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Soups, Stews & Chowdahs... Oh My! Warm up with these New England classics

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New England Distilleries Raduno Soup CSA Homemade Soup in Greater Boston Four Star Farms Northfield, MA

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Winter 2016 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: Ellen Allard, Adam Gerhart, Lina Bifano Elaine Pusateri Cowan, Jodie Lynn Boduch, Peggy Bridges, Ryan Maloney, Christopher Rovezzi, David Kmetz, Brad Schwarzenbach, Jeff Cutler, Sarah Connell, Denny Corriveau, Eric Kalwarczyk, Kelly Lynn Kassa, Julie Grady Thomas, Renee Bolivar, Tom Verde, Di Marie Mariani, Daniel Lieberman, Briana Palma Professional Photography: Scott Erb & Donna Dufault Erb Photography Art Director: Rick Bridges Richard Bridges Design Website: Jodie Lynn Boduch Much Ado Marketing Account Manager: Carol Adlestein Foodies of New England Magazine Box 380 Sturbridge MA 01566 All content Š2016, 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


Soups, Stews, Chilis & Chowdahs, Oh My! Warm up with These New England Classics



Nectar de la Vida & Sweet on Warren The Crush & Spice of the East Bay


Nose to Tail

Attending a Butchery Workshop


KO Catering and Pies The Aussie Ambassador of Lamb


Four Star Farms


Growing Grains and Hops in Northfield, MA


Raduno Soup CSA

Warms Your Heart with Soup in Greater Boston


Best in New England Distilleries Unique Spirits Right from New England


Team Chef

Another Fine Performance from the Students at Tantasqua Regional High School


Cover: Corn Chowder from Raduno Soup CSA


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History of...





Gluten Free

Two Bean Mushroom Chili


Gardens by Renee At Season’s End


Wild Cheff

The Background Flavor


Pasta (and Life): 101 Pasta e fagioloi


Food for Thought

The Simple Goodness of Home Baked Bread


Healthy at Home

Forty Cloves of Garlic and a Hometown Brew


Sweet Sensations


La Corona


Whiskey-Under Loch & Key Five Under $50


Wines of Distinction Bird’s Big Barrel


Liberating Libations


Cider Stew

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Chocolate Caketini Equal parts Frangelico and SKYY Citrus vodka, shake vigorously with ice then strain into martini glass rimmed with sugar and lemon zest, garnished with a sugar-coated lemon wedge.

Created especially for you by Foodies Barista Adam Gerhart

Irresistable Hazelnut Taste Frangelico is a traditional hazelnut liqueur - enjoyed neat, over ice, with coffee or in a wide variety of stylish cocktails.

Try Frangelico for yourself and see why it’s the “Irresistable Hazelnut Taste””

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from the


Warming You Up – It’s What We Do

What could be more heart-warming than a tour through New England’s best line-up of soups, stews, chilis, and chowders? Well, a chaser from one of New England’s finest distilleries, perhaps!

Fortunately for foodies across New England and New York, we’ve got BOTH for you in this issue. Yes, as chilly New England can be, nothing turns the temperature tide like a bouncy broth crafted in old-fashioned style by true New England soup masters. We begin with Sarah Connell’s tour of Portsmouth, New Hampshire’s River House Restaurant, a scenic spot known for sensational seafood chowder (among other luscious liquids), and then motor up to Maine, where Julie Grady gives us a taste of greatness at Kamasouptra, a most-interesting establishment dedicated to the warm wonder that is New England soup. Now, head over to Vermont’s Smokin’ Bowls (no, not that kind), where Brad Shwarzenbach introduces us to New England rusticity at its absolute best. Then we take a soup spree with Eric Kalwarczyk in Turners Falls, Massachusetts at the Five-Eyed Fox, a locally-driven, creative soup den with a very artisanal menu. A little further south to Monroe, Connecticut, and we’re cutting in on Soup Thyme, an unpretentious soup den that welcomes a vast array of “soupers” from construction workers to business execs to housewives. An unusual concept in the soup world is the Soup CSA (Community Supported Agriculture), where soup lovers can buy shares by the quart, and pick and choose their soup. Read Kelley Kassa’s Soup CSA inside. If you’re looking for a flowing sensation that’s just a little harder than soup, look no further. We’ve paid a lot of homage to a handful of New England’s hottest distilleries, each producing their own special rendition of a true New England heater. Take, for example, Sons of Liberty Spirits in South Kingstown, Rhode Island. Foodies of New England writer Daniel Lieberman explain how they slow-distil their craft whiskey at a cool temperature, resulting in a smooth and even flavor. After, take a ride with Jeff Cutler up to Belmont, Massachusetts, to Damnation Alley, where the production of gently-crafted spirits is inspired by the produce and grains brought in by local farmers. Then, travel across the Commonwealth to Berkshire Mountain Distillers in Great Barrington, Massachusetts, where David Kmetz walks us through their Gold Medal winning Ice Glen Vodka, Greylock Gin, and Double Gold Medal winning Ragged Mountain Rum. After you’ve had your fill in the Berkshires, get up to Mad River Distillers in Waitsville, Vermont, where Briana Palma introduces us to a distiller focused on a farm-to-glass initiative based on sourcing only local and non-GMO grains. In Rhode Island, Diane Mariani tells us all about a gem of a specialty store called Nectar de la Vida and Sweet on Warren, where foodies can indulge in a multitude of espressos, house made foods, olive oils and vinegar — and taste before they buy. continued on page 12


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Then, we take you on a fascinating Butchery Workshop with Chef Mark DeNittis, former head of the meat cutting curriculum at all four campuses of Johnson & Wales University, as he dissects a pig from snout to tail. You won’t believe what you don’t know about butchers! On the subject of experts, Sam Jackson – operator of KO Catering and Pies in Boston – calls Wollongong, New South Wales, Australia, his home. Here in Boston, he has made every effort to ensure that the meat pies made at KO Catering and Pies’ two locations in the Hub are as authentically-Aussie has he is. Kids will be kids, but at Team Chef, the motto should be, “Kids will be Chefs.” At this annual event in Sturbridge, Massachusetts, high-school culinary students compete in the public eye for foodie fanfare – and they get plenty of it. And since you’re in the area, take a short ride out to Four Star Farm, a sustainable family farm in Western Massachusetts providing locally-grown grains, freshly-milled flour, hops and turf. When you’ve gotten your fill of our delightful feature stories, delve into our regular departments. In Home Grown, Renee Bolivar teaches foodies how to grow their own herbs, spices, and vegetables – all year long! And, in Wild Cheff, Denny Corriveau shows us how to build background flavor all around the main ingredient in any soup or other dish. Then, Jodie Lynn Boduch uncovers that zesty, eye-opening, alluring, and fragrant spice in History Of Ginger; and, in Gluten Free, Ellen Allard lays out an incredibly delicious Two-Bean Mushroom Chili recipe. Peggy Bridges provides a whole lot of Food for Thought, as she explores the simple goodness of making home-made bread. Welcome to our


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pages Lina Bifano, an expert pastry chef from Long Island, New York, as she shows foodies how to bake for their famlies in Sweet Sensations. And, Elaine Pusateri-Cowan lays out a recipe – step by step and frame by frame – that’ll have you saying “Brew Ga Ga,” in Healthy at Home. Just when you thought you couldn’t eat any more, Chef Chris Rovezzi pulls you back in! His pasta e fagioli recipe is an offer you can’t refuse, in Pasta and Life: 101. Before your meal, have a heart-warming Cider Stew cocktail prepared especially for you by our own Adam Gerhart. This mulled cider offers lots of simmering ingredients to tickle your tongue – get the recipe in Liberating Libations. If wine is more your speed, check out one of the best Pinot Noir accomplishments from this or any other world, in Wines of Distinction. Nothing closes out a perfect meal better than a decadent digestive, courtesy of Ryan Maloney, founder of The Loch & K(e)y Society. Take a gander at Ryan’s five favorite whiskeys under $50, in Whiskey Under Loch & K(e)y. Whether you like soup, stews, chilis, chowders, game, healthy snacks, pasta, gluten free delights, farmers markets, whiskeys, wines, or just want to learn how to section a pig, one thing’s for certain, foodies… this issue is punctuated with Fall and Winter greatness, and fairly loaded with anything and everything that will warm the cockles of your heart – from soup to nuts.

Domenic Mercurio, Jr. Editor/Publisher

Experience New England Dining at its Best


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

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Soup assortments from Soup Thyme


Foodies of New England

“Soups and

Stews and

Chilis and


Oh, My!” Written by Domenic D. Mercurio, Jr. Photography by Scott Erb and Donna Dufault

New England winters define the toughness of our people. We are a hearty region, with hearty folks, who enjoy hearty food. Beyond traditional meat and potatoes, New Englanders like a good stew, chili or chowder, and of course — the most delicate of the crowd — the soup, to accompany those during periods of rough New England weather.

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That’s why we’ve embarked on searching out the best, tastiest, heartiest, most superbly-tantalizing soups, stews, chilis, and chowders to be found in the entire New England region. Indeed, throughout the glorious pages that follow, you’ll be amazed and delighted by masterful chefs who each demonstrate their own personal and distinctive soup savoir faire. But first, let us undertake the interesting road leading back to the origins of soup, stew, chili, and chowder, as it is quite a fascinating perspective on why, how, and by whom these delectable concoctions were created.

The Origin of Soup But, what is the origin of these luscious liquids? Well, according to the Oxford Encyclopedia of Food and Drink in America, boiling was not a common cooking method until the invention of waterproof and heatproof cooking containers about 5,000 years ago. However, indicates that this could be incorrect: that a Harvard University archaeologist, Dr. Ofer Bar-Yosef (and his colleagues) discovered apparent cooking vessels in a cave in the Xianrendong Cave, located in the Jiangxi Province of China. According to their June 29, 2012, article in Science Magazine, radiocarbon dating puts the age of the pots at between 19,000 and 20,000 years old: about 5,000 older than Oxford Encyclopedia’s estimate. So, what was happening 20,000 years ago that involved boiling water? It’s not completely clear, but it is believed by Dr. Bar-Yosef that these pots were used for some form of boiling, either alcohol or soup.

Why is Soup so Important? The answer to this question is a conundrum. Was soup just a matter of convenience, a necessity, or an intelligent means of cooking food? Archaeologist and University of Michigan professor John Speth points out that Neanderthals discovered the efficacy of boiling food in water as a means of separating fats from proteins while maintaining other nutrients in the brew, indicating that this was necessary to avoid death by over-consumption of protein. “The kidneys can only absorb so much protein in a day — when more than that amount is consumed, ammonia and urea levels in the blood increase, leading to fatigue, headaches and even death,” Dr. Speth maintains. “So, humans must get more than half their calories from carbohydrates and fat,” he concludes, also pointing out that, if Neanderthals were boiling animal bones to obtain the fat, they could have drunk the resulting broth, hence the approximate origin of soup about 20,000 years ago. Dr. Bar-Yosef counters that boiling (and soup, consequently) might not have been very important, historically speaking, since the existence of bread allowed for an adequate supply of carbohydrates to balance protein from raw meat.


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“Beyond traditional meat and potatoes, New Englanders like a good stew, chili or chowder, and of course — the most delicate of the crowd — the soup, to accompany those during periods of rough New England weather.”

Putting an exact date on the origin of soup is virtually impossible, Dr. Speth argues, but cooking itself was likely to have taken place about 300,000 years ago, according to research conducted by Harvard University primatologist Dr. Richard Wrangham in his book Catching Fire. So, if Neanderthals were cooking up soup 20,000 years ago, did that lead to the seemingly-natural evolution of soup into more robust stews, chowders and chilis?

What Makes a Stew a “Stew”? According to the Master Dictionary of Food & Cookery by Henry Smith, stew is defined in much the same manner as soup, but with a minor exception. Soups, by Mr. Smith’s definition, are, “a food consisting of water in which meat, fish, poultry, game, vegetables, or even fruits are stewed, to extract all the food value with the least possible loss of vitamins and flavor. Cereals and thickening agents are sometimes added to give body.” Stew, by comparison, is cited as, “nothing more or less than simmering foods in the smallest possible quantity of liquid. The meat, poultry, or game and liquid are served together as a ‘stew,’... Stewing has many advantages from the nutritive and economic standpoints.” Apparently, the distinction between soup and stew lies in the cooking method or technique, where the use of minimal water and more chunks of protein and starch (meat and potatoes), as well as veggies, is the norm. As a result of this varying method, stews are commonly — as you foodies know — served on a traditional plate versus a bowl.

Stews in History Historically, and according to the, a stew had been described as an assortment of foods cooked in liquid within a container with a lid. Stews are usually made from several ingredients and may be named for the most common type, which is beef stew, or for its point of origin, as in Irish stew. In some cases, stews are named for the vessels in which they are simmered, such as Rumanian Ghivexi, named after the Turkish guvec, which is said to be a pot made from traditional terracotta, or cooked earth/clay. Generally speaking, and from a point of etymology, the word “stew” is said to have come from the old French word estuir, meaning to enclose, since the ingredients are cooked in a pot with a lid. Other sources, like, point out historical examples of tribes that made stew by boiling food together back 7,000 or 8,000 years, according to archaeological evidence. They quote transcripts of Herodotus, a Greek historian who lived in the 5th century in what is now Turkey, who tells us about the ‘culinary’ methods practiced by Scythian continued on page 18

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civilizations, who made stew by “putting the flesh into an animal’s paunch (stomach lining), mixing water with it, and boiling it over the bone fire.” Popular examples of stews cited by include Coq au Vin, Beef Stroganoff and Boeuf Bourguignon, just to name a few, whose ingredients number two or more items.

Chili Many stories about chili saturate our culinary research; many are just that — stories, myths and legends. Many, alternatively, are my said to be true, but don’t have strong historical backing. The one claim about chili that is considered true is that it is not of Mexican origin. In fact, according to the Diccionario de Mejicanismos, published in 1959, paints a rather disparaging definition of chili. Loosely translated, it states, “Chili is a detestable food passing itself off as Mexican, sold in the U.S. from Texas to New York.” Indeed, chili is not widely available in Mexico; only in highlytrafficked tourist areas.

Legends, Tales & Myths However, many interesting legends and myths about chili transcend the centuries, and involve notable characters of European, American and Latin American history. According to whatscookingamerica. net, southwestern American Indian folklore maintains that the first recipe for chili con carne was recorded on paper by a Spanish nun — Sister Mary of Agreda. In it, Sister Mary called for Venison or Antelope meat, onions, tomatoes, and chili peppers. Another tale purports that, in March of 1731, a group of 16 families was sent by King Philip of Spain to colonize a portion of Texas now known as San Antonio. King Philip believed that colonization of this territory would block France’s westward migration from Louisiana and secure the region in the name of Spain. In these colonies, it is reported that the women made a spicy meat stew that closely resembled chili, and it is believed that this could be the very origin of chili in America.

Chili: “Soup of the Devil”? In a tale from the 1800s, many Spanish priests were said to be very wary of the influences of chili peppers on “carnal desire.” They believed strongly that the meat stew created using chili peppers was “the soup of the devil”, as it was considered to be “almost as hot as Hell’s brimstone.” As a result, these priests crusaded against the consumption of chili,


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preaching sermons and trying to persuade men away from it. Ultimately, it is believed that their objections to the spicy stew only drove curious Catholics to it.

Chili: Born in a Prison? In the mid-1800s, Texas prisons were said to have developed chili as a means to very economically feed their inmates, using the toughest and lowest-quality meat available, chopped finely and blended with chili peppers and spices to enhance the flavor. This Texas “gruel” was the source of bragging rights for prisoners in Texas, who routinely compared one prison to another based on the taste of its chili.

The First Commercial Chili? According to, Lyman Davis — a Texas businessman — began selling chili in the late 1800s from the back of his truck for five cents a bowl. He then went on to open a meat market where he sold his chili in dehydrated bricks, and called it, Lyman’s Famous Home Made Chili. Later, around 1921, Davis started canning his chili under the label Wolf Brand Chili, named after his pet wolf, Kaiser Bill. A few years later, in 1924, Davis sold his business to two other Texas businessmen — J.C. West and Fred Slauson — who promoted the chili in Model T Ford trucks, with cabs shaped and painted to look like cans of chili and outfitted with cages on the back, each one containing a live wolf! The two later sold the company to Stokley-Van Camp in Dallas, which is still in operation today and selling Wolf Brand Chili.

Nothing says New England like Chowdah! According to, just one website dedicated to the culinary prowess of arguably the best chef in history — Auguste Escoffier — the term Chowder is derived from the French word Chaudière, referring to a hot pot made of cast iron. This term was likely coined by fishermen hailing from European communities and in search of the abundance of fish in the northern Atlantic Ocean. While there, they used clams they had caught to make chowder — or Chaudière — and the name spread to Nova Scotia, Newfoundland and, most certainly, New England. Of course, we are foodies… of New England, and so it is incumbent upon us to undertake the important task of delving into our own history of this important (and delicious) creation. points to an early version of stew which was appropriately created by New England fishermen, wherein fishermen would heat potatoes in water and toss in salt pork and, of course, fresh New England clams. When

the fishermen arrived ashore, they added milk to the roux to give it some creaminess.

Classic Chowder But Robert S. Cox, author of A History of Chowder: Four Centuries of a New England Meal, maintains that New England’s culinary history is marked by a varying array of chowders, duly pointing to the aforementioned thick and layered version that most New Englanders know well — steeped with clams, potatoes and milk — but also paying homage to still other versions (as if they mattered). Yes, we New Englanders take our chow-dah very seriously; so seriously, in fact, that New England clam chowder is known in some states as Boston Chowder, and variations originating from other regions of the U.S. are not tolerated. Case in point: adding tomatoes to clam chowder is strongly discouraged, so much so that, in 1939, a bill was introduced into the legislature in the state of Maine that would make the use of tomatoes in clam chowder prohibited by law. Maine… now that’s a foodie state!

Variations of Chowder Other variations of chowder do exist in New England and New York, and they mainly vary based on whether potatoes or tomatoes are used. Rhode Island lays claim to a chowder they call South County Chowder, which actually boasts a clear broth rather than the typical milky variety, and offers quahogs along with bacon, onions and potatoes. It’s not widely available on the mainland, but is featured on Block Island in many restaurants and hotels. Just south of New England, in Manhattan, foodies have been acquainted with Manhattan clam chowder. Since about 1900, New Yorkers have enjoyed this broth-based chowder, which includes tomato for added flavor and coloring. Yet, it is said that the word Manhattan wasn’t added until around 1930. Another version still abounds in New York; specifically, Long Island. It’s aptly called Long Island clam chowder, and is an attempt at blending the tomato-based Manhattan clam chowder with the creamy New England clam chowder. Apparently, the name is derived from Long Island’s mid-point between Manhattan and New England, as is the style of the chowder itself. Soups, stews, and chilis aside, the one category that seems to stand out with history and pedigree in New England is the chowder. And, with so many variations of chowders having been developed over the years, it brings to mind a very popular expression by English writer Charles Colton: Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery. As true foodies from New England, we must simply say, well-said, Mr. Colton… well-said. -FNE. Foodies of New England




Chowder and so much more Written by Sarah Connell Photography by Scott Erb and Donna Dufault


Scooters—the preferred mode of local transportation in Portsmouth, New Hampshire—buzz down Ceres Street. Reggae emanates from the floor below. Tourists snap photos in the distance. Tugboats settle in for the evening as a small fleet of pleasure boats dock alongside. “I’ve worked here for almost three years and I still snap pictures of the sunset every night,” says Amber, a server at The River House.


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Award Winning Seafood chowder

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seafood chowder contains hearty portions of lobster, scallops, shrimp, clams and haddock. More importantly, there’s a balanced base that showcases the freshness of the local seafood rather than mask it, as many others are apt to do. Just don’t ask for the recipe; General Manager Justin Rivlin will tell you only four people in the entire organization are privy to that. He will, however, divulge the secrets behind The River House’s sweet Maine lobster rolls.

The River House’s award winning seafood chowder contains hearty portions of lobster, scallops, shrimp, clams and haddock.

Every seat in the restaurant is occupied, but it feels intimate, like it’s just this table and this incredible view of the Piscataqua River. Initially here to review the seafood chowder, which was voted the “Best in New England” by NECN viewers and took home first prize in Portsmouth’s Prescott Park Chowder Festival, there’s not much left on menu that hasn’t been tasted and before long the sun sits low on the horizon. “You know, the only time when the deck is more beautiful than a night like this is when the snow is falling,” divulg-


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es Amber. “We turn the heat lamps on out here and the views of the river are breathtaking.” Over the last 200 years, The River House has been used for everything from a medicinal warehouse to a brothel. Remnants of the building’s rich history haunt dock-level patrons where an enormous wooden wheel hangs above the bar. The wheel, once used for moving cargo to the top most edifices of The River House, now bears tribute to another time, one of sailors, tall-ships and 100-foot docks. The River House’s award winning

The lobster meat, fresh-caught and never frozen, is split rather than chopped and lightly dressed with mayo, salt and pepper, and freshly squeezed lemon juice. The dish is then served up with a pile of crispy sweet potato fries and Coca Cola barbeque sauce for dipping. While The River House prides itself on the merits of its traditional New England fare, Executive Chef David Harbilas has made a concerted effort to offer mindful cuisine inspired by other parts of the world and other culinary traditions. Order the sautéed Gorgonzola mussels to share. The dish features ropegrown Prince Edward Island mussels, which are suspended off the ocean floor in order to reduce the amount of sand or grit in the meat. And, don’t leave without trying the key lime pie. The River House’s own pastry chef, Mary Conroy, has been whipping up this dish for over forty years. Trust me, there’s always room for key lime pie. The River House 53 Bow Street Portsmouth, NH 03801 603.431.2600

Cajun Mussels

Chef David Harbilas and GM Justin Rivlin

Lobster Salad from The River House Kitchen So, you can’t make their famous seafood chowder at home. Why not give this a go? Ingredients: Lobster meat Celery (diced) Mayonnaise Lemon juice (freshly squeezed) Salt and pepper (to taste) Directions: 1. Split—do not chop—the lobster meat into large chunks. 2. Toss with diced celery. 3. Lightly dress with a touch of mayonnaise, freshly squeezed lemon juice, salt and pepper.

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Tomatillo Gallette with queso, pepper and Bone Broth with cubanelle peppers, cilantro and mint


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Five Eyed Fox Bone Broths and Making Food with Intention Written by Eric Kalwarczyk Photography by Scott Erb and Donna Dufault


The dominant players in the New England soup game have historically been

crockeries of clam chowder and lobster bisque. Though delicious and hearty, these traditional favorites tend to stick to your ribs and tweak upward one’s cholesterol level.

Not to knock the calorie-laden classics, but sometimes we need to take food down to bare bones.

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Owner/Chef Ashley Brooke Arthur

For centuries humans have made broths, needfully squeezing every last nutrient out of a precious animal carcass. Making bone broth is a time-consuming process that coaxes and renders vitamins, minerals, and micronutrients out of bones and scraps that may otherwise have been discarded. Not to mention the flavors: Bone broths have that elusive umami or fifth flavor that no amount of MSG or laboratory-synthesized chemicals can fake. It takes time, patience, and care. Ashley Arthur, chef of Five Eyed Fox in Turners Falls, Massachusetts, knows this. With her philosophy of “making food with intention,” she also lives this. Five Eyed Fox is renowned not only for their bone broths, but also their locally driven, creative, artisanal menu and craft beers. The café was launched in 2014 by Ashley and her partner Aric Binaco. They had a vision to create a relaxing bar/restaurant in a picturesque Massachusetts town. Since day one Five Eyed Fox has been excitingly busy and well received. “We opened with the intention of being a bar with good food,” says Ashley, “but we are embracing the fact that we are developing into a more food-centric establishment”. Originally from San Diego, Ashley worked her way through the trenches of the restaurant industry in almost every facet from server to bar manager and every station there is in the back of the house. She absorbed all the knowledge and

skills she could along the way, blending that with her zeal for real flavors and rustic cooking. Her time and hard work has finally culminated in the creative culinary energy happening at Five Eyed Fox. “My philosophy is to cook what you want to eat and support the people around you who are doing good and interesting things”. The plates that come from Ashley’s kitchen are filled with creative fare. Brisket biscuit, hearty sandwiches, and bread pudding are popular features along with incredible charcuterie and cheese boards that highlight New England’s finest fromageries. The real culinary pearls, however, are from her specials, which are inspired by whatever is regional and in seaon. A lucky diner may encounter the lobster gazpacho calling his or her name. “Bone broths fall into our philosophy of making food with intention,” says Ashley. “They are healing and nourishing, not to mention delicious. Being able to serve something where people enjoy the flavor as well as the nutritional benefits is awesome.” From a culinary perspective, a well-made bone broth brings the chef a clean palate upon which she can build flavors. “Bone broths are also a lot of fun because they can be very flexible,” she adds. “In the spring, we did a chicken bone broth with lemon and turmeric then garnished it with local scallions and shiitakes; it was so bright and uplifting.

“We New Englanders love the soups that were born of our region and traditions.”


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You can get really creative with what you use as a ‘garnish’ to complement the flavors of the base broth.” We New Englanders love the soups that were born of our region and traditions. What could be more traditional, however, than using what is raised, grown, and foraged around you…and rescuing every last bit of flavor and goodness from it? See your way to Five Eyed Fox and explore what goodness Ashley and Aric are making. Five Eyed Fox 37 Third Street Turners Falls, MA 01376 413.863.5654

24 hour Brisket with stout glaze, champagne valley cream cheese on house made brioche and black radish slaw

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Curried root vegetable and lentil


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Kamasouptra Steamy. Hot. Soup. Written by Julie Grady Thomas Photography by Scott Erb and Donna Dufault


Soups take a painstakingly inordinate amount of time and energy to perfect—the hours spent on prep, the steely focus spent on timing, the subtle finesse spent on consistency and balance of flavor. So when you head to Kamasouptra in Maine, don’t let the fast service fool you: that five-minute bowl of soup you just ordered has spent years in the making.

And Then There Was… Soup. In the beginning, there was a Scottish family with roots in Maine: the Jeromes of Edinburgh. Mike Jerome had just finished studying at the Texas Culinary Academy in Austin. He was working nearby at the renowned Driskill Hotel, which was a great gig, but he found himself moonlighting at a soup stand along with classmate, friend and now Executive Chef and founding partner of Kamasouptra, Drew Kinney.

Yes. A soup stand. In Texas. In the middle of summer. On one blaringly, stiflingly, ludicrously hot 105° day, they sold out of soup. Their next thought: Let’s do this somewhere cold and really sell out of soup. Maine was the answer. There wasn’t a huge soup movement there, so the market was open: their grandparents were from there, plus they always had a love of hockey. It would be the perfect place. And it was.

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After initially renting space in a commissary kitchen in Portland Market in 2010, business took off. Soon they scooped up space in a kiosk there and five years, three moves and two additional locations later, Kamasouptra has figured out the key to soup success—don’t drown in opportunity.

“On any given day, in any given location, you can find 10 signature soups hot and ready to eat.” “It was the best advice, and we received it early on,” reveals Joseph Jerome, Mike’s brother and colleague. “Simple kiosks, quick service, one ingredient that speaks for itself. And steer clear of the big five.” The big five? “Broccoli soup, chicken noodle, minestrone, cream of tomato—we don’t want to release anything new in those categories. We don’t want to compete with the Campbells of the world.” They don’t need to. Many awards later, from “Best Gumbo” for their alligator and smoked salmon sausage concoction while at culinary school to Yankee Magazine’s “Best Soup 2013” and several Portland Phoenix Awards (most notably “Best Clam Chowder” and their five-year reign for “Best Soup in Portland”), Kamasouptra’s hot streak doesn’t look as if it’s going to let up any time soon.

Veggie Chili

Chilis, Chowdahs and More On any given day, in any given location, you can find 10 signature soups hot and ready to eat. Plus, there are two or three special soups that change daily, homemade rolls, and cookies. Always straightforward, always unpretentious, and always delightful—the service and the soup may seem effortless, but it didn’t always come easy. “Our biggest hurdle was trying to keep it simple and stick to what we know—not try and be everything to everyone,” admits Joe. With good quality and interesting soups made from local ingredients, there’s little else to do but beam with pride— which is something that doesn’t come easy for most Scotsmen. “Maine has fantastic meat produce famers, so all our meat is exclusively Maine-made,” Joe boasts. “We buy as locally as much as possible and have great relationships with local famers and seafood distributors: Middle Intervale Farm, Dirty Knees Farm [in Massachusetts], Sumner Valley Farm, and Maine Shellfish.”


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Clam Chowder

Gluten-free? Vegan? Vegetarian? Don’t fret, because there’s a slew of soups just for you—and rolls too. So what are you waiting for? The soup’s hot. It’s steamy. It’s ready and waiting. No pretense. No games. Sounds like it could be the best proposition you’ll get all winter. Get to Maine, unbutton that coat, take it off, and sip on some sultry soup—to be savored one soupçon at a time. See recipes on page 32

Kamasouptra Freeport Market House 20 Bow Street Freeport, ME 04032

Sarah Haley

Portland Public Market House 28 Monument Square Portland, ME 04101 Maine Mall 364 Maine Mall Road South Portland, ME 04106 207.415.6692

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Maple Roasted Butternut Squash

Sweet Potato & Corn Chowder

Serves 3-6 Ingredients: 1 small butternut squash; peeled, seeds removed, cubed (about 1 pound) 1 medium onion, chopped 1 medium carrot, chopped 2 stalks celery, chopped 4-5 garlic cloves, crushed 1 small potato peeled and chopped 1-2 ounces maple syrup (depending on your taste) 1 oz apple cider vinegar 2 1/2 cups water 4 oz heavy cream 1/4 tsp ground cinnamon 1/4 tsp ground coriander 1/4 tsp ground sage 1/4 tsp ground black pepper 1/4 tsp crushed red pepper Salt to taste Tabasco to taste

Serves 4-8 Ingredients: 1 sweet potato, peeled and diced (8-10 ounces) 6 oz corn, fresh (frozen is okay, too!) 1 large onion, diced 20 oz water 2 oz butter, unsalted 2 oz all purpose flour 6 oz heavy cream 6 oz whole milk 1 1/2 tsp dried sage 1/4 tsp nutmeg, grated 1 Tbsp apple cider vinegar 1-2 dashes Tabasco sauce 2 tsp salt, or to taste 1 Tbsp canola oil

DIRECTIONS 1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Begin to cook the onions, carrots, celery, and garlic over medium high heat, stirring frequently to avoid scorching. 2. Toss the cubed squash in the maple syrup spices, coating evenly. Spread out onto a sheet pan and roast in the oven for 15-20 minutes, or until the squash is tender. Take care to not burn the syrup. If it becomes too thick, add roughly a tablespoon of water and mix. The syrup should be a happy glaze on the squash. 3. Once the vegetables—namely the carrots—can be easily cut with a spoon, add half of the vinegar (reserving the other half for later), followed by the potatoes, water and the roasted squash. Use another tablespoon or so of water to deglaze the bottom of the roasting pan. Don’t lose any of that precious maple! 4. Turn the heat to high and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium low, cover, and simmer for 20-25 minutes, stirring occasionally. 5. When the potatoes are cooked through, puree with the remaining vinegar, heavy cream, and season to your liking with salt and Tabasco. Enjoy with your favorite crusty bread warmed in the oven.


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DIRECTIONS 1. Heat canola oil over medium heat, add the onion and cook until translucent. 2. Add the sweet potato, corn, water and heavy cream. Bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer and cook until the sweet potatoes are tender (10-15 minutes). 3. Meanwhile, in a separate pan, begin to melt the butter over medium heat to make the roux. Cook until the butter begins to brown, add the sage and stir, and then add the flour until evenly distributed. Be careful—it will burn quickly, so have the sage and flour ready to go in. Stir this constantly to avoid scorching and when it no longer smells like raw flour, whisk in the milk until smooth. Promptly remove from the heat. 4. As soon as the sweet potatoes are finished, whisk in the white sauce from the second pan until evenly incorporated and thickened. 5. Turn off the heat and season with salt, vinegar, Tabasco, and nutmeg.

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Hot Soup and a Warm Welcome at

Soup Thyme


Written by Tom Verde Photography by Scott Erb and Donna Dufault

Walking through the door of Soup Thyme in the small suburb of Monroe, Connecticut gives customers a warm feeling. It’s not just the steaming, bubbling urns of freshly-made soup simmering behind the counter (we’ll get to those in a minute). It’s the atmosphere. “Soup is very comforting, and I always wanted a place where people felt at home,” says owner Ron Lee.


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Stuff Cabbage

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He is certainly right, that when it comes to comfort food, it is pretty hard to beat soup. Warm, welcoming, enveloping and aromatic, soup is like the down comforter of the culinary world: the perfect and immediate remedy for frost-nipped cheeks and weary, rain-soaked souls. Lee had such remedies in mind when he opened the doors of Soup Thyme in a small strip mall back in 2006, after working as a private cook for a family in nearby Fairfield for 26 years. The location is decidedly low-key and unpretentious (his neighboring businesses are a nail salon and a paint store), yet his clientele ranges from construction workers on a quick lunch break to business executives to coiffed and coddled Fairfield County housewives who can be spied in the parking lot sipping soup in the front seats of their Mercedes Benzes. “I literally go there every day. The soup is incredible. It’s not your average deli,” dotes devoted Soup Thyme regular Carl Angelovic, who runs a local insurance company. Ranking high on Angelovic’s list, and of the legions of regulars who cram the small sit-down/take-out space each day (crowds Lee draws by word-of-mouth only, by the way, as he doesn’t advertise), are Lee’s lentil (earthy, brown, and savory) and stuffed cabbage (a nod to Lee’s Polish background). Topping everyone’s list, however, is Lee’s chicken pot pie soup. “It’s our biggest seller. We won last year’s New England Chowda Fest with it,” states Lee. The creative soup begins, as do all of Lee’s soup recipes, with fresh ingredients and home-made stock. Staff employed as “chicken-pickers” spend hours separating the meat from the bones after the chickens have simmered in a broth of onion, leek, and carrots (and not too much salt). Lee then thickens the broth with a basic white sauce, adds the meat, then finishes it off with crumbled bits of buttery crust — also homemade. “It’s like a chicken pot pie turned inside out. It’s very thick and rich,” says Lee. Other popular choices are his chicken artichoke with sundried tomatoes, his cheeseburger soup (you read that right), and the pot pie’s close cousin, shepherd’s pie soup. Not just a soup restaurant, Lee also offers a wide range of salads and equally creative panini sandwiches, ranging from roasted Mediterranean vegetables with feta and balsamic vinaigrette to heavier, heartier creations, such as roast beef, cheddar, and caramelized onion, bathed in horseradish sauce, all at astoundingly low prices (under $8 for a panini or soup and half-panini combo). Lee points out, “I wanted to have sandwiches because they make such a great accompaniment to soup.”


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The Seymour, Connecticut native picked up his high standards and love of food by working in his grandparents’ Polish bakery as a kid alongside his sister, Kim Miller, who still works with him today. After some formal training and his stint as a private cook, he decided it was time to go it on his own nine years ago, and hasn’t looked back since. A victim of his own success, he is currently considering expanding the 1300-square-foot restaurant where on any given day customers are lined out the door waiting for soup. If there is a downside to running the most successful soup stand in town it is that is has ruined his taste for trying soup anywhere else. “If I am in a restaurant, I just can’t order the soup,” he says with a wry chuckle. “I just know I could make it so much better.”

Cheddar and Broccoli


Chicken Spinach Gorgonzola

Owner Ronald Lee

Soup Thyme 450 Monroe Turnpike Monroe, CT 06468 203.268.0214 Flu Buster Chicken Noodle

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Clam chowder


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Smokin’ Bowls

The Mountainside Soup Mecca Written by Bradley Schwarzenbach Photography by Scott Erb and Donna Dufault


If I’ve learned anything from all the stories I’ve written for Foodies of

New England, it’s that gourmet takes many forms—sometimes it’s white napkins in a spotless dining room with crystal chandeliers, attentive

waitstaffs all clad in black, and buzzing kitchens with massive ovens.

Other times, however, gourmet is found roadside, with food served in biodegradable containers designed to fit in your car’s cupholder.

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Smokin’ Bowls in Rockingham, Vermont is the latter. And while the location couldn’t exactly be described as “hole in the wall” (hole in the road?), the soup served by this foodstand upholds the strongest traditions of gourmet food. Their ingredients are local and their array of soup offerings demonstrate the creativity and care found in the finest of fine-dining restaurants across the region. “Fast casual has become more of a lifestyle thing and we’ve built a highquality establishment with a very small footprint. We support sustainable agriculture and use hyperlocal ingredients,” says co-owner Ryan James The genesis of Smokin’ Bowls was the catering company Harvest Moon in Saxtons River, Vermont started by James and his business partner and co-owner Sarah DiBernardo. The stand began when they identified a void in the ski vacation gap: there was a lack of affordable, portable, quick-service food available after skiing—a quality, hot meal, easy to transport in one’s car if the skiers weren’t spending their evening on the mountain—but without compromising food quality. Fast food chains were the default option… until Smokin’ Bowls came along.


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“There’s something for everyone even though it’s a small menu” “We identified an opportunity!” “Our first recipe was the Cheech & Chong chili. Done with locally-raised beef from Fischer Farms Fence Meats & Livestock [in nearby Springfield], it’s a unique blend of fresh, local ingredients—but the secret ingredient is smoked maple syrup. That was the kickoff for us. It’s a smoky chili and our best-seller by a longshot!” James adds. Smokin’ Bowls has ten items on the menu that can change daily. But if one thing remains constant despite an ever-changing menu, it’s the fact that the soups must be warm and hearty enough to warm the bones of someone who’s spent all day on the packed powder slopes of the Green Mountains. “We always have a variety,” James says, “…[from] sweet potato cheddar corn chowder… to pulled pork sandwiches, too. We also keep a few vegetarian, vegan, and gluten-free items here. There’s something for everyone even though it’s a small menu.” James and DiBernardo settled on the idea of a simple roadside stand and quick service out of necessity. “By the time you’re done paying your order is ready,” James says. “Otherwise you’ll freeze at the window. Nothing on our menu can take a long time to prepare. With -20 degree winds whipping through, you can always expect us to be fast.” Easy accessibility was also vital to the success of the business. “We’re just off exit 6 of I-91. You can just pop off the highway on your way to or from the slopes. We have quart jars and halfgallon jars. Avoid the highway fast food [stuff]… this is a higher-quality meal than you can get on a lot of the mountains,” James says. It’s worth noting the enthusiasm and

excitement evident in James’s voice as he talks about his business. When I spoke with him, he was in Los Angeles where the next Smokin’ Bowls location is planned. The small roadside soup stand has developed what he describes as a “cult following,” though James makes clear that they’re a family establishment. Smokin’ Bowls 831 Rockingham Road, Rt. 103 Rockingham, VT SmokinBowlsSoup. Foodies of New England



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Nectar de la Vida & Sweet on Warren The Crush & the Spice of the East Bay Written by Di Marie Mariani Photography by Scott Erb and Donna Dufault


ome, taste the green fruit of Chile; the red and the white fruit of Italy; the light orange, shiny powder from the seed of Madagascar. Yes, taste and indulge; be curious and pair. Experience “the real deal” offered at Nectar de la Vida & Sweet on Warren. This new crush of locals and foodie travelers alike is an olive oil and balsamic vinegar tasting room as well as a bakery, located in the East Bay of Rhode Island. Here Napa Valley makes a new home in the historic waterfront town of Warren. It is centered on Main Street in a village dotted with restaurants, antique shops, art galleries, and a playhouse. “Our tasting room is where healthy and happy goes hand in hand. It’s about having a good product and about trying to be healthy by eating right. Yet, it’s also about having good flavor and the good experience that comes with it,” Maureen Botelho, owner and chef, says with exuberance. Maureen and her family started their business in April 2015. Maureen’s husband, Emanuel; their son, Brian; and their daughter, Vanessa work together throughout the week. Although Maureen and Brian cook and bake, a dear family friend, Stephanie Litchfield, adds a creative flare to the baking. Maureen, who has been “a foodie her whole life,” first became interested in olive oil through the dining festivities of Emanuel’s family. She was impressed with how they would get together and cook. “It was such a nice social event. I loved how that was,” Botelho became keenly interested in olive oil, and her research became more profound, after traveling with her husband to Europe. After learning about the Medi-

terranean diet in the news, and after reading a Brown University study on the topic, Maureen increased her knowledge by taking courses in California. What she discovered was a link between the lifestyles of the Europeans and their great health; the link was “real olive oil.” Real olive oil is pure, fresh, and not cut with other products. continued on page 44

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This is what the Botelho family offers at Nectar de la Vida. The name of the tasting room, translated from Spanish, fittingly means “Life’s Nectar.” In this room, you can taste and take home olive oils from much of the world. The fusties (storage tanks) are filled with the top ten award-winning oils, which are mostly from South America—particularly Chile and Guatemala. Australia, Greece, Italy, Portugal, Spain and the United States are represented as well. The flavors vary from medium and mild to robust. All of the products, purchased from a family business on the West Coast, are extra virgin olive oils, and all are cold pressed. “The family that I do business with produces the product for my business, personally,” Maureen explains. “They take the fruit off and clear the tree in two days, and then the olives go to crush. The family does the crush and the press themselves in Tanzania, Africa. They do not rely on that country to do it. The family has to do it themselves, since many countries keep the good product. When this happens, other countries are not guaranteed the appropriate quality index.” The vinegars, which include red, dark, and white grape varieties, are mostly from Modena, Italy. You can sip on flavorful apple, black cherry, pomegranate, and fig balsamic vinegars as well as barreled vinegars aged in four different types of barrels for 18 years. The whites are aged approximately 12 years. Some are aged in the Solera method, some are barreled aged, and others are aged in brass containers. Maureen encourages customers to taste, try, pair, and match all of the vinegars. Now, a stop at the bakery counter is a given. Chocolates and baked goods, from the single-origin cacao beans of Africa and South America, are unique to Sweet on Warren. With these beans, there is no other processing and no other chemical; the chocolates and baked goods are made right from the bean. “They are treats that you can enjoy with very little guilt. If you are going to have a treat, and you have a truffle made from the grounds of a single origin cocoa bean, and it is rich, and it has a blood orange olive oil in it, then there is a difference between that and another treat you could have,” says Maureen. “When you take these single-origin cocoa bean grounds and mix it with the olive oil, the ingredient is that close to the bean. It has a monosaturated fat as sophisticated as the olive oil.


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This fat is a good fat. You are putting the two together and you are getting two very healthy fat sources. And the flavor is delicious! The treat is a pure product.” The coffees and hot chocolate are also made with the single-origin chocolate. Botelho serves Mexican and Indian coffees made with a touch of spice for an extra “wow” factor. The Bothelo family’s goals are to educate people about eating better products, and “…to provide customers with a way to think less of buying prepared foods. Lifestyles are busy; the products here at Nectar de la Vida are useful to put together quick meals in a hectic world.” The all-natural, egg-free pasta products cook in less than three minutes. Their texture holds up in all 20 flavors, which include Pumpkin Spice, Chocolate, Nutmeg, Café Irish cream, and Sesame Ginger (to name several for the adventurous) are spot on.

Owner & chef Maureen Botelho (center) with daughter Vanessa and son Brian

Maureen Botelho’s enthusiasm is palpable. “We welcome the chance not just to tell people about the product in our tasting room, but a chance to demo for them. New crushes are added every day,” she says. “We are very excited about what we have here. Almost all our product is organic, along with some conventional products and gifts. Food should be alive, it should be real, and it should have a passion. Food should feel like love. You’ll fall in love with our crush. You will!” Nectar de la Vida & Sweet on Warren 460 Main Street Warren, RI 02885 401.694.0776 Foodies of New England


From Nose to Tail, with Mark DeNittis at Sweet Written by Sarah Connell Photography by Scott Erb and Donna Dufault


ark DeNittis’ chain belt jingled as he breezed past an array of pink Hobart mixers in Sweet’s Shrewsbury Street kitchen. Wielding the tip of his knife, he dug into a 200-pound pig sprawled out before him on a stainless worktable. Not what you’d typically think of when Sweet, originally a dessert kitchen, is involved. This was a chef’s workshop given by DeNittis, the president of the Rocky Mountain Institute of Meat. He regularly delivers workshops like this across the country. “Make it pretty!” he told Executive Chef Alina Eisenhauer and her staff. He leaned in, inspecting his own work. “Things should taste delicious, but they should also look good.”


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Over the course of the one-day workshop, DeNittis made his way from nose to tail, breaking down the entire animal. The hype man of butchery, he eagerly suggested preparation ideas for each cut, his intensity and precision mesmerizing. Brandishing a hacksaw for the heartier jobs, he snapped the pig’s spine in two with a distinctive crack. “I love that sound!” he belted. As the former head of the meat-cutting curriculum on all four campuses of Johnson and Wales, DeNittis has developed a reputation for being a perfectionist. He peeled the fat away like the skin of a clementine, rolled it between his fingers. Methodically, DeNittis wrapped the pork rack in butcher’s twine and pulled each bone clean. Pulling it all together, as if he were a sculptor. “I try to be respectful of the animal; that’s what all professional chefs strive for,” said DeNittis. In his work, he maintains an unwavering sense of practicality; above all else, he values the sustenance, preservation and commerce attained when butchering the whole animal. Back to the pig and its glands. “Glands tell the story of how the animal was raised. This is a very clean, beautifully processed pig,” he remarked. The farmers from Lilac Hedge Farm dropped the animal off just hours earlier and Adams Farm in Athol gets credit for the fine processing. “Has anyone heard of a Manhattan filet?” DeNittis asked the room full of chefs. But it was his eight-year-old son whose hand shot up first. Culinary traditions and industries are strong in the DeNittis clan. Mark’s father Mateo has built a reputation for himself as a top-notch mushroom forager in central Massachusetts. But Mark forged his own path. After graduating from Johnson and Wales in 1992, he gained experience

working for former President George W. Bush at an exclusive resort in Texas. His journey since has helped garner his intimate working knowledge within the industry and has immersed himself in just about every aspect: processes and procedures of farm/ranch-to-table programs, inventory controls, distribution systems, general further processing practices, recipe development, USDA Standard Regulatory Guidelines, SSOP and HACCP Programs along with the experience of opening/operating a USDA facility in Denver, CO. Now an educator, DeNittis made a graceful transition from serving the continued on page 48

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Commander in Chief to training American Special Forces. These days, when he isn’t hosting his signature Disassembly Dinners—an educational dinning experience likened to an Alice Cooper show, where attendees can watch and learn about preparing the animal before the meal—he’s facilitating military workshops to teach soldiers how to recognize and butcher healthy meat in foreign lands. Back at the table, DeNittis grew more animated as he broke down the pig’s head and face. “Pig snout tacos!” he excitedly suggested. Eisenhauer smiled; they speak the same language. “And you must do a porchetta di testa,” he insisted as he began slicing the ears into strips and removing the tongue membrane. “That sounds like a perfect staff meal,” she agreed. Rocky Mountain Institute of Meat is an educational organization located in Denver, CO; Tel: 719.313.2063; For more information, go to


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Coming to Sturbridge! Opening in November, the best of both world’s Chaun Shabu Japanese Hot Pot Experience and Baba Sushi!

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

“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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Ginger “With a body like a horn”… isn’t exactly a compliment. True, ginger’s etymological base (srngaveram in Sanskrit) suggests it’s not the Jessica Rabbit of the spice world. But we know better than to judge a spice by its beauty pageant potential in the world of flora. Ginger is zesty, pungent, and utterly unforgettable. Sharing the family tree with cardamom and turmeric, ginger is the rhizome (underground stem) of the Zingiber officinale plant that originated in China and India; it also grows in humid, tropical climates such as Jamaica and Kenya. It’s knotty and bulbous with a thin, brownish-silver skin and flesh ranging from ivory to yellow.

Have Spice, Will Travel Ginger has been used extensively in both sweet and savory cooking for thousands of years. Raw, dried, or crystallized, it lends a bold aromatic flavor profile to any dish. Ginger is a common ingredient Asian cooking, particularly in stir fry recipes, marinades, and curries. Sushi lovers enjoy it as a palate cleanser in pickled form (gari). Ginger pairs well with a number of foods— carrots, pears, lime, beef, and chicken, to name a few. continued on page 52

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The Romans brought ginger to Europe. When the Empire fell, so did its popularity... until the European sweet tooth sparked a trade revival in the 13th and 14th centuries. Often found in fall favorites like pumpkin pie and baked apples, ginger is also a baking centerpiece in treats like ginger snaps and gingerbread. And let’s issue a shout out to Queen Elizabeth I for the origin of the gingerbread man, initially crafted at her court to be the likeness (and by “likeness” we mean “vaguely-shaped human figure”) of visiting dignitaries. Ginger is a liquid delight, too. Fans of Moscow Mules are well-acquainted with ginger beer, a fermented non-alcoholic beverage (fun fact: the alcohol content these days is less than 0.5%, but the original version had up to 11%). Its descendant, ginger ale, was an American favorite in the 19th century, long before cola hit the carbonated drink scene. Another way to imbibe ginger is in the form of tea: a bright brew of hot water, freshly grated ginger, lemon, and honey.

Paging Doctor Ginger… In addition to its versatility in cooking, this zippy, fragrant spice is well-known for its medicinal properties. China and India have had ginger in their proscriptive arsenal for thousands of years, particularly for digestive issues, and this tradition extends to the West today. Chemically, ginger’s compounds help alleviate gastrointestinal irritation, stimulate saliva and bile production, and suppress gastric contractions.

Ginger is zesty, pungent, and utterly unforgettable. Thus, ginger is used to relieve nausea associated with motion sickness, pregnancy, and chemotherapy, and it’s also believed to reduce inflammation, menstrual cramps, and arthritis pain. Henry VIII is responsible for the most historically interesting medicinal use of ginger. Per order of the king, ginger was issued as a sort of ‘Plague Be Gone.’ The rationale is attributed to ginger’s diaphoretic (sweat-inducing) properties, because “sweating it out” was explored as a possible means of combatting the Black Death. Whether you consume ginger in food or as a medicinal supplement, you’ll notice it has some heat. Hence the origin—and any horses reading this might want to skip to the next paragraph—of “gingering the tail” of a horse. In order to get a horse to carry its tail high, practitioners of gingering would put the spice where the sun doesn’t shine. Speaking of animals, a pound of ginger was worth one sheep in medieval times… something to consider if you want to mix things up on your next sleepless night and count pounds of ginger instead.

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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60 Deliciously Diverse Tapas Starting At Only $5

Dine in only

372 Chandler Street • Worcester, MA 01602 • 508.752.8899 •

The Aussie Ambassador of Lamb Written by Bradley Schwarzenbach Photography by Scott Erb and Donna Dufault


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am Jackson’s hometown of Wollongong, New South Wales, Australia is more than 10,000 miles from Boston. However, he has made every effort to ensure that the meat pies made at the two KO Catering and Pies locations in the Hub are as authentically Aussie as he is. A large part of that is making sure that they’re made with the finest Australian lamb he can get his hands on here in the States. While chicken remains the dominant protein of the average American diet, Jackson said that— to Australians—when they think “meat,” they’re really thinking “lamb.” “On average, we’re eating about twenty times the lamb that an American eats,” Jackson says. “It’s the go-to for Australians but here [in the United States] lamb tends to be something you only order in restaurants because you’re rarely cooking it at home.” Further, American lamb is not necessarily what the average Australian is going to expect. “Australian lamb is very mild-flavored, almost buttery. Nowhere does it take on the a gamey flavor that I’ve found a lot of people are hesitant about… [It’s] been awesome to turn some of the people here who are on the fence about lamb because, really, it just tastes bloody good.” In coming to America, then, Jackson faced more than one uphill battle. If convincing skeptical New Englanders about the mild taste of Australian lamb wasn’t enough, he was also trying to make a gourmet food out of the humble meat pie. The Australian meat pie, per Jackson’s characterization, is akin to a hamburger or hot dog for Americans: hand-held food, commonly enjoyed in social situations. The meat pie is a staple of sports events in Australia: you’re most likely to see the hand-sized pastries held by fans of the local rugby union or Aussie rules team, steaming meat and gravy dripping down their arms and onto shirts. continued on page 56

Above: Sam Jackson, owner of KO Catering and Pies enjoying one of his lamb meat pies. Below: Australian lamb rubbed in Moroccan spices.

Foodies of New England


But for Jackson, the challenge of a hesitant New England palate is a welcome one. “It can be your dirty secret food but it can also be gourmet,” Jackson says. “The latter is what we do at KO.” Handcrafting them from scratch with a homemade crust and his Australian lamb rubbed in Moroccan spices and simmered for hours, Jackson’s pies are building bridges all the way from the Opera House to the Boston Harbor Shipyard. “What’s fun about the meat pie is that it’s a humble food but it appeals all the way across the social spectrum,” Jackson says. While his pies are meant to be eaten as the Aussies do—hands only—Jackson is willing to provide forks and knives and even ketchup by request… though,


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if you want to be authentically Aussie about it, ask for “tomato sauce.” “[Meat pies] can take you back to a really great place. Food can really do that, you know? One thing I’ve really been satisfied with is when other Aussies come in and say they couldn’t even find a better pie back home.” Beyond the pies, KO also stocks traditional Australian favorites like Vegemite and Tim-Tams in their Southie and Eastie locations. “I’m doing something fun and I’m proud of what I’m doing. Lamb is near and dear to my heart. It’s so, so important to Australia and I really want to represent my country well. I feel like an Australian ambassador of lamb.”

Braised Lamb Shank Pie Filling Ingredients: *For dry marinade 8 Australian lamb shanks 1 Tbsp paprika 2 Tbsp ground cumin 1/4 bunch rosemary

1. In a large bowl combine all ingredients for dry rub marinade of lamb shanks – set aside for at least 4 hours.

*For braise 1/2 cup celery – macedone 1 lb onion – brunoise 1 lb carrot – sliced 1/2 oz garlic – crushed 4 cups beef stock 1/5 cup red wine 1 cup tomato sauce

3. Add marinated lamb shanks and sear on all sides until browned – set aside.

*To finish filling 1/2 lb green beans, cut into 1 inch pieces, blanched, refreshed 1/2 lb peas – frozen Salt and Pepper to taste 1/4 bunch rosemary – chopped *For pies 4 X 5 inch pre-made short crust pastry shells 4 X 5 inch round puff pastry tops 1 egg – beaten

2. Heat 1/4 cup olive oil in a large braising pot until hot.

4. Once all shanks are browned add celery, onion, and carrot to pot, stirring well for 5 minutes. 5. Add garlic and mix for another 2-3 minutes. 6. Deglaze pan with red wine and then add beef stock and tomato sauce. 7.

Bring liquid to boil then turn down and allow to simmer. Cover pot with lid and allow lamb to braise for approx. 3 hours or until meat is falling off the bone.

8. Remove the shanks and then strain the braising liquid, saving the vegetables. 9. Place strained braising liquid back on heat in a smaller pot and reduce until it coats the back of a spoon. 10. In a separate bowl peel the meat off the shank bones and break up slightly. 11. Mix the peeled meat, the braised vegetables, green beans, peas, rosemary, and 1 cup of the reduced braising liquid. Season with salt and pepper and set aside. 12. To assemble pie place 5 oz. of lamb filling inside pre-made short crust 5-inch pastry shell. Place 5-inch round puff pastry lid on top. Brush with egg wash to ensure it stays closed. Brush additional egg wash on top and pierce a small hole in top. Garnish with a small sprinkle of dried thyme. 13. Bake at 350 ° for 35 minutes or until pastry is golden brown.

KO Catering and Pies 87 A Street South Boston, MA 02127 617.269.4500 Boston Harbor Shipyard 256 Marginal St. Building 16 East Boston, MA 02128 (617.418.5234

Foodies of New England


Pavlova Ingredients: 3 egg whites 1 pinch salt 1 Tbsp cornstarch 1 tsp lemon juice 1 1/2 cups heavy cream 1/2 cup icing sugar 1 pint strawberries 6 kiwi fruit 1 tin passion fruit pulp Preheat oven to 300° F (150° C). Line a sheet pan with parchment paper. Draw a 9-inch circle on the parchment. An easy way to do this is to draw around the outside of a 9-inch pan with a pencil.


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In a large bowl, beat egg whites on high speed until soft peaks form. Add 3/4 cup of the sugar gradually, while continuing to whip. Make sure sugar is completely dissolved. Mix together the remaining 1/4 cup sugar with the corn starch; lightly fold into meringue with lemon juice.


Spread a layer of meringue to fit circle on parchment, approximately 1/4 inch thick. With remainder of mixture, pipe or spoon swirls around the edges to form a shallow bowl shape.


Bake at 300 degrees F (150° C) for 1 hour. Turn off oven, but leave meringue in oven for an additional 30 minutes. When cool, the meringue should be hard on the outside, and slightly moist on the inside.


In a large bowl, combine the cream and half a cup of confectioner’s sugar, and whip until thickened. Decorate with fruit of your choice; sliced strawberries, kiwi fruit, and passion fruit pulp are what KO uses.

Enjoy the


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Gluten Free

Two Bean Or Not

Two Bean 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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hili is a front-runner in any contest when it comes to down home comfort food, and this Two-Bean Mushroom Chili is no exception. Not only is it delicious, it is very versatile. You can change up the beans – use black beans or chick peas. I’ve even made it with adzuki beans. Add chopped carrots or zucchini. Like it less spicy? Reduce the chili powder. Like the warmth of cinnamon? Add a teaspoon or more. Watching your salt intake? Eliminate the Bragg’s Liquid Aminos and the sea salt, using a no-salt seasoning blend instead. Trader Joe’s has a great one, as does Costco. Double the recipe and freeze it in portion size ziplock freezer bags. It defrosts like a charm and is great for those nights when you don’t have much time to make dinner but you still want something that will stick to your ribs and isn’t loaded with fat, sugar or salt. Serve it in a soup bowl, spooned over rice, quinoa or potatoes. Add some chopped raw onion, shredded cheese, diced olives, sour cream. You’re only limited by your imagination. In this fast-paced culture, when you’re hungry and tired, it’s easy to fall back on stopping at any number of fast food places. Yes, even this Gluten Free Diva has been known to do that. But when I have my freezer wellstocked with leftovers, the chances of my making that choice is far less likely to happen.

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Two-Bean Mushroom Chili Ingredients: 1 medium yellow onion, diced 1 10 oz package sliced mushrooms 1 14.5 oz can pinto beans, rinsed and drained 1 14.5 oz can red kidney beans, rinsed and drained 1 28 oz can diced tomatoes 1 14.5 oz fire-roasted diced tomatoes 1/2 cup water 4 cloves garlic, minced 1 tsp dry mustard powder 1 tsp crushed red pepper flakes 1 tsp thyme 1 tsp oregano 1 tsp marjoram 1 tsp cumin 1 1/2 tsp Penzey’s Arizona Dreaming chili powder (use regular chili powder as an alternative) 1 tbsp Bragg’s Liquid Aminos 1 tsp sea salt Black Pepper Place all the ingredients into your pressure cooker. Cook on high pressure for 6 minutes and then do a quick release. If you don’t own a pressure cooker, place all the ingredients in a large soup pot and cook for a few hours on medium heat. You could also sauté the onions first in a little bit of olive oil or vegetable stock, and then add the remaining ingredients, cook on medium heat for a few hours. Notes: After releasing the pressure and removing the cover of your pressure cooker, if you let the chili sit for awhile, it will thicken. If you prefer more of a soup-like chili, increase the water by another 1/2 cup.


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

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

Gardens by Renee

Written by Renee Bolivar Photography by Scott Erb and Donna Dufault

Renee is an agri-entrepeneur who has turned her passion for growing fruits, veggies and herbs into a successful and “growing” business. She believes in self reliance and lives by the motto, “Grow Your Own!” Gardens by Renee is committed to growing food, gardens, and people’s knowledge of where our food comes from, one seed at a time. Through her business, Renee teaches foodies how to grow their own food, helping them to design, build, install and manage backyard gardens that focus on a backyard experience for the entire family to enjoy.


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At Season’s End

And just as quickly as she comes, she goes. It starts, in the early spring, with our very first planting of snow peas, the pushing through of our somewhat obscene, asparagus spears and the picking of our perfect little mâché rosettes. Although, this spring seemed to last forever, typically spring rolls into summer over night and we find ourselves elbow deep in dirt, sweat, tomatoes and zucchini. Then, before we know it, the kids are back in school, the air changes and life, in the garden, becomes a race. It starts with the fading of the echinacea blooms, the heavy pruning of my sickly looking tomatoes, the harvesting and hanging to dry of my chili peppers and the shriveling of the leaves and die back of the vines on my pumpkin and squash plants. Sniff, sniff. I’m hyper aware of the shortening of the days and cooling temperatures of the night, right now. I’m extremely thankful for the last crops I planted in August. For these hardy fall crops will keep me growing, outside, in the dirt and crisp air, even if with gloves on, right through fall and into winter. The last batch of carrots and spinach will take me through December. The Lacinato kale loves the cooler temperature of fall and enjoys a light frost, which, is a really good thing. I can’t seem to grow enough of it due to the constant request for kale chips from my boys. And, the pretty purple-top turnips really do taste as good as they look. continued on page 66

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Mulch your garden beds to retain heat which, extends are growing season and protects our soil from the elements of winter. I know that it’s important that the earth, my back and hands all take a rest. I know that winter generously gives me the time needed for mental growth by allowing me time to look back and then be better prepared to plan forward. I also know that it wont be long before I’m sitting with piles of seed catalogs, my favorite gardening and food, (ehem ehem) magazines, stacks of gardening books, both old and new, graph paper, a list of must have plants for the 2016 growing season and a good cup of tea, dreaming of things to come. Yet, in the fall, I find myself holding on with everything I’ve got. The winding down of our growing season, here in New England, brings us many things to do in the garden. I actually find fall to be busier than spring and find myself making lists, lots and lots of lists. The sense of urgency to get it all done takes things up a notch around here. After all, we’re going up against Mother Nature and who knows what she’ll bring. Finish off strong by cleaning up and prepping the garden for the winter months ahead. A clean garden is a healthy garden. Send off a soil sample so that you know how to amend or, more importantly, if you even need to amend at all. Plant garlic cloves in October before the ground freezes, right around the same time you would plant other bulbs like tulips


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and daffodils. Mulch your garden beds to retain heat which, extends are growing season and protects our soil from the elements of winter. Do this by laying down salt marsh hay or straw. Or, by planting a cover crop like hairy vetch or perennial rye that can be turned into the soil in the early spring, adding nutrients and beneficial organic matter to your soil. Best of all, harvest all above ground crops, that aren’t cold tolerant, when the weatherman threatens frost and get busy in the kitchen. Fall screams chili, soups and chowder. There are two things we do, in our home, annually, in the fall. Every year we have a chili cook-off and every year I make a butternut squash soup for the holidays. I use my garlic, celery, onions and dried Tabasco peppers, from my garden, for my chili. I use my harvested butternut squash, onions and carrots for my, famous in our family, butternut squash soup. Using fresh, homegrown veggies for my favorite recipes makes them all undeniably tasty. Sharing homemade food, made from homegrown ingredients and a touch of love, with friends and family, tends to be unforgettable. Keep growing!

To be happy for an hour, get drunk; To be happy for a year, fall in love; To be happy for life, take up gardening. - Chinese proverb

Foodies of New England


Four Star Farms,

Five-Star Crops Written by Jodie Lynn Boduch Photography by Scott Erb and Donna Dufault


Foodies of New England


very farmer looks forward to reaping the fruits of his or her labor. No doubt that’s especially rewarding when said “fruit” ends up as a nice glass of beer (hops). Or a delicious bread (milled-toorder flour). Or in an elegant dish by a chef who has a penchant for whole grains (triticale, spelt, barley, and rye, to name a few). So it is for the family behind Four Star Farms of Northfield, MA. Maybe it was in the—sorry, we can’t resist—stars for Gene and Bonnie L’Etoile. Bonnie’s family has been farming for 14 generations, and Gene was studying agriculture at the University of Rhode Island when they met. Once married, Bonnie threw down a challenge she never expected Gene to fulfill: find a sizable piece of continuous land in New England near a river but not in a flood plain, and we’ll move there and farm. Gene got it done, Bonnie made good on her promise, and Four Star Farms was born in December 1987. And if your high school French is tickling your memory right about now, it’s because L’Etoile is French for “the star,” (sons Nathan and Jacob are stars 3 and 4, respectively). For many years, the farm grew only turf and served as a wholesaler to Bonnie’s sister’s business, Sodco in Slocum, RI. The monocropping changed about seven or eight years ago, when the turf market tanked alongside the housing market. Nathan and Jacob, who’d stepped away from farming to other pursue careers after college, had since returned to Four Star with their wives and children. Together the family brainstormed about diversifying, and after a fair amount of research, found a niche in an area already blessed with a numerous farms: grains and hops. The experiment began with a crop of barley. Initially the L’Etoile family sold it in whole berry form, and though it was well-received, raw barley only caught on with chefs. Other grains followed over the years: hard red wheat, soft white wheat, triticale, spelt, rye, and two types of corn for milling into cornmeal. At the same time, a natural progression to milling occurred in order to reach a wider audience of non-chef consumers. The transition took quite a while, says Liz L’Etoile, wife of Nathan and the farm’s Director of Sales and Marketing.

Foodies of New England



Foodies of New England

“We had to educate people about what it’s like to grow grains here in New England. And we had to learn to mill something so that it performed as well or better as grains from farms out west,” she says, because such farms are larger, have larger yields, and can keep their prices lower. Four Star prides itself on its freshly milled flour, which all started with a Mother’s Day gift to Bonnie: a countertop mill. The family tried milling flour with it and decided to run with the idea. Now the farm uses much more sophisticated equipment, and it only mills to order, Liz points out, “so people can appreciate the aromatics and flavor profile.” The countertop mill wasn’t the only example of doing things the hard way. The L’Etoiles exercised prudence every step of the way as the farm evolved, testing things in often labor intensive ways. They can laugh about it now, Liz explains, but once upon a time they cleaned grains by hand, then incorporated a fan into the mix. The venture into hops several years later also began with tedious by-hand harvesting. “We’re mindful of those memories…we’re aware of where we’ve been, why we do what we do, and where we’d like to be.” Four Star’s grain customers include the online store (B2C), co-ops (e.g., River Valley in Northampton and Green Fields in Greenfield), restaurants (Bondir in Cambridge and in Concord), and bakeries. The latter includes Hungry Ghost Bread in Northampton, Four Star’s longest-term customer and the subject of a feature in our Winter 2014 issue on artisan breadmakers. And what about those hops? That, too, began on a small scale. Also labor intensive, a hops plant takes four years to mature. It grows quickly up a trellis of 22 feet, with each

plant yielding about a pound of hops. Once the word got out, The People’s Pint in Greenfield and Wormtown Brewery in Worcester expressed an interest and began buying from Four Star. “It’s been a wonderful addition,” says Liz, “and some brewers have even created estate beers for us.” The acreage increased to 7 acres, at which time the L’Etoiles imported a hop harvester machine. Liz explains that one person takes one hour for one bine (shoot), and a machine does 180 per hour. Last year the farm harvested 2600 pounds of hops—and sold out. This year the hopyard will expand yet again, this time by another 10 acres. With about 800 plants per acre, Four Star will be doing its part to help the local brewery supply going. Liz says that when all is said and done, the objective of Four Star Farms is to “produce the best products we can.” Clearly the L’Etoiles have worked hard, exercised diligence, and set high standards for quality. They’re entitled to a cold one, don’t you think? Four Star Farms 496 Pine Meadow Road Northfield, MA 01360 413.498.2968

Foodies of New England


Liz L’Etoile

Gene L’Etoile


Foodies of New England

Foodies of New England


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

The Background


ngredients are the key when you approach any type of recipe. They help to define the character of the dish that you desire to create.

The use of wrong components can have the opposite effect versus when using proper ingredients—yet you can insert certain items into your recipes that stand out in the background and bring success to the overall dish. Sometimes these flavors are evident, and at other times you find yourself saying “I know there is something in this dish, and I can’t quite place it.” The truth: the ingredient that causes you to have that thought may just be the reason why the whole recipe works.


Foodies of New England

Foodies of New England


Cooking is generally more forgiving than baking (which is more science-related and measurement-sensitive). When you cook food for breakfast, lunch, or dinner you have the ability to put your personality into the recipe—and why there are so many restaurants to choose from. Eat at ten different pizza joints and you will probably experience a variety of sauces, cheeses, ingredients that make some pies average and others extremely delicious and compelling—they all take on their own personality. And so it is with our theme in this Issue of Foodies, with Soups, Stews, Chili, and Chowdah! In each of these food themes you can apply the key ingredient rule. Let’s take soup for example. There is nothing like homemade stock when you make any kind of soup. The flavor that gets infused by cooking down a carcass lends itself to a more full-flavored stock. A bouquet garni of select herbs can also add distinctive character to the stock. I remember my Pépère (French Grandfather) making his homemade beef soup when I was a child. Pépère grew up during the Great Depression. He was a “Frugal Frenchman” (Hey, maybe a new alter ego name for WildCheff). He used simple ingredients largely due to cost, yet he understood how to take such things and produce a result of full-flavor on a budget. Something as simple as gently simmering beef bones made his soup shine, and it holds a special place in my culinary memory. Stews can be some of the most satisfying meals. I have used ingredients such as a specialty demi-glaze, insertion of items like duck stock, flavored artisan beers, wine, specialty liquors such as Cabin Fever Maple Whiskey, and even Guinness to convert a general tasting stew to a unique one. It is amazing the difference that it makes. Chowdah’ s (as us New Englanders would refer to it) are a long-standing traditional menu item that can be enjoyed year round. Smoky bacon, fresh corn shaved off the cob, flavored butter, adding wine or beer, choice of onion or herbs; they all contribute to a chowder’s character and flavor. What many don’t realize is that chowders don’t always contain a cream element. While many types of chowder commonly use cream or milk, you can make delicious clear broth farmhouse chowders that focus on captivating your taste buds through the creation of home-produced stocks that are infused with rustic herbs and ingredients. I recall being asked a number of years ago to enter a chowder competition, and I thought I would scramble the judge’s eggs by making my recipe for farmhouse pheasant chowder. I felt like Marty on Back to the Future, as I think I may have confused them by exposing them to something before their time.


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Chili is a fun food that allows us to tailgate at a football game, bring us enjoyment at camp, and can add a special finishing touch to a grilled buffalo dog; not many people will refuse a tasty bowl of it. While there are many ways to approach chili, a good chili generally wakes up the palate and says “Hello, I’m here!” I have never felt that chili should be so spicy that it can’t be consumed, but heat should be present—or to me, it just isn’t chili. A secret to great chili is the use of background ingredient flavors that when melded together; create a flavor that compels you to get a second helping. Smoky flavors, cooling elements like topping it with a lime-infused crème fraîche or dollop of freshly made guacamole, and the enhancement of corn bread make chili a go-to comfort food! I have cooked many varieties of chili for people all over the country, and I have always been asked what makes my chili so pleasing. The secret lies in the layering of flavors that play very well together when combined and simmered. Here is a chili recipe that I have cooked for the New England Patriots, various celebrities, Wounded Warriors and Veterans, as well as those who attend my WildCheff Culinary Clinics, family and friends. If you want to see the key ingredient magic happen, try this recipe. I hope it helps you become a new foodie rock star to those for who you make it! Bon appetit! —Denny “The WildCheff” See recipe on page 78

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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WildCheff’s Patriot Chili Ingredients: 2 lbs of ground buffalo 1 red bell pepper, diced (bite size for all peppers) 3 Poblano peppers, diced 1 yellow bell pepper, diced 1 orange bell pepper, diced 1 large sweet onion, diced 1 can of B&M baked kidney beans (remove salt pork) 2 – 8 oz cans of roasted tomatoes 1 – 8 oz can of tomato sauce 1-2 cans of water 1/3 cup of WildCheff Tex Mex Blend 1 Tbsp of WildCheff Cumin 2 tsp of WildCheff Smoky Paprika Chile Blend 4 Tbsp olive oil WildCheff Cherrywood Smoked Sea Salt, to taste


Foodies of New England

DIRECTIONS Coat a large sauté pan with olive oil and heat pan up over medium high heat. Add burger to pan. Season the meat with sea salt and a small amount of WC Tex Mex Blend. Chop as you cook so that burger cooks, but stays a bit chunky (you don’t want the burger to be minced). When burger is 3/4 cooked through, remove it from pan and add the meat and all the cooking juices to a large pot. Add 3-4 tablespoons of olive oil to pan, and then add peppers and onion and sauté. Season veggies with WC Smoky Paprika Blend and WC Cumin, stir frequently until veggies are cooked, but still a little bit crunchy (not soggy and overcooked). Now add the veggies and juices to the large pot over the burger. Add kidney beans, roasted tomatoes, tomato sauce, Tex Mex Blend, WC Cherrywood Sea Salt and water to pot, and then stir all ingredients to check for thickness of your chili. Add more water if needed, but you do not the chili to be too watery. Heat up chili over medium high heat until it boils and then reduce and simmer for 15-20 minutes. Make a small slurry with either 1 tablespoon of flour or Mexican Masa flour and equal part of warm water. Place it into a cup and whisk it with a fork until it is mixed, and then add it into the chili and stir in until well incorporated. Cook for another 5-7 minutes and this will thicken up the chili. Serve by placing chili in bowls, sprinkling some non-seasoned Mexican cheese over the top, then a dollop of guacamole or sour cream that has been infused with fresh squeezed lime juice. I also like to sprinkle some fresh chopped cilantro over the top too. Areeeeba!!!! Note: You can make the chili with 1/4 cup of the Tex/Mex for milder version, but I find that 1/3 cup gives it a slight kick so you know that the heat is there, but it is not a blow your head-off level. Many people have commented that they like the 1/3 cup that I recommend.

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.


Foodies of New England

Soup to Warm the Soul I HATE soup… Strange I know: a professional chef who hates soup. But let me clarify my statement. I have tasted some absolutely delicious, creative, innovative soups throughout the years—made by hundreds of different culinarians with as many variedlevels of talent: from prep cooks, to line cooks to sous chefs to execs. What I hate is the CONCEPT of soup. So much prep work and stove time wasted on a dish whose name does no justice in describing the actual effort that goes in to making it. SOUP… STEW… CHOWDER… these words give very little indication of the passion and authenticity that one puts forth to create something that—if done correctly—immediately arouses a special kind of emotion or memory. Genuine feelings should emerge from the flavors; they need not be complicated flavors, or even overly original: the flavor just needs to be produced from a clear and concise treatment of quality ingredients. So I guess what I hate is the WORD “soup.” The word itself has no… flavor. It has been reduced to a marker above your head at the supermarket. It deserves better. Pasta e fagioli (pronounce it pah-stah ay fah-joe-lee. Or, if you like Italian dialetcs, some regions of Italy pronounce it pah-stah-fah-ZOOL—rhymes with “cool”) is indeed one of the simplest soups to prepare. The emotion and memory invoked in me while enjoying a bowl? Picture this: hazy images of a weathered, aged, Italian grandmother, stirring a chipped enamel pot atop a stove, in a kitchen where several decorative copper cake molds hang. Mmm… sometimes the simplest things are the best, after all.

Pasta e fagioli Ingredients: 2 Tbsp olive oil 1 onion, diced 1 carrot, peeled and medium diced 2 celery stalks, medium diced 1 small zucchini, medium diced 1 small yellow squash medium diced 2 cloves garlic minced Salt Freshly-ground black pepper 2 cups, cannellini beans OR chick peas 2 Tbsp chopped fresh herbs like Italian parsley, rosemary, thyme, basil 1 can (28 ounces) diced tomatoes or whole peeled plum (roughly crushed between your fingers! 6 cups vegetable or chicken stock 2 cups small pasta (like ditalini), pre-cooked Grated Romano or Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese to garnish DIRECTIONS 1. Heat oil in a Dutch oven or heavy bottomed pot over medium heat. 2. Add onion, carrot, celery, zucchini, squash,and garlic, season with salt and pepper. Stir to coat with oil and cook until tender, about 8 minutes. 3. Stir in herbs, tomatoes, and stock. 4. Bring soup to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer uncovered for 30 minutes, adding cannellini beans OR chick peas in last 10 minutes of cooking. Taste and season with grated cheese‌salt and pepper, as desired.

Foodies of New England


Raduno Soup “CSA” Warms Your Heart with Soup Written by Kelley Lynn Kassa Photography by Scott Erb and Donna Dufault

If food is love, then soup is the ultimate display of love. It’s prepared lovingly, long simmered over the stove, with enticing aromas and the lure of warmth for the heart, soul and body. Chef Marianne Marrone has made it her mission to provide love in the form of homemade soup to those in the Greater Boston area. Through her business, Raduno, Chef Marianne offers a weekly soup “CSA” throughout the fall and winter months. A “CSA” is commonly known as “community supported agriculture”— it’s also called a farm share. The idea is that people sign up for a season or a few months of products. Usually you pay for the season up front, and you get a weekly box of fresh produce (or meat, or fish). Raduno’s soup share is slightly different: it allows people to sign up weekly, based on the soups Chef Marianne will be cooking that week. Each week Chef Marianne offers a meat- or fish-based soup and a vegetarian (usually vegan) soup. Shares are purchased by the quart, and customers can purchase one or both soups. But one has to ask, why a soup CSA? “I have a love for high quality, fresh ingredients,” says Chef Marianne. “I grew up with soup as a big part of my family eating culture. On a lousy day, my mom would say, ‘This is a good pot-of-soup day.’” “My goal is to make beautiful things for people to eat that makes them feel satisfied and that’s comforting. I love the CSA model, so decided it was a great way to


Foodies of New England

provide restaurant-quality soup to eat at home.” Chef Marianne’s family eating culture included learning to cook by the side of her Italian grandmother. And while food was always an important aspect of her life, it wasn’t always her career. “I woke up one morning in November 2010 and realized I was miserable in the business world. I sold everything and spent six months traveling through 11 of the 20 culinary regions of Italy, learning techniques from Italian cooks of all kinds.” Upon her return, she enrolled in Le Cordon Bleu Boston, where she graduated as valedictorian of her class. Traditionally, soup is a vehicle for using up everything in the refrigerator; it’s a way to stretch ‘real’ meals’ and turn scraps into something edible. But while Chef Marianne’s soups are built upon the idea of using everything, her soups are made with only the highest quality, in-season produce, fish, and meats. Once she settles on the soups for the week, she’ll head out to New Deal Fish Market, Savenor’s, and Mayflower Poultry, all in Cambridge, M.F. Dulock in Somerville, and Russo’s Market in Watertown to hunt down what’s ripe, fresh, and looks fabulous. A typical soup

shopping trip for Chef Marianne takes hours as she carefully inspects every aspect of each and every ingredient. Chef Marianne attributes that attention to detail to her grandmother. “When my grandmother taught me how to make Italian wedding soup, she always told me to make the meatballs in three sizes—small, medium and large. This way there were meatballs throughout every bowl of soup, all the way down to the bottom of the bowl.” Her grandmother also taught her to do the “ladle test” and “spoon test” on

her soups. In each ladle of soup and in each spoon of soup you’ll see every ingredient. For example, if she’s made a corn chowder with red peppers, each ladle of soup and each spoon of soup has both corn and red peppers in them. A truly great soup is always made with love, and can never come from a can. Chef Marianne’s here to provide us with all the homemade soup we love and need throughout the cold winter months. See recipe on page 84

Foodies of New England


Corn Chowder

Hints. The more slowly you sweat the onions and the celery the better the flavor.


Add a little salt with every step.

2 lbs of frozen or fresh sweet corn kernels (note: it’s important that the kernels be large and sweet)

If you are making a homemade stock you can put corn cobs in the stock for extra corn flavor.

Recipe courtesy of Chef Marianne Marrone

4 ribs of celery, small dice 2 yellow onion, small dice 2 red bell peppers, small dice 2 Yukon potato, small dice 1 bunch of scallions, white and green sliced thin 2 Tbsp Nutritional yeast 1 cup of semolina flour 2 quarts of veggie stock, heat and set aside Add water to adjust texture to your preference. 2 Tbsp fresh dill, chopped fine Directions Sweat onions over low heat until the onions are translucent. Add the celery and the potato. Sweat together over low heat until the celery is soft, about 15 minutes. Add the sweet corn, scallion, and red bell peppers, cover and simmer low until the corn and all the veggies are soft, about another 20 minutes. Remove pot from the heat. Sprinkle the nutritional yeast over the corn mixture and fold in to incorporate. Make sure you do not smash the potatoes. Add semolina flour, sprinkling evenly 1/3 of a cup at a time. Fold in the flour so that the vegetables are coated. Let the flour soak up all the braising liquid from the vegetables. Slowly add the stock and stir gently but constantly so that the flour does not clump. When the stock has been completely added, simmer low until the soup thickens (About 10 minutes or until the flour is soft). Stir more frequently as it heats after you add the flour because it is more likely to stick. Let the soup rest off the heat for 5 minutes before serving to allow the flour to bloom again. This last step will make the texture more velvety. Serve with croutons toasted in olive oil.


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You can also reserve a quarter of the cooked corn and puree it to add to the soup for a creamier texture. If there are leftovers, you will need to adjust the texture again when you reheat the soup. Add some stock or water, adding the liquid slowly so that your soup doesn’t get too runny. This should be done on a stove top on low heat.

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Sons of Liberty An Italian Grandmother Inspires Unique Spirits Written by Daniel Lieberman Photography by Scott Erb and Donna Dufault

When Mike Respucci started thinking about making whiskey, he turned to two sources for his inspiration. The first was Dave Pickrell, former Master Distiller for Maker’s Mark Bourbon Whiskey distillery, in Loretto, Kentucky. Pickrell provided advice and guidance to Sons of Liberty as they started crafting their first products. The second—in some ways more important—influence on Respucci was the example of his Italian grandmother, whose cooking inspires the philosophy of quality that forms his style and shapes Sons of Liberty’s approach to making great spirits.

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First of all, like all Italian cooks, Nonna used only the best ingredients. Just as important as the ingredients was the slow, patient way she would add now this chopped pancetta and now that cup of milk to deepen the flavor over many hours. Mike calls it “layering,” and he approaches crafting fine spirits the same way. Sons of Liberty , based in South Kingstown, Rhode Island, uses only top-quality ingredients. They cold distill their spirits to leave more of the layers of flavor lovingly added in making the distiller’s mash—a beer-like concoction that is the raw material for whiskey, just as wine is for brandy. Unlike conventional bourbon makers, who distill their whiskey at up to 160° F, or Irish whiskey makers who go up to 180°, Sons of Liberty distills its whiskeys at a cool 124°. In general, Sons of Liberty’s blends average about 1 1/2 to 2 years old, long enough for these already-flavorful spirits to settle down in the barrel and develop a smooth and mellow character. The company has been making whiskey for about four years and will develop more aged whiskeys as a natural consequence of having been around longer. Mike Respucci will not cheat with “hothouse aging” to simulate the natural aging process. Nonna’s kitchen wisdom rules: If you’re proud of the fla-


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vor of your cooking, you don’t need to put a sauce on it to cover it up. Two single malt American whiskeys, Uprising and Battle Cry, are Sons of Liberty’s flagship products. Uprising starts with the heavier, darker barley malts used in stout and is double distilled. Battle Cry is a lighter-bodied whiskey, based on a Belgian-style ale. The variety of flavors and preference for seasonal ingredients and style characteristic of contemporary craft beers has influenced other offerings. Pumpkin Spice Whiskey, an autumn release, was made with 32,000 pounds of pumpkin and a traditional mix of spices. Sons of Liberty Seasonal Hop Flavored Whiskey, which started life as an India Pale Ale-style brew, was voted Best American Flavored Whiskey in the 2015

World Whiskies Awards. True Born Gin has a unique pedigree: It starts as a Belgian Wheat mash, infused with coriander, sweet orange peel, licorice, lemongrass, juniper berries, and two kinds of hops. It’s distilled four times for smoothness, again at a low temperature. It’s distinctly a London dry gin style spirit, but unlike many brands, which are actually distilled grain neutral spirits with flavorings added, True Born sticks to Sons of Liberty’s philosophy of using the best ingredients and patiently layering in the desired flavors. What’s next for Sons of Liberty? They’re experimenting with different styles of beer to find suitable candidates for distilling, so there will continue to be new releases of unique, seasonal spirits.

Visit to learn more about the products and where to buy them. The distillery offers Saturday tours and tastings every 30 minutes from 12–3:30PM ($10.00), and after-work Friday Night Flights from 4:30– 7:30PM ($10.00). Call 401.284.4006 or email for more information.

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Foodies of New England


Distill... My Heart Berkshire Mountain Distillers Written by David G. Kmetz Photography by Scott Erb and Donna Dufault

Sometimes things just have a way of working out. Call it serendipity or kismet. The stars align, ducks tend to line up. Such appears to be the unusual case of Chris Weld of Berkshire Mountain Distillers, founded in 2007. Chris Weld grew up just outside New York City and had an early interest in distilling. His first effort was for an 8th grade science project, but the plan was squashed by his mom when she realized it was a federal offense. (Would have made a good episode of South Park.)

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He turned his interest in putting things together by studying biochemistry as an undergraduate with a focus on medicine and the environment, going on to receive his Masters in emergency medicine. He then began a 20-year career as a Physician Assistant in one of the busiest emergency rooms in the San Francisco Bay area. Eventually seeking a slower life and a return to his East Coast roots, Chris, his wife Tyler, an architect, and their family moved to the quiet countryside of Berkshire County in Western Massachusetts and purchased an old dilapidated apple farm. The couple renovated the farm and surrounding land, and they thought their abundant apples could make some fine brandy. Weld had traveled Europe when he was younger and gotten a taste for the brandies and eau de vies being produced abroad. His travels through the Caribbean also piqued his interest in rum. One of the happy discoveries on the farm was the granite well that produced water claimed to have once been the world’s finest. Weld has a love of growing things, good food, and working with his hands. Distilling is really an amalgamation of his many interests: farming, chemistry, and construction. Once the distilling bug took hold again, Chris began producing and selling the first batches of spirits door-to-door in Massachusetts out of his truck, and today BMD is available in 19 states. Weld is fully involved at the distillery and has a passionate hands-on relationship with every bottle. He refers to the distillation of spirits as “At least the second oldest profession in the world, and the science of it hasn’t changed

very much.” To begin, local corn is collected and cooked in a stainless steel container. Other ingredients are added depending on the type of spirit. The spirit ferments and goes to the distiller where the alcohol is boiled off, leaving a handcrafted, great-flavored spirit. “Distilling is a science, but blending is an art form,” says Weld. “We end up tossing about 30% of what we produce, which is significant. The commercial guys can’t—or don’t— do that, but we’d rather have a cleaner, richer product.” Certainly the market for craft spirits has grown these last several years. “When I started, there were about 40 artisan distillers in the country; now there are close to 1000 registered!” he says. “It seems like we are following on the heels of the craft beer world. Being one of the early ones, I needed to figure out a pile of things on my own.” These days, craft distillers have many more resources available to them. “Competition is certainly getting to be a real issue; however, I think that the rising tide floats all boats scenario is starting to kick in. People are paying more attention to who is making the spirit in their glass, much like they care who made the bread on their plate.” At the distillery, they offer free tastings and scheduled tours ($10) through the two commercial greenhouses. They grow herbs and botanicals that will be used in their gins, but also sell them to patrons who can craft their own cocktails with wormwood, angelica, basil—or whatever happens to be in season. BMD has grown to include a wide range of award-winning

“Berkshire’s Bourbon Whiskey is, without a doubt, a truly world-class micro-distillery bourbon.”


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BMD Owner Chris Weld

spirits: Ice Glen Vodka, Greylock Gin, Ethereal gin, Ragged Mountain Rum, Berkshire Bourbon and New England Corn Whiskey. From its Gold Medal-winning Ice Glen Vodka and Greylock Gin to its Double Gold Medal-winning Ragged Mountain Rum, BMD is mixing it up with the big boys of the spirit world, going up against the likes of Grey Goose and Jack Daniel’s. Berkshire’s Ragged Mountain Rum has received mentions in major media outlets and won a Double Gold Medal at the San Francisco World Spirits Competition. Weld explains the distinction of his rum flavor attributes. “There’s an American craving for whiskeys now. Most rums are ultra-sweet, and perhaps whiskey might be more popular because, although it is a sweet spirit, it also takes on more complexities from

grains and the aging barrels,” he says. “Our rum drinks like a whiskey. It’s not super sweet. It’s a sipping rum.” Berkshire has also received kudos for their gin and whiskey. In 2012 the New York Times assembled a panel of spirits experts to taste 20 gins from American craft distillers, and Berkshire’s Greylock Gin earned top spot. In addition, Greylock Gin has been featured in Cool Hunting and Playboy Magazine, and The Washington Post called it their “new favorite in American gins.” The Ethereal Gin series is snapped up as fast as Weld can make it. Each seasonal bottling has a slightly different recipe to match the time of year. Last winter, the cold-weather batch was laced with cardamom flavors. Batch 7, out now, has a bright hints of lemon, coriander, and black pepper. Not to be upstaged, BMD’s bour-

bon has been recently praised by The Whisky Guild. Jeffrey Karlovitch, editorin-chief of Whisky Life & Spirits Magazine said “Berkshire’s Bourbon Whiskey is, without a doubt, a truly world-class micro-distillery bourbon. It honestly sets the standard by which all other microdistilled bourbon should be judged.” Berkshire Farm & Table, a local organization that promotes food culture in the Berkshires, recently announced the launch of a craft cocktail movement event. Close to two dozen establishments will participate in “The Summer of Greylock Gin,” a campaign developed to raise awareness of a truly authentic, award-winning artisanal spirit, and bring together restaurants, bars, and retail shops to promote craft cocktails as another way to experience the Berkshires. BF&T has selected Greylock Gin as the continued on page 107

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Made from Scratch in the

Mad River Valley Written by Briana Palma Photography by Scott Erb and Donna Dufault

Only four years ago, a team of distillers brand new to the trade began working together, using some of the most tried and tested techniques to handcraft small-batch whisky, brandy and rum. At Mad River Distillers, what’s old is new again.

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Nature Nurtures In the heart of the Green Mountains in the Mad River Valley in Warren, Vermont, sits 200-acre, 150-year-old Cold Spring Farm. This is the home of Mad River Distillers. While it’s no longer a working farm, the land did inspire owners John Egan and Maura Connolly to venture into craft spirits. The couple discussed planting a vineyard in 2011, but the apple trees growing on the property piqued their interest. They began to consider making brandy


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instead and when friend Brett Little got on board with the project, Mad River Distillers was born. Those apple trees now grow a portion of the apples needed to make their signature brandy, Malvados, but the group didn’t produce brandy right from the start. “Before we had the still, neither John nor Brett nor myself had ever distilled anything,” Hilton said. A carpenter by trade, Hilton initially got involved to renovate the old farm buildings that house the distillery but stayed on to oversee

production. He spent months learning as much as he could about craft spirits, reading books and websites, attending conferences and visiting other distilleries. “The first batch we attempted was a rum,” he recalled. “We felt like rum was on the easier side of the spectrum, in particular from a mashing perspective. So, that’s where we started and we just never looked back.”

By Hand, From Scratch Rum, apple brandy, rye whiskey, bourbon, corn whisky—it all starts with a craft Mueller still from Germany and carefully selected raw materials. Mad River places an emphasis on sourcing regional, organic, non-GMO and fair trade ingredients—grains from Massachusetts, corn from Vermont and all-natural cane sugar from Malawi. Two other critical elements that get a lot of attention at Mad River—water and wood. The fermenting water comes from the farm’s natural spring, but the barrels come from a select number of family-owned cooperages. “We pride ourselves on the fact that we’re doing everything from scratch here,” said Hilton, who oversees production with his three-person team. “We’re really excited to be doing every-

thing the way it used to be done, using traditional methods.” So traditional, in fact, that when they didn’t like the way their first corn whisky tasted, they went back and learned about the chemistry of corn and starches, and the practices of 19th century distillers. The end result: a smoother spirit, but a longer mashing process with a number of extra steps.

Farm-to-Glass After crafting First Run Rum, an all-purpose aged rum, Mad River went on to develop Malvados as well as corn, rye and bourbon whiskeys, and vanilla and maple-finished rums, the latter of which exemplifies the company’s philosophy of collaboration and sustainability. Wherever possible, Mad River seeks to use local resources as well as craftsmen to ensure that their products evoke the spirit of the Mad River Valley. Together, in partnership with Wood’s Pure Maple Syrup of Randolph, Vermont, they produce maple rum. The distillery provides Wood’s with barrels that have been used to age First Run Rum, and Wood’s in turn creates rum-aged syrup. Afterward, the barrels return to the distillery to be filled with rum once again. The maple rum that results from this exchange has received plenty of praise, including a gold medal at the Wine & Spirits Wholesalers of America convention in 2014. But that’s just one of several awards Mad River Distillers has earned since debuting its first spirit in 2013—proof that the young company is indeed doing things right. “We do get lots of praise,” says Hilton. “People just think we’re doing things the way they should be done. We get that comment all the time, which is pretty cool. And, we definitely agree.” Mad River Distillers Tasting Room is located at 8 VT Route 17, Waitsfield, VT 05673; Tel: (802) 4966973; For more information, visit Foodies of New England



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Creative Spirits made from Local Ingredients

Damnation Alley Distillery Written by Jeff Cutler Photography by Scott Erb and Donna Dufault

Food is fantastic, but sometimes it’s the spirits we sip on before, during, and after our meals that punctuate the flavors, add emphasis to the cuisine, and evoke emotions that a great meal sometimes can’t. Thinking about the history of civilized dining, you can’t help but ponder how alcohol— exceptional alcohol—has entwined itself in the foodie experience. At Damnation Alley Distillery in Belmont, Massachusetts, the team understands the value a good beverage has to conversation, comfort, and memories. In addition to the subtle flavors, the right spirit can pull from ordinary and extraordinary cuisine.

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Alison DeWolfe works in the Ministry of Propaganda at Damnation Alley (you can tell they have fun with their work), and explains the motives and methods behind the crafting of the company’s spirits. “We craft our spirits from grains, produce and herbs grown solely in Massachusetts,” says DeWolfe. “That being said we’re inspired by the grains and produce we receive from local farmers: Four Star Farms, Valley Malt, [and] Mainstone Farm. Some may see this as limiting in what we distill but we think this forces us to be creative and realize that we can create premium spirits and support our community.” From vodkas to bourbons to whiskeys, the distillery infuses local ingredients and a great deal of inspiration into the signature spirits they create. In some ways, the process is more akin to a Silicon Valley startup than a traditional distillery. Jeremy Gotsch and Alex Thurston (flavormeister and brewing/ distilling operations master, respectively) regularly get together to brainstorm Damnation Alley’s new creations. Take, for instance, their flagship spirit called Nick The Sipper. It’s a gentlyfiltered grain-forward vodka. Perfect for martinis or for sipping on the rocks, the duo of Jeremy and Alex wanted to create a spirit with full-flavor that was memorable, but not overly filtered. The pair then went local with the Distillery’s bourbon by sourcing corn from Mainstone Farm in Wayland. The inspiration was the distinct characteristics of both the farm’s Longfellow yellow corn and Narragansett white corn. Since each has a slightly different flavor, periodically they release a bourbon based on a different corn from the farm. What’s really exciting for the team at Damnation is the breadth of creativity that’s possible within the spirits industry. Further, they have seen a whole demographic of fans gravitate toward signature drinks in the same way folks are becoming rabid about specialty wines


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and craft beers. “Craft spirits in Massachusetts has a grown quite a bit in the past few years,” says DeWolfe. “However, it’s been largely influenced by customers seeking out local products and wanting to support local businesses.” New flavor profiles and spirits keep people coming back for tastings and to see what’s on the horizon. According to DeWolfe, they’ve recently released I Remember Nothing—a Rosemary vodka: a Single Malt Whiskey double

hopped with Four Star Farms Centennial Hops; and at the time of this interview they were working on the return of The Pink Thing—the Distillery’s Strawberry Basil Vodka. Running the show isn’t easy—especially with regulations, partnerships, sourcing of ingredients, and the drive to promote the brand. DeWolfe says Damnation Alley has come together well with a team-and-family approach where everyone has a vested interest in seeing the brand succeed. Specifically,

the Distillery is owned and operated by Alison DeWolfe, Jessica Gotsch, Jeremy Gotsch, Alex Thurston, and Emma Thurston. These five people oversee all aspects of operations from production to overall logistics, business operations, and managing the retail shop. On the production end, Alex runs the brewing and distilling operations. Jeremy is the flavormeister overseeing the flavor profiles of the spirits post distillation to proofing and bottling. Then, on the business operations side, Jessica oversees the accounting and procurement of grains. Emma and Alison both oversee sales and marketing; Emma makes sure all of the permits and licensing are in order while Alison covers web design. With a grass roots communications strategy, fostered by the use of social media and in-distillery tastings each month, Damnation Alley is communicating with its customers almost constantly. That helps them get real feedback in real-time, and it allows for a genuine connection with the market—a valuable facet when you’re competing against mainstream brands and other beverage categories. While not on store shelves yet, the company sells direct to consumers in the shop at the Distillery. “We love discussing our spirits with our customers,” says DeWolfe. “We feel that having a conversation with our customers regarding the farms we get our grains from and how the distillation process works makes people—who might otherwise hesitate to drink a craft spirit— really enjoy it.” The retail shop at the distillery is open Wednesdays and Thursdays 4:00pm-8:00pm, Fridays 4:00pm-9:00pm, Saturdays noon8:00pm and Sundays noon-5:00pm. Tastings are done the first Saturday of each month and DeWolfe says they even do group tours by appointment—a perfect outing for small companies and social groups. You can find the Distillery on Facebook at Damnation-Alley-Distillery and on Twitter and Instagram @DamnDistillery. If you’re in the area, Damnation Alley Distillery is at 7 Brighton Street, Belmont, MA 02478. Their number is 617-932-1360 and can be found online at Foodies of New England


Food for Thought

Written by Peggy Bridges Photography by Scott Erb and Donna Dufault

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


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The Simple Goodness of Home-Baked Bread

Ever walk into a bakery and instinctively take a deep breath through your nose to fully take in the wonderful aroma of freshly baked bread?


here’s something so appealing about the thought of spreading a warm slice with butter and letting it melt before taking a big, yummy bite... and another, and another, until you’re ready to go back for more. If you enjoy freshly baked bread as much as I do, you really should consider making some yourself. There’s nothing like filling your home with that delicious aroma, and having an entire loaf that your family can continue to slice from for several days. And when you make it yourself, you know exactly what’s in it – and what’s not in it. No chemicals or preservatives: just good, wholesome ingredients. Fresh, home-baked bread is an especially nice accompaniment to stews, soups, and chili, but is also great with any meal or even by itself as a snack. And it’s not as difficult as you may think. Don’t be intimidated. You don’t have to choose terribly complicated recipes, and you don’t need a bread machine. Some of the most delicious breads are in fact the easiest ones to make. The process may seem a bit different from most other cooking you’ve done before, but once you’ve gotten used to it you’ll be comfortable enough to do a little experimenting of your own. There are literally thousands of bread recipes out there that you can choose from. The most important thing to do when choosing a recipe is to consider what kind of time you have available. Some bread doughs need to rise only an hour, be kneaded, then rise another hour or two before baking. Other recipes call for allowing the dough to rise for 8 hours or overnight. This can sound like a burden, but I actually find that the long rise time can make it easier to work into a busy schedule. Sounds crazy, I know, but consider this. With an 8-hour rise time, you can either make the dough before bed, let it rise overnight, and bake it in the morning, or you can make the dough first thing in the morning, go about your day, and bake it when you’re home in the evening to have with dinner. If you prefer to get the whole recipe done in an afternoon, you can choose one that only needs a total rise time of about 3 hours before baking. Either way, if you’ve never baked a bread before, choose a recipe that’s fairly simple to start with. You’ll want to give yourself a chance to get used to manipulating the sticky mixture into a dough and creating a shaped loaf out of it. When you add the wet ingredients to the dry ones in the bowl, just a few stirs of the wooden spoon will quickly turn the mixture into a sticky dough. Be prepared to get your hands very messy! Be sure to remove all your jewelry before coating your hands and a cutting board or other surface with a good amount of flour as you try to knead the mixture into a dough. Add flour as necessary while you knead the dough. It will help to keep the dough from sticking too much to your hands. continued on page 104

Cutting board made by Ray Johnson; Monson, MA

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Once you’ve shaped your dough, there really isn’t much more to it. You’ll need to let it rise and knead it again, and some recipes will have you divide the dough into two loafs, but that’s pretty much all there is to it other than putting it into the oven. You can bake your bread in whatever shape or vessel you like. Some people like to bake their breads in typical oblong loaf pans. Some like to shape the loafs into rounds or long loafs and bake them on a flat baking sheet. Personally, I prefer to bake my breads in an old-fashioned ceramic baking crock. It makes nice, round breads that have a good crust on them. So start looking around at different types of bread recipes. There are recipes for wheat breads, rye breads, pumpernickel breads, gluten-free breads, breads with dried fruits and nuts in them, and breads with combinations of several unique types of flour. The choices are almost endless. You can start by doing an Internet search for a particular type of bread, you can go on specific cooking websites such as,,, or buy a cookbook specific to bread recipes. Check out the ingredient list to make sure they’re ingredients you’re comfortable with, and do a quick scan of the preparation instructions to be sure that there aren’t any steps that you don’t understand or aren’t willing to do. Try a few different recipes and you’ll start to figure out the nuances of bread making. It’s really not that difficult, and the rewards are truly worth it. Imagine how much your family would enjoy and appreciate a dinner complete with a home-baked bread! Actually, my kids usually don’t wait for dinner when they walk into the house and smell the bread hot out of the oven. About half of it makes it to the dinner table, but that’s totally okay with me. This is my all-time favorite bread recipe. It’s from King Arthur Flour and it’s not very difficult to make. The raisins, dried cranberries, and nuts give it so much flavor that it’s like having a meal in itself. I especially enjoy having a slice buttered with a cup of hot coffee.


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No Knead Harvest Bread Here’s my variation of a substantial and delicious bread from the King Arthur Flour website that’s very easy to make. Personally, I enjoy a warm, buttered slice from this crusty loaf with a cup of hot coffee in the morning.

Ingredients: 3 1/4 cups Lancelot Hi-Gluten Flour or King Arthur Unbleached All-Purpose Flour 1 cup King Arthur Traditional Whole Wheat Flour or King Arthur White Whole Wheat Flour 2 tsp salt 1/2 tsp instant yeast 1 3/4 cups cool water 3/4 cup dried cranberries 1/2 cup golden raisins 3/4 cup coarsely chopped pecans or walnuts Preparation:

1. Mix the flours, salt, yeast, and water in a large bowl. Stir, then use your hands to mix and form a sticky dough. 2. Work the dough just enough to incorporate all the flour, then work in the fruit and nuts. 3. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap, and let it rest at room temperature overnight, or for at least 8 hours; it’ll become bubbly and rise quite a bit, so use a large bowl. 4. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface, and form it into a log or round loaf to fit your stoneware baker or round baking crock. 5. Place the dough in the lightly greased pan. 6. Cover and let rise at room temperature for about 2 hours, until it’s become puffy. It should rise noticeably, but it’s not a real high-riser. 7. Bake at 375 degrees for 45 to 50 minutes. Remove the bread from the oven, turn out onto a rack, and cool before slicing.

Honey Oatmeal Bread This bread can be used as a sandwich bread, or just sliced to go with a stew or chili. Either way, it’s got just a little sweetness and it’s nice and moist. (Another variation of a King Arthur Flour recipe.)

Ingredients: 3/4 cup lukewarm water 1 1/2 cups “quick” rolled oats 2 packets “highly active” dry yeast; or 1 Tbsp active dry yeast; or 2 3/4 tsp instant yeast 2 Tbsp honey 1 Tbsp brown sugar 6 Tbsp (3/4 stick) butter 1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce 1 1/2 tsp salt 1/2 cup instant mashed potato flakes 2 1/4 cups King Arthur Unbleached All-Purpose Flour 2 Tbsp oats, to sprinkle on top, optional Preparation: 1. Combine the 3/4 cup water and oats, and let rest for 20 minutes. 2. Activate the yeast by dissolving it in 2 tablespoons of the lukewarm water with a pinch of sugar. It should start to bubble as the oats and water rest. 3. Add the remaining ingredients to the oats (including the yeast/water/sugar mixture), and mix and knead until the dough feels springy; it will be quite stiff. 4. Place the dough in a lightly greased bowl and allow it to rise, covered, for 2 hours; it’s a slow riser. 5. Gently deflate the dough and shape it into an 8” log. Place it in a lightly greased 8 1/2” x 4 1/2” loaf pan. Cover the pan loosely with lightly greased plastic wrap. 6. Allow the dough to rise at room tempera ture for 2 hours, until it’s crowned about 1 1/2” over the rim of the pan. Towards the end of the rising time, preheat the oven to 350°F. 7. Brush the top of the loaf with milk and sprinkle with oats, if desired. 8. Bake the bread for 20 minutes. Tent it loosely with aluminum foil and bake for an additional 25 to 30 minutes. When the bread is done, it’ll be golden brown, and an instant-read thermometer inserted into the center will register 190°F. 9. Remove the bread from the oven, wait 5 minutes, then turn it out of the pan onto a rack to cool. Cool completely before slicing. Store well-wrapped at room temperature.

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“Heard of the French Kiss? Well, try it... Italian style.” “Ila Bucci, a marvelous Italian chef, has created these homemade Italian Kisses exclusively for her family and friends. Not available for sale, these Italian Kisses have enlightened the palates of many of those close to Ila for years, and she has kindly offered to share her recipe with the foodies here in New England. Ila’s Italian Kisses are the result of a countless number of recipe refinements and adjustments over the years until perfect. Decadent and delicious, they are unmistakably homemade from her own kitchen in the Centro Storico district of the small town of Bussi Sul Tirino, in the Province of Pescara, Abruzzo region of central Italy. ‘Complimenti, Ila! Tu Sei veramente una Foodie Italiana!’”

Ila’s Famous Italian Baci Treats Ingredients: 100 grams or 4/5 cup of powdered sugar

Directions: Mix chopped hazelnuts, Nutella, powdered sugar, and vanilla powder (if desired), into a smooth dough.

200 grams or 1 3/5 cups of chopped and toasted hazelnuts

Shape about 20 chocolate balls, then place on wax paper. Place one whole hazelnut in the center of each ball.

250 grams or 2 cups of Ferrero Nutella

Put in the refrigerator until hardened (+/- 2 hours).

1-2 teaspoons vanilla powder (if desired)*, but it mainly depends on the preference of the baker.

Melt dark chocolate in a double boiler.* If you don’t have a double boiler you can MICROWAVE chocolate on high for 2 minutes, stirring in between. Soak chilled Baci into melted chocolate. Using 2 forks, turn the ball of chocolate quickly, and place on wax paper.

20 whole toasted hazelnuts

Let dry in a cool place for about 10 minutes. Serve.

6 ounces of high quality block of dark chocolate for baking


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continued from page 93

focus of the summer-long campaign, which ends September 21. One of the most recent offerings is a gin & tonic mix. Yes, you read that right. Though this writer and many in the artisan spirit business frown on packaged mixes, Weld assured me that this was the real deal and well above your dad’s Tom Collins mix of yore. “I’m a big tonic fan,” Weld says. “There are some wonderful craft tonics that have hit the market in the last 10 years. Their arrival on the market was a windfall—they really upped the ante. I am particularly fond of Fever Tree. Inspired by those, I started playing around with making my own tonic.” Twenty-five recipes later, Weld landed on The One. ““It’s got less sugar than the typical commercial tonic and shows a bit more bite and bitterness. It’s also got some color to it, almost like a glass of iced tea. The rosy hue comes from the cinchona bark. It’s a natural thing, so it’s like steeping a tea bag in the drink. You can filter it out, but we prefer to leave it in there for extra color and a much bolder flavor. This gives our tonic a nice natural tan color. Perhaps the question is not why our tonic is tan, but why others are clear!” Besides the challenges of crafting a superior tonic, Weld also had to overhaul his distillery in order to accommodate a bright tank to carbonate the beverage and different bottling equipment to fill the 200 ml bottles. Each unit adheres to

the gin and tonic’s classic two-to-one ratio and weighs in at 13.3% alcohol. They’re packaged in four-packs, the equivalent of six servings, and will retail for around $16. Following the rollout of Berkshire Mountain’s gin and tonic, Weld will unveil other pre-bottled cocktails such as rum and tonic and vodka tonic. As for sourcing ingredients locally, Weld is making progress of late. Corn, wheat, rye, and barley all come from farm’s within 20 miles of the distillery. On the distillery property itself, they grow anjelica, orris, wormwood, and juniper trees. So all in all, how did that move to The Berkshires work out? “The Berkshires have been a great place to start a business; the county has been very supportive. There has long been a farm-to-table movement here and we are riding on that movement’s coattails. The Berkshires is certainly our best market, though Boston and New York City have been supportive as well.” The biggest challenges are being not-toodensely populated and being off the beaten shipping path. The bright of side is that “…we have plenty of space to grow wonderful ingredients that help us create stellar products.” To find out more about Berkshire Mountain Distillers and their home-grown, award-winning products, you can log onto their website at

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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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Brew-Ga-Ga! Forty Cloves of Garlic, and a Hometown Brew

The inspiration for this one came out of one of those wild July nights in New England: the kind that started out sweltering, then the wind kicked up, followed by an eerie calm before the wind returns—then it poured... when the whacky weather ceased, we were left with a beautiful clear sky with two rainbows… With the weather under control and all our guests happy, I belly up to the makeshift bar and try my first Blonde Cougar Ale from Wormtown Brewery. It’s pure refreshment: slightly sweet with just enough of a bitter balance to make my tongue tsk, tsk, but in a good way. As someone who is at all times thinking about my next meal, I knew what I would make with this brew from the first sip: Braised Chicken with 40 Cloves of Garlic. There are many variations of this chicken recipe, but I would like to think of my way as not only the easiest, but the tastiest—and adding a little of a hometown brew makes it even better! I anticipate that you may have some reservations about this recipe, so respectfully I will tell you that the answer is “No.” No, 40 cloves of garlic are not too much and NO, the garlic flavor is not overwhelming. Garlic’s health benefits are increased if you eat it raw; however, cook it if you wish not to bowl over anyone within breathshot of you. According to the University of Maryland Medical Center, “Garlic is rich in antioxidants. In your body, harmful particles called free radicals build up as you age and may contribute to heart disease, cancer, and Alzheimer disease. Antioxidants like those found in garlic fight off free radicals, and may reduce or even help prevent some of the damage they cause over time.” [source: altmed/herb/garlic accessed 8/27/15] So we know it is great for us—but when it has been prepared this way, it is also incredibly delicious. The garlic flavor is subtle, sweet, and a little nutty, almost as if it was roasted, but without any bitter finish. When the beer hits the pan, it is a game-changer. All the tasty little flavor pockets that were once stuck to the sides and bottom of the pan are loosened and released into the brothy beer sauce… Yum! At the risk of sounding shallow: looks matter—and this dish is gorgeous. The brown garlic skins, the green sprigs of thyme against the braised chicken—all nestled in a black cast iron skillet—it feels like the quintessence of home all in one pan. And yes, you can eat the skins; I probably eat half with and half without. If you push on the clove with the side of your fork the garlic slides right out—delicious when spread onto a piece of crusty bread! The smashed home-fried taters pair very nicely with this dish. Fried potatoes are an indulgence that I do not eat often, but boiling them first really does cut down on the amount of time they spend in oil—everyone loves these crispy potatoes! Toss in some fresh arugula with a drizzle of olive oil, a splash of balsamic, and some salt and pepper to balance it out… Enjoy! Foodies of New England



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Braised Chicken, 40 Cloves of Garlic, and a Hometown Brew Ingredients: A few swirls of olive oil—for measurement sake I’ll say approximately 1/4 cup 3-4 pounds chicken legs, bone-in and with skin, seasoned lightly with salt and pepper 5 whole heads of organic garlic cloves separated (about 40), unpeeled 6 large fresh thyme sprigs 1/4 tsp. red pepper flakes 2 cups Wormtown’s Blonde Cougar Summer Ale, An American Blond Ale 3 pats of salted butter DIRECTIONS 1. Heat a couple of swirls of olive oil in heavy large pot over medium-high heat. 2. Working in 2 batches, add chicken and cook until brown on all sides, about 12 minutes per batch. 3. Transfer chicken to plate. 4. Add another swirl of olive oil and garlic (unpeeled!) to pot. 5. Stir until the skins are golden brown, about 4 minutes. 6. Add red pepper flakes, thyme, and beer; then bring to boil. 7. Return chicken to pot, then spoon garlic cloves and reduction over the thighs. 8.

Reduce heat to medium, cover, and simmer until chicken is cooked through, moving chicken pieces from top to bottom every 5 minutes (sauce will not cover chicken), about 20 minutes.

9. Add three pats of butter. 10. Season with a dash of salt and pepper 11. Transfer chicken to a platter or serve as I do: directly out of the pan. 12. Spoon garlic cloves around chicken and drizzle sauce over.

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Home-Fried Taters Ingredients: 5 pounds of Yukon Gold potatoes Pinch of kosher salt Pinch of freshly ground black pepper 1 cup of canola oil (approximately) DIRECTIONS 1. Scrub the potatoes with a brush; be sure to get all the dirt off them because you are leaving the skins on. 2. Boil potatoes until tender, approximately 8-15 minutes. 3. Strain potatoes, and pat dry. 4. Heat a heavy skillet with 1 cup of canola oil. 5. Cut the potatoes in half and/or flatten the whole thing, with your palm. 6. Season both sides of the smashed potato with kosher salt and freshly cracked pepper. 7. Lightly fry the potatoes -just until they turn golden, remember that they are already cooked. 8. Remove potatoes and place on a cooling rack or on top of paper towels to drain any excess oil. 9. Top with Sour cream and chives.

Sour Cream and Chives Ingredients: 1-pound container of sour cream One bunch of fresh chives DIRECTIONS 1. Chop chives into 1/8 inch bits. 2. Mix chives into sour cream then refrigerate— you can make this a day ahead.


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Another Fine Performance at Team Chef

Written by Domenic D. Mercurio, Jr. Food photography by Scott Erb and Donna Dufault


f you’re a chef or a foodie, you would’ve been proud… The very talented and personable culinary students at Tantasqua Regional High School in Sturbridge, Massachusetts pulled out all the stops at the 2016 Team Chef competition this past April (we purposefully feature the story during the Fall/Winter issue of Foodies of New England magazine so that the students can read all about their accomplishments as they return to school). The event works like this: Each team is comprised of two culinary students from Tantasqua (one senior; the other,


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a junior or sophomore) who combine forces with an established, wellrespected professional chef from the area. Together, they make up a team, and a total of 7 teams compete in the event. Each year, a different secret ingredient is chosen, and that ingredient is infused into all savory recipes in the Best Entrée category and sweet recipes in the Best Dessert category. Last year, coffee was the secret ingredient — a most challenging effort, and the teams truly rose to the occasion. This year, however, the secret ingredient was berries: a seemingly relevant component to the dessert creations, but a

potentially problematic item to integrate into many savory dishes. After all, one of the requirements of the competition is that the ingredient must be prevalent in the item prepared, so infusion is a necessary — but difficult — step. So, how did the teams fare? Well, the consensus among the judges (which included myself; David Vadenais, executive chef at The Worcester Club in Worcester, Massachusetts; Barbara Houle, restaurant columnist for the Worcester Telegram & Gazette; and Alina Eisenhauer, chef/owner of Sweet Restaurant & Bar, also in Worcester) was that the students really brought

their creativity and effort to this year’s competition, even more so than last year. In the Judges’ category, top honors for Best Entrée went most directly to the students at Tantasqua, as Team Cornerstone Café (the school’s on-site restaurant) won for their Raspberry Chipotle BBQ Pulled Pork in Puff Pastry with Demi-Glace and Gingered Slaw. The team’s senior student, Emma Buck, was thrilled with the win. “It’s such an honor to compete with my instructors, Chefs Adam Popp and Louis Lariviere, and then to win against my fellow students,” she said. Rachelle Mantha, a junior at Tantasqua, said, “It’s even a bigger honor to be on the team representing our school’s actual restaurant.” Judges’ Choice for Best Dessert fell to Uncle Jay’s Twisted Fork French, Italian, and American Bistro. The team crafted a Chocolate Berry Crumble, which was exquisitely infused with berries and had a fine balance of texture and taste. Dom Boutiette, senior, expressed his excitement surrounding the victory, “This is such a great event — we love to prepare competition-level dishes for the public — it really gives me a lot of confidence.” Junior Josh Gorman was equally pleased, pointing out his appreciation for their mentor, Jay Powell. “Chef Jay is so involved every step of the way in this competition, and he really knows how to get us motivated to bring our ‘A’ game.” At this event, the foodie spectators were also able to weigh-in and vote their palate. For People’s Choice Best Entrée, the winner was Team Metro Bistrot. Under the direction of chef/owner Jay Livernois, the team created a marvelous Duck Confit encrusted with herbs de Provence. Senior Zack Hamel was proud of the team’s success: “It’s so gratifying to work with a true chef de cuisine like Mr. Livernois.” Junior Emily Love agreed, commenting “Having someone to guide us is so important, especially when we’re preparing French recipes.” Best Dessert for the People’s Choice category went to Team Eller’s Restaurant for their Blackberry Ravioli with Chocolate Ganache. Gianni Brown, a senior, and Allissa Marcille, a junior, both were thrilled with the outcome. “I like working on Italian dishes,” said Gianni, “and the decision to work with berries this year really gave us a chance to get creative.” Allissa chimed in, “Working with Chef (Shane) Anderson was really educational: he’s a really good instructor.” Senior students in all four winning categories won a complete knife set courtesy of Dexter-Russell of Southbridge, Massachusetts. Dexter-Russell also generously donated a chef’s knife to each junior who placed in the top categories. Other student teams included Team Rovezzi’s Ristorante, headed-up by Chef Mark Ronnquist, with Nick Huey (senior) and Nicole Belanger (junior). Also participating was Team

Emma Buck (Senior) and Rachel Mantha (Junior) with instructor Adam Popp.

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Sturbridge Seafood, lead by Chef Ken Yukimura, with Mikaila Sims (senior) and Emily Monroe (junior), and Team Sturbridge Host Hotel, with Chef Jim Bliss providing leadership to Amber Thayer (senior) and John True (junior). And, with the help of Technical Division principal and director Mark Wood, culinary arts instructor Louis Lariviere, and instructors Adam Pop and Julieanne Gamache (Hotel & Restaurant Management), the relationships developed with chefmentors can be fostered into bright and rewarding futures for students at Team Chef. In fact, the event started as a way to expose Tantasqua Regional High School culinary students to the industry by pairing them with these local chefs. Over the years, students have worked with many gifted mentor-chefs; in several cases, these students have then been hired as employees as a result of their participation in Team Chef. Mark A. Wood, principal-director of Tantasqua Regional High School’s Technical Division, explained that, “The staff and administration at Tantasqua are so grateful to the chefs and restaurants that take part in this event: they not only donate their time and talent, but also all of the food for the event.” He went on to say, “It’s a real investment for all involved, but you can’t put a price on its value to the students and their futures.” Sturbridge Host Hotel provided the venue and the equipment free of charge to the students at Tantasqua for Team Chef. Tantasqua culinary instructor Louis Lariviere commented, “The Host Hotel really lives up to their name — they contribute so much to this event every year.” James Bliss, Sturbridge Host Hotel’s executive chef, mentioned, “We really like to connect with localized events that help build the culinary industry — it’s all about the kids.” The very community-minded Polar Beverages Company donated all the soft drinks and water for the event, which saved a tremendous amount of expense for the school. The proceeds from the event go to our scholarship fund, specifically for students moving on to post graduate studies in the field. The award amount is a $500 scholarship for their freshmen year. Instructor Lariviere added, “As I spoke with this year’s students, the general consensus was that the event was hard work, a good deal of fun, and very satisfying. They were all a little nervous going into the event, but very pleased with the experience they got working alongside established pros, and they were really thrilled by the prospect of actually preparing competition-grade dishes for the public — it was very exciting for all of them.” Foodies of New England applauds the students, administration chefs, and sponsors that all had a hand in Team Chef. This is just the kind of event that builds our culinary landscape and makes New England a true foodie destination. — Editor, FNE.


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Nancy Powell, Executive Chef Jay Powell, both of Twisted Fork Bistro, with Josh Gorman (Junior) and Dom Boutiette (Senior).

Mr & Mrs. Livernois, owners of Metro Bistrot in Southbridge along with Emily Love (Junior) and Zach Hamel (Senior).

Pastry Chef Kathy Moriarty, Allissa Marcille (Junior), Gianni Brown (Senior) and Executive Chef Shane Anderson of Eller’s Restaurant.

A True Bistro

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

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

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

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Sweet Sensations

Written by Lina Bifano Photography by Scott Erb and Donna Dufault

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


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La Corona As a child in elementary school, I remember a day when I was in the nurse’s office and I was coming down with something. I felt light-headed and sick and it was still fairly early in the day. The first question out of the nurse’s mouth was “what did you eat for breakfast?” I looked at her and very honestly answered that I had eaten some taralle (Italian biscuits) that my mother had made and a little bottle of sugo di pera (pear juice) that my father would sometimes come home with when he would visit the Italian market. I’ll never forget the look of shock on that woman’s face. Firstly, she had no idea what a taralle was or how delicious my little bottle of pear juice tasted, or that I had been eating that way forever; and secondly, she couldn’t fathom that a mother would let her child walk out the door with nothing more than a biscuit and some juice in her belly. This was the 80’s. This was the beginning of the phrase “breakfast is the most important meal of the day” and the era of “the incredible edible egg.” She proceeded to lecture me on the importance of a hearty meal and how a balanced breakfast would set me up for the day, make me run a faster mile in gym class and somehow make my brain work better. I was young, but I understood what she was saying. The problem is that I’m just not a breakfast person. I’m a first-generation Italian from New York who adapted her traditions to fit in with the realm of the society she was put in. To me, eggs are something that you mixed together in a frittata. Bacon was reserved for whenever you went to the diner and pancakes were a box mix that my mother attempted to make for us on Saturday mornings, sometimes. As I got older, my mom got more adventurous with breakfast and made us eggs with toast, waffles, or bagels, but it was always a treat to me and mostly on a weekend. My go-to breakfast however, was always an Entenmann’s cake (I don’t know why, but there was always an Entenmann’s cake on the counter), and a caffellatte. My favorite of all the cakes was always the Entenmann’s Danish ring. Although not necessarily a true Danish pastry, the store-bought kind had a sweet icing that brought the flavor of the nuts sprinkled over it to another level. Often, my mom would yell at me because I’d pick the nuts right off the top of the entire ring and leave the cake part for someone else to eat. When my tastes in food matured and I finally read the unpronounceable list of ingredients on the back of the box, I realized that I could do better. I set out to create my own version of a childhood favorite, and it’s a treat that my family and I still enjoy for breakfast today. I call it my corona (crown), and a goodsized piece and an espresso are all I need to get me to lunchtime. It freezes well and the presentation is absolutely beautiful, making it the perfect go-to pastry to bring when visiting the home of a friend or loved one. A yeast-based recipe, you’ll need to reserve some time for the dough to rise, but the entire process can be done in different parts throughout the day, making it perfect for a busy schedule. The amount of nuts, raisins, and dates can be adjusted according to taste and the simple preparation will make people think that you’re a professional pastry chef. I hope you enjoy it as much as I do. Godi le delizie della vita! (Enjoy life’s delights!) —Lina

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La Corona Ingredients: For the dough: 1 packet active dry yeast 1/4 cup warm water 3/4 cup warm milk 4 Tbsp sugar 6 Tbsp butter (softened) 2 tsp salt 1 1/2 tsp cinnamon 2 eggs 1 Tbsp orange juice 4 cups all-purpose flour For the date, raisin, and pecan filling: 1-2 cups Grand Marnier™ 3/4 cup raisins (red or white) 10-15 dates chopped into 1/4” pieces (soak raisins and dates together in Grand Marnier™ to taste for at least 1 hour.) 2/3 cup all-purpose flour 1 1/2 cups chopped pecans (crunchy, not finely chopped) 4 Tbsp sugar Zest of 1 medium lemon 1 stick butter (room temperature) 1 1/2 tsp almond extract For the icing: 1 cup powdered sugar 1 Tbsp Grand Marnier™ 2 Tbsp water 1/4 tsp cinnamon (optional) DIRECTIONS Beforehand: In a small container, place the dates and raisins in the Grand Marnier™ to soak. Prepare the dough: If preparing the dough and not assembling until later, use the largest mixing bowl you can find. Dissolve the yeast packet in the warm water and let it sit until it bubbles and foams. This can take up to two minutes. Incorporate the rest of the ingredients, but not yet the flour. Once all of the other ingredients are well blended, add the flour, one cup at a time, until you have a ball of dough that is only barely sticky to the touch. You might not have to incorporate all 4 cups of flour.


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On a lightly floured countertop, knead your dough for approximately 10 minutes, or use the dough hook on your mixer. It is done when it has achieved a smooth appearance and is no longer sticky to the touch. Oil your original mixing bowl lightly, place the dough in it and cover it with plastic wrap. Do not refrigerate. Warmer is better. At this point, if you’ve got to leave to go to work, you can, and you can assemble the final product when you get back. In approximately 2 hours, it should have doubled in size. If you get home from work and you find that it’s the size of the bowl it’s in, no problem, just punch it down and re-knead briefly it until it’s a workable size. Prepare the filling: Drain the raisins and dates, reserving the Grand Marnier™ for another time. Taste a few. Try not to eat them all. Combine all ingredients in a small mixing bowl and incorporate the butter, cutting it in using your hands. Refrigerate for approximately 10 minutes. Assembling the corona: Preheat your oven to its lowest setting, usually 160° Turn the dough out on a floured countertop. Roll it into a 12x30 inch rectangle. While crumbling the filling in your hand, spread it over the rectangle; trying to make sure it is covered evenly, up to 1/2 inch of the edges. Starting with the longer edge, tightly roll the dough, jellyroll style. Using a sharp knife, slice the roll in half lengthwise. This will expose the layers of dough and the filling, giving you two long sections. Turn them out so the filling sides are facing up and twist them around one another all the way down to the ends. Turn both ends towards each other, making a circle. Overlap the ends so that the corona takes shape and looks like a ring. Carefully place the corona on a parchment-lined baking sheet (it helps if you place each side in your two hands and plop it down quickly). Let it sit in your oven at its lowest setting for approximately 30 minutes. This may take a little finesse. Preheat your oven to 350° Cook until lightly browned, approximately 30 minutes, checking after 25 minutes, as cooking times may vary. Place on a cooling rack. Assemble the icing and drizzle over the corona while it is still slightly warm. Tips: The corona can be frozen once completely cooled, without icing by wrapping it in plastic wrap, then foil. When ready to serve (or gift), place uncovered in a 350° oven for approximately 10 minutes and drizzle with the icing mixture. Enjoy!

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Under Loch & Key

Written by Ryan Maloney Photography by Scott Erb and Donna Dufault

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


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five under


The New Bargain Bourbon The only thing rising higher than the popularity of American Bourbon these days is its price! Relatively unknown bourbons are now demanding sky-high prices and others that were easily attainable a few years ago have seemed to vanish from the retail shelves. As newbie and long-time bourbon drinkers hunt and pay though the nose for these bourbons I like to call “unobtainium” for their scarcity, the savvy whiskey drinker is exploring other options. Although I might be disowned and have my secret bourbon society membership card revoked and burned, I’d like to key you in on my top five “go-to” bourbons that not only impress, but don’t involve a loan shark to purchase. I’ve set the max price at $50, but most of these whiskies you can find for a good deal cheaper than that threshold. Also, I narrowed my list to five whiskies that you are likely able to find in any liquor store and most bars with a decent Bourbon list. So, without further ado, let’s get going! First up is Russell’s Reserve 10 year old 90 proof Bourbon. Now, you’ve heard me talk about the Father and Son distillers Jimmy and Eddie Russell before in my rye article… well, they hit it out of the park again! Just like the 6 year old rye, the barrels are selected only by Jimmy or Eddie after they have been aged in a heavy charred American oak barrel and picked from the choicest locations in the rickhouse. But unlike the rye, each barrel has been aged for at least TEN years and then brought together in small batches. The whiskey has this beautiful copper hue that has an almost reddish tinge and aromas of weathered oak sprinkled with spice of cinnamon are very apparent. Flavors of wood and vanilla mix with a hint of amaretto sweetness dance over your palate as continued on page 124

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you sip. All of these bold flavors finish very nicely without much of an alcohol burn. Stands up well on its own, but at a price to make some high-quality mixed drinks! Second (these are not in any order of a ranking system) is Basil Hayden 80 proof Bourbon. This bourbon is part of the Jim Beam Small Batch Bourbon Collection which also includes Booker’s, Baker’s, and Knob Creek. When a bar, restaurant, or liquor store is entering the premium bourbon category they usually start by stocking Basil Hayden—and this is for good reason. Basil Hayden is lighter and lower in proof than its Small Batch Collection brethren, but its flavor is all about fine subtleties rather than a sledgehammer approach. This bourbon also uses more rye (about twice as much) as the rest of the Beam line-up, so you’re going to be dealing with more spice components than your average bourbon. For me this bourbon falls onto the dry side of the bourbon profile—so, don’t be looking for a sweet bourbon out of this expression. Basil Hayden is a nice compromise between a rye and bourbon character with a quick finish that leaves you asking for more. I enjoy this bourbon straight up, on the rocks, or in a nice Manhattan on warm days. The third spot in Five Under $50 is Larceny 92 proof Bourbon. This bourbon is what enthusiasts like to refer to as a “wheater” since the second grain—after the 51% corn it must have to be called a bourbon—is wheat. Now, Larceny has a nice back story of how John E. Fitzgerald was a Treasury Agent back in the days when only U.S. Agents actually had the keys for the rickhouses. Well, suffice it to say that Mr. Fitzgerald liked bourbon to the point where he would steal whiskey from only the best barrels! Hence, the name of the bourbon is Larceny. Even though that’s a true story, I’m sure you’re more interested in the bourbon. Now, even though there is no age statement on the bottle, this small batch bourbon is comprised of barrels ranging from 6 to 12 years old. The color of this bourbon is that of a shiny new copper kettle with a fragrant nose of fresh milled wood and vanilla pods. The taste is reminiscent of fresh wheat bread topped with notes of salted caramel, mixed with a little vanilla citrus to boot. Some of the older-aged whiskey in the batch adds to the long finish of woody goodness to balance the sweet tones. For the money charged, this bourbon is a steal at twice the price! Coming in at the fourth slot would be a bourbon from… you guessed it, Four Roses! Before we can discuss the bourbon I picked, a little background is needed. Four Roses Distillery has two mashbills (recipes) for their bourbons: one is a low rye and the other is a high rye. This means that the main ingredient after the 51% corn is rye grain, the first (low rye) has less rye than the second recipe


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(high rye). Now couple this with the fact that the distillery uses five different yeast strains to create the whiskey and you have 10 different bourbons that are produced by Four Roses! In fact the Four Roses Small Batch Bourbon 90 proof is a blend of four of the ten recipes. Upon pouring

It follows up with full mouthfeel that lacks any sharp edges on the tongue. But what really hits you is the intensity of flavors of toasted sugar, cinnamon, and toffee. The finish is long, dry, and leaves you amazed that this is a higher proof bourbon! On second thought, forget I told you about this whiskey—it’ll leave more for me!

this bourbon you will notice the scents of vanilla, oak, and even some maple caramel coming from this warm ambercolored whiskey. The sweetness that you taste upfront as you sip mingles with cinnamon spice and woodiness as you swallow. The finish to this fine bourbon is long and dry with a slight hint of black pepper. I’m going to let you in on a little secret I’ve found with this whisky: it seems to get better every time you come back to it! If you drink this as your regular bourbon, you will notice that the finish actually gets sweeter on the third or fourth day after you opened the bottle. The fifth and last bourbon on my list is from the smallest producer of the five. Johnny Drum Private Stock 101 proof is a charcoal-filtered Kentucky Straight Whiskey. The whiskey label says it’s from the Johnny Drum Distilling Company, but that is really an alias for Kentucky Bourbon Distillers who are famous for the Willett Family Brand. Now there is a fanciful story of how Johnny was a drummer boy during the civil war and found an ingenious way to use the excess corn from his farm after he returned home—but really who cares? We’re talking bourbon here, so the important part is how it tastes! This whiskey is a true bourbon lover’s dream with notes of oaky spices mixed with nutty caramel hitting you smack in the nose as soon as you sniff. Foodies of New England


Wines of Distinction

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

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


Foodies of New England

“Bird’s Big Barrel” At Foodies of New England magazine, we like to search out eclectic, unusual stories about eclectic, unusual things. In our last issue, we found a unique and exceptionally talented winemaker in Marlborough, New Zealand — Steve Bird. In that issue, we delved into two of his Sauvignon Blanc selections — the Steve Bird Signature and the Manu lines — both incredibly impressive and well-crafted Sauvignon Blanc wines styled in true, varietal-correct fashion. At the time, we also learned about Bird’s Pinot Noirs, but didn’t have the occasion to taste them. Since that time, we’ve been fortunate enough to sample and learn about Bird’s Big Barrel Pinot Noir. Wow. A popular and commonly-sought-after category, Pinot Noir is talked and written about frequently. However, in most cases, those examples that enjoy wine industry media attention most commonly hail from Burgundy, France, or — lately — Washington State or Oregon. A serendipitous occurrence, discovering excellence and refinement in a common varietal from a not-so-common terroir was quite enlightening to us, and we embraced our fortune with zeal. The subject of this fortune was Bird’s Big Barrel Pinot Noir. A very delicate varietal to produce, Pinot Noir is, by nature, temperamental: with its thin skins, dainty constitution, and easily-bruised flesh. Indeed, it takes a true enological craftsman to bring a superb Pinot Noir to the wine world, especially when the berries in question don’t originate from commonly-know Pinot Noir geographies. After all, it’s difficult to make any wine come into its own — even heartier varietals like Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Zinfandel — but, to accept a challenge the likes of Pinot Noir is quite a formidable undertaking, most especially when the berries are from territories most noted for white wines.

Yes, producing a superlative Pinot Noir in New Zealand is to the wine world what escaping the Temple of Doom is to Indiana Jones — nothing less than an immense achievement. So, what about this Bird Pinot Noir? Well, for starters, it garnered a double gold medal and a whopping 96 points at the San Francisco International Wine Competition — widely known as the SAG Awards of the wine industry. With so many of Bird’s contemporaries and colleagues tasting and voting on each other’s wines, it’s nothing short of a small wonder how Bird’s friends and rivals from the United States and France laid the honor of 96 points on him in the Pinot Noir category. After all, Burgundy is known for exceptionally delicate — yet complex — Pinot Noir wines, and so are the reputable appellations of Oregon, Washington State and California. So, how is it that Bird came away with the praise of so many experts and esteemed wine makers? Well, the answer may lie in his Big Barrel. Bird uses 900-liter French oak barrels. His process — known as “Big Barrel Roll Fermentation” — imparts a high degree of complexity, facilitates seamless integration of oak, and maintains the wine’s original elegance and finesse. On the palate, and according to tasting notes from Bird, we’ve confirmed a complex, perfumed bouquet dominated by wonderful aromas of red and black fruits, cherries and plums. In addition, notes of spice and toasty oak accents accompany the forest-floor and mushroom undertones and hints of dried fruits and herbs. The bright red fruit perfume is followed by spices and hints of vanilla and oak, with a long and persistent finish laced with prominent flavors of plum, dark cherry, and chocolate. The silky-smooth tannins fill the mouth and show a youthful firmness, which is a marvelous complement to textured and round palate. In terms of food accompaniment,

Bird’s Big Barrel Pinot Noir is a very versatile and complementary wine. It can be enjoyed with a myriad of food, from cheeses like Bleu, Brie, Gruyère, Camembert, feta, or — for you Italian cheese freaks — Asiago and Fontina, to flavordense game meats such as venison, duck, quail, and — of course — turkey. Yes, foodies, this is one very complex and attractive Pinot Noir. Whether you’re going light at meal time, or enjoying a typical New England holiday dinner, Steve Bird’s Signature Big Bar-

rel Pinot Noir will have you groping for more culinary delights with which to experience its versatility, elegance, complexity, balance, and uniquely rich flavor. Hail Steve Bird — New Zealand’s artisan wine guru! Foodies of New England gives Steve Bird’s Big Barrel Pinot Noir a well-deserved 94 points: Complex character and intensely-flavored greatness with hard-to-match craftsmanship. -FNE.

Foodies of New England


Liberating Libations

Cider Stew Written by Adam Gerhart Photography by Scott Erb and Donna Dufault

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


Foodies of New England

he theme this season is Soups, Stews, Chilis, Chowdahs, and Gumbos, with a subtheme of New England Distilleries. These are staples here in New England: you can’t survive winter around here without some hearty soups or stews to warm the soul! Accompanied by a tingling cocktail, this is a recipe for warmth during these cold, upcoming months. Chowdahs, chilis, and stews can found in almost every restaurant in New England and with many different recipes. Most are similar and delicious, but the fun part is finding the unique ones that stand out. When I think of these soups, stews, chowdahs, and chilis, I think of a combination of delicious ingredients that come together to please the palate— pretty similar to the cocktail world. To tie into the theme, I decided it was a perfect time to display one of my favorite seasonal recipes: a mulled cider with lots of simmering ingredients in it to brew the great taste of apples and spices to tickle the tongue! Whether it’s mid-fall or deep winter, this cider will surly make your soul smile… and when paired with the right spirit, it can lift yours and melt your worries away. When making mulled cider, all you need is fresh local New England apple cider and then the canvas is yours. Ingredients like cloves, cinnamon, nutmeg, and vanilla are commonly used in mulled ciders, but making your own with unique ingredients will make it stand out among the crowd. I recommend using most of these ingredients but then adding a twist. The fun part is experimenting. Start simple and then branch out. But if you would like to try my recipe, I can assure you it will do just fine. Start by putting the Cider in a large stew pot. Turn the heat up high and start to add your ingredients. After adding all these ingredients to your “stew” (it will sure look like one!) let it boil, and then simmer for about 20 minutes, then double-strain into large heat safe punch bowl. Add whichever spirit you prefer and serve hot (I prefer to use rum, and garnish with a cinnamon stick). You can also refrigerate the strained cider and either reheat or serve cold. Try your own combinations of these ingredients and try different kinds of spirits, too. I like to experiment by trying varieties of rum: light, dark, spiced and aged. I also sometimes take away or add ingredients, like lemon zest, more-spicy peppers, less vanilla, more nutmeg, no orange, pomegranate… the list goes on. That’s what makes it your own: how you decide to make it is up to you—and we all know the fun is in tasting it! So this winter, stay warm by simmering not only some delicious soups and stews, but throw a pot of cider on and enjoy the aroma, savor the flavor, and enjoy this season the way true New England Foodies should. And as always, enjoy responsibly. Cheers!

Cider Stew Ingredients: 2 gallons fresh local apple cider 2 split vanilla beans 2 sliced oranges 1 freshly-grated nutmeg 5 whole allspice berries 1 handful of cloves 2 tsp. brown sugar 5 cinnamon sticks 2 slices of fresh habanero pepper (for a little kick) 2 tsp. of local honey 3 slices of starfruit 1 handful of fresh cranberries 3 star anise Directions: Add all above listed ingredients and bring to a boil. Simmer for 20 minutes, remove and double strain; you can use cheese cloth or a coffee filter to really get all the sediment out. Let cool or serve hot. You can add any spirit you want, but I recommend any aged rum. If serving hot, add 2 oz of rum in glass first, then ladle in cider, garnish with a cinnamon stick. If serving cold, let cool uncovered overnight then shake with rum over ice, strain into martini glass, then garnish with cinnamon stick, fresh cranberries, and an orange wheel. Foodies of New England


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Foodies of New England

Winter 2016  

Soups, Stews, & Chowdahs. Best of New England Distilleries.

Winter 2016  

Soups, Stews, & Chowdahs. Best of New England Distilleries.