Food and Drink

A special treat for those who love the bubbly will be held at the Danny Kaye theatre at the Culinary Institute in Hyde Park next week, on February 11th at 6pm. Two great names in the Champagne pantheon, G.H. Mumm and Perrier-Jouet will be presented at an exciting tasting during which you will learn about the differences between these storied houses. Dinner in The Bocuse Restaurant will follow featuring classics from the Champagne region of France that are thoughtfully paired with these exciting sparklers. Guests can purchase tickets for $95 by reserving their seat on OpenTable.


Posted: 2/4/2015 

We here excerpt from Rona’s moving eulogy to her husband, Gerard Boyer, a section that explains how she and Gerard got to know so many famous French chefs.    

Gerard and I thrived in France, producing two daughters, Jennifer and Samantha who today are my closest friends.    One of the great moments of our careers was when we invited our top clients to the famous classical music festival held at the 11th century Abbey of La Chaise Dieu. (what Gerard and I knew about classical music was limited to my 7th grade music appreciation class). We rented Lafayette's castle where we and our clients stayed in Lafayette's bedrooms. 

Of course we had a private chef and, twice a day, dressed in black tie and evening dresses, we heard the best musicians play in this magnificent cathedral with perfect acoustics. 

Gerard and I once had the opportunity to lunch with Christian Millau, the most important restaurant critic in France. When he accepted our invitation, I asked him to choose the restaurant. He suggested Lapérouse (made famous for its many small lounges where the infamous dined out of public view in the works of Guy de Maupassant, Émile Zola, Victor Hugo and Le Monde reporting the secret dinner meeting between Kennedy and Khrushchev held in one of them.  A new chef from the provinces had started there the week before, and Millau wanted to try him out, lamenting that the historic and beautiful establishment had not in his lifetime had a chef worthy of its magnificence. I then asked if I should tell them he was coming, and to my surprise he answered "by all means."  The décor, reflecting its 1766 origins, is incredibly romantic and not very conducive to the business dealings we had to approach with him, so I started off by questioning Christian about letting the restaurant know he was coming when after all, forewarned, they were bound to put out the very best they could, which would not be a fair assessment of the restaurant.

January 22, 2015

If you want a taste of what it is like to live off the land enjoying farm to table fresh food without the toil and travail , a CSA program that enables consumers to purchase a share of a farm’s harvest is the easy answer. Members sign up with the farms in advance and then pick up their bags or boxes of fresh food, usually every week throughout the growing season. Vegetable, meat, and dairy products are offered, and while most CSA programs run from June to October, some are extending the season to offer winter or year-round shares. Some farms have a "Pick-Your-Own" option, so that you can gather your own herbs, snow peas, and cherry tomatoes. NECC will hold a CSA Fair and Potluck next Wednesday, January 28th from 5:30-7:30 at 51 South Center Street, Millerton, NY. To meet the farmers and select your share email  A potluck dish to share—enough for 4 to 6 people—is entirely optional but very welcome.  Participating farms include:

Full Circus Farm – Pine Plains, NY - vegetables

Hawk Dance Farm – Hillsdale, NY - vegetables

Herondale Farm – Ancramdale, NY – beef, chicken, lamb, pork 

November 19, 2014

The Millbrook School District’s lunch manager Holly Heady defies lunch lady stereotypes.  She is young, energetic and she is smiling.  Heady is a graduate of Millbrook High School. Her first food service job after college was at Millbrook in 1990.  Since then she has worked in schools at Wappinger’s, Poughkeepsie, and most recently she was lunch director at Hyde Park.

Heady was hired in September as Millbrook’s lunch manager. She refines and perfects recipes for Millbrook’s 1002 students, hoping to make them into repeat customers.   

Two months into the job she is making waves.  The schools now offers 

“grab and go” breakfast for high school students, yogurt meal for picky elementary students and fresh vegetables and fruit to the everyday menu.

The sun sparkling on the fall foliage provided a picturesque welcome to the hundreds of wine lovers who bused and trained up from Manhattan or drove from Connecticut, Massachusetts and elsewhere to celebrate the harvest and buy cases of Millbrook Winery's award-winning 2013 vintage. Executive Chef Waldy Malouf, Senior Director of the Culinary Institute, instructed each of the CIA's restaurants to prepare one of its signature dishes to compliment the Millbrook wines being served at the luncheon.  719 The star of this year's crop of wines was Millbrook's new Reisling. My husband, Gerard, somewhat of a wine virtuoso himself, has been telling me for years that Reisling would do well here, so my interest was piqued—and even more so when I learned that it was an "Alsatian" style Dry Riesling, which is less sweet than the German variety. (In Germany adding sugar is permitted and commonplace.) 
The latest addition to my kitchen works like magic. It makes two pounds of crispy French Fries with just one tablespoon of oil. Its "innovative pulsating heat technology and an automatic stirring paddle ensure even distribution of the oil." We bought it for the French Fries.
There is much confusion as to the differences among pates, terrines, and the other, similar forms of charcuterie. Even many French enthusiasts do not know the difference, due to the fact that the word "terrine" refers both to the earthenware container in which they are both cooked and one of the specific types of dishes cooked in it. The situation has been further muddled by uninformed food writers, chefs and marketing professionals who have misused the nomenclature when baptizing their creations. So I thought it was high time to get back to basics and explain it all. Here is a lexicon that will help you decipher what you are enjoying.
As the Farmers’ Market season inches to a close, many of us wonder how we will survive a winter without the great-tasting treats to which we have become accustomed. If you are focusing on those delicious pies from Ruth's Southern Classic Desserts, no need to fret. Just a hop, skip and a jump (or ten- minute ride) will take you to the heart of downtown Pleasant Valley, where Ruth maintains her shop next to neighbors Marion's Spa and Dollar General. Entering the cozy 700-square-foot storefront feels more like visiting someone's home. The couches invite you to sit and just look around to take in the decor. Music plays; authentic pictures of early 1900s mothers, wedding couples and family portraits catch your eye, and Ruth offers you some coffee or tea in antique china cups. The decor exudes charm. It is busy with heirlooms that customers have donated to create this unique and intriguing atmosphere.
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