Hudson Valley Mercantile May 2014

Page 21

Page 21

Columbia-Greene Media

Backstage with Chef Parillo

Executive Chef Paul Parillo is the son of Amsterdam restaurateurs, who moved upstate in 2012. This is an important and impressive fact, because in the short time – just two years – Parillo has been upstate and leading the kitchen at Crossroads, this newkid-on-the-block built an entire menu around a vast local network of growers and purveyors. Like Hugeman, Parillo shares an appreciation for, and a history with rock music. In addition to playing in a band called Black Oak while he was in culinary school, Parillo worked for six years at the American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers. He says that the changing climate of the music world felt like a sign that he should get back to his culinary roots. “I got out when the industry changed in the 1990’s and 2000’s, when the internet changed things,” says Parillo. “My creative background did inspire me to get into cooking. I knew I had that creative side.” Parillo was then able to make the transition from music to food with confidence, knowing he had what it took for both industries. Parillo says there are some similarities between music and food: “With music, you have an audience. Here, you’re always trying to please the customer, make people happy.” Currently, Crossroads’ ‘audience’ of diners extends as far as Massachusetts, Albany, the lower Hudson Valley and New York City.

Waste not

Not only does Parillo execute delectable meals with local ingredients, but his green philosophy extends to include the recycling and reuse of brewery and kitchen waste. Produce and protein scraps (from food preparation) get used to make stocks, soups and sauces, says Parillo, “so we never have

Parillo...built an entire menu around a vast local network of growers and purveyors. to buy those things. We pretty much make everything here from scratch.” Crossroads also has an arrangement with an area recycling company that picks up old fryer oil and turns it into fuel. Used-up grains (from brewing) get a new life, too. Spent barley goes back to local farmers for feed, primarily for pigs and chickens. Some of that grain also goes into the Brewery’s signature veggie burger, the hearty Greene Burger. Because Parillo sources proteins, cheeses, produce and eggs from local farms whenever possible, he has quickly built personal relationships with area farmers – which has only served to improve his menu even more. “One of the most enjoyable parts of my job is in the spring, going to the farms,” he says. “A lot of the farmers are my buddies. Because we change our menu every season, the farmers and I get together every year and talk about what I’d like to put on the menu. They tell me what they’ll have available – or they accommodate me, setting aside plots to grow things just for me.” Crossroads Brewing Company is on Facebook, or check them out at

 Ashley Drewes is a freelance writer, dance club bartender and former vintage clothing store publicist living in Catskill. She reports on a variety of rural community happenings for several publications, including the Saugerties Times and the Catskill Daily Mail. She once worked at a bakery, where her favorite task was “product testing for quality control” - usually croissants. You can tweet her @AshleyDrewes

Around the Catskills in Three Courses

Chef Parillo, with the help of Sous Chef Nick Ferrier, offers up three courses – appetizer, entree and dessert – as examples of menu items using delicious local ingredients:

1. The Local Cheese Board

The cheese board consists of Stella Vallis (a raw milk tomme) and Moonlight Chaource from Chaseholm Farm Creamery (Pine Plains) and a special tilsit from Harpersfield Cheese (Jefferson), which features a Black Rock Stout beer-washed rind. The kielbasa is from Northwind Farms in Tivoli, from where Parillo sources all of his proteins. The bread is sliced baguette from a Hudson Valley staple – Bread Alone bakery in Boiceville. The chutney is homemade in the Crossroads kitchen with local apples.

Of course, the Black Rock Stout will pair nicely with this appetizer because of the Stoutwashed tilset. Chef Parillo also suggests pairing the cheese board with a seasonal belgian variety like Maggie’s Farm, which offers a mild-fruity character that pairs well with the creamy cheeses, while still playing nice alongside the similarly sweet chutney.

2. The Brewery Burger

The Brewery Burger features a grassfed beef patty from Northwind Farms. The patty is topped with an Outrage India Pale Ale (Crossroads’ flagship IPA) cheese sauce with McCadam Cheddar (from various farms in the Adirondacks). Then, chef Parillo adds a peppering of shiitake and button mushrooms from Bulich

farm (Catskill). It may be for dramatic effect, but at this point, the cheese has no choice but to start cascading down the sides of the patty and pooling on the bun. The burger’s lettuce and tomato are from all-organic Whistle Down Farm in Claverack, as is the red cabbage used in the slaw. Those crispy, golden french fries are made from Rexcroft Farm potatoes from Athens. You’ve probably guessed it – Parillo says this glorious, cheese-laden burger pairs best with Outrage IPA.

3. Stout Brownie Sundae

Crossroads’ rich, chocolate malt Black Rock Stout is baked into a dense, dark brownie. That brownie is topped, of course, with regionallylocal Stewarts’ coffee ice cream.