The other day the kitchen phone rang and on the other end was a gentleman wanting to interview me for his new book, Best Chefs in America; The Ultimate Chef’s Guide to Chefs. I said sure and proceeded to answer more questions in one call than I can ever remember.
He wanted to know who influenced me most, where do I like to eat, what’s my favorite food…etc. But the question that resonated most with me was “What is your style of cooking?” I had to think for a moment….what IS my style called? The best I could come up with was “Fresh, flavorful food with classic influences utilizing as many local ingredients as possible”. I know, I know…everyone says they use local ingredients…but I don’t use an ingredient just because it’s local; it has to be because it is the best quality for the dish. If I want great seafood, chances are it’s not from Vermont (sorry Vermont). We are a member of the Vermont Fresh Network, but I’ll explain how that works in another post.
Let’s just say we have great relationships with many local farmers and local distributors that make putting together a menu, to match my style, a lot easier. Here’s an example: I buy a great porterhouse veal chop from Jersey Girl Farm in Chester, VT where it is raised naturally and humanely. I then grill that to order on our char grill. Do a pan sauce with some mushrooms from Black River Produce that I sautée in clarified VT Cabot butter, flame it with Marsala, finish with cream from Thomas Dairy and demiglace that I made earlier with Jersey Girl veal bones. Season to taste and undersauce this chop. Voila! A local spin on a classic veal Marsala.
~ Chef Kevin