Executive Christophe Jalbert joined Route 7 Grill on May 31.
GREAT BARRINGTON, Mass. — Executive Chef Christophe Jalbert joined the farm-to-table restaurant Route 7 Grill on May 31.
"Working in a locally focused restaurant in the Berkshire region is an exciting next step for me," Jalbert said. "I am inspired to work with owner Lester Blumenthal who is a true foodie as well as the rest of the Route 7 crew. We are going to change up the menu daily while rotating in Route 7 Grill standards to keep the food at its freshest."
Previously, Jalbert served as the executive chef and owner at Après Vous Bistro, in Wilmington, Vt. Immediately preceding his restaurant ownership, he was a private chef for more than eight years and saw cooked for the likes of the Rockefellers and in locations such as Paris, Newport, R.I., and Manhattan. His 20-plus years of experience as an executive chef has seen him manage a four-star restaurant, work under Chef Sam Hayward — who has won the James Beard award — at Fore Street in Portland, Maine, and open his own restaurants in Bar Harbor and Seal Harbor, Maine.
Early in his career, Jalbert embraced farm-to-table style cooking and learning to work with locally sourced ingredients in their most natural form. Jalbert's passion and understanding of the importance of natural cooking with local foods is on par with the mission at Route 7 Grill, which was listed as one of the best farm-to-table restaurants in the country by Gourmet Magazine.
"Christophe is passionate about ingredients, especially from local farmers and producers and he loves cooking with wood," Blumenthal said. "His demeanor, abilities and know-how mesh perfectly with our philosophies related to Slow Food-style cooking and using Berkshire Grown ingredients. I foresee a solid partnership with great growth and possible expansion into other endeavors together."
Route 7 Grill, located on 999 Main St., is open from Sunday through Thursday from 5 to 9 p.m. On Friday and Saturday lunch is served from noon to 3 and dinner is served from 5 to 10.
GREAT BARRINGTON, Mass. — The Farm Tour program, a project of the Berkshire Co-op Market, will continue into the summer.
"Farm tours are a great opportunity for participants to deepen their relationships with their food," said Matt Novik, the Co-op's communications manager, "Each tour offers a unique look at a local farm and how they produce the food they offer. It's one thing to know where it comes from. It's an entirely different thing to meet the cows, taste a fresh picked carrot and feel the soil between your fingers."
The farmer-led tours will be offering at Indian Line Farm, Rawson Brook Farm and Sol Flower Farm.
Indian Line Farm is a 17-acre operation located in South Egremont that grows vegetables, herbs fruit and flowers. Elizabeth Keen and Al Thorpe, who have been growing at Indian Line since 1997, will lead the tour that will focus on how to grow food for season extension. While plants will be in their beginning stages outside, the tour will take a closer look at what's happening inside the greenhouse. The tour will take place Friday, May 24, at 4 p.m.
Rawson Brook Farm, located in Monterey, is best known for their only product, Monterey Chevre. Owner Susan Sellew will give an in-depth tour from caring for the goats, especially the new kids of the farm, to the cheese-making process and a taste testing featuring a special recipe from the Co-op's kitchen. The tour will take place Saturday, June 8, at 11 a.m.
Sol Flower Farm in Ancramdale, N.Y., is a diversified market farm that sustainably grows vegetables and flowers. Farmer Andy Szymanowicz will lead the tour and show off the farming practices. The tour will conclude with a sample of a dish made with Sol Flower ingredients from the Co-op's kitchen. The tour will take place Saturday, July, at 2 p.m.
Participants should sign up at the Co-op, located at 42 Bridge St., or call 413-528-9697. Tours meet at the farm. For directions or more information, call the Co-Op or visit www.berkshire.coop.
Hoosac Harvest to Host 'Know Your Farmer, Know Your Food'
Hoosac Harvest will host 'Know Your Farmer, Know Your Food' at All Saints Church on March 7.
NORTH ADAMS, Mass. — Hoosac Harvest will host the third Know Your Farmer, Know Your Food event at the All Saints Church, located on Summer Street, on March 7 from 5 to 7 p.m. Farmers and small food producers of the northern Berkshires will be on hand for this free event.
"It's the end of February and most of us are looking forward to spring and this event is a little pick-me-up to get us through the remaining winter," said Sandra Thomas, a core member of Hoosac Harvest. "Farmers are planning their crops and this is a great opportunity to meet those in our community who are growing food, making cheese, harvesting honey and using local items in the food they produce."
At the event, participants can learn about community-supported agriculture, enjoy free samples and swap seeds for the upcoming season.
Participating farm include Wildstone Farm, Cricket Creek Farm, Country Dream Farm, Many Forks Farm. Wild Oats Market, North Adams Farmers Market and other businesses and organizations will also be on hand.
Hoosac Harvest, a citizen-based organization and a staunch supporter of local farms and food, embraces easy access to locally grown food.
"There are many ways that people can access local food — from double SNAP Benefits at the North Adams Farmers Market, to participating in community-supported agriculture, to building relationships with the people who work hard to provide our community with fresh vegetables, meat, dairy, eggs, honey, fruit and more."
The Red Lion Inn's Executive Chef Brian J. Alberg will make his 10th trip to the James Beard House in New York City.
STOCKBRIDGE, Mass. — A group of Berkshire chefs will team up to present a farm-to-table dinner of locally grown food and livestock to New York City on March 1.
The event titled The Berkshire Cure-All, which was spearheaded by The Red Lion Inn's Executive Chef Brian J. Alberg, will take place at the famed James Beard House, the location of the former townhouse of chef, food author and television personality James Beard. Every month over 20 events are held at the house that showcase international culinary diversity.
This year, Alberg will be joined by:
► Stephen Browning, chef at Bell and Anchor (Great Barrington)
► Terry Moore, chef-owner of The Old Mill (South Egremont)
► Jamie Paxton, chef at The Meat Market (Great Barrington)
► Daire Rooney, chef at Allium Restaurant + Bar (Great Barrington)
► Dan Smith, chef-owner of John Andrews: A Farmhouse Restaurant (South Egremont)
► Zee Vassos, chef at Firefly (Lenox)
► Dan Thomas, sommelier (wine expert) at Red Lion Inn (Stockbridge)
This is the 10th trip to the James Beard House for Alberg and the fourth time he'll be bringing a group of Berkshire chefs with him.
Each chef will be in charge of a course, while Thomas will spearhead the drink selection. Rooney will prepare the hor's d'oeuvres, which includes knackwurst with rutabaga sauerkraut and pickled mustard seeds, and pork belly rillettes with winter squash mostarda. For a listing of the entire menu, click here.
The event will begin at 7 p.m. with a reception and hor d'oeuvres at the house's greenhouse gallery. Tickets for the general public are $170.
WILLIAMSTOWN, Mass. — "Place of Stones: Food in Motion," a film about local food and farming, is being featured on WilliNet. The film will air on WilliNet's channel 17 and will be available online through Feb. 9.
The film will be aired:
► Dec. 31 at 9 p.m. Saturdays at noon, excluding Jan. 29, which will air at 7 p.m.
► Fridays at 7 p.m., except on Jan. 28 (no show)
► Wednesdays every other week at 9 p.m. and 1 p.m. (check schedule)
Sharon Wyrrick filmed Places of Stones between 2008 and 2010, which features farms, community gardens, school gardens, food assistance programs, restaurants, retail venues and other local initiatives through interviews and on-site footage. She considers Place of Stones a documentary about developing efforts in the Northern Berkshires to strengthen local food and agriculture.
"I wanted the film to cast a broad swath and give opportunity for farmers, local leaders and participants in the local food movement to have a chance to tell their story," Wyrrick said. "In this way, the film has many stories to tell with the larger story being a chronicle of the truly remarkable community-wide focus on increasing access to locally produced food."
The film chronicles the effort of a group of local citizens to catalyze a new community-supported agriculture farm that would be accessible to people of all income levels. This effort began as a part of "Target Hunger: North Berkshire," a program of The Food Bank of Western Massachusetts. It resulted in the founding of a community organization, Hoosac Harvest, and an ongoing subsidized community supported agricultare share program in collaboration with Square Roots Farm in the summer of 2010.
The film first premiered at the Farm Film Feast Festival at Images Cinema in April 2012.
"I had two big surprises in this film project," Wyrrick said. "The first was that so much could change in such a short period of time between when the filming ended in 2010 and now. The second is that I would start my own small farming effort, Many Forks Farm, in Clarksburg in the summer of 2012."