Jan 24, 2013 Jason Emerson Uncategorized
There has been a slow, steady and excited buzz permeating Cazenovia in recent weeks that can all be boiled down to the fact that the nationally-known “Fabulous Beekman Boys” — bestselling authors, farmers, entrepreneurs and recent winners of television’s “The Amazing Race” — are coming to town on Saturday, Jan. 26.
The two-hour event, sponsored by the Historic Cazenovia Business District committee of the chamber of commerce, will feature Josh Kilmer-Purcell and his partner Brent Ridge giving a special book signing of their “Beekman 1802 Heirloom Cookbook” and Kilmer-Purcell’s New York Times best-selling nonfiction book, “The Bucolic Plague: How two Manhattanites became gentleman farmers: An unconventional memoir,” from 3 to 5 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 26, at the Lincklaen House on Albany Street.
There will also be a tasting of selected recipes from the cookbook prepared by the Lincklaen House chef.
“We’re excited to see the town; we’ve never been there,” Ridge told the Cazenovia Republican. “We’re always excited to see different parts of Upstate New York.”
Kilmer-Purcell and Ridge — best known by their moniker “The Fabulous Beekman Boys,” which is also the name of their cooking show on The Cooking Channel — are the proprietors of Beekman 1802, a television show, a lifestyle brand and store named “Mercantile,” a bestselling cookbook and a memoir, a website and tourism destination all inspired by their Beekman 1802 farm in Sharon Springs, NY.
“We were just two guys from New York City who bought a historic farm Upstate as a weekend getaway,” Ridge said. “During the recession of 2008 we both lost our jobs and had to figure out a way to make [the farm] profitable. That’s really how we reinvented ourselves.”
The transformation from city living to the bucolic lives on a farm in Sharon Springs meant the couple had to “relinquish the overly indulgent and instantly gratified existence to which we had become accustomed,” and instead learn the patience and harmony of living with the season and within the bounty of nature and what the farm produced, they wrote in the introduction to their cookbook. After taking in a neighboring dairy goat farmer, Kilmer-Purcell and Ridge began producing soaps and cheese. They learned to farm and soon created a website and local store named “Mercantile.”
Beekman 1802 has been called one of the “fastest growing lifestyle brands in the country,” according to Nasdaq. Kilmer-Purcell and Ridge share what they call “the Beekman message” of hard work, living seasonally, and neighborly sharing around the globe, as it states on their website.
“Everyone’s very excited about this. People have been coming in and buying five and six tickets at a time,” said Laurie Hunt, program co-chair, along with Linda Amaral, the two of whom who are responsible for devising and bringing to fruition the visit to Cazenovia of the nationally-acclaimed “Fabulous Beekman Boys.”
“I think they’re really fascinating guys — area heroes [and] I like what they’re doing: promoting buying local,” Hunt said.
This idea of buying local and promoting local businesses is in fact the main reason for the Beekman event, Hunt said. The visit of Kilmer-Purcell and Ridge will be used not only as a fundraiser for the HCBD but also as a public relations event to promote and improve the Cazenovia brand as a destination, she said.
“The reason we’re doing this is we need tourism money. We need to get Caz out there as a tourist destination,” she said. “I think we’re on the cusp of this as a destination and we need to start finding a way [to make it happen]. Tourism will be a major factor in bringing in tourism money, and we need it desperately.”
This local promotion and even regional symbiosis is what Beekman 1802 is all about, Ridge said. “We all have to support each other as much as possible. No one from outside New York state is going to do that for us. We have to get back to that agricultural resiliency this past of the state has always had,” he said.
The visit of “The Fabulous Beekman Boys” to Cazenovia is expected to generate — and already has generated — a lot of interest both in Cazenovia and around Central New York. About 70 tickets already have been sold for the event, and the HCBD hopes to sell at least 100, although they have printed 300 tickets and have “no limit” to how many they can sell, Hunt said.
The Cazenovia Public Library has ordered extra copies of Kilmer-Purcell and Ridge’s books in anticipation of increased demand due to the event. “Their books, as well as the DVD of their cooking show, have been very popular at the library,” said Director Betsy Kennedy.
“It’s always exciting to meet people who have written successful books, and they are not only authors but also recognized from their two television programs. To have people that renowned in town is a great opportunity for the community,” Kennedy said.
Copies of “The Bucolic Plague” and “The Beekman 1802 Heirloom Cookbook” are available at the Cazenovia Public Library and will be available for purchase and signing by the authors at the event.
Products from Kilmer-Purcell and Ridge’s “Mercantile” store also will be made available for purchase during the event.
Tickets for “The Fabulous Beekman Boys” book signing and tasting event are $25 and may be purchased in advance at Cazenovia Jewelry, Lillie Bean, Tizzy’s, or the Greater Cazenovia Area Chamber of Commerce office. Limited tickets will be available the day of the event.
This event is sponsored by the Historic Cazenovia Business District of the GCACC, Cazenovia College, Gene Gissin Photography, Amanda Bury Antiques, Tizzy’s and Lillie Bean.
For more information about Kilmer-Purcell and Ridge and their Beekman 1802 farm and lifestyle brand, visit their website at beekman1802.com.
Jason Emerson is editor of the Cazenovia Republican. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Jason Emerson is editor of the Cazenovia Republican and Eagle Bulletin newspapers.