieces. With your index and third fingers held together, gently press down on each piece, beginning at the top and moving down toward the bottom, dragging your fingers toward you and causing the pasta to roll over on itself. (You can also repeat this motion over a ridged gnocchi board. You can find them in any decent kitchen supply store.) Transfer the formed pasta to a lightly-floured cookie sheet. Bring a saucepan of salted water to a boil, and add the pasta. They’re done when they float up to the top. Drain and toss the desired quantity with your favorite sauce.

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Foodies of New England


10 Prime Steak&Sushi

Where East meets West and Surf meets Turf Written by Eric Kalwarczyk Photography by Scott Erb and Donna Dufault

Human beings have changed over millennia. We evolved from basic hunter-gatherer beginnings into our modern roles, leaving behind humble palates for something, let’s say, more civilized and sophisticated. Still, the primal desire for that dense, protein-rich feast can’t be completely shed, and when the age-old urge to tear into a succulent piece of meat just won’t let up, head to 10 Prime Steak & Sushi in Providence, Rhode Island.

Foodies of New England


The epitome of animal protein is undisputedly beef. And the highest echelon of beef is U.S.D.A. Prime, boasting the best grade of quality and marbling available in the US. In 2001, 10 Prime opened its doors and was the first restaurant to serve prime-grade steaks in Providence. But 10 Prime wasn’t done. It had a vision to create a high-end dining experience without the condescension and stuffiness usually associated with top steakhouses.


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Their first objective: bring sushi into the mix. Not just any sushi—it had to be stellar. While the menu offers “designer rolls,” the beautifully plated nigiri and sashimi should not be missed. Try the toro, hamachi and tobiko. Although sushi accounts for about 25% of overall sales at 10 Prime, it isn’t a traditional Japanese-style steakhouse. While offering Kobe and Wagyu beef, they also procure top quality grass-fed beef to appeal to the more health conscious carnivores, as well as

a gluten-free menu. General Manager Harrison Elkhay said that steak is still the real attraction. And it’s no wonder why when a prime wet-aged steak is chargrilled to medium-rare perfection. “We buy a minimum of 28 days wetaged prime,” explained Harrison. “The wet-aging method gives the beef a higher moisture content and avoids that barnyard, gamey taste that dry-aging can cause.” Wet-aging is very popular and typically less expensive than dry-aging, but the result of all that interwoven fat, muscle and moisture equals melt-inyour-mouth tenderness—sublime, carnivorous, gastronomical ecstasy. Starting to sound like a your average steakhouse? Think again. “We kicked up the fun-factor with bright colors and installed a bubble machine that creates a cascading effect by the entrance,” Harrison said enthusiastically. “We also integrated a 3D menu and sound effects, like animal noises in the background that will catch the guests off guard.” When asked how to best describe the restaurant, Harrison replied, “Urban, hip, happening, fun and lively.” None of these adjectives come to mind when visualizing a traditional steakhouse. This East meets West strategy has helped 10 Prime Steak & Sushi break from tradition and morph into a distinctively unique place in a fabulous, unique New England city. 10 Prime Steak & Sushi is located at 55 Pine Street, Providence, RI, 02903; Tel. 401.453.2333;; Open for lunch Tuesday through Friday from 11:30am to 4:00pm; Open for dinner Sunday through Wednesday from 4:00pm to 10:00pm, and Thursday through Saturday from 4:00pm to 11:00pm; the Bar is open until 2:00am every Friday and Saturday and until 1:00am the rest of the week.

General Manager Harrison Elkhay & Executive Chef Lou Cruz

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Foodies of New England


The Oregon Club Where Prohibition Lives On (but you can still order beer) Written by Bradley Schwarzenbach Photography by Scott Erb and Donna Dufault

It usually only happens when I’m drinking a particularly good glass of wine or an earthy Scotch—but sometimes I cannot help but think to myself: “For 13 years, the United States government prohibited the distribution of alcohol across the nation. I sure am glad that decision was reversed.” *Sip*

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However, after all of these years (Prohibition was repealed in 1933), the historic legacy of the era, and in particular, the notorious criminal activity that plagued it, continues to permeate our popular culture and entertainment. Perhaps the most well-known memory of the Prohibition Era is the Speakeasy—the clandestine establishments that illegally served alcohol to Americans in want of alcohol. Tucked away off Route 9 in Ashland, Massachusetts, one such illegal venue for imbibing still exists, and while they’ve reformed their rebel ways of service, the decor and experience maintain the essence of a time and place long past. Founded in 1922 by Giuseppe Briasco as the Briasco Inn, The Club maintained a façade of legitimacy as a rooming house and restaurant. But deep within its walls the secret liquors flowed, away from the prying eyes of the public and, more importantly, local authorities. When the 21st Amendment was


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“For 13 years, the United States government prohibited the distribution of alcohol across the nation.” ratified and alcohol became legal once again, Briasco’s business model changed, albeit slightly. His once selfstyled operation became the members-only Oregon Club. The goal was to continue to provide his patrons the same expected level of privacy they’d received before 1933. The location passed to Giuseppe’s son in the 1950s and the membership requirement was finally dropped. The public was now welcome to experience The Oregon Club. My experience began before I even got there. Little did I know that the slow, cautious drive off the main roads

and down Oregon Road functioned as a time machine—though I didn’t know it just yet. I parked my car next to the unassuming farmhouse and approached. It certainly didn’t have the look and feel of a restaurant—more like my grandmother’s house. I nearly opened the front door before I stopped myself to read the instructions on it: “Ring the bell.” I nearly panicked: They’re going to ask for a password and I don’t have one! Fortunately, the hostess merely greeted my wife and I with a warm smile and welcomed us in. And finally, the trip through time was complete. The interior wears its rogue history of law-breaking like a badge of honor with vintage Prohibition-era artwork and signage. The dining area is cozy and spare; there is Boraxo powdered hand soap in the restroom; walking into The Oregon Club is like walking into a sepia-toned scene from The Godfather. As committed as The Oregon Club is

to maintaining its vintage atmosphere, so too are they committed to providing a vintage dining experience. Owners Chris Scanlon and Judy McLeod committed to carrying on the Club’s traditions in 2009—but they didn’t change a lot about the menu. I started with the “same as it ever was” Spicy Mushroom Soup. The hearty bowl of minced mushrooms and broth never overpowered with spice and made for the perfect starter before I dug into “The Steak”—a 12 oz. sirloin with a perfectly-charred exterior but a tender and flavorful medium rare within. My wife reluctantly joined me on this rogue culinary adventure and enjoyed a pork osso bucco that eerily reminded us of her grandmother’s Italian kitchen: as if the secret ingredient was nostalgia. Creamy polenta accompanied the tender pork, but when I reached over for a taste, my better half rejected my advance and simply said, “I should give you some of it. But I don’t want to.” It was an uncomplicated yet expertly-prepared meal that, much like the timeless restaurant itself, harkened back to earlier, simpler times. The Oregon Club of Ashland is located at 117 Oregon Rd., Ashland, MA. 01721. They open at 5:00pm, Tuesday through Sunday. Reservations are recommended, call (508) 875-9030 or visit

Chef and owner Chris Scanlon

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18 oz. Bone-in ribeye and roasted bone marrow


Foodies of New England


Demeters Steakhouse Redefining an Institution Written by Sarah Connell Photography by Scott Erb and Donna Dufault

As a little girl, I used to picture what it would be like to go out on a date at a fancy restaurant. My dining fantasy was simple: limousines would idle out front, someone would offer to take my coat, and everyone would lounge about in enormous leather chairs; I would wear high heels and sip Shirley Temples from a martini glass, whilst consuming my weight in lobster tails. I have spent my entire adult life hoping that, one day, I might wander into the fictional establishment of my adolescent dreams. On my last trip to Portsmouth, New Hampshire, it finally happened – I found Demeters Steakhouse.

Foodies of New England


Since Demeters opened its doors in 2011, Steve Demeter and Jon Bobbett have aimed to revitalize Portsmouth’s perception of a traditional steakhouse while delivering the class and quality expected of an establishment bearing the ‘steakhouse’ name. Managing Partner, Deb Weeks, explains, “There’s something timeless about a steakhouse… but, we’ve made a big effort to bring the classic American steakhouse into the 21st century.” Demeters works hard to accommodate modern dining values by catering to gluten-free diets, boasting a host of energy-efficient features, and ensuring the use of locally sourced ingredients.


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Weeks notes that Chef Mike Piergrossi takes full advantage of Portsmouth’s natural food landscape. She remarks, “We’re lucky to live on the seacoast, where fresh seafood and produce are always at our fingertips, so we try to make the most of our local food culture.” Glance over the elegant menu and the appreciation Demeters has for excellent ingredients quickly becomes apparent. Chef Piergrossi takes great pride in the caliber of their steaks, sharing, “Our steaks come from Creekstone Farms, which is an all-natural beef provider. They don’t use any added antibiotics or hormones, and their facilities are Tem-

ple Grandin certified, so they meet the high quality and ethical standards we have here at Demeters.” Piergrossi is a graduate of Le Cordon Bleu culinary school in New Hampshire and a longtime seacoast resident, having worked with several restaurants in the area including the Black Trumpet and 100 Club. When asked about his favorite cut of meat, Pergrossi replies, “I’ve always loved a good New York strip. To me, it’s just the right balance of tenderness and flavor, and with the right sides, it really showcases what a good steakhouse can do.” Weeks suggests ordering the flagship dish, aptly named, “The Demeter.” The dish, intended for two guests to share, includes filet mignon, New York strip, and cowboy rib eye sliced and served on a single platter. Everyone wants to feel elite membership at an establishment with the caliber of Demeters, but Weeks understands that exclusivity comes at a price. She explains, “The old notion of steakhouses was that they were kind of like private clubs. But we’ve designed Demeters to be a restaurant where everyone feels welcome, where you can enjoy either a fine dining or casual bar experience, whatever you’re most comfortable with.” Though the bar may emit a more casual vibe, it certainly has not re-

laxed its standards. Wine manager, Emily Balsama, curates an impressive wine list featuring over two hundred bottles. Demeters Steakhouse has won the Wine Spectator Award of Excellence for three years in a row. Etched into the cool, concrete surface of the bar are two significant dates: one marks the opening of a vintage Toyota dealership in the space in 1971, and the other marks the opening of Demeters Steakhouse in 2011. On Saturday nights, a live jazz trio croons from the dining room floor, captivating the attention of the guests without upstaging the culinary wonders that drift out of the open kitchen. The dishes are mindful and breathtaking: sweet potato poutine laced with sumptuous crumbles of local goat cheese, fresh scallops atop a bed of savory housemade sausage, and beef bones brimming with buttery marrow. Guests would be wise to make room for the prosecco sorbet. Demeters Steakhouse is located at 3612 Lafayette Road in Portsmouth, New Hampshire. Demeters opens for dinner from 4:30pm-10:00pm on Tuesday through Saturday. Reservation inquiries can be accommodated at (603) 766-0001. See recipe on page 92

Oyster Rockefeller

Chefs Mike Piergrossi and Chad Davis

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Demeters Steak Sauce Ingredients: 1 Tbsp olive oil 1 large diced red onion 1 whole clove 3 sprigs rosemary 3 sprigs thyme 1 minced garlic clove 2 Tbsp sugar 1/2 cup tomato paste Zest and juice of 1 orange 1 cup red wine 6 Tbsp sherry vinegar 1 cup Worcestershire sauce 1/2 cup reduced veal stock (veal demi-glace) 1 1/2 cups water 3 anchovy filets 2 Tbsp salt Hot sauce to taste


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Directions: 1. Heat the oil in medium sauce pan over medium- high heat. Add the onion, stirring for 30 minutes until it is brown and caramelized. 2.

While the onion is cooking, tie clove, rosemary and thyme in a cheesecloth sachet. Add the garlic to saucepan and stir for 3 minutes, then add the sugar and tomato paste. Cook and stir for 2 minutes until the paste is dark red and caramelized, making sure to scrape the bottom of the pan.

3. Add the sachet and all other ingredients, then cook uncovered over low heat for 30 minutes. 4. Transfer the sauce to a blender, discarding the orange peels and sachet. PurĂŠe the sauce until smooth. Add water as needed to thin. Pour the sauce through strainer, scraping the strainer with a flexible spatula to push the sauce through. Add hot sauce if desired. Serve or refrigerate.

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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67 Millbrook Street Worcester, MA 01606 508-755-9010


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Food for Thought

Dean’s Beans Organic Fair Trade Coffee Roasters Exceptional coffee – and a vehicle for social change (Part 2 of 2)

Written by Peggy Bridges Photography by Scott Erb and Donna Dufault

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


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ean’s Beans is great coffee – we know that from Part 1 of this article in our Spring issue. But great coffee isn’t the only thing Dean’s all about. He dedicates an enormous amount of time and energy to his indigenous rights activism. Dean doesn’t make great coffee just by choosing the best quality beans; he makes great coffee by working in partnership with the people who grow the coffee beans, helping them to improve the quality of their lives. As I sat in Dean Cycon’s office waiting for him to finish up a discussion with an employee about the day’s operations, my eyes explored the walls of the small room, taking in some of the most unusual and thought-provoking artifacts and photographs I have ever seen. Some of the photographs were of Dean himself in the company of indigenous people from some of the villages where the beans that Dean purchases are grown. All of the people in the photographs, including Dean, had enormous, genuine smiles that made me wonder what it had been like to meet those people. Dean does more than meet these people. He befriends them, discusses business challenges with them, and helps them to overcome those challenges in a way that makes them better able to care for themselves and their families. This enables them to develop their villages so that they can prosper. The people in these photos are smiling and proud. Being able to solve their own problems and benefit their villages improves their self-esteem and affects positive change in their lives. This they owe to Dean Cycon, and this is what makes them smile. During my visit, Dean offered me a copy of his award-winning book, Javatrekker. The first inside-perspective of the coffee trade, the book reveals details about the Fair Trade business of which most of us are unaware, and offers experiential insight into the lives of indigenous peoples, all shared with Dean’s infectious sense of humor. Of the numerous experiences Dean shares in the book, my personal favorite is the story about Paman Dean, the water buffalo.

Dean was meeting one day over lunch with two Sumatran coffee farmers who were visiting the U.S. to seek help with the worsening human rights situation in their country. The situation had presented the coffee farmers with the problem of an insufficient labor supply and not enough money to pay for the labor or organic fertilizers. One of the men, who seemed deep in thought, suddenly made some quick scribbles on a napkin and excitedly shared them with Dean and the other farmer. He had calculated the feasibility of using water buffalo to remedy their predicament. Yes, that’s right. I said water buffalo. The figures the agronomist had put down showed that a water buffalo on the average Sumatran farmer’s land holding of about two acres would provide the necessary amount of fertilizer from their urine and feces, while at the same time eating the weeds around the coffee plants, but not the coffee plants themselves. This would provide organic fertilizer while reducing the need for human labor to weed the farms. A stroke of economic genius! At this, Dean proposed to fund the purchase and transport of a water buffalo from the Sumatran lowlands where they were already used, to the mountainous areas where these farmers were growing their coffee. He told the farmers to scientifically monitor the effect of the water buffalo on the crops over a six-month period, and to name the water buffalo Paman Dean, which means “Uncle Dean.” At the end of the six months, he traveled to the Sumatran village to meet Paman Dean and inspect the results of the experiment. The project was deemed a success, and as a result four other cooperative coffee companies donated female water buffalos which were bred to produce many “Paman Dean Babies” to ensure the future of their coffee production. As Dean has traveled the world to visit remote coffee lands in search of solu-

tions to each village’s particular problems, he has been welcomed by these indigenous peoples, accepting their hospitality as he has developed relationships with them and acquired an understanding of their cultures. He has slept next to them on thin mats in mosquitofilled tents, sat with their community elders and interviewed their farmers, attended ritual ceremonies, and explored the hand-built ships that carry the bags of harvested coffee beans for transport to international ports. Because Dean openly embraces their cultures and customs, he has become accepted and exalted by these people. They have come to learn that his concern is genuine, and continued on page 98

Sumatra farmer with Paman Dean

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that he has the ability and resources to help them improve the quality of their lives without threatening the culture and traditions that they hold so dear. Dean’s efforts on behalf of indigenous coffee communities have not gone unnoticed. In the last several years the company has received several major international awards. In 2013, they were given the first ever award for community engagement by UNWomen, and in the same year the Oslo Business for Peace Award by a panel of Nobel Prize winners. (The award is known as “the Nobel Prize for Business.”) In February of 2015, Dean traveled to India to accept an award for being named one of the Top 50 Social Innovators in the World by the World Corporate Social Responsibility Congress. Social change and environmental responsibility are as high on Dean’s list as the development of indigenous peoples. A brief look at the Dean’s Beans web site will give you an idea of just how important this work is to Dean and his staff. There is no hard sell about the coffee – that speaks for itself. Visitors of the web site are instead greeted with a rolling gallery of photos showing Dean and the people he has worked with all over the world. His travel and the effects of his work reach as far as Ethiopia, Rwanda, New Guinea, Timor, Peru, Nicaragua and Columbia. In these disadvantaged countries he has brought hope, knowledge, and self-esteem to many people through direct development efforts such as sponsoring a maternal health clinic, designing sustainable indigenous reforestation, and building schools and paying for teachers; through activism that includes creating jobs and provid-


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ing technical training for landmine victims as well as leading Men and Women Overcoming Gender Violence programs; and through ecological efforts such as preserving indigenous lands. This is still only a smattering of the things Dean Cycon and his staff are involved in as they work with grassroots groups the world over to advocate for social, ecological, and economic change. Amid all of his activism, Dean and his staff have also cofounded Coffee Kids, Inc., which was the first non-profit development group in the coffee industry, and Cooperative Coffees, Inc., the first roaster’s cooperative created to buy direct, Fair Trade coffee from farmer co-ops and make it available to any small roaster who wants to participate in the Fair Trade

movement. Dean emphasizes that their involvement in Fair Trade is a sincere effort to bring fair prices to small, local farmers, enabling them to take the steps necessary to make their farms successful and sustainable, thus improving the quality of their lives. The Fair Trade movement is all about local to local, leaving out the “middle man” and, most importantly, the large corporations that are only concerned with profit. Through it all, Dean has managed to start and grow a successful organic Fair Trade coffee company, using it as a catalyst for doing all of this deeply meaningful work. His ambitions are as boundless as his energy, and his convictions are firmly rooted in his core beliefs. He states, “I believe we should all show up with our highest values wherever we are, whether at home or at the workplace. I wanted to use business as a vehicle for deep social change in these source villages, to model for others a values-based approach. It works.” Dean continues his efforts to raise awareness of the plight of so many inWe’re the “between meals” digenous peoples around the world. experts! His passion is genuine, as is evidenced by the many friendships he has forged with the people in these remote places, and the trust he has earned from them. With so many individuals in our world today seeking to bring harm to others, it brings a small glimmer of hope to know that there are people like Dean who are trying to right the wrongs. It is our responsibility to take care of our people and our planet, and Dean is definitely someone who has committed his life to that. We all owe him—big.

Dean Cycon


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Growing Your Own: Edible Flowers and Tasty Herbs Written by Renee Bolivar Photography by Scott Erb and Donna Dufault


he sweet, sweet tastes of summer are on the tips of our tongues, and after the winter we just had, they will only be sweeter this year. It’s time to feel the warmth of the sun on our backs, get our hands a little dirty, and start growing. Join in on the slow food movement and learn how to grow your own edibles, in your own space. It’s easy and fun. Community farm shares, farmers markets, food hubs, and backyard gardens are all becoming a part of the burgeoning culinary trend. Professional and home chefs alike see and taste the benefits of using fresh (preferably organic and locally-grown) fruits, veggies, and herbs in their dishes and cocktails. If you’re just starting to dabble in the art of growing your own food or don’t have a lot 100

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Remember, “The greatest gift of the garden is the restoration of the five senses.” Hanna Rion of space, consider starting with something simple like a window box or some small containers filled with edible flowers like nasturtium or fragrant herbs like mint, basil, and rosemary. Most herbs like to be packed into small spaces and aren’t too picky, which makes them a perfect for pots. Another advantage of planting an herb garden in a container is that they can easily be brought in for a lovely winter garden. Simply place them on a sunny south-facing windowsill and enjoy fresh herbs throughout the winter. It’s amazing how something so unassuming as a potted plant can bring such joy. This past winter, the fresh herbs in my kitchen not only brightened the room but they also brightened my mood—and helped to lift my spirits when storm after storm hit. Edible flowers, like nasturtium (Tropaeolum), have hit the food scene in a big way. They are bold and sassy plants that provide numerous, fragrant blooms in vivid shades of yellow, white, orange, red, and pink. Both leaves and flowers offer a wide range of flavors from peppery to floral to citrus. Best of all, these beauties are easy to grow and far from fussy. They can live in sun to partial shade, require no fertilizer, and can handle moderate drought. Their cascading nature makes them perfect for hanging baskets or a container garden. Have some fun with them by kicking up a salad or adding a tropical flare to any libation. Speaking of libations…did someone say mojito? Mint (Mentha) is one of the easiest herbs to grow. It’s almost too easy and can be invasive (or at a minimum, a challenge to remove). It likes partial shade but can grow just

about anywhere. One of my favorite things about mint, besides its intoxicating aroma, is that it comes in so many “cool” and exotic flavors: orange mint, chocolate mint, mojito mint, spearmint, pineapple mint, appletini mint, peppermint, and many more. It’s fun to poke around your local nurseries to see what interesting varieties are available. I like to plant a box with assorted mints for my patio. Nothing quenches your thirst on a hot summer day like an ice-cold glass of water with fresh mint leaves. Did you know that basil is in the mint family? Basil (Ocimum basilicum) is a must-have summer plant. (Oh, caprese salad and pesto, how I adore thee!) I recommend planting basil in its own container, as it’s a tender annual that requires a little more love than some of our other herbs. Basil prefers full sun and rich, moist soil. It also benefits from frequent “haircuts” to prevent it from flowering. Basil can be grown by seed or by purchasing seedlings (baby plants). The only caveat with basil is it

likes things hot. It won’t tolerate being cold or damp. Kind of like me. You’ll want to be sure that both day and nighttime temperatures have warmed up before planting your basil. Another great herb for the home gardener is rosemary (Rosemarinus officinalis). This Mediterranean native is a pine-scented savory and a culinary favorite. It’s another easygoing herb that requires very little attention. Rosemary likes full sun and good drainage, and it likes to dry out a bit between watering. It can be grown from seeds or from cuttings, but the easiest way to add rosemary to your herb collection is by purchasing a nursery-grown plant. Rosemary is a delicious addition to your basic simple syrup. By the way, did you know that simple syrup really is simple to make? With fresh herbs right within reach the flavor possibilities are endless. We’ll save that for another time. Until then, thanks for growing with me. Foodies of New England


Healthy at Home

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


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Blue Bells Cockle Shells, I Choose Vongole! Vongole, Littleneck, Cherrystone, Quahog, no matter what you call them, all of these hard-shell clams are of the same species, Mercenaria mercenaria. What does that mean exactly? What it means is that a clam by any other name will taste as sweet and salty, but when making Linguine Vongole, I go with tradition and choose the smallest clams I can find. While I am not an expert on the taxonomy of clams, I do trust in that my local fishmonger knows the score. So while shopping for your ingredients, talk to the experts: you may find that not being able to have exactly what you’re looking for leads to an unexpected yet pleasant gastronomical surprise. What do I love about clam sauce? First, the flavor is unique, totally unto itself. Clam bellies absorb the garlic, wine, and parsley, but they hold onto their own sweet and salty flavor— and then the linguine does the same, absorbing all of the Atlantic goodness that the clam releases. All that flavor, so little ingredients, and so little time makes this recipe fit my favorite criteria: speedy and scrumptious! This recipe goes extremely fast, but do take care to prep before you begin. *Scrubbing the clam’s shells is very important. The entire process should take 20-30 minutes. Place all of the clams in a deep bowl and cover with cool water, after 20 minutes, strain, rinse, and scrub. Whilst scrubbing you are also inspecting the clams to make sure that they have remained closed. Discard any cracked or open clams. You can repeat the rinse and soak process a few times if you want to, but I’m usually a tad impatient: when the sand is gone, I’m ready to roll! I serve this dish, as I do most, family style. One large platter in the center of the table, brimming with beautiful purpleridged clamshells standing up at attention, the little flecks of green from the parsley and the slightest hint of red from the pepperoncino make this a visual knockout. I add a sprinkling of finely shredded (not finely grated) pecorino Romano cheese to finish this dish. I do love the contrast of the salty Romano cheese, but a little goes a long way. Serve with (to quote my father) a nice-n-nice crusty Italian bread to sop up any of the broth that may linger at the bottom of your bowl. Our very own “Wine Guy” Domenic Mercurio suggests pairing it with a Collevite Falerio (Le Marche, Italy) 2013, which retails at $14.99. Enjoy! Foodies of New England


Linguine Vongole Ingredients: 6 Tbsp olive oil 3-4 cloves of garlic 1/4 tsp pepperoncino 4 lbs clams, scrubbed 1 cup of a dry white wine 2 lemon, juiced 1/4 tsp kosher salt. plus a pinch or two 4 Tbsp Italian parsley, minced 1 lb of linguine Pecorino Romano cheese DIRECTIONS Before you begin: Scrub and rinse clams* Put a large pot of water on to boil and add two whole lemons 1. Place a large, deep, lidded pan over medium heat. 2. Add oil, garlic, pepperoncino, 1/2 of the parsley and cook for about one minute. 3. Add the clams, cover the pan, and cook for about another minute, shaking the pan occasionally. 4. Uncover the pan and add the juice of 1 lemon and one cup of white wine, cook for an additional 2-3 minutes uncovered to let the alcohol burn off. 5. Cover the pan and then cook for a few more minutes. 6. Uncover and discard any clams that did not open. 7. Cook and strain linguine; add to a deep bowl. 8. Pour the clams over the linguine, and gently toss with tongs. 9. Garnish with the remaining 2 tablespoons of parsley and shredded Romano cheese. 10. Serve immediately.


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Coming in the next issue of Foodies of New England!

Soups, Stews & Chilis

New England Distilleries

Mass Innovation Night


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finds Ariel’s Honey Infusions Ariel’s Honey Infusions believes strongly in making all honey infusions with local sustainably harvested, Raw Vermont Honey & Organic Herbs. All Infusions are made in small batches by Ariel. Each unique Infusion is only made with raw, local honey from New Haven, Vermont and Westfield, Vermont. Ariel’s Honey Infusions have many uses and helpful medicinal properties. Ariel’s Honey Infusions Huntington, Vermont

Valicenti Organico Located in historic Hollis, New Hampshire, Valicenti Organico was founded by chefs Dave Valicenti and his wife Michelle. Valicenti Organico offers Organic Sauces, Fresh Pasta and Gourmet Ravioli all made with natural, locally grown ingredients. Valicenti Organico is a celebration of food, family and tradition and you’re invited. BUON APPETITO! Valicenti Organico Hollis, New Hampshire 603.459.3627

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


Lettuce be Grateful!

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


o you REALLY know where your food comes from? And how long it took to arrive “fresh” at your local market? Attention foodies: Lettuce Be Local—an organization that connects farms in Central Massachusetts with restaurants, caterers, independently owned businesses, and consumers—is now in your ’hood! Founders and couple Lynn and Lee Stromberg of Holden, Massachusetts not only share the pleasures of seasonal eating and support small local farms, they also raise awareness of the farm-to-table movement and sustainable agriculture.


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Lettuce Be Local was established in 2012 “out of a necessity” according to Lynn Stromberg. She and her husband felt there was a “huge disconnect between farmers and chefs alike.” Lee Stromberg is originally from Dudley, Massachusetts; Lynn from Brooklyn, Connecticut. The couple maintain a large garden and fruit trees and consider themselves to be “big foodie enthusiasts.” Ms. Stromberg previously was employed in the hospitality industry with hotels and restaurants. She says the farm-to-table dining experience doesn’t always translate to locally sourced food. “When I worked in the food industry, I saw many of the challenges that businesses and chefs faced... There is no comparison for something that is picked right at its peak, delivered fresh, and is on the plate in less than 48 hours,” Lynn states. “We pick it up the day it is picked.” The farms within the organization sell everything from vegetables to grass-fed beef to handmade cutting boards. The concept for the business that now has more than one dozen Worcester based clients—including Volturno, The Sole Proprietor, Nu Cafe and Clark University—was first tested at the couple’s own wedding. The catered meal was made using produce collected by them directly from local farms. “A dinner for over 100 guests in our back yard was a business test; every ingredient was sourced locally,” Lynn says. Lynn now harnesses social media to promote local food producers. Lettuce Be Local is the result of interest generated from her blog and Facebook page. The Strombergs currently work with 35 farms (and growing—pun intended) throughout Central Massachusetts. Lynn drives to farms for pick-ups and delivers the same day. Her husband helps when he’s not at his full-time job. The couple recently applied for nonprofit status with the goal to operate a cen-

tral hub in Holden, where farmers would drop off products, and restaurants and breweries could pick up ingredients. They have a new warehouse planned to scale up for the coming season. “The warehouse would allow us to more efficiently aggregate between all the farms,” says Lynn. “Different storage capacities would also help us get through winter. Ideally, we would like to have a commercial kitchen in the warehouse where local chefs could give cooking demos. It would be a lot of fun and very educational!” The Strombergs like to entertain family and friends, despite a hectic year-

round schedule. “Everyone’s real busy, but if a grower or two happens to stop by and I’m making dinner, we invite them to join us,” says Lee, “...Why not? Local farmers are like extended family.” An expert cook, Lee “rarely ever uses recipes,” says Lynn. He will cook with anything in the edible landscape. “She’s trying to start the supply chain in Central Massachusetts that has not existed at all,” says Neil Rogers, Former Volturno Executive Chef and current Corporate Chef de Cuisine at Niche Hospitality Group in Worcester, who uses the service. “We either have to drive out to get it or they have to drive here... if we could continued on page 112

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add those extra hours to the farmer’s work week it would benefit them immensely.” Rogers was guest chef at a dinner held in July at Mesa Farm in Rutland that benefited Lettuce Be Local’s warehouse project. Here’s a sampling of the farms with which Lettuce Be Local works: B&B Farm and Ashland Farm, both in New Braintree; Dismas Family Farm in Oakham; Heifer Farm and Mesa Farm, both in Rutland; Hobbit Hole Farm in Boylston; Lilac Hedge Farm in Berlin; Potter Hill Farm in Grafton; The Shepherd’s Gate in Holland; Harvey’s Farm and Emery Family Farm, both in Westboro, and Sundance Farm in Rochdale.


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Lettuce Be Local was also conceived out of frustration with food fraud, concern for our local farms, and the need to make more nutritious, local food accessible for everyone. Farmers work long hours and long days, often with limited staff and resources. Their time is already consumed with an endless list of responsibilities and if chefs can’t get the good stuff easily, then supporting local farms will not be sustainable. On the other hand, if farmers continue to worry about how to market, sell, and deliver their products, then they are taking valuable time away from their farming responsibilities. However, in numerous other industries, specific employees are

hired to be an expert in one area of that company: a chef in a small restaurant can usually rely on waitstaff, hostesses, bartenders, accountants, and marketing and sales specialists to help extend their vision to the consumer. In farming, our small farmers handle all the areas of the business such as accounting, marketing, sales, delivery, markets, while simultaneously producing something so basic for survival: food. This balance is way off: how can we possibly expect our farmers to survive—let alone thrive? Helping the farmers sell and deliver the product, plus discuss yearly growing plans, pricing, and farm-to-farm support are just some of the ways Lettuce Be Local helps. They educate chefs and consumers on what is grown in Massachusetts, explain the seasonality of ingredients, and offer full transparency that the food that is delivered is always right from their network of farmers. These are but a few of the ways Lettuce Be Local helps the people they serve: the need on all sides was huge and they knew they could make a healthy impact. With the wonderful assistance of Clark University, Lettuce Be Local currently has interns and will likely have more for the upcoming year. Of course, they also have a handful of friends and family members who lend a hand, especially for the local farmer dinners and when they moved into their warehouse. Lettuce Be Local has grown tremendously: the support and interest has been significant. Lynn says, “Although we do intend to bring on volunteers and eventually employees, it is important not to lose the personal connections we have with the farmers and chefs. As the service grows it is imperative they also know they can reach out for questions or assistance, as service is top priority. Also, the connections and feedback from consumers has been overwhelmingly positive and incredibly rewarding so ensuring consumers’ voices

are being heard is equally important in growth.” Chefs usually ask for samples so they know what to expect. The future tasting garden will provide chefs with samples to taste the abundance of ingredients available to them all year long. The central location will also offer a backup for their food festivals, where consumers can meet the chefs who buy from Lettuce Be Local and are committed to sourcing their food from the farmers of Massachusetts. Their plans are extensive, with commercial kitchen implementation, energy efficient refrigeration, and ultimately a retail operation to address bumper crop issue for our farmers. They also harness IPM (Integrated Pest Management) farmers, especially with fruit growers. They are recognized on roadside signs or in some stands as “low spray.” Let’s be clear: farmers do care about their land as they want to ensure they can continue to farm it for years to come. What Lettuce Be Local offers farmers is a market for their produce that is grown responsibly while disclosing to consumers how it is raised. The consumers can decide if they want the Clean Strawberries, Certified Organic Strawberries, or the IPM Strawberries; there is a market for all three. It is not the role or right of Lettuce Be Local to tell someone how to farm or what to eat, rather they can provide the tools and education for both sides to make those choices. When asked what is the most unusual item offered, Lynn responds, “The abundance of ingredients that are still available in the winter! The winter is exciting for us, because there are of course numerous root crops such as carrot varieties, parsnips, beets, potatoes, turnips, radishes, all types of squashes and fruit, but also many fresh greens, herbs and more grown in the same manner as the summer, yet protected by greenhouses.”

One of the coolest things Lynn, Lee, and their team do to honor local farmers is host farmer’s dinners several times a year. Top chefs are brought in—and naturally the fare is all sourced from their regional farms, including local beers and wines. There are many raffle prizes and live music, too! The next scheduled dinner is on July 26th at Mesa Farm in Rutland, Massachusetts. Tickets are $99 per person. See the web site for

additional information. This writer plans to attend. Let us be truly grateful that such a catalyst as Lettuce Be Local exists and thrives in our challenging New England growing environment. Lettuce Be Local 104 Greenland Road Sterling, MA 01564 860.428.5260

A True Bistro

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

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


Sweet Sensations

Written by Alina Eisenhauer Photography by Scott Erb and Donna Dufault

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


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New York Style Cheesecake with Cranberry Pear Compote The first time I ever baked a cheesecake I was 12 years old, it was for my father because it is his favorite dessert. The recipe was from Mrs. Grimbal’s Desserts, a cookbook my grandmother gave me, but even at that age I had to put my own spin on it by adding Kahlua. Twenty-eight years later I am still making cheesecake and still putting my own spin on it. As much as I like to play with recipes and put my own twist on things, when it comes to some things I am a purist – cheesecake is one of these things. Rich, creamy, New York style cheesecake is so delicious and has such an amazing texture on its own that rather than add things into the batter, I prefer to only change the crust and add toppings that compliment and enhance the cheesecake while letting it remain true to its origins. I began thinking about a cheesecake for fall and the holidays and really did not want to do pumpkin because not only is it overdone and expected, but I also really feel that by adding pumpkin to the batter, a bit of the beautiful texture is lost. So, with pumpkin not being an option I thought about what other flavors signify fall in New England to me and decided on cranberries and pears with a gingerbread crust. The tart and tangy cranberries combined with sweet pears and a spicy gingerbread crust are the perfect compliment to the rich, creamy cheesecake filling, giving you a perfectly balanced dessert.

Crust: 2 cups ground gingersnap cookies 1/2 stick unsalted butter, melted. Cheesecakes: 1 1/2 pounds cream cheese, room temp. 1 cup sugar 2 Tbs. flour 1/2 tsp lemon zest 1/2 tsp orange zest 1 tsp pure vanilla extract 4 eggs 2 egg yolks 2 Tbs. heavy cream

Directions: Preheat oven to 325°F. Butter six 1 1/4 cup custard cups (or use a silicone mold coated with pan spray- that’s what we use at Sweet). Toss ground cookies with melted butter in medium bowl to blend. Press 3-4 tablespoons cookie mixture evenly onto bottom of each prepared cup. Bake for 5 min. Just to set. In the bowl of an electric mixer, beat the cream cheese until soft and smooth then add sugar and mix to combine. Scrape down the bowl, add the zests and flour, mixing to combine. Slowly add the eggs and vanilla while continuing to mix. Scrape bowl and mix until smooth and combined. Divide batter equally among custard cups. Place cups in large roasting pan. Add enough hot water to pan to reach halfway up sides of cups. Bake until cheesecakes are set in center, about 45 minutes. Remove cheesecakes from water bath. Cool completely. Wrap in plastic and refrigerate until cold, about 2 hours. (Can be made 1 day ahead. Keep refrigerated.) Cranberry Pear Compote: 1 ripe pear, peeled and cut into 1/2” cubes 1 cup sugar 1 cup water 12 ounces Fresh or Frozen Whole Cranberries 1/2 vanilla bean, split lengthwise Directions: Combine sugar, vanilla bean and water in a medium saucepan. Bring to boil; add the pear and cranberries, return to boil. Reduce heat and boil gently for 10 minutes (until cranberries pop), stirring occasionally. Cover and cool completely at room temperature. Refrigerate until serving time. Makes 2 1/4 cups. To Serve: Cut around cheesecakes to loosen. Turn cheesecakes out onto plates. Pour warm compote around cheesecakes. ENJOY!

Foodies of New England


Brew Review

Babes in Beerland Major Beer Category: Ale Major Style Category: Table Beer or “Tafelbier” Sub Style Category: Petite Saison

Written by Matt Webster Photography by Scott Erb and Donna Dufault

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

The countries of Europe have long since encouraged children of all ages to enjoy the taste of beer. Most famously adapted to everyday life in Belgium and the Netherlands, certain beers were originally diluted with water during a family meal allowing the children to, “do as their parents do.” Brewers of these regions quickly took note of this trend and began producing low alcohol beers that could easily be shared with the younger members of their tribe during any occasion. These beers were considered so “mild” that they were even viewed as beneficial for breastfeeding mothers. This style had numerous adaptations and came to be known as table beer, “tafelbier” or “bier de table”. While various scare tactics haven’t dissuaded some from locking their lips to the bottle, others have chosen to take a lesson from their ancestors and educate their youth. Low enough in alcohol – 1.5% ABV to 4.0% ABV – to enjoy abundantly and flavorful enough to keep consumers interested, “session” beers – as they have quickly come to be known as in the States – are a staple in the portfolios of small American breweries. So much so that creating a point of difference is necessary for brand development. Enter the Belgian “Session” Ale or Petite Saison. A low alcohol “cousin” to its counterpart the Saison – “season” in French – which were originally created in a region of Belgium known as Wallonia to refresh the farm workers after a long day of labor. This spritzy, bright, effervescent offering – when brewed to perfection – is the quintessential match for grilled chicken, baked fish, and lobster. Or simply take it along with you to enjoy any summer activity. And please … share. Our Choice: North Coast Brewing Company Puck the Beer –


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Under Loch & Key

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

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


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Dinner is served... whisky for everyone!


s a whisk(e)y guy I’ve been drinking whisk(e)y with dinner for years. Now whisk(e)y pairing dinners are all the rage lately, however all whisk(e)y dinners are not created equal. I’ve been to some that were okay, others good, but I was just involved with one that was outstanding. The best whisk(e)y dinners should have several key factors: one, the pairings must be thought out so there is a certain harmony or even contrasting elements between the whisky and the food; two, the food must be good (I don’t care if the food is salmon or potato chips: it just better be the best of what it represents); third, it goes without saying that the whisky must be great, but it’s even better if the dinner includes expressions that are not readily available or an extremely rare offering. The dinner that I attended with about twenty whisk(e)y enthusiasts had all these factors in spades. How could it not be a great dinner: the evening started out with being picked up by a Luxury Coach from Le Limo, the whisky was from Balvenie, and the food was provided by arguably one of the best steak houses in America, The Capital Grille in Boston. To set the pace for the evening our first whisky is Balvenie Rose, a 16 year old single malt-only available at the distillery in Scotland. This whisky was created from a marriage of four refilled American oak casks which were then allowed to mature further in a firstfilled port pipe (barrel). This fantastic very limited expression has only ever been produced twice — and then available exclusively at the distillery. This particular bottle is not technically part of the dinner, but it was donated by a Balvenie enthusiast, so who am I to argue. The whisky gives off aromas of orange blossom, fresh garden roses, and a hint of lavender. The taste is followed up with stone fruit (apricot and peach) and a slightly sweet oak wood. This is a great beginning! continued on page 122

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As we arrive at the Capital Grille we are ushered to a private room and meet our host for the evening, Balvenie Brand Ambassador David Laird. David greets us as any proper host would: with a glass of whisky! In this case, some of the blended malt whisky called Monkey Shoulder. This whisky is a blend of three different Single Malts, Glenfiddich, Balvenie, and Kininvie, and is great to mix in cocktails or just on its own. Next, We all tuck in for a fabulous meal while David regales us with the craftsmanship that goes into every bottle of Balvenie Single Malt Scotch whisky. The pairings and food are amazing. However, I’ll let the food pictures speak for themselves since words cannot describe better than Scott Erb & Donna Dufault’s photographs can show you! I will make one comment on my main dish of Bone-in Kona Crusted Dry Aged Sirloin Steak: I may now die a happy man. The lineup of whisky is so impressive that I must at least list all, if only to render any whisky lover jealous of my night out. I’ve already told you of the Rose and Monkey Shoulder, but now gaze upon the dizzying array of offerings for the rest of the evening! First up Balvenie Doulblewood 12 year old — my “go to” whisky. Aged in both American Oak and the European Sherry oak casks, this whisky has a nose of sherry, honey and a whiff of vanilla. It is very smooth and a melodious combination of nutty sweetness, spice of cinnamon, and delicate layers of sherry. The second whisky is the 14 year old Caribbean Cask which is aged for 14 years in American casks and finished in ex-West Indian rum barrels. Now I must be honest with you: I’m not the biggest fan of rum finished single malt scotch — but I must say that Malt Master David Stewart may have changed my mind with this expression! The combination of traditional American oak cask’s honey/vanilla notes with the rum cask imparting tones of fruit and rich


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toffee creates a truly unique and enjoyable whisky. Third up is the 15 year old single barrel single malt aged exclusively in sherry casks. Since this whisky is drawn from single barrels, each bottling from cask to cask will differ. Every barrel produces no more than 650 bottles, and each will emit aromas of rich dried fruits with a subtle nuttiness and taste of oak and spice, finishing with sherry goodness. Fourth in the lineup was another Doublewood, but this time a 17 year old expression. This whisky is very much the big brother of its 12 year sibling with deeper vanilla, dark honey, toasted nuts and even some green apple notes.

The fifth whisky of the evening (yes the whisky just kept coming) was a port lover’s dream that took the form of the Balvenie Portwood 21 year old. The Portwood is a blending of old and rare Balvenie single malts that are then married together in port pipes until the perfect amount of port characteristics are imparted on the whisky. The port influence adds fruity, ripe raisin notes while retaining the original characteristics of honey and spice flavors of the original whisky. There is one word to describe this whisky: beautiful. The final whisky of the evening is Balvenie Tun 1509. The true vision of this whisky is to highlight the craftsmanship

of the blending of single malts. Malt Master David Stewart hand-selected 42 of the best casks, 35 traditional casks, and 7 European oak sherry butts, using a lifetime of knowledge and skill. Then he married all of these barrels in a large vessel, Tun 1509. This creates a whisky that is greater than the sum of its barrels. The smells of peels of oranges and flowers lead to flavors that are very smooth with citrus, spice, and raw honey. This whisky is the first in a series and is worth starting with number one. Okay, I told a little lie: Tun 1509 is not the last whisky of the night. The real last whisky of the night is a very special Balvenie single barrel 15 year old! This whisky was named “Singularity” by the Loch & K(e)y Society since it was the first and last barrel ever chosen by private individuals. Now I’m not going to tell you much about this whisky because it is no longer available anywhere, but I will tell you that it is highly regarded and even scored 91 points by Malt Advocate (now, known as Whisky Advocate) magazine. However, the addition of this whisky ensured that this is a whisky dinner for the record books! The dinner was truly a dream come true for any whisky devotee and what really came across with the expressions of these fine whiskies was the conscious effort to maintain the commitment to the craft of whisky making by the Balvenie Distillery. Everything about this dinner was “well done” — except my steak (I’m a medium rare guy!)

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The Nuances of Cooking a Quality Steak Written by Master Free Range Chef – Denny Corriveau Photography by Scott Erb and Donna Dufault


quality grilled steak brings out the carnivore in all of us. What I discovered many years ago is that you can enjoy a decent steak, or you can experience steak at a whole new level by simply applying various principles to your cooking methodology. A comment that I hear very often when people eat my food is that they feel that they have experienced food in a whole new way. My only explanation is that I created a cooking methodology “back in the day” which I call “The WildCheff Theory of Cooking” — it is a method that I teach to my


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culinary students, and I pass that knowledge on equally to those who have a love of the outdoors and harvest wild game, and are looking for a best practice methodology. I am amazed at some of the cooking principles that some have attempted to convey to others. I recall watching a finalist from a Food Network show tell his audience who attended a local cooking class that the only steak that you could grill was one that had fat marbling as part of its make-up. I held my tongue and shook my head, thinking “this guy has a lot to learn.”

The typical novice is accustomed to visiting a local supermarket and grabbing something pre-packed to take home and grill. Others will grab pre-marinated meats thinking that all they have to do is pull it from the package and throw it on a hot grill. Please allow me to share some conventional Yankee wisdom with you about the nuances of cooking a quality steak on the grill. I am going to appeal to your intellect and offer you some proven methodologies, coupled with various options that will not only uptick your skill level as a cook, but additionally provide you with ways to create new food experiences that allow your palate to go to a whole new place. First, let us talk about methodologies. When cooking any steak, the initial prevailing thought should be what flavor profile you want to enjoy. Pick a theme, a style of food, or nationality and you then have a foundation for taking your steak in that direction. Shall I enjoy a traditional steak? Well, my options are now coating the steak with olive oil, quality grey salt, and fresh ground pepper. Maybe you could extend that to making a flavored butter ahead of time and then adding a pat or two over your hot steak when it is served. Flavored butter recipes vary, but they usually include fresh herbs that are mixed with farm-fresh butter and then rolled into a log and refrigerated. I do this often with my WildCheff Spice Blends. The key is to ALWAYS bring your steak to room temp before grilling it. This will ensure that the steak cooks evenly and does not toughen up from the shock of placing a cold piece of meat on a hot grill. If like rubs and you crave Southwestern flavors, then take something like a lime or blood orange olive oil and coat your steak. Season the steak with cumin and some Tex/Mex seasoning. Place your steak on a plate and allow it to reach room temperature. Place onto a hot grill and cook until medium rare or medium. Remove and let rest for 5 minutes before enjoying. You could slice for fajitas, or even serve with some cilantro pesto, potato salad, and corn on the cob. Serving steak with pesto or chimichurri (usually made with finelychopped parsley, minced garlic, olive oil, oregano, and vinegar) is a great way to add life to a grilled steak. Some individuals enjoy the flavor of marinated steak. Let me suggest that you distance yourself from the preservative-laden marinades, and make your own — using olive oil and balsamic vinegar combined with herbs or fresh spice blends. You would be amazed at the flavor you can impart by taking a blueberry or maple balsamic, whisking it up with olive oil and Tuscan herbs, and then letting your steak sit in a zip lock for 2 hours — or even overnight. I really enjoy wild game steak using this methodology. I can either eat the meat with sides like grilled veggies, or slice the flavored steak to enjoy over a fresh salad, where I make flavored vinaigrette for the greens to match the theme of the steak. You see, steak can become much more than plain steak. All it takes is tapping your creative juices, and you will create your own opportunities to expand your culinary horizons! Bon Appetit!

“Pick a theme, a style of food, or nationality and you then have a foundation for taking your steak in that direction.”

Foodies of New England


Wines of Distinction

Niche Wine, Nice Price

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

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


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n a market flooded with the usual big-brand suspects of Chardonnay, Pinot Grigio and Sauvignon Blanc, where could a discerning wine drinker find something that’s reasonably-priced, yet unusual and obscure? You might think that most people would be dying for a change, but we’re all creatures of habit. As such, it’s quite a challenge to coax someone out of their comfort zone when it comes to their “go-to” wine. So, if you’re stuck in the routine of buying one of those national-brand Chardonnays, Pinot Grigios or Sauvignon Blancs, but feel you need a little push to explore some alternatives, then wish no longer — the solution is at hand. We understand that wine geeks sometimes need a gentle nudge to move them into a more gratifying and fulfilling direction. Welcome to your nudge. One of New Zealand’s preeminent wine makers, Steve Bird has been honing the palates of wine drinkers for years. Indeed, both of his Sauvignon Blancs (Manu at $12.99 and Steve Bird Signature at $19.99) have been responsible for rocketing Sauv Blanc into a whole new strata of quality and sophistication. Steve Bird is truly an artisan wine maker who believes intensely in educating and elevating the wine drinker’s experience. His is a work ethic and dedication that harkens back to once-upon-a-time when wine making was considered a labor of love — a commitment to excellence at any cost. The chief goal atop the wine maker’s mind was pleasing the consumer; whereas now — most unfortunately — in a world of investment-bank-owned wine companies, the goal has shifted to pleasing the board of directors and shareholders. “I object!” would say Mr. Bird, were he to attend one of their board meetings — and right he would be.

“The Bird Man”, Steve Bird has been pursuing excellence in the development of Sauvignon Blanc for about 30 years. Steve’s interests encompassed agriculture and wine making from an early age; academics weren’t top on his list of fascinating things to do, he admits. From a young age, Steve worked in a family winery in New Zealand’s Coromandel Peninsula, where he spent most of his time. Later, he followed his passion to the Roseworthy Agricultural College in South Australia. After earning a

Steve Bird is truly an artisan wine maker who believes intensely in educating and elevating the wine drinker’s experience.

Profitability in the wine business, while important to the longevity of any ongoing concern, should be the result of being the best at one’s craft and offering the best quality for a reasonable price. Instead, profitability these days seems to come as a result of finding the least expensive product often derived from purchasing pressed grape juice from syndicates, cooperative wine growers, or cartels dedicated to mass production of fruit, followed by the export of tankers full of juice set to be bottled in — in many cases — a whole different country.

Not Steve Bird. No, Steve Bird wines are truly artisanal, crafted using a simple recipe that involves just a few steps: grow the best grapes possible, harvest them by hand, press gently, ferment with care, bottle, and label. Of course, there are many occasions throughout this process when Steve must test the wine to be sure it’s perfect, but that’s just a hazard of the job. By the time the Manu and Signature Sauvignon Blanc’s are ready to drink, they’re exquisite — sharp, elegant, crisp, ripe, and delicious. Widely known in New Zealand as

degree in Wine Science, Steve worked under John Hancock at Morton Estate, and then joined Thornbury Vineyards, where he earned the highest rating ever for Sauvignon Blanc: 93 points. After Thornbury was purchased by a large corporation, Steve went completely on his own, creating Steve Bird Winery and Vineyards. Now, Steve’s approach to wine making is to take the best fruit the vineyard has to offer and gently guide it through the winery in a way that allows the varietal to really shine. “Our wine is a pure expression of the vineyard, the vintage and the varietal,” Steve says. “For a single-vineyard producer, the vineyard stays the same, but the vintage always changes,” he points out. As a wine maker, Steve says that New Zealand is, “…heaven for wine makers like me: it’s cool, sunny, pristine, and one of the world’s best places to grow grapes.” Marlborough lies at the north eastern tip of New Zealand’s South continued on page 128

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Island, at latitude 41 degrees south. As such, this is comparable to latitudes of the warm, European wine regions in Italy and Spain; however, because New Zealand is surrounded by the cool ocean currents, it puts Marlborough at the cool end of the winegrowing spectrum. The result is crisp, acidic, bright. and clean-tasting Sauvignon Blanc. As proof, foodies, we offer the Steve Bird “Manu”, which means “bird” in Maori (the official language of New Zealand), boasts a succulent and tasty flavor, ripe with lime, stone fruit, and herbs. The palate is powerfully flavored and fruity, showing refreshing acidity and excellent midpalate weight. The flavors flow to a dry finish with great length. Indeed, this Sauvignon Blanc seems to possess a very unique combination of lime, grapefruit rind, and fragrant bell pepper, but also expresses a very elegant, round finish with a velvety mouthfeel, demonstrative of some of the better-crafted Chardonnays. Quite a distinctive wine, yet very easy to drink in a relaxed, informal setting. The Steve Bird Signature Sauvignon Blanc is a bit different, however. It’s intended for a meal, and showcases a beautifully focused mid-palate with loads of sweet herb, ripe citrus and tropical peach, pineapple, and guava. It has a wonderfully fleshy texture with perfectly balanced acidity leading to a long and persistent finish. Both are refreshing on the palate, and most assuredly a refreshing change to the mass-produced, but decent, choices that are currently offered to the Sauvignon Blanc drinker. If you foodies want an experience that’s surely unique and memorable, seek out a bottle of Steve Bird’s Manu (for sipping, appetizers, or lighter fare) or Signature Sauvignon Blanc (for a very well-thoughtout meal). “Thank You” notes can be sent to my attention. -FNE.


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

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

Liberating Libations

Written by Adam Gerhart Photography by Scott Erb and Donna Dufault

Adam Gerhart has been bartend-

Liquid Summer Culinary Getaways is the theme of this issue of Foodies magazine. In my experience as a bartender, it usually doesn’t matter where you escape to as long as there is a place to sit, relax, and unwind with a good cocktail or two. When one does get the chance to take a trip — whether it be to a local Inn, the islands, or your favorite beach or watering hole — a break from work, winter, or just life in general is complete only if it includes good food and delicious summer cocktails. Now this winter (especially for those of us in New England) was a rough one with record-setting snowfall and arctic blasts reaching temperatures below forty with the wind chill: enough to make anyone want to get away! Although we cannot always retreat to warm and sunny islands, we can close our eyes, sit back, relax, take a sip of sunshine and let these summer cocktails take you to the place you rather be. So, whether you are on a beach, at home, or a local New England inn, I thought these cocktails would help you let winter go and enjoy summer the way foodies should. Enjoy Responsibly!

ing since he was 17. Growing up in upstate New York along the Hudson River, he worked his way up from washing dishes in the restaurant industry and worked in all positions a restaurant has to offer. Adam feels that learning-by-


Adam believes that, if he and the

Lightly muddled orange, lemon, strawberries, blueberries, and a cherry 1/2 oz Skyy Barcraft Watermelon Fresca Vodka 1/4 oz Skyy Infusions Pacific Blueberry 1/4 oz Midori 1 oz white wine (pinot grigio)

people around him are having fun,

Sour, pineapple, and orange juice

it’s not work. He also feels

Directions: Lightly muddle fruit, combine all ingredients over ice, shake and splash with ginger ale; garnish with more fruit of choice and slice of watermelon.

doing is the best training method, and considers it a very big reason for his success. Making a guest’s experience memorable and giving them a quality drink is where Adam’s passion lies.

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.”


Wicked Watermelon White Sangria

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Elsa’s Let Winter Go Raspberry Coconut Margarita Ingredients: Muddled raspberries Cream of coconut Fresh lime juice 2 oz Cabo Wabo Blanco Tequila 1/4 oz Cointreau Sour mix Directions: Muddle raspberries, add ice and ingredients, shake, strain over ice, and rim with blue crystal sugar or salt.

Foodies of New England


Summer 2015  

Culinary Getaways. Best of New England Steakhouses. Nancy Chang's.

Summer 2015  

Culinary Getaways. Best of New England Steakhouses. Nancy Chang's.