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A ‘Taste of the Berkshires' Comes to New York

A ‘Taste of the Berkshires' Comes to New York


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The region’s finest foods were on display at the event

Dan Myers

Jeremy Stanton, chef-owner of The Meat Market in Great Barrington, served prosciutto made from Berkshire hogs.

On Tuesday night, some of the Berkshires’ finest chefs, farmers, and food producers set up shop inside New York’s Haven’s Kitchen and showed the city what makes the western Massachusetts region’s food culture so spectacular.

Chefs from three of the Berkshires’ finest restaurants — The Red Lion Inn, Allium, and John Andrews: A Farmhouse Restaurant — served dishes including an elevated pork and beans and ricotta gnocchi with lamb meatballs. The Meat Market, a whole-animal butcher shop, served house-made pork rinds, lardo, lomo, and liverwurst while a mixologist representing Berkshire Mountain Distillers whipped up a milk punch and a smoked maple Bourbon sour. Locally-produced beers and ciders were also available, as well as locally-made products like honey, chocolates, coffee, and cheese.

“Most people who know the Berkshires know the landscape and the culture, but there’s been a farm-to-table food culture that’s been going on for years,” Berkshire Farm & Table founder Angela Cardinali told us. “The restaurants and markets are actually located adjacent to the farms, so food is actually going directly from the farm to the table! There’s something tangible and authentic about the community there that you really can’t find anywhere else, and people don’t necessarily know about that.”

The goal of the event was to communicate how deeply-rooted and strong the food culture is there, and it certainly succeeded. If you haven’t yet experienced the region for yourself, we’d highly recommend it.


Le Strade della Mozzarella Comes to New York

If you love Italian food, head to the Big Apple for an exploration into the world of mozzarella, olive oil and other choice Italian products from 17-18 May.

In an exciting first, the gourmet Italian food congress, Le Strade della Mozzarella, will head across the pond to New York for two days of chef presentations and tastings featuring mozzarella and pizza, from 17 - 18 May 2016.

A selection of top US and Italian chefs, artisans, and pizza makers will deliver a genuine 'taste of Italy' and 'the many roads of Mozzarella' in a series of haute cuisine demonstrations over the two days.

The first day will draw on the quality and versatility of the iconic Italian buffalo milk cheese, buffalo mozzarella Campana DOP, as well as other high quality Italian foods like pasta and olive oil.

Day two will be purely devoted to 'movers and shakers' in the world of pizza, with a number of presentations by master pizzaioli centered around Margherita pizza.


A ‘Taste of the Berkshires' Comes to New York - Recipes

Browse for New York Berlin Paris song lyrics by entered search phrase. Choose one of the browsed New York Berlin Paris lyrics, get the lyrics and watch the video. There are 60 lyrics related to New York Berlin Paris.

too late to stop her now In her red shoes She believes in fairytales - you cant stop the blues Everybody loves that girl - everybody on this world Oh, she has it all - she got sex like a dreammachine Everynight shes dancing like a fire in my dream Shes still a mystery Oh, sh

at Mickey's, make-up still on Elbows on the greasy table cloth One more coffee and one last cigarette Smiling at the rain cause you hold me close My best dress on underneath this old coat Walking down Bleecker no one is awake yet Still, seven hours N

this New York City day Kiss me goodbye at the gate My plane is waiting to take me away One more time i breathe you in Don’t know when I’m back again Just say you’ll be waiting. waiting, waiting Baby, we’re onto something Miles and minutes melt into n

York City girl - the girl is mine New York City girl - give her some time New York City girl - oh here she comes New York City girl - oh she wants fun Living in east wood - in flat 65 She hasn't that money - to live a good life And she just can't wait - to saturday night

New York freedom looks likeToo many choicesIn New York I found a friendTo drown out the other voicesVoices on a cell phoneVoices from homeVoices through the hard sellVoices down a stairwellIn New YorkJust got a place in New YorkIn New York summers get hotWell into the hundredsY

York City, New York City Girl New York City, New York City Girl She don't need no man She got a five minute plan 'Cos she's one sick bitch (Sick bitch) With a one year itch I've seen it, done it, love it, need it, want it, got it Seen it, done it, love it, need it,

a New York minute (Whoo-oooo) Everything can change In a New York minute (Whoo-oooo) Things could get pretty strange In a New York minute (Whoo-oooo) Everything can change In a New York minute (Whoo-oooo-oooh-oooh) (In a New York, New York, New York) [Verse 1: French Monta

lights and taxi cabs Everybody's moving fast Uptown, downtown, what's your thing? She can take what she can bring She gave me a life Came up through the inner city She raised me up and taught me to fight, yeah She opened my mind I got to the knitty gritty The

(feat. Jadakiss, Ja Rule, Fat Joe) [DJ Khaled:] This is, this is, This is, this is, Im about Unity, Greetings from Miami Dade County Florida Listennn, [Chorus: Ja Rule.

Many years since I was here, On the street I was passin' my time away To the left and to the right, Buildings towering to the sky It's outta sight in .

dah dah dah I'll be there in New York Minute New York minute Don't hold your breathe Just say what you need to say Time is now, don't let it go to waste Dial my name baby And I'll be on my way Call my name baby Flashin' back to me Watchin' y

days were long and the nights so cold The pages turn and the tale unfolds He left me for another lady She stood so tall and she never slept There was not one moment he could regret He left me for another lady He took my hand one day and told me He was leav

days were long and the nights so cold The pages turn and the tale unfolds He left me for another lady She stood so tall and she never slept There was not one moment he could regret He left me for another lady He took my hand one day and told me He was leaving Me disbelieving And

New York City boy You'll never have a bored day 'Cause you're a New York City Boy Where Seventh Avenue meets Broadway When you're a boy Some days are tough Lying .

kiss, your touch, your hold You know I want you all The darkness in my soul tells me to let you go And I need you tonight But I'm blinded by lights So I gotta learn to live without you So please, New York Mend my broken heart tonight Cause I left the

ai vu New York New York USA J'ai vu New York New York USA Je n'avais rien vu d'au Je n'avais rien vu d'aussi haut Oh! C'est haut, c'est haut New York New York USA J'ai vu New York New York USA J'ai vu New York New York USA Je n'avais rien vu d'au Je n'av

New York New York big city of dreams And everything in New York ain't always what it seems You might get fooled if you come from out of town But I'm down by law and I know my way around, too much Ah too many people, too much -- a ha hah Too much, too many peo

Nigga I'm from New York (New York) I got a semi-automatic that spits next time if you talk (you talk) I got a hundred guns, a hundred clips, Nigga I'm from New York (New York) I got a semi-automatic that spits next time if you talk (you talk) (And I know) [Verse 1 - Ja R

york city, I like New york city New york city, I like New york city, Oh, Yeah.. You know I do! New york city, I like New york city New york city, I like New york city, Oh, yeah.. You know it's true Lucky, i'm lucky Lucky, i'm lucky, Yes I do! You know

kiss, your touch, your hold You know I want you all The darkness in my soul tells me to let you go And I need you tonight But I'm blinded by lights So I gotta learn to live without you So please, New York Mend my broken heart tonight Cause I left the one I love S

(feat. Jadakiss, Ja Rule, Fat Joe) [DJ Khaled:] This is, this is, This is, this is, Im about Unity, Greetings from Miami Dade County Florida Listennn, [Chorus.

spreading the news, I'm leaving today I want to be a part of it - New York, New York These vagabond shoes, are longing to stray Right through the very heart of it - New York, New York I wanna wake up in a city, that doesn't sleep And find I'm king of the hill

spreading the news, I’m leaving today I want to be a part of it - New York, New York These vagabond shoes, are longing to stray Right through the very heart of it - New York, New York I wanna wake up in a city, that doesn’t sleep And find I’m king of the

spreadin' the news, I'm leavin' today I want to be a part of it New York, New York These vagabond shoes, are longing to stray Right through the very heart of it New York, New York I want to wake up, in a city that never sleeps And find I'm king of the hill To

York City is the hottest place For a honeymoon in a hotel room New York City is my favorite place 'Cause I know so many people with a golden face Uh-huh It's always late at night when I wanna go out And New York City has for sure the horniest crowd Es

spreadin' the news, I'm leavin' today I wanna be apart of it, New York, New York These vagabond shoes are longing to stray Right through the very heart of it, New York, New York I wanna wake up in a city that doesn't sleep And find I'm king of

spreadin' the news, I'm leavin' today I wanna be a part of it, New York, New York These vagabond shoes are longing to stray Right through the very heart of it, New York, New York I wanna wake up in a city that doesn't sleep And find I'm king of the hill, top of t

don't like your cats, you don't my shoes But I love you babe thats why I'm singin the blues You call me right up, don't even hesitate Don't go to New York baby, ahh Now I'm cryin I'm here all alone Your leavin this place that you once called home I'm suppose to listen

Six AM New York time A little late Lose your job Frame of mind I don't know What's the score 10 to 9 Take a swing Tie it up Miller time Up all night Take a run to the other side It's all right Don't you trip on your open mind New Y

spreadin’ the news, I’m leavin’ today I want to be a part of it, New York, New York These vagabond shoes are longing to stray Right through the very heart of it, New York, New York I want to wake up in a city that doesn’t sleep And find I’m king of

spreading the news I am leaving today I want to be a part of it New York, New York These vagabond shoes They are longing to stray Right through the very heart of it New York, New York I want to wake up in that city That doesn't sleep And find I'm king of the hill Top o

days were long and the nights so cold The pages turn and the tale unfolds He left me for another lady She stood so tall and she never slept There was not one moment he could regret He left me for another lady He took my hand one day and told me He was leaving Me disbelieving

ve got the night I've got the day I've got a ticket for a plane back home and a thousand reasons to stay I've got no light, but I know my way Home is where my heart is, home is where my heart is longing to stay New york, you're my concrete lover You make me

Harry got up, dressed all in black Went down to the station, and he never came back They found his clothing scattered somewhere down the track And he wo.

girl got a minimum Keep stuck right there 'til the number comes Leave the smooth operator lookin' like a bum My girl's got a city to run Got the key to the kingdom where the money's from Never seen the color yellow never seen the sun And he thinks I'm the negative one?

York City (3x) Hey girl let me take you down to the place play girl put a smile on your pretty face hey girl from Chicago to London town (from Chicago to London town) Good tight is a new stand of mine Baby let this thing of my cast just behind This

is the finish my friend, this is the end. It’s a revolution, it’s a civilian revenge. There’s no need to move, or adjust your television. Whenever an era dies, another era begins. These American fights, these American wars, These American stripes, these American stars, but th

hey, I know it wasn't New York Where I lost my mind Hey hey, I know I must have left it It was back home all the time, And where were you while we lay So drunk that we died Hey hey, I know, but who could blame us, Under pressure And I know, I

York, I Love You But you're bringing me down New York, I Love You But you're bringing me down Like a rat in a cage Pulling minimum wage New York, I Love You But you're bringing me down New York, you're safer And you're wasting my time Our records all show You

Lil' Fame Primetime (New York, New York) That's the place where the soldiers die (New York, New York) That's the ghetto nigga's feelings (New York, New York) That's the niggas that multiply (New York, New York) [Lil' Fame] (Billy Danze) Yo, where you from, nigga? (New

my heart is torn apart By love I wish I had Well I spend my nights in the city's lights And things don't seem so bad You know the movement seems to soothe me And the tempo takes control And I loss my blues when the New York City Rhythm fills my soul It'

saw a rainbow stretched across the ocean Crashed the Big Apple So I took a bite Found a taste I like But she bit me back I jumped across the ocean Found a Big Apple So I took a bite She teased me with a taste Laid my soul to waste Stabbed me in the back Hell's Kitchen

York City, look at me now Being stared at from behind the plow Mississippi, don't get annoyed I ain't no hippie, just a New York boy Didn't want the mayor to come Or a big brass band to greet me But then the reception I got Well it wasn't what I h

from home, my style has grown Sick of getting played like a xylophone My instrument is me with thousands of bones Whiling, I just wanna zone My mama knows I need a chick to be kinda dope Smile a lot, give a lot of dome Only to me, spoil me with your bad a

[Verse 1] To know what it's like to love somebody the way I love you To know what it's like to love somebody the way I love you To know how it feels to kill yo.

[Verse 1] To know what it's like to love somebody the way I love you To know what it's like to love somebody the way I love you To know how it feels to kill you.

folks like to get away Take a holiday from the neighborhood Hop a flight to Miami Beach Or to Hollywood But I'm taking a Greyhound On the Hudson River line I'm in a New York State of mind. I've seen all of those movie stars And their fancy cars and limousines I've been high in th

folks like to get away Take a holiday from the neighborhood Hop a flight to Miami Beach or to Hollywood But I'm takin' a Greyhound on the Hudson River line I'm in a New York state of mind I've seen all the movie stars In their fancy cars and their limousines Been high in th

said goodbye Something was broken I didn't even know how I felt inside Now every night I lay here dreamin' About the day we met, I go back in time And I see that even if I wanted to hide There will be no way that I could possibly disguise My heart'

I shuffled through the city on the 4th of July I had a firecracker waiting to blow Breakin' like a rocket who makin' its way To the cities of Mexico Lived in an apartment out on Avenue A I had a tar-hut on the corner of 10th Had myself a lover

s a hot hot night in the city, And I'm singing for the fight of my life And I got no cash, But I just don't care, I just wanna be famous tonight And I swear oh lord she's so pretty, And one day she's gonna be all mine So I'll touch the sky, Till the day I di

I walked down to New York town, A fair maid I did meet She asked me back to see her place She lived on Barrack Street Chorus: And away, Santy My dear Annie Oh, you New York girls, can't you dance the polka? And when we got to Barrack Street, we stopped at forty-four

spreading the news, I´m leaving today I want to be a part of it New York, New York These vagabond shoes, Are longing to stray Right through the very heart of it New York, New York I wanna wake up in a city, That doesn't sleep And find I'm king of the hill

Onassis] Hello, East Coast, It's Onassis, Get 'em Kat DeLuna! I know a place where the girls wanna party at night, All the guys love the things that we do (Oooh), Every girl is so special, And I love the way, the way the place lights up at noon, The way the girl light up

where you from? I'm from New York I really like your style Huh, what? You like the way I walk? N-N-N-New York Girls Come on you know you're hot A-A-A-Attitude And that's what makes you rock In your tight black jeans And my high heeled shoes

you tuning in [x4] And I wanted to go Half my life And I feel kind of strange Like I never lived that life And I'm trying hard To control my heart And I always want to know And I always want to go New York are you tuning in New York big city of dreams New York oh

new, new, ah New, new, new, ah New new york skyline Wounds they heal in time Don't crawl and don't despair It's a new new york today I look across these city streets My heart is numb, it still beats Nothing to say There's nothing to say I look across this empty room My he

years since I was here, on the street I was passin' my time away To the left and to the right, buildings towering to the sky It's outta sight in the dead of night Here I am, and in this city, with a fistful of dollars And baby, you'd better believe Chorus: I'm back, back in

running, running through the jungle Running like a slave through the underground tunnel Told you all niggas better get these bitches Cause I spit till my lips need 16 stitches I am, lyrical intrusion, You bitches can’t see me like I’m really an illusion I hop upon

to the edge, I'm like a bomb ticking slowly Just don't push me if you know what's good for you, I'm not that holy. I'm an island, I'm a rock On an island made of rock Concrete flowers, falling towers To tell the time, who needs a watch?


Italy comes to New Rochelle.

or, Trump should move into his building and become a regular at Spardaro.

It reminded me of dinner at Ennio and Michael, without the schlep. It was pronounced to be authentic Italian by the lovely couple from the Northfield area (who knew New Rochelle had a Northfield area?) at the next table.

Let's get the basics out of the way -- the bread and the parking are free. The hosts Rena and Antonio remembered me from when I stopped in last week to inquire about their liquor license (not yet) and to make a reservation. Come to think of it, where will they put a bar?? The warmly decorated room is quite small, but even that was of no consequence.

I have no complaints. None. Not a one.

From the warm welcome to the European goodbye, everything about the owners and their restaurant is nirvana. Run, don't walk.

Oh, the food! I had picked up an Argentinian wine and, because I didn't have on my glasses, didn't realize it had a screw top. I shouldn't have been worried, Steve at the wine store in New Rochelle was right, the wine was excellent. We were given a table that required an additional cart for the specialty of the house appetizer platter. As noted in another thread, all of it was outstanding -- including olives, prosciutto, peppers, mussels, broccoli di rabe, and the eggplant. Oh the eggplant. Spicy and delicious. The artichokes seemed to be a really big hit at other tables. Next visit.

The bruschetta immediately put on the table was lovely -- grilled bread with garlic and sublime olive oil. I would like some right now.

The secondi piatti (diet, what diet) -- I had the carbonara Spadaro, invented 50 years ago by a relative of Rena. Mushrooms, egg, al dente pasta -- again, perfect. Hubby had pasta with wild boar ragu, and it too was very good.

For entrees I had a grilled veal chop -- delicious -- and hubby had bronzini. We're a Jack Sprat couple, and I was lucky enough to get all the deliciously grilled fish skin.

Desserts were from Bindi, and that was fine with me. Their torta della nonna and espresso capped off a perfect meal.

Dinner for two was approximately $60. a person. Not a bad price for nirvana.

Mille grazie a Rena and Antonio for a two hour visit to Italy. I would like to visit there one day. In the meantime, I can just return to Spadaro and have the best part of the country in the Queen City of the Sound.


Kate Middleton, Lady In Perpetual Waiting, Comes To New York

Did you hear that Prince William's girlfriend Kate Middleton is rumored to be moving to New York in January? Wills will be busy training as an air sea rescue pilot, so Kate is off to The Big Apple to study "portrait photography". (Hobbies are important!) -

Moving to a new city can be difficult, but don't worry, Kate: we've got your New York life all planned out.

Where Kate Should Live: One Morton Square

Kate has been accused of being a Woman of Leisure, living off Prince William for now, and biding her time til she can live off UK's tax dollars. Buying a huge loft won't exactly help change that image, but on the other hand, it's not like the future Queen of England can live in Bushwick. The West Village is the NYC neighborhood that most closely resembles London, and One Morton Square is far west enough so that she'll enjoy relative privacy. Plus, she'll be neighbors with Daniel Radcliffe, possibly the only British ex-Pat who could deflect attention from her.

Her Suggested Friends:

The right friends are going to be instrumental for Kate's transition to New York social life. They need to be socially active and introduce Kate to all the right people, while still shielding her from drama-prone socialites who would taint Kate's pristine reputation by association.( *Cough* Devorah Rose)

/>Bee Shaffer, whose mother is American Royalty, certainly understands the pressures of being in the public eye, and like Kate, is somewhat demure and reluctant in front of cameras. Neither girl is famous because they're seeking celebrity, so they'll be able to attend parties and give a mandatory thin-lipped smile to the cameras together. Also, Kate is a major clothes hound (she used to be a buyer for Jigsaw), and I'm sure she'd appreciate the access to Anna Wintour.

/>Another good friend possibility for Kate is Lauren Bush. Lauren is no stranger to a political family--both her Grandfather and Uncle were President. Lauren has successfully carved out an identity for herself independent from the family name as a model and designer. She went to Princeton, she interned with Zac Posen, and has traveled extensively for the World Food Program. Most importantly, Lauren is a huge philanthropist, and works tirelessly for her FEED program. She could definitely be a role model for Kate, who will need to begin extensive philanthropic work once she does (finally?) become a princess.

Where Kate Should Shop:

/>If she ever feels homesick, a little shopping spree at Top Shop should perk her right back up. As for American designers, Kate, whose style is famously (and meticulously) conservative, would look great in Ralph Lauren. And how will Kate be able to resist Bloomingdales, the closest thing we have to Harrod's?

Where Kate Should Dine:

You can't go more British in the city than Tea and Sympathy (conveniently located in our chosen neighborhood for Kate, the West Village). The tiny shop with an all-British waitstaff would be perfect for the occasional afternoon cuppa. If Kate developed a taste for Vegemite sandwiches in her UK youth, she should head to The Creek Bar (underneath Eight Mile Creek), which also serves meat pies and sausage rolls. And after a long night of partying, what better place to fill up on a full English Breakfast of bacon, sausages, tomatoes and mushrooms than The Breslin? (Though Kate, who is famously careful with her figure, will probably stick to the English Rose diet of tea and toast.)

Another option would be 10 Downing who recently just hired a new chef, has a brand new liquor license and a "British air" about them.

Where Kate Should Party:

Kate Middleton LOVES to dance, and is constantly photographed exiting London nightclubs, looking flushed (and some critics say, newly-made up for the cameras). But photos of Kate actually partying INSIDE are few and far between, which is why she should concentrate on the New York clubs that don't allow press. Soho House seems like it's the perfect choice in terms of exclusivity, and definitely a nice place to bring William if he comes to visit. In terms of dancing, the Boom Boom Room might be a better atmosphere for the music loving girl.

But for a true New York experience, Kate should call on fellow Brit Alexa Chung to take her on a low-key night out in the East Village--paparazzi won't follow her there.


Bug-Garnished Cocktails and Other Edible Insects

Bugs have become quite the epicurean trend over the past few years, although they are usually found fried or dipped in chocolate at county fairs, where extreme eating is de rigueur. According to The New York Post, White & Church has taken the trend to the next level. They're making entomophagy (insect eating) high class. New Yorkers can now catch a buzz off $14 insect- and arachnid-garnished concoctions such as the "Blue Velvet," a tobacco-infused brandy topped with scorpions, or the Mexican worm-based "Why Not," a tequila, Cointreau, lime juice, and avocado cocktail, which is quite a hit. "I got the idea when I was working in a bar in Florence and they had lobsters in a tank," the owner's wife and mixologist, Cristina Bini, told The Post. "I thought, insects, same thing. People eat escargot, which are snails. What's the difference?"

Although her logic may seem preposterous to many Americans, it may not be long before we are choosing our grasshoppers like we do our lobsters. Many believe that entomophagy could be in America's future. A recent Smithsonian post elaborated on the many benefits of using bugs as a food source. The post cites bugs' high protein content, the energy saving benefits of raising and processing bugs versus traditional livestock, and the lower risk of disease associated with edible bugs.

Of course, we wouldn't be the first to make bugs part of a balanced meal. Insects and arachnids of all shapes, sizes, and species are consumed all over the world on a daily basis. According to The Guardian, 1,400 species of insects are eaten in around 90 countries. Here are some examples from a report by the Department of Entomology at the University of Kentucky College of Agriculture, which could prove to be inspirational to the home cook in the future:

Australia - Not only do the good folks down under munch on lobster-esque sea creatures known as Moreton Bay Bugs, but some indigenous Aborigine groups also harvest land-based bugs. Bogong moths are cooked in hot ashes and snacked on whole they are also ground into a paste and used to make cakes. Honeypot ants are also popular morsels. True to their name, honeypot ants taste sweet thanks to their their daily diet of honeydew.

Bali - Pond-skimming dragonflies are a grilling must in Bali. Placed directly on the grate of a charcoal grill, these long, thin treats come out smoky and crispy. They can also be boiled with ginger, garlic, shallots, chili pepper, and coconut milk for a heartier meal.

Japan - Never ones to shy away from extreme eating (potentially poisonous fugu, anyone?) the Japanese are known to serve boiled wasp larvae, fried grasshoppers, fried cicadas, and fried silk moth pupae.

Nigeria - In Nigeria's Kwara State, termites, coal-roasted crickets, raw grasshoppers, boiled and dried caterpillars, fried (and reportedly delicious) palm weevil larvae, and compost beetle larvae are the bugs of choice when it comes to chowing down.

How would you feel about picking up some filleted cockroach for dinner? Have you ever eaten a bug? We mean, of course, besides the ants we all tasted as children. Unless you never tried an ant as a child, in which case neither did we.


The New Berkshires

In the rolling hills of the Berkshires, T+L finds a classic summer-in-the-country destination being remade with the latest brand of artisanal sophistication.

The first time I met Berkshires butcher Jeremy Stanton, he asked me if I wanted an interesting pig. “You know, a rootin’, tootin’, mushroom-hunting one.” I’m a Jewish girl, raised kosher, from suburban New Jersey. I didn’t know anything about pigs, much less that they could be interesting. But my husband and I were hosting a pig roast with some friends at their Connecticut home, and an interesting pig was in order. These friends were old-school Czech, and before he knew it, Stanton was not only supplying an interesting pig but had been handed elaborate recipes—only partly in English—that I had discovered for things that could be done with pig organs, and skin, and feet. I didn’t eat much at that pig roast, but its mastermind made an impression. A couple of years later, when Stanton opened the Meat Market in Great Barrington, Massachusetts, I sensed that a key moment in the evolution of the Berkshires had arrived.

The Berkshires have long been a cultural destination, of course. Tanglewood, the Lenox summer home of the Boston Symphony Orchestra, provides a sound track ranging from Shostakovich to James Taylor. Driving past those legendary gates on a summer afternoon, it’s possible to hear Yo-Yo Ma or Joshua Bell rehearsing through your open car window. The historic Jacob’s Pillow Dance Festival is 30 minutes east in Becket. Some of the best regional theater in the country can be found at the Williamstown Theatre Festival—where regulars include Patricia Clarkson, Sam Rockwell, and Blythe Danner. The area also has a significant literary history: Edith Wharton considered the Mount, in Lenox, her first real home there, she wrote The House of Mirth and entertained her good friend Henry James. In a later era, the Berkshires saw many of the most famous children of the 1960’s on any given night, you might hear Bob Dylan, Arlo Guthrie, or Joan Baez making music at the Dream Away Lodge𠅊 magical, hard-to-find bar, restaurant, and live-music joint in Becket, on the edge of October Mountain State Forest, where diners now wander the wildflower meditation labyrinth, cocktails in hand.

This varied history can be found𠅊nd felt—in the community’s passionate commitment to the arts, as well as in the style of the place, its homegrown, neo-bohemian atmosphere. But a different kind of worldliness has recently emerged, epitomized by a new group composed of both urban transplants and Berkshires natives, all of whom have made the conscious choice to live and promote a life of grounded, rural sophistication.

In the Berkshires𠅊 craggy, hilly region stretching from western Massachusetts to the Connecticut border that is traversed by winding country roads and dotted with charming villages—you can find your way around by following the food. Matthew Rubiner, who opened Rubiner’s Cheesemongers & Grocers in 2004 in a former bank on Main Street in Great Barrington, and followed it up with the popular Rubi’s Café, was the first in the area to create a gleaming, high-end retail establishment. It prompted a friend who had wandered in when the shop first opened to call me, practically hyperventilating. “I feel as if I’m in Fauchon,” she said, referring to that Parisian mecca of all things culinary. And indeed, Rubiner’s is a gourmet’s paradise, and Rubiner himself, the poet laureate of cheese. Some 125 artisanal cheeses are displayed with descriptions such as this one, for Azeitão: “Little drum of rich, dense, occasionally flowing raw ewe’s milk cheese of the ‘Serra (mountain)’ style of southern Portugal. Sheepy and seductive.” “We are in an era of extreme connoisseurship,” Rubiner says. “The lay customer has incredible depth of knowledge. And there are a lot of cool, young, dynamic people who want to be butchers and cheesemongers. This probably extends across the landscape of artisanal food, to manufacturing and producing. Not just chefs are stars now.”

The Berkshires have attracted precisely these young people—ones who might have gone into business or law or advertising in decades past but who, instead, are building lives close to the earth. Maybe it’s a result of watching their own parents work too hard and not enjoy the fruits of their labors𠅋ut regardless, they have redefined success for themselves. Time with family and friends, homey pleasures: this isn’t 1980’s-style gluttony but something altogether different. This breed of Berkshire-ite is interested in learning and savoring, and in giving back. Each week at the community table at Rubi’s Café, the local farmers—Stanton’s brother Sean, who runs the Barber brothers’ Blue Hill Farm in Great Barrington, among them𠅌ompare notes over breakfast about what’s on the docket at the slaughterhouse and the price of vegetables. “Hay is a popular subject,” Rubiner says. Erhard Wendt, who owns the Williamsville Inn, is known to be an expert forager. He (and he alone) knows where his ramps are, and Rubiner sells his ramp butter. Jeremy Stanton has staked out the best spots for morels, hosts classes in introductory and advanced sausage-making, pickling, and whole-hog breakdown, and sends recipes for cassoulet and milk-braised pork to his mailing list of 500. In one newsletter, he wrote: “We are here together because we collectively willed it to be so. Together we have put $250,000 directly into the hands of local meat farmers and a corresponding amount of delicious food directly into our bellies.” Mark Firth, whom Rubiner refers to as one of the “new old-school hipster butcher chefs,” used to co-own highly successful restaurants in Brooklyn, including Marlow & Daughters. “I would go back and forth,” he tells me, �tween my farm up here and my restaurants down there, and I finally realized that I really didn’t want to be raising animals here, then going back to the chaos.” Firth decamped to the Berkshires with his wife and young children, and recently opened Bell & Anchor, a 60-seat locavore restaurant that he describes as “We raise it, we kill it, you eat it.”

“I’m sick of the expression �rm to table,’ ” Rubiner says. “I mean, what else is it supposed to be?” Following the food trail leads deep into the land and the complex web of people who take care of it. After a quick stop at the charming Southfield Store, a café/restaurant/bakery that sells favorites such as Shirl’s gelato and work by local artists, he takes me down a dirt road to Rawson Brook Farm, where about 40 milking goats each yields six quarts of milk a day at the height of the season. “This is about as low-tech an operation there is,” Rubiner says. Indeed, the goats are roaming, there isn’t a soul to be seen, a refrigerator is full of the Monterey chèvre that the farm produces, and every so often someone stops by to buy some. But for a long time it was Stanton, the butcher, who delivered the fresh goat cheese all over the county each week, from the Old Mill, in South Egremont, all the way to Mezze, in Williamstown, easily driving a hundred miles. And he still gets around, despite running his thriving new business. Why? 𠇏or the same reason that I drive to Chatham, New York, twice a week to pick up my bread,” Rubiner says, referring to the camaraderie among these merchants and restaurateurs. “I wouldn’t survive without it.”

Three hours from Manhattan and two and a half from Boston, “Great Barrington is not a suburb of anything,” says cookbook writer, food blogger𠅊nd former town selectman𠅊lana Chernila, who works most Saturday mornings at the farmers’ market selling produce for Indian Line Farm, one of the first community-supported-agriculture farms in the country. “It will never be absorbed by a city. It never will become less of itself.” Perhaps for this reason, the town and its environs easily inspire we-could-live-here fantasies among visiting urbanites. It’s just big enough to feel like it wouldn’t get old fast, yet retains the small-town sense of knowing and being known. This fantasy—mine, I’ll admit it—involves not only a refining of my palate, an ability to distinguish a ramp from a scallion, but also the wherewithal to whip up, as Chernila regularly does, granola from scratch (let alone know what to do with half a pig’s head when Chernila got one, she made headcheese).

The range of accommodations the Berkshires have to offer is striking. In April 2011, Richard and Clare Proctor, a British couple, began renovations on what had once beena typical roadside motel, the Briarcliff, at Monument Mountain, and transformed it into a spare, comfortable, design-centric, and altogether cheerful—not to mention reasonably priced—spot. They’re still working on the grounds. “Motels are where you go to get murdered, or go to have sex for a few hours in the afternoon,” Clare says, referring to the pop-cultural preconceptions of such places, 𠇋ut we were tired of B&B’s. We𠆝 stayed in lots of them and no longer felt compelled to talk with fifteen strangers at ten o𠆜lock in the morning.”

A B&B that would not fit the Proctors’ scenario would be Stonover Farm—owned by Tom Werman, a former heavy-metal record producer who, along with his wife, Suky, has created a serene and airy property in Lenox, within walking distance of Tanglewood, complete with an art gallery and a one-room schoolhouse now used as a guest suite. And though modern, rural minimalism may be a hallmark of the new Berkshires, elegance and luxury abound at Wheatleigh, the elegant country-house hotel, and the heart, soul, and history of the region are on full display at the exquisite Blantyre, both also in Lenox. If I had a wealthy, eccentric, beloved great-aunt, this is where I𠆝 want her to live. Owner Ann Fitzpatrick Brown has created an environment so warm and cosseting that, staying there, I was overcome by a hazy, delightful sense of relaxation, like a puppy finding a spot on a rug in the sunlight. There were books and magazines to satisfy every taste and whim, from Dickens to Hello! In the 1902 manse’s great hall, the staff posts suggestions for the day’s activities: Playing a game of chess in the music room. Relaxing in the sauna in the Potting Shed. Taking a walk on the Blantyre trail. Embarking on a guided tour of the extraordinary wine cellar with Luc Chevalier, the elegant maître d’ and former sommelier who moved to Blantyre from his longtime position at New York’s Lut. The house is full of such treasures—the regal heads of a Canadian caribou named Bob and an elk called James portraits of “the girls,” Brown’s late, beloved wheaten terriers, dressed in full Elizabethan garb a portrait of a “Hoover granddaughter” leading a lamb. Brown, whose family has owned Blantyre for 32 years, is a curator of a certain magical, all-but-bygone era, and her passion is in preserving it. “One of the reasons people come back is that it’s always the same,” she tells me. “Once, we had a problem in the Paterson Suite with the frog stopper in the bathtub. A guest came back after years and asked, ‘What happened to the frog?’ ”

As tempting as it is to sink into the nurturing environment of Blantyre and never leave, just over in Stockbridge is the yin to Blantyre’s yang: an unlikely, institutional-looking, massive brick building perched high above the Stockbridge Bowl lake, the Kripalu Center for Yoga & Health—where an entirely different kind of nurturing takes place. As is true of most things Berkshire, Kripalu is authentic, complex, quirky, storied, and unlike anyplace else. Its appeal is not flashy or immediately apparent. It takes time to discover the beauty of guided morning kayaking on the Stockbridge Bowl, or the range of programs, from the most out-there (Soul-Level Animal Communication: What Our Animals Are Really Telling Us) to the seriously cutting-edge (Stephen Cope’s Institute for Extraordinary Living, which is engaged in a Department of Defense𠄿unded study of yoga’s effects on military personnel suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder). One evening, I booked an after-dinner ayurvedic treatment called shirodhara in the spartan Healing Arts Center. An oil was chosen specifically for my dosha, or bodily humor. Anxious? Ungrounded? Restless? Fearful? Irritated by loud noise? Chilled or cold? Check, check, check. In a small, quiet room, a practitioner named Nikki draped me in towels, then began to pour a slow, steady stream of warm oil onto the center of my forehead, my “third eye.” Music—meditative chants𠅏illed the air, repeating, repeating. The sensation, at first, was almost unbearable. But then something within me began to break down, to relax. After an hour in which I lost all sense of time, having stopped wondering how I𠆝 ever wash the oil out of my hair, and smelling not-unpleasantly of sesame, I drifted back toward my monastic room, feeling a rare and profound sense of peace. I stopped in front of a plaque engraved with a quote from Mahatma Gandhi. It seemed to encapsulate everything there is to say about life in the Berkshires and its valiant anthem to living an authentic, grounded life: “Happiness is when what you think, what you say, and what you do are in harmony.” I think the butchers, the cheesemongers, the farmers, and the artists and artisans who make up today’s Berkshires would agree.


Rooftop Chopped Brought the Competition Even Closer to Fans at the New York City Wine & Food Festival

At Rooftop Chopped, a brand-new event for the New York City Wine & Food Festival, fans of Food Network's long-running competition cooking show were treated to a special experience: an insider's look at the show. Following the format of the show, participating chefs, among them former Chopped competitors, cooked their choice of either appetizer, entree or dessert, and the eventgoers had the chance to taste and vote on their favorite dishes from among 30 in total. And of course the cast of judges and host Ted Allen were on hand to try the dishes and present the awards for both their judges' pick and the people's choice.

"We are taking our participation in the Festival to a completely higher level," said Ted of the highly anticipated event. "I am excited for the food, for the competition. It's like Chopped Live," he said of the new format. And this time Ted had the chance to taste the dishes — something he doesn't get to do on the show. While the festivities were going on, fans could also audition. "We've never done an event where people could come and apply to be on the show," Ted said of the unique opportunity. "It's like they're participating in a live, large-scale version of our competition."


A ‘Taste of the Berkshires' Comes to New York - Recipes

To quote our favorite Celtic band, MacTalla M ó r Celtic Roots Band , "The pipes are calling resistance is futile," although this could easily have been the refrain for aficionados who attended WhiskyLive 2009 in New York to taste a wee dram or two of the good stuff.

As part of the Tartan Week celebrations, on March 30, 2009, Pier Sixty at the Chelsea Piers in New York was transformed into a little bit of Scotland with bagpipers piping, informative seminars, great food, mood setting music by MacTalla M ó r Celtic Roots Band, and plenty of products to sample and whet your whistle whether your interest was Scotch Whisky, Japanese Whisky, Canadian Whisky, Irish Whiskey, or Bourbon, with a few interesting beers and even a rum to round out the evening of tasting.


The Pipers Warming Up

WhiskyLive offered attendees the opportunity to attend six different seminars, and always looking to increase our spirits knowledge, the Spirited Travelers, aka Debra C. Argen and Edward F. Nesta, attended two very interesting seminars - "Glenmorangie's Brave New World - A Journey in Pursuit of Perfection," and Maker's Mark Bourbon 101.

Since the two seminars that we wanted to attend were at the same time, we had to divide and conquer with (Debra) attending the "Glenmorangie's Brave New World - A Journey in Pursuit of Perfection" seminar, and (Edward) attending the Maker's Mark Bourbon 101 seminar.


Glenmorangie's Brave New World Seminar

With his charmingly thick Scottish brogue, I felt like I was transported to Scotland as I listened to Dr. Bill Lumsden, Head of Distilling and Whiskey Creation at The Glenmorangie Company as he presented his informative and very tasty seminar I must add, "Glenmorangie's Brave New World - A Journey in Pursuit of Perfection."

The seminar looked at the history of The Glenmorangie Company and what makes Glenmorangie different, from the hard, mineral rich spring water, to using the tallest stills in Scotland, to the American White Oak ex-Bourbon barrels that are only used twice and then discarded as they do not interfere with the Glenmorangie soft, delicate, range of flavors, to the science behind the new range of Glenmorangie products.


Dr. Bill Lumsden, Head of Distilling and Whiskey Creation

Of course, the best part of any spirits education, is the accompanying tasting, which included a flight tasting of six Glenmorangie Single Malt Scotch Whiskies that began with the Original, and progressed to the Lasanta, the Quinta Ruban, the Nector D'or, the Astar, and ended with the Signet.

With each progression, Glenmorangie added a few new fans of each product, and like everything else in life, there are always some things that just stand out, and although each of the offerings from Glenmorangie were delicious, my favorite tasting was that of the Astar, which is Gaelic for journey, with its aromatic nose, and with a wee drop of water added, which Bill referred to as "releasing the serpent" the spirit really opened up and revealed mint, vanilla, crème brulee, and toasted oats on the nose and on the palate, a rich and spicy mouth feel, and a delightful lingering warmth available in limited quantities I savored every drop.

I (Edward) attended the Maker's Mark Bourbon 101 seminar led by Maker's Mark Master Distiller Kevin Smith. The seminar was much more than just a chance to sample Marker's Mark. Kevin discussed that Bourbon can be made any where in the continental United States, but that the majority of Bourbon comes from Kentucky where the climate, grains, aging, water, the unique characteristics of each brand, and the watchful eye and palate of the Master Distiller, combine to produce the best Bourbons. There is only one common thread that all Kentucky Bourbons share and that is the climate, as the other elements vary by product thus producing a wide and varied range of color, taste, and finish. With respect to grain, Bourbon must be at least 51% corn, but most vary the percentage of corn, as well as the other types of grain that they use from wheat, malt barley, and rye, and the percentage of each. Combine aging, type of yeast, fermentation, how they char their seasoned wood for the one and only time that a barrel may be used to make bourbon, and where they receive their water supply from, and you have a set of permutations that can make your head spin, but alas we had some excellent Bourbon to sample to calm the nerves.

So, taste we did. In front of each attendee were 4 different samples of Maker's Mark that included "White Dog" that is clear and fresh out of the barrel, a sample that was aged for 2 years, an over mature sample, and the Fully Mature version. The "White Dog," as it is so aptly named, was young with heavy alcohol on the nose and palate, and a bit wild this is what the Master Distiller and his team sample to size up the potential and future of that specific barrel. As we sampled the different aged products that ranged from 2-years to the over mature, you could see how the combination of type of grain, and the effect of the barrel, had on the product. The 2-year bourbon still had a heavy hand of alcohol notes on the nose and palate causing a burn on the finish, while the over mature was smooth but a bit sweet and lacking balance. The Fully Matured had the consistency that you come to expect from Maker's Mark, smooth on the palate, no burn on the finish, and a balanced nose. Kevin closed the seminar with a salute as we lifted our glasses and toasted all Bourbon and its unique United States identity.

We continued our "spirits education" on the tasting floor visiting the individual vendors and sampling many of the products, and it was interesting to taste different styles of whisky side by side where you could experience the nuances of the whiskies that varied from heavy peat to little or no peat, and how the different water as well as aging, affects each of the products. WhiskyLive also provided us with the opportunity to reacquaint ourselves with some old favorites like Yamazaki Single Malt Whisky from Japan , as well as introduced us to some new finds that we might otherwise have never known.

Taking time from tasting, we enjoyed dinner while listening to the talented MacTalla M ó r Celtic Roots Band comprised of Jesse MO Ofgang (pipes, whistles, drums, guitar, percussion, vocals), his sister Ilana (piano, bass pedals, organ, lead vocals), brother Levon (pipes, whistles, percussion), brother "MageErik" (vocals, bass), and mother, Patty Devlin (bodhran, vocals) who had the enthusiastic audience clapping in time with the music as the band played many cuts off their latest CD, The New Colossus .


MacTalla M ó r Celtic Roots Band

Day had slowly made its transition to evening with the New York skyline dramatically silhouetted against the Hudson River as we made our way back into the reality of Manhattan. All in all, it was a perfect night.


‘The Fiercest’ Vegan Burger Competition Comes to New York

Popular New York City vegan hotspot, V Spot Organic, will host “the fiercest plant-based burger competition”, The Burger Supremacy 2018 on May 14th. The event is being organized by U.S. Veg Corp, which also brought the first vegan cheesecake competition to New York last year.

While the finalists have yet to be announced, U.S. Veg Corp has confirmed there will be at least eight vegan burgers taking part in the competition. The styles will range from traditional burger to gourmet takes on the classic.

Founded by Sarah Gross Feoli and Nira Paliwoda, the U.S. Veg Corp specializes in producing plant-based events. Their aim is to provide opportunities for vegan and plant-based brands to target “a passionate audience interested in a vegetarian and eco-friendly lifestyle.”

Described as the company’s “annual flagship event”, the New York City Vegetarian Food Festival will take place on May 19 th , only a few days after The Burger Supremacy competition. The food fest will feature talks from many experts and activists as well as cooking demonstrations.

The market for plant-based and vegan themed events in the United States is growing as consumers are steering away from meat and dairy products. A recent study found that, in order to live more healthily, over fifty percent of Americans are now choosing vegan sources of protein over animal-based options. Furthermore, the number of vegans across the U.S. has also risen, by a staggering six hundred percent.

Additionally, the health benefits of a plant-based diet are becoming widely recognized, contributing to its growing popularity. Credible organizations such as the American Diabetes Association have endorsed a plant-based diet, stating that eating fruits and vegetables in combination with plant-based proteins is one of the best and most effective ways to combat the disease’s symptoms and help to prevent its onset.

Tickets for the vegan burger competition are on sale now and include a taste of every participating burger, along with organic chips and salsa, and a selection of drinks.