continued Kate Harvey, burgeoning chef and recent recipient of a master’s degree in piano performance, served as the culinary conspirator for the book, and donned many an apron during the past two years to test and adapt for comfortable home creation the array of dishes found in “Finger Lakes Feast.” She called upon deep cooking savvy and her natural gifts of description to perfect each dish, then described foolproof ways to re-create it. Her clear, useful tips make the cooking simple.
Simultaneously, Noah Zinsmeister, an avid photographer and student at Columbia University, documented all of Karl and Kate’s exploits with corresponding photographs of food, foliage and local color. His images of the natural beauty of the region and the dishes, just as they emerged from oven or pot, complemented the book’s tone of local living.
In compiling and adapting recipes from some of the region’s best chefs and restaurants, Harvey and Zinsmeister looked to Skaneateles. There, Stephen Landon and Chris Pulito of Mirbeau, and Gary Robinson and Marc Albino of Rosalie’s Cucina, contributed multiple recipes to the project.
“The chefs at each restaurant decided what to submit. We adapted all recipes for home cooking, and used most but not all submissions,” the authors said.
From Mirbeau, readers can learn to cook seared scallops with shallot puree or an al dente garden bean salad; from Rosalie’s, offered recipes include roasted red pepper and chive polenta, arugula pesto and peanut butter mousse.
But more than just a collection of recipes, “Finger Lakes Feast” is also a piece of reporting — the story of a real food revolution now coming to fruition. Central New York is becoming nationally renowned for the quality of its fresh local food, its regional wine, and its contributions to American gastronomy ranging from Greek yogurt to great fruits and vegetables, from Wegmans groceries to Riesling to artisan oils.