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Chef & Farmer Brunch

Come on, admit it, if you had a chance to see where Tom Brady and Giselle Bundchen were going to be living in the Hudson Valley (and perhaps bump into them), and have a great brunch for a good cause, you’d jump!

My big chance to see what was going on with Silo Ridge in Amenia was a recent Chef & Farmer Brunch to benefit the North East Community Center in Milllerton NY.

We tried to get tickets as soon as we found out about it in the spring, but they were sold out months before (and that was with a 70 person increase over the previous year). However, sometimes it’s nice have press credentials, and we were invited to come and cover the event.

It couldn’t have been a more perfect day! Bright blue skies, warm but not hot (or humid), it was an ideal summer day. Because the event is held at the end of July, there was a bounty of local produce ready to be put to good use.

There were dozens of tables under a big tent and a band, Ten Mile, playing in the background.

Past the big tent were several smaller tents with the various vendors and farmers that supplied or sponsored the event.

Just beyond them was another large tent, with about 20 different restaurants, caterers, farms, etc. represented and a huge variety of food.

Besides giving back, what restaurants hope for from an event like this, is to attract you to their establishments. I’ll certainly be checking out several places, some new to me, that made terrific dishes for this event!

My favorite, and a dish so smart for something like this, was the breakfast paella from 52 Main in Millerton. I’m not a huge egg fan, so their mix of rice, tomatoes, peppers, spices, sausage and bacon, with eggs dropped in, was a spicy and delicious way to start off the brunch. Even nicer, they included the recipe in the program booklet, so I can try it at home.

Other egg dishes included eggs Benedict with fried green tomatoes from When Pigs Fly (who poached over 300 eggs!) and the Local who did a 75° egg with pickled veggies.

There were so many great dishes and such a big variety, that you couldn’t possibly eat or even just taste all of them. A fun surprise was the offering from Sprout Creek Farm, who served some of their own marinated vegetables wrapped in a horseradish leaf with some falafel “crumble” and a tzatzaki sauce to dip it in. A good way to make anyone eat their veggies!

The biggest surprise for me, was a piece of key lime pie from Hathaway Young. While you might protest that key limes are not local to this area, the eggs that they used to make the pies were and trust me, you would have nothing to complain about if you tasted, what has to be the best key lime pie I’ve ever eaten!

Here are some of the other participants, thank them and treat yourself by checking them out: Back in the Kitchen, Bread Alone, Cascade Winery Restaurant, Charlotte's, Chiquita Cotija, Coco's Crumbs, Hathaway Young, Harney & Sons Cafe, Isabel's Kitchen, Jacuterie, McEnroe's, Millerton Inn, Mucha Chula Catering, NECC Summer Lunch Box, Railhead Jerk, Silo Ridge, SoCo Creamery, Sprout Creek, Stagecoach Tavern, Stissing House, The White Hart and Zoe's Icecream Bar.

Farm produce donated by: Adamah Farm, Brookby Farm, Cabot Creamery Cooperative, Crown Maple Syrup, Eger Bros. Farm, Full Circus Farm, Herondale Farm, Hudson Valley Sausage Co, Lone Oak Farm Herberie, Maitri Farm, McEnroe's Farm, Meili Farm, Old Crow Farm & Foraging, Pigasso Farms, Q Farms, Rock Steady Farm, Sky Acres Farm, Sky Farm Greens and Sprout Creek Farm.

Wine, Beer & Spirits: Berkshire Mountain Distillery, Casamigos Tequila, Chatham Brewery, From the Ground Brewery, Hillrock Distillery, Millbrook Winery, The Millhouse Brewing Co. and Peony Vodka.

Thank you to Jackie Osnato the Development Assistant at North East Community Center for inviting me and putting together such a great event! Sign up for their newsletter and/or donate to the NECC and look for their announcement for next year’s event, it’s sure to sell out quickly!

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