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Berkshire Chefs To Show Off Skills At James Beard House

Staff Reports
Photo courtesy of the James Beard Foundation.

The outside of the James Beard House. Beard is one the biggest names in culinary and the foundation was formed to preserve the country's culinary history.

NORTH ADAMS, Mass. — Locally grown and cooked food is making its way to New York City.

The James Beard Foundation is showing off the farm to table efforts of local chefs on March 2. The "Preserving the Berkshire Harvest" will feature chefs from the Red Lion Inn in Stockbridge, Mezze Bistro in Williamstown, Great Barrington's allium, Route 7 Grill and The Meat Market, and John Andrews in South Egremont.

The chefs will discuss every step from charcuterie or butchery and the preservation of fruits and vegetables to the full meal with a wide range of cured, dried and pickled meats including lardo, pickled pig's feet, porchetta de testa, hickory-smoked jowl, lamb'cetta and crispy pig ear. The demonstration will include ways to preserve fresh food through the winter.

The event was organized by Executive Chef at the Red Lion Inn and President of Berkshire Grown Brian Alberg, who also owns his own farm. This is Alberg's ninth appearance at the Beard House.

"The food culture of Berkshires has been embracing preservation long before the farm-to-table movement became a national story. Here in New England, maintaining and creating nutritional value, texture and flavor, have been imperative to extending our limited growing season. This dinner celebrates our time-honored tradition of preservation and pays homage to the farmer, producer and grower, as well as to the animal itself," Alberg said in a press release.

The reception and dinner is a collaboration among a variety of Berkshire chefs, farmers and producers. The participating chefs are: Alberg, Joji Sumi and Nicholas Moulton of Mezze, Lester Blumenthal of Route 7 Grill, Daniel Hardy of Allium Restaurant, Jeremy Stanton of The Meat Market and Dan Smith of John Andrews. Red Lion Inn Sommelier Dan Thomas selected the wines that accompany the dinner’s reception and six courses.

The chefs sourced menu ingredients from many Berkshire region farms and artisans including Bacon on the Side Farm, Berkshire Blue Cheese, Berkshire Mountain Distillers, Berle Farm, Blue Hill Farm, Community Cooperative Farm, East Mountain Farm, Farm Girl Farm, Foggy River Farms, High Lawn Farm, Hilltop Orchards, Howden Farm, Indian Line Farm, Lakeview Orchard, Mighty Food Farm, North Plain Farm, Peace Valley Farm, Taft Farms, Wanabea Farm, West County Cider and Zehr and Sons Mushroom Farm.

The evening begins at 7 p.m. with a reception in the Beard House's Greenhouse Gallery with assortment of hors d'oeuvres. A seated tasting menu begins around 8 p.m. The price is $130 per person for James Beard Foundation members and $170 per person for the general public.

Beginning at noon a team from The Red Lion Inn and Berkshire Farm and Table will be streaming live behind-the-scenes coverage of Berkshire chefs in the James Beard kitchen. Media coverage will include blog posts, YouTube, Facebook and Twitter updates for up-to-the-minute storytelling as it takes place onsite in New York.

More information can be found here.


Here's the menu:

Hors d'Oeuvre

Rosemary Flatbread with East Mountain Farm Lardo and Lakeview Orchard Jam

Cured Sardines with Preserved Citrus

East Mountain Farm Fried Pork Croutons with Dried Peace Valley Farm Cherry Tomatoes, Mighty Food Farm Winter Kale, and Mayonnaise

East Mountain Farm Pickled Pigs’ Feet with Toasted Bread and Parsley Salad

Mighty Food Farm Potato–Parsnip Latkes with Applesauce

Berkshire Mountain Distillers Apple Cider Manhattans

Berkshire Mountain Distillers Smoked Tomato Bloody Marys with House-Smoked Bacon

Medici Ermete Quercioli Reggiano Lambrusco Secco NV



Dinner

North Plain Farm and Blue Hill Farm Pigs’ Heads Three Ways > Porchetta di Testa, Hickory-Smoked Jowl, and Pickled Tongue with Salt-Cured Lemon, Indian Line Farm Pickled Green Tomatoes, Community Cooperative Farms Pickled Cucumbers, Farm Girl Farm Pickled Beets, and Chef’s Garden Quince Preserves
Dönnhoff Riesling 2010

Arctic Char Crudo with Farm Girl Farm Bok Choy Kimchi, Zehr & Son’s Mushroom Farm Shiitake Velouté, and Shiitake Chips 
Ameztoi Getariako Txakoli 2010

Roasted Foggy River Farms Blue Hubbard Squash and High Lawn Farm Ricotta Ravioli with Lila’s Mountain Smoked Lambcetta, Taft Farms Pickled Green Zebra Tomatoes, and Oven-Dried Beefsteak Tomato Purée
Damilano Barbera D’alba 2009 

Berkshire Sauerkraut-Braised Wanabea Farm Rabbit with Smoked Foggy River Farms Squash Purée and Squash Butter
West County Ciders Reine De Pomme NV

East Mountain Farm Pork Roulade with Garlic Sausage, Pork Confit, Crispy Pig’s Ear, Mighty Food Farm Root Vegetable Purée, and Pickled Vegetables
Villa Ponciago Fleurie La Réserve 2009

Howden Farm Sweet Corn Panna Cotta with Candied Bacon on the Side Farm Bacon and Berkshire Blue Cheese–Dusted Berle Farm Organic Popcorn
Berkshire Mountain Distillers Hot Buttered Rum With Hilltop Orchards Cider
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