Aug 19, 2009 Farah Jadran Pike Uncategorized
Local chefs have been dabbling in the local markets for years and are sharing the reasons why their cuisine regins supreme. The chefs featured in Madison County’s Buy Local Week pay much of their menu’s success to the easy accessibility they have to local and regional farms and markets. They hand-pick produce and take a closer look at where they get beef, pork and poultry products from as they visit farms and keep close ties with tha farmers to ensure freshness in their establishment.
Community members are welcomed to try each restuarant during this special week, but to always look at their local advantages year round.
The Copper Turret
The Copper Turret’s head chef John Wisniewski of Cazenovia will be serving up local dishes for Madison County’s Buy Local Week between Aug. 17 and Aug. 22, but the restaurant has been serving Central New York for more than three years.
Wisniewski considers his trademark to be buying the best possible ingredients and then preparing them simply and letting the food speak for itself.
The Copper Turret keeps their dishes local by using as many ingredients as possible from local farmers and businesses. The restaurant purchases from, Alambria Springs Farm, Mosher’s Farms, Canaseraga Farm, Purdy & Sons Food, The Imaginary Farmer, Lively Run Dairy, Mills Fruit Farms, Fresh Herbs of Fabius and Monarch Farms
The best part about using local products is that the product tastes better, lasts longer and it helps the local economy, Wisniewski said.
“It is also greener,” he said. “Lettuce coming from Florida or California has a much larger carbon footprint.”
He said that participating in Buy Local Week just makes sense because it’s better for everyone involved including our planet.
“Stop by the Copper Turret and try our food,” said Wisniewski. “I think you will be pleased.”
Circa’s head chef Alicyn Hart of Cazenovia along with the restaurant staff has a “year-round focus on local sustainable” sources to make their food stand out. Circa has been using the local markets to their advantage since February 2006 when the restaurant opened.
“I write a new menu every week based on availability and seasonability of produce and meat and cheeses,” Hart said.
Circa purchases from Alambria Springs, Aunt bees farm in Fenner, Maple Avenue Farm in Earlville and Ingalside Meadows Farm in Canastota. Hart said she also uses produce grown in her home garden in Nelson.
“Mostly we adhere to the philosophy of local first,” she said. “Knowing our farmers to ensure quality and knowing that the farmers receive 100 percent of the money. Also we feel it’s important to have a relationship with our farmers.”
Since the Circa staff participates in buying local 365 days of the year, they feel that it is a way of life and the principle of our family and lifestyle, Hart said.
“I encourage people who have interest in participating in Buy Local Week to use the resources we have all year long,” Hart said. “And make a conscious effort to make small changes in lifestyle towards local sustainability.”
Ruben Lopez of Oneida, head chef at Zabroso, will be serving up Spanish and Latin American cuisine for Madison County’s Buy Local Week. Zabroso will be celebrating two years of business in October.
To keep their cuisine fresh and local, Zabroso visits the markets in Cazenovia and Clinton. Giving local farmers support helps the restaurant boost the economy and boost the fresh taste in their dishes, he said.
“Supporting local farmers in their efforts to supply fresh and healthy products,” Lopez said.
Lopez said its important to know where the food is coming from and the way in which they were produced, using sustainable and humane practices.
The Poolville Country Store
A team of two chefs, Roger J. Foster and Charles E. Wilburn, will be serving up local favorites at The Poolville Country Store, 1245 Earlville Road, during Madison County’s Buy Local Week. Foster and Wilburn are both the head chefs and owners of The Poolville Country Store and are entering their fourth year of business.
The chefs specialize in American Cuisine with European influence. Everything is homemade from soups and sorbets to ice creams and breads.
“You will never find pre-made anything at The Poolville Country Store,” Foster and Wilburn said. “We even hand pick all our own berries throughout the season ourselves.”
In order to produce dishes that are “local,” they said that you must be diverse in knowledge and creative minded. Staying in contact with the farmers is also important to determine what will be ripening in the weeks to come, which allows for future menu planning, they said. The chefs purchase from many local farms, including Alambria Springs, Common Thread, Smitty’s Market Farm and Aunt Bee’s Farm for produce. Their pork is purchased from Drover Hill as as most of the beef used at the restaurant. They also purchase beef from Maple Avenue Farm and Quarry Brook Farm, while the poultry are Amish free-ranged from Daniel Kline’s Ingallside Meadows. Bee Tolman at Meadowood Farms provides lamb and lamb products to the chefs. Also, the chefs use a variety of fresh cheeses that come from Shannon Nichols at Heamour Farm.
The best thing about using local products is the confidence we have after visiting the farms we use and physically seeing the farmers at work, they said.
“Sustainable practices and most importantly the cleanliness of the farm,” Foster and Wilburn said of what they look for in a good local farm. They also look for good field condition, overall harvesting, handling and proper refrigeration of products to ensure the highest quality.
“We participate in Buy Local Week because we’re proud to create with ingredients from ‘our back yards’ and to show support to the farming community of Madison County,” Foster and Wilburn said.
The Colgate Inn located at 1 Payne St., Hamilton, will also be participating in Buy Local Week.
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