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Winterfest Chowder Cook Off Pictures
By Stephanie Farrington On: 11:09AM / Monday February 27, 2012
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 Pictures from the Chowder Cook off during Winterfest.

David Aldecora from Hops and Vines dishes up a sample of his winning chowder.


Left, chef Luigi Petraccione of North Adams Commons and his helpers offered two versions of chowder with seasoned baguette slices, traditional clam chowder and Luigi's own Alfredo version, that featured pasta instead of potatoes.

Above, Kate Schilling serves it up for the Hub. Below, Annie Rodgers, Sarah Russell and Joan Leary had tried every chowder on Main Street by this point. Their favorite was Boston Seafood or Bounti-Fare.

Valerie from the Berkshire Food Project serves a great bowl of chowder and if you're in the neighborhood on the right day, you can't beat the price. (free) Berkshire Food Project's big fund raiser will be held on April 20th. Watch iBerkshires for more information and save the date!

 


Getting started early. Little chowder tasters need a little
help sometimes.

Greg and Erica tag teaming the only red chowder in the contest with a traditional England version both from Wild Oats Co-op.

Williams College keeps their students happy with a clam and a corn version.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 



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Hops & Vines, Bounti Fare Win Chowder Cook-Off
By Tammy Daniels On: 11:04AM / Sunday February 26, 2012
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Suzy Helme's bird sculpture in front of Shima won first place.
NORTH ADAMS, Mass. — Newcomer Hops & Vines of Williamstown took the Judge's Choice for this year's Winterfest Chowder Cook-Off with longtime competitor Bounti Fare of Adams taking People's Choice.

Coming in second for Judge's Choice was a creamy traditional chowder from Williams College Dining Services and Main Street's The Hub (was it the kicky jalapeno version?).

Taking second place in People's Choice was perennial favorite Berkshire Food Project and third was Desperados, which ran out before I got there — a lot of people told me how great it was. Maybe next year.

Desperados wasn't the only one to run out of chowder. Hundreds came downtown on Saturday to try cups of chowder concoctions ranging from spicy to creamy with pasta, potatoes, fish, corn, lobster, shrimp, and even clams. They packed into the two locations on Main Street and Holden Street where the chowder was being served and reviewed the ice sculptures (this year's winner was Suzy Helme).

Most of the merchants offered discounts or freebies and Nicole Maloney gave a sneak peak of the soon to open Luma's Muffin & Mug in Berkshire Emporium.

Also happening were children's activities on Main Street and at the North Adams Public Library.

The winners of the Chowder Cook-off were announced at Saturday night's WinterFest Skate Party.

From Veronica Bosley, director of the Office of Tourism: "First of all – THANK YOU to all of you who spent time serving chowder and carving ice today. Your efforts are much appreciated and you made the 15th annual WinterFest a huge success. I heard nothing but good things about all of you!"


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Boston Could Make 'Top Chef' Cut
On: 02:40PM / Friday February 24, 2012
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Calling "Top Chef" fans! The Boston Business Journal is reporting that the popular Bravo foodie show is eyeing Portland, Ore., or Boston for its next stop.

The show's season 9 Texas edition wraps up Wednesday night in Vancouver (the finalists always end up far from where they started). The only Northeast city it's been in is New York City during season 5 and season 8's All-Star edition.

Check out Boston.com's top 10 reasons Top Chef should come to Boston - hit shows, champion teams and, well, we're just cooler than Portland

It's about time the show made it Massachusetts. And don't forget the Berkshires has a very local connection with the show — Pittsfield's Hung Huynh won season 3.

Can you imagine a Boston season? Baked bean quickfires, fancy franks at Fenway, Sam Adams and Harpoon pairings, North End pasta, molecular gastronomy at MIT and lobstah, lobstah, lobstah!

The BBJ says a local ad company is putting its social media expertise to the task of getting "Top Chef" to the Hub. Start hashtagging #yougottatryboston and post your reasons the Magical Elves should pack their knives for Boston on the Facebook page.


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New York Columnist Speaks on France & Food
Staff Reports On: 11:37AM / Thursday February 23, 2012
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WILLIAMSTOWN, Mass. — Americans have been in love with French cooking long before Julia Child introduced it to the masses.

But why French cooking in the first place? That's the question New Yorker columnist Adam Gopnik will address in "How Did Food Happen in France?" drawing on his musings in his latest book, "The Table Comes First: Family, France and the Meaning of Food."

Gopnik will be speaking in Griffin Hall, Room 3, on the Williams College campus on Monday, March 5, at 6:30 p.m. His talk is free and open to the public.

Tracy McNicoll of Newsweek describes Gopnik's treatise as "more ambitious than a history of restaurants — it's about how we taste, dream, and argue about food. He explores the extremes of strict localism… He gets into the heads of apparent adversaries — the meatless crowd and the whole-beast fiends, the Slow Food and molecular movements, the New and Old World wine advocates — and gives each its place in the grand foodie pantheon." "Top Chef" host Padma Lakshmi adds that it is "The perfect book for any intellectual foodie, a delicious book packed with so much to sink your teeth into."

The award-winning writer is known for his essay collection "Paris to the Moon," detailing his life with his family in the French capital, among other writings. His books "The Table Comes First," "Winter" and "Paris to the Moon" will be for sale before the talk.

The event is sponsored by the Department of Romance Languages and the Center for Foreign Languages, Literatures, and Cultures, with support of the W. Ford Schumann '50 Program in Democratic Studies, the Sustainable Food and Agriculture Program, the Departments of English, German, and Russian.


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Something Fishy Is Happening In The Ocean
On: 11:26AM / Wednesday February 22, 2012
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WILLIAMSTOWN, Mass. — The Oceans Symposium at Williams College will show the film "A Sea Change, Imagine a World without Fish," which follows the travels of retired history teacher Sven Huseby as he attempts to uncover the mystery of what is happening to the oceans, specifically the rise in acidity and its effect on the fish population.

The showing is scheduled for Monday, Feb. 27, at 7 p.m. in Thompson Biology, Room 112, and is free and open to the public. A Q-and-A format discussion, led by The New Yorker's Elizabeth Kolbert, will follow the screening of the film.

The film's website notes that Huseby became "obsessed with the rising acidity of the oceans" and how this change can affect the human race after reading Kolbert's article "The Darkening Sea." Throughout his travels in Alaska, California, Washington and Norway, and from his conversations with oceanographers, marine biologists, climatologists and artists, Huseby learns that increasingly acidic ocean water can effect both the fish population and up to 1 billion people who depend on the protein of those fish.

"A Sea Change, Imagine a World without Fish" debuted in March 2009 and was well received. Southern Fried Science, a blog comprised of marine science graduates, insists for everyone to see this film. The blog said: "Regardless of your science background, you will not only understand the complex science of ocean acidification, but you won’t be able to take your eyes off the screen while you do. I can’t remember the last movie, fiction or non-fiction, that made me so scared, so hopeful, so sad, and so happy within such a short time frame."

Kolbert, now on her 13th year at The New Yorker, previously reported for The New York Times for more than a decade. Since joining The New Yorker, she's tackled climate change, as well as other topics. Her three-part series "The Climate of Man" discussed global warming and earned her the American Association for the Advancement of Science Journalism Award, the National Magazine Award for Public Interest, and the National Academies Communication Award.

The next lecture of the Oceans Symposium, scheduled for March 6, will feature Scott Doney, professor in marine chemistry and geochemistry at Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution. Doney will also touch on this subject in his talk titled, "Rising Atmospheric Carbon Dioxide and Ocean Acidification."


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News Headlines
Pittsfield Committee Supports Changing Public Health Nurse Position
North Berkshire Waste District Reports Successful Paint Collection
Letter: Berkshire Scenic Railway Exhibit Worth Saving
Pittsfield Rules Panel Rejects 'Debate' Idea, Gets Records Tip
Clarksburg Selectmen Revisit Special Gravel Removal Permit
Area Responders Prepared for Possible Ebola Cases
Williamstown Planners Mull Zoning Change for College Hotel
Tree Lightings & Holiday Events 2014
Downing, Bianchi Launch Toys For Tots Collection Competition
MSBA Moves Taconic High School Project To Design Phase

Stephanie Farrington of Berkshire Food is contributing to our Eats blog — all about food, all the time. 

 


Farmfare
Seasonal Farmers Markets

Berkshire South Community Market
15 Crissey Road, Great Barrington
Saturdays through Oct. 27 from 11 to 3

Berkshire Mall Market
Sears parking lot, Route 8
Wednesdays & Saturdays through November from 8 to 2

North Adams Farmers Market
St. Anthony's Municipal Parking
Saturdays through Oct. 27 from 8 to noon

Great Barrington Farmers Market
Taconic Avenue & Castle Street
Saturdays through October from 9 to 1

Lenox Farmers Market
70 Kemble St., Shakespeare & Company
Fridays through Oct. 5 from 1 to 5

Oits Farmers Market
L & M Auto, 2000 East Otis Road (Rte. 23)
Saturdays through Oct. 6 from 9 to 1

Pittsfield Farmers Market
First and Fenn streets, across from the Common
Saturdays, May 11 through Oct. 26, from 9 to 1

Sheffield Farmers Market
Old Parish Church, Main Street
Fridays through September from 3 to 7

Williamstown Farmers Market
Spring Street parking lot
Saturdays, May 25 through October, from 9 to 1

Hoosick Falls, N.Y.
The Armory
Wednesdays, 4 to 7

 



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