‘Tis the Season: Gifts from the Desert plus Cherry Tomato Soup

Neot Smadar

For young lovers and their parents, ‘tis the season of gift giving as summer weddings approach and engagements are announced.

How about considering unique, edible gifts?

I ran across information about Negev Nectars and was taken by their mission “to support small- scale, sustainable agriculture in Israel, and to provide a market for these farmers.” All products sold through this American company come from Israeli farms located in the Negev desert. Continue reading

The Boathouse Moves Inland to Millstone Farm for the Evening

Whenever possible, I jump at the opportunity to attend farm to table events.  Not only is the setting guaranteed to be magnificent but the menu is always designed around items picked from the field on the same day. The flavors burst with freshness and there is plenty to eat for those who are vegetarian or lean in that direction.

John Holzwarth, Chef and Owner of the Boathouse Restaurant in Westport, moved his operation to Millstone Farm, Wilton, on October 11, illustrating  his deep connection and commitment  to CT. farms.    He designed the menu around available crops providing lucky diners with a feast of the seasons.  The menu was posted in advance, making this a great opportunity for vegetarians to check out the scene.  In my experience, chefs are willing to switch out a dish for those with dietary restrictions,  so be sure to ask, in advance,  if something doesn’t suit your preferences. Continue reading

Yountville, CA: Wine, Dine and Farm Tour

I love to plan my travels around the peak of growing season or harvest festivals. My intensive eating and wine tasting trip in Napa last week was perfectly timed. The grape harvest is late this year so farmers and winemakers were available to show me around their vineyards and share leisurely conversations with us.  I  had fascinating chats with winemakers, fruit and vegetable farmers, olive oil producers and restaurateurs.
 I had the pleasure of spending an evening in the Bardessono Hotel’s intimate courtyard, where the Hill Family Estate Winemakers hosted their annual dinner to kick off a weekend of activities called Tomatoville, an annual eating feast that celebrates the tomato harvest . Spending time in Yountville, the little town that is home to  the world famous French Laundry, Bouchon, and many tasting rooms for extraordinary  Napa wine makers, is always full of  culinary discoveries.