Author Archive | Edible Berkshires
In addition to Pleasant & Main’s opening last spring, in “the village that could,” Housatonic, in Great Barrington, Amy Hagerty of Baba Louie’s fame, has opened Housie Market Café. The market café opened in mid June 2014, offering breakfast and lunch seven days a week.
Sourcing as much as she can locally from farms and artisan purveyors, Amy offers a creative selection of unique sustenance. A local place for residents to get food close to home, the market in time will continue expanding its offerings of shelf items.
A community gathering spot, the school bus lets school kids off right in front of the store. What a great place for parent and child to share an afterschool snack.
Housie Market Café: 226 Pleasant St., corner of Highland; 413-274-0261
District Kitchen & Bar on West Street, Pittsfield, in the former Brix restaurant space, opened this past September. Fashioned after Public Eat + Drink, North Adams (see page 34), also owned and operated by Jared Decoteau, this is his second venture in the Berkshires. We wish him continued success.
District Kitchen & Bar: 40 West St., Pittsfield, MA; 413-442-0303; District.kitchen.
Daily Bread Bakery, with a retail store in Stockbridge and a department in Gorham & Norton, G.B., has unfortunately closed.… Read the rest
From Dishwasher to
Executive Chef at Cranwell Resort
Executive Chef David Jordan, born and raised in Berkshire County, knew what he wanted at age 14. Knocking on the kitchen door at Cranwell Resort in 1987, David asked then-Executive Chef Timothy Cardillo, could he have a job learning how to cook?
The next day, after school, there he was—scraping the cooking scraps into a pail and loading the dishwasher. Never deterred, he worked through high school, watching everything in the kitchen as well as attending the southern Berkshire culinary collaborative. The collaborative offered a hands-on commercial cooking program under the direction of Chef Frank Cote through Monument Valley High in Great Barrington.
Recommended in his senior year of high school for a co-op program in the kitchen of Canyon Ranch in Lenox, under the direction of Executive Chef Barry Corriea, off he went. After high school his next stop was the Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park, NY. David graduated in January 1995, receiving an associate degree in occupational studies in culinary arts.
This year mark 27 years in Chef Jordan’s relationship with Cranwell, working his way up from dishwasher to executive chef. Cranwell Resort is open to the public year round, seven days a week, with casual lunch and dinner fare served in Sloane’s Tavern.… Read the rest
A self-taught cook, Shelly Williams started her professional culinary career when she was asked to cater a dinner for 50 people in 2003. Eleven years later, Shelly owns a café in Lenox, opened summer 2008, and a second location in Great Barrington, opened fall of 2013.
Shelly offers her customers and says her mission is “to offer high-quality food and excellent service to all her guests—whether they need a fresh cup of great coffee to go, a healthy delicious breakfast to sit down with, a tasty lifeenhancing meal to take home, or her services if they are planning a catered event for dozens of friends and family.”
Haven is there to calmly make it happen.
Along the way she wants you to know that they support a great big team of local organic farmers, environmentally conscious and epicurean distributors. 8 Franklin St., Lenox, 413-637-8948; 325 Stockbridge Rd., Great Barrington, 413-528-5433.
Open 7:30am–3pm in Lenox and 10am–3pm in GB serving breakfast and lunch during the week, with brunch on Saturday and Sunday in Lenox, 8am– 3pm and GB, 9am–3pm.
RECIPERead the rest
Introduction by Chef Nathan Yaple, director of Harvest Barn Bakery
The Gould Farm Harvest Barn isn’t just a bakery; it’s a place to learn. Gould Farm is a therapeutic community that promotes recovery for people with mental health and related challenges through meaningful work, community living and clinical care. It is the nation’s first residential therapeutic community for adults with mental illness.
Started in 1913, the farm hosts people living with challenges such as schizophrenia, schizoaffective disorder, depression and bipolar disorder who live and work alongside the volunteers, staff and their families who manage the therapeutic program. Built like a small town, the farm is nestled on over 700 acres where community members live full-time and participate in one of several work teams that care for the animals, gardens, buildings and grounds, and produce daily meals and baked goods for each other and the wider public.
At the bakery, residential guests actively participate in their treatment and recovery by practicing symptommanagement skills that help them make the breads and pastries that have become favorites in Monterey and beyond.
I find the meaning in my work at the Harvest Barn Bakery in helping residential guests practice pastry skills while learning how to live with their illnesses.… Read the rest
Ex-Lawyer Finds Food World More Appealing
After determining that being a lawyer was not the life for him, Greg Roach switched to the Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park, NY, graduating at 29. His varied career as a chef includes stints in the kitchens of Wolfgang Puck (Seattle), Jimmy Schmidt (Detroit) and Charlie Trotter (Chicago).
He moved to Williamstown in 2003, when his wife, Robin, was offered a position at Williams College. Greg became the chef at Helen’s Place in Williamstown, a collegeoriented lunch and catering operation, for four years.
In 2007 he joined Wild Oats as executive chef and prepared foods manager. Greg has substantially grown the offerings of prepared foods, creating an in-house food, soup and salad bar. He also built up a catering operation and expanded the co-op’s deli offerings as well as the selection in its bakery. He introduced an innovative healthy school lunch program at a local private school, prepared at Wild Oats and served on campus by Wild Oats staff.
Under his direction, the kitchen and bakery staff has gone from three employees in 2007 to 18 employees in 2014. Greg is a culinary team advisor for the National Cooperative Grocers Association, which includes Wild Oats as a member, and is a participant in the yearly Worlds of Healthy Flavors invitational leadership retreat, a joint initiative of the Culinary Institute of America and Harvard School of Public Health.… Read the rest
A cozy wine bar and restaurant in downtown Lenox, Brava reminds one of a small tapas bar in Spain, a trattoria in Italy or an authentic Belgian beer bar.
Open every evening, and serving food until midnight, Brava attracts a diverse crowd of all ages and kinds. Out-of-town visitors and summer music lovers come in for a drink before dinner or a meal before a show.
After Tanglewood performances, the place gets packed with symphony musicians and concert-goers. In the late-night hours year-round, the place is a regular haunt for hospitality industry veterans unwinding after other kitchens and bars have closed for the night.
The wine list won a Wine Spectator Award of Excellence in 2014 and includes over 100 wines, of which approximately 40 are available by the glass. Brava offers almost 85 craft beers from all over the world, and has a rotating selection of eight beers on tap. The food menu includes hot and cold tapas-style dishes, handmade pizzas and cheese and charcuterie plates. Whitney Asher opened Brava (his first restaurant or bar) in 2012, but the road that got him there started long before.
While working in commercial real estate finance—first in Chicago and then in San Francisco and Los Angeles— Whitney was always looking for chances to try new wines and eventually open a bar.… Read the rest
Thai roots, thirst for innovation make Jem a gem
Edible Berkshires met Jem and Robin Ezinga at the Lebanon Valley farmers’ market, located at Windswept Farm in New Lebanon, New York.
It was, the scent of Jem’s wok cooking wafting across the grounds, not to mention the market-goers standing in line to order, that caught our attention.
Growing up in Thailand, one of a daughter’s duties was to help prepare the six meals a day that the family would eat. Jem admits her love of food and a thirst for learning has sent her on a quest to discover new techniques, flavors and food preparations.
In 2006 she took her first professional job with Chef Tommy Carlucci, chef and kitchen manager at Hawthorne Valley Farm in Ghent, New York. Chef Carlucci grew up in lower Manhattan and has been cooking all of his life. So Jem got a crash course in Italian and American cooking.
From 2007to 2008, while continuing her work at Hawthorne Valley, Jem was asked to cook once a week at the Omi Lodge, Omi International Arts Center in Ghent. Cooking on-site for visiting artists, authors, musician and dancers helped to hone her Italian-American culinary skills further.… Read the rest
A Family Affair
Christopher Masiero was born into a large Italian family in Boston’s North Shore in the small town of Manchester-by-the-Sea. With seven children who were always hungry and a mother who was a fabulous cook, the art of cooking reigned supreme. Chris has followed his passion for food since he was a teenager. Through much diligence and dedication, he has turned his heritage into a life of food-centered success.
He began his work in restaurants at the age of 15, working his way up to running kitchens by the time he was 22. Along the way, he earned his professional chef credentials at Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park, NY.
In the meantime, his brother Matthew graduated from Wentworth Institute in Boston. As a young man Matt had worked in produce stores; after graduation, he hoped to open his own produce store in the Berkshires. Renie Masiero, the boys’ mother, is a Lee native and brought her children to summer in the area every year.
With fond memories of the Berkshires, Matt set up shop near the Pittsfield/Lenox line. The roadside stand was located on Route 7 in Pittsfield, now home to Berkshire Flower Company.
In 1978 Matt invited Chris to join him as partner.… Read the rest
Legacy of Respect for Food Lives On Naturally
Introduction by Chef Aura Whitman
I have my mother to thank for my love of preparing food and caring where it came from. This happened long before the current wonderful—hopefully not trendy— movement of connection to the quality and sources of what we are eating.
Growing up, we always had gardens, goat cheese hanging in cheesecloth, bread proofing, something being canned, and we ate no meat unless it came from our stock.
I learned from many great chefs in my career. I always took the best from each of them. A highlight was meeting Julia Child when I lived in Paris for a year attending Cordon Bleu. We catered her 83rd birthday and appeared on “Good Morning America” the next day.
I traveled a lot as a child. We lived in Israel, Connecticut, New York, Oregon and California, exposing me to all sorts of different and fresh foods. The family farm in our life now is in Hancock, NY. It is worked by my husband, his father and his brother. We make maple syrup, raise beef and vegetables, primarily for family consumption. Both my daughters love food. Chloe, 10, loves to help in the kitchen where Reva, 13, will be taste tester.… Read the rest