NEW YORK, NY :: JBF RECEPTION HOUR feat. THE BERKSHIRES // brian alberg, stephen browning, terry moore, jamie paxton, daire rooney, dan smith, zee vassos

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The Berkshire? I’ve never been there before, but The Berkshire is an area located in Western Massachusetts and is known for their agriculture- farms, livestock, corn, etc. As written on their menu (above), the Chefs host this event at the James Beard Foundation every year because “it presents an opportunity to put their creative differences/food views aside by working together as one large voice to  represent their region. The Berkshire Cure-All is a major play on words: curing things with salt, acid and smoke in an effort to preserve the bounty from harvest season (Autumn)… all produced from The Berkshires!”

After spending an entire day adjacent to seven amazing chefs, from seven different restaurants in The Berkshire, I also found out they make a really good Fire Cider (hard cider with yummy spices like cayenne – take 1 shot a day to ward off illness or just make it into a Hot Toddy).

Highlight of the Night: Prior to the evening service, I had the opportunity to sit in on a meeting with the Maitre D where all seven chefs explained their dishes. As I listened to each chef, who were all hilarious, lovely, sweet and detailed; I loved the fact that they included where they sourced their ingredients.

  •  Foggy River Farm
  • East Mountain Farm
  • Berkshire Mountain
  • Chestnut Hill Farm
  • Kinderhook Farm
  • Hudson Valley


Featured Chefs & Restaurants: Brian Alberg The Red Lion Inn, Stockbridge, MA, Stephen Browning Bell & Anchor, Great Barrington, MA, Terry Moore The Old Mill, South Egremont, MA, Jamie Paxton The Meat Market, Great Barrington, MA, Daire Rooney Allium Restaurant + Bar and Mezze Restaurant Group, Great Barrington, MA Dan Smith John Andrews: A Farmhouse Restaurant, South Egremont, MA, Zee Vassos Firefly, Lenox, MA

Reception Hour: Chef Darie Rooney started off the night with five amazing hors’doeurves, followed by a course from each featured chef.

  • Knackwurst with Foggy River Farm Rutabaga Sauerkraut and Pickled Mustard Seeds
  • BerkShore Massachusetts Dayboat Salt Cod Fritters with Preserved Lemon and Harissa Aïoli
  • East Mountain Farm Pork Belly Rillettes with Farm Girl Farm Winter Squash Mostarda
  • Smoked Berkshire Mountain Tomato Bloody Mary with Sol Flower Farm Pickled Vegetables
  • Berkshire Mountain Distillers Gin–Cured Diver Scallops with Pickled Jalapeño Aïoli and Berry Patch Kale Chips

Unfortunately I didn’t stay for dinner service, however, you can read the full menu here.

Exciting News from The Berkshires? Beginning on Monday, March 4, 2013, the Red Lion Inn, the Meat Market, John Andrews Restaurant, Bell & Anchor and Allium will participate in the first-ever Beard in the Berkshires Week with special menu items from the prestigious dinner, which took place on Friday, March 1 (and based on the reception hour alone, I would make the 2.5hr drive)!

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