This month, Jo-Ann and I made a spur-of-the-moment decision to get into our car and drive to Hudson, New York, to take part in an on-farm event in support of Friends of the Farmer. FarmOn! Foundation, is a non-profit charity, founded in 2011 to reinvigorate a respect for farming. The Friends of the Farmer Festival was created to raise awareness of local food choices and sources creating rural to urban marketplaces in support of sustaining local small-scale family farms Since its inauguration the foundation has worked to generate over $250,000 in economic development for the Hudson Valley’s local community.
In addition to a good cause, the real draw was an opportunity to have chefs like April Bloomfield – Spotted Pig, The Breslin – New York, NY, and Derek Dammann – Maison Publique – Montreal, QC serve us food and to engage in discussions about food, farm and the industry. As part of the Norther Chef Alliance, these 10 award winning chefs come together a few times a year to lend their talents towards the raising of money for good causes.
It was a beautiful day and the hosts at Fish & Game Farm put on a spectacular event that was well organized and perfectly executed. The 10 chefs paired off under large tents and served up 2 dishes each that featured ingredients that were locally sourced, or they brought with them from their various regions.
We sampled rotisserie chickens, smoked pig, spit roasted goat, coal fired vegetables, boiled crab and much more. Each chef-team was paired with a mixologists who were serving up cocktails using artisan spirits, local wines & microbrews. The net effect was a heavenly experience, culminating in a huge bonfire and live music performed by Medeski, Martin & Wood.
One of the highlights of the evening was the opportunity to meet Jeremy Charles – Raymonds – St. John’s, NL and his lovely wife and new baby, and to taste his delicious creation of crab, sea grass, new potatoes, and sea grass. His restaurant is now on my ‘must visit’ list.
We spent the next day touring around the town of Hudson, sampling spectacular baked goods from Bonfiglio & Bread , shopping for antiques and home wares, visiting a young and inspiring entrepreneur at Flower Kraut, culminating in a memorable dinner at Swoon Kitchenbar where I tasted the best pasta dish in recent memory.
We will absolutely visit Hudson again, soon!