Guests worked their way down the soup line at Mass MoCA in celebration of Storey Publishing's release of 'Soup Night.'
NORTH ADAMS, Mass. — Margaret Stuckey's book "Soup Night" took on a life of its own at Club B-10, located in Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Art, on Thursday evening.
"It's about food, it's about people, it's about getting together," Storey Publishing President and CEO Dan Reynolds told the near-capacity room. "[There's something] satisfying about connecting with people over soups."
Moments later, the soup line formed and the community consisting of Mass MoCA and Storey employees, friends and families, invited guests and Mayor Richard Alcombright continued to chat while awaiting three soups, all included in the recent release.
Along with the chicken soup, Vegetable Soup with Andouille Sausage and Vegetarian Eggplant Chili, were salad, bread and a dessert.
A couple years ago, Stuckey, who resides in Portland, Ore., pitched writing a book about communities bonding at soup nights to Editor Margaret Sutherland. The timing was right. Sutherland wanted a book about soup recipes, but needed a little more.
"I was looking for a hook," Sutherland said.
Sutherland researched the topic then and learned that the newer idea of soup nights were popping up all around the country, in various types of communities. She hopes with "Soup Night" more communities adopt the practice.
The book shares stories on communities who adopted the practice and how someone can begin their own community's "Soup Night."
Vegetable Soup with Andouille Sausage
The 304-page book also features 99 recipes for soup, including Smoked Salmon Corn Chowder, Roasted Garlic and Onion Cream Soup and Pumpkin Curry Soup and 40 more recipes for sides, salads and desserts.
Reynolds said the book was released in early October and since has sold out its first run a week ago — a total of 15,000 copies, which was helped when the QVC network picked up some of the slack. Since it's been sold out, 1,200 copies are on back order, but another 8,000 are due in next week.
"It has really good energy out of the gates," Reynolds said. He explained that out of about 35 books published annually, about two or three sell out in its first month.
Reynolds is also impressed with its uniqueness as the only book on the topic of soup nights and hopes for it to sell well this upcoming holiday season and to compete hard with cooking books that feature "big personalities."
Hundreds attended last year's Food Festival to sample local fare.
NORTH ADAMS, Mass. — North Adams plays host to the 12th annual Berkshire Food Festival on Sunday, Sept. 15, from noon to 4 on Main Street.
The event features the cuisine of top area restaurants along with micro-brewed beer, wine, cider and mead tastings. Attendees can also enjoy an eclectic mix of live music from the JP Murphy Band and Patrick Gray Jr.
The north side of Main Street will be closed to motor vehicle traffic, and large festival tents will be erected to shade vendors and patrons. The day's fare will satisfy the traditional as well as the adventurous palate; there will be many samples from which to choose.
Attendees can buy tickets, valued at $1 each, and redeem them for food and beverage items priced in the $1 to $5 range. The festival will also be raffling off baskets of gift certificates from participating eateries. These tickets can be purchased at the event.
Participating restaurants include:
Boston Sea Foods, North Adams
Christo's Famous Pizza, North Adams
Chef's Hat, Williamstown
Desperados, North Adams
Gramercy Bistro, North Adams
How We Roll, Pittsfield
Leslie's Humble Pie, Valatie, N.Y.
Lucia's Latin Kitchen, Pittsfield
MadJacks BBQ, Pittsfield
Mediterra, North Adams
Mikey Joe's, North Adams
Spice Root Modern Indian Cuisine, Williamstown
This year's beer/wine/cider vendors include:
Artesian Beverage Cooperative, Greenfield
Bantam Cider, Cambridge
Berkshire Brewing Co., South Deerfield
Headwater Cider, Hawley
Kelly's Package Store, Dalton
Madison Brewing Co., Bennington, Vt.
Berkshire Food Festival is sponsored by Greylock Federal Credit Union. Additional sponsors include Aladco Linen Services and Allied Waste.
For more information: www.ExploreNorthAdams.com or the North Adams Office of Tourism at 413-664-6180 or email@example.com.
His bistro takes its inspiration from the bounty provided by local farms and food producers of the Berkshire region. He is committed to using local, organic, ethical and natural ingredients whenever and as much as possible.
Somlo started out bussing tables at the county fair when he was 16 years old. Since then, he has worked in the kitchens of restaurants across the region. After living in New Orleans and New York City and working abroad, he returned home to the Berkshires. Somlo opened Nudel in August 2009 and has been nominated one time for Rising Star Chef and three times for Best Chef: Northeast by the James Beard Foundation, in addition to this second nomination for The People's Best New Chef award for Food & Wine magazine.
"I am honored to be nominated for the Food & Wine award and extend this recognition to the incredible farmers, artisans and purveyors I have the privilege of working with," said Somlo. "Nudel's success is the result of collaboration and partnerships in the Berkshires and Hudson Valley and I am so fortunate to play a part in this food community."
The field of 100 nominees for The People's Best New Chef award includes 10 chefs in each of 10 regions across America. Somlo has been nominated as a top 10 chef in New England. The chefs with the most votes in each of the regions will be named finalists and the most votes overall will be named The People's Best New Chef on March 18. The winner will also be featured in the July issue of Food & Wine, the same issue that profiles the Best New Chefs.
Nudel is open for dinner Tuesday through Saturday from 5:30 until 9:30 p.m., no reservations required. For more information: 413-551-7183 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
LENOX, Mass. — A slate of culinary experts with local ties will display their skills using New England's first harvest of the year — maple syrup.
Berkshire Grown holds its annual March Maple Dinner on March 18 at Cranwell Resort to benefit the organization and Share the Bounty, which buys shares in local farms for food pantries.
This year's March Maple Dinner chefs cut their cooking teeth at either Wheatleigh or Blantyre in Lenox and Stockbridge. Many of these young chefs went on to other triumphs — Brian Young is now executive chef at Tavern on the Green in New York City; Hung Huynh, winner of "Top Chef Season 3," is now executive chef at The General, also in New York City.
Their hearts, however, have remained in the Berkshires and this is the first time all seven will gather to produce a meal in support of Berkshire Grown.
The maple-inspired five-course dinner features these creative chefs:
Jeffrey Thompson, executive chef at Wheatleigh Brian Young, former cook at Wheatleigh and executive chef at Tavern on the Green Hung Huynh, former cook at Wheatleigh, "Top Chef" winner and executive chef at The General Chris Brooks, former executive chef at Blantyre, current owner of The Chef at Your Table catering company and chef at Austin Riggs Michael Roller, former executive chef of Blantyre and current owner of Savory Harvest Catering Shirl Gard, former pastry chef at Wheatleigh and current pastry chef at The Old Inn On The Green
Host chef Carl Deluce, executive chef at Cranwell Resort
The event also features of live auction for a wine dinner for eight at The Old Inn on the Green, and a one-week stay at Casa Miel, a home in San Miguel de Allende, Mexico.
The evening begins at 6 with hors d'oeuvres and a complimentary tasting of beverages by Barrington Brewery, Berkshire Mountain Distillers & M.S. Walker Wines with a cash bar available. Dinner follows at 7 with courses featuring maple syrup from local farms.
Tickets, by reservation only, are $100 for Berkshire Grown members, $125 for non-members. For reservations call the Berkshire Grown office at 413-528-0041.
Food of Love (Chocolate!) & Shakespeare Go Together
WILLIAMSTOWN, Mass. — The ninth annual Food of Love (A Celebration of Shakespeare, Love, and Chocolate) will take place at the Williams Inn on Sunday afternoon, Feb. 10. Doors will open at 3:30 p.m.
Food of Love is a benefit for the Fall Festival of Shakespeare at Mount Greylock Regional High School, which will be celebrating its 30th anniversary next November. At this event, the audience will enjoy a chocolate buffet, provided by the Williams Inn, while high school actors present some of Shakespeare's scenes — comic, tragic and always romantic.
This year's theme is "Love Interrupted," with scenes where love might be ill suited, just declared, or not quite resolved. In addition to Shakespeare's work, some scenes from David Ives plays will also be included for a contemporary take on the theme.
Seating is limited. Tickets are $25 for adults, $15 for students, available at Where'd You Get That?!, Wild Oats Market and at the door.