Who is that chef described as a pioneer of the Hudson Valley Farm to Table Cooking? Who is that guy with a quirky sense of humor and a passion for Rock & Roll? It can only be Ric Orlando, a renowned chef, restaurateur, author, lecturer, blogger musician-turned-culinarian and proponent of clean food, naturally raised products.
Recently, we were dismayed to find out that Ric was closing his very popular and trendy restaurant, New World Home Cooking, after 25 years. We were curious to find out what comes next for Ric Orlando. Well, it turns out there is a lot! Watch out world, there is plenty for us to look forward too.
Ric Orlando touts his passion for clean food and world community ingredients and flavors on TV shows, fundraisers and festivals. He oversees the kitchen at New World Bistro Bar in Albany and has appeared on numerous cooking shows, including Food Network's "Beat Bobby Flay,” "Chopped," "Today," PBS, NPR, Discovery and Sirius Radio.
In the late 1980’s, Ric loved to hit the backroads of the Hudson Valley to discover the hippy farmers and find out what they were growing. “I got turned onto odd ball ingredients like edible flowers. I bought local produce and fresh fish from the Esopus. I’d buy 20 bags of fresh corn and then roast it and freeze it. I could use that fabulous corn all through the fall,” said Ric.
Ric wears many hats, but the closest to his heart is the hours he spends helping to raise funds for improving child nutrition programs. Ric was chosen by Hannaford to participate in their new Chef’s Table series. The Chef's Table is a partnership between Hannaford and four local chefs who maintain the same passion for building community and helping home cooks make fresh, affordable meals.
Ric has created a recipe for Hannaford which will be featured in stores this summer beginning on June 24. The program features affordable recipes using high quality, fresh ingredients created by the participating chefs in local Hannaford stores. Shoppers who purchase at least three recipe ingredients will trigger a $2 donation from Hannaford to child nutrition efforts, with a guaranteed commitment of $250,000.
Hannaford has also donated $125,000 to the Regional Food Bank of Northeastern New York to assist the non-profit organization’s efforts to bridge the gaps in access to nutritious food for young children. The Regional Food Bank of Northeastern New York will utilize $15,000 of the funding to support the BackPack Program at Heatly School in Green Island, NY, which provides students in need with bags of child-friendly, nutritious food for times when other resources are not available, such as weekends or school vacations. This component of the donation will provide students in need at Heatly School with 13,500 meals through the 2022-‘23 academic year.
Ric is also busy preparing for a fundraising gala this September when over 375 guests will flock to the Glen Sanders Mansion in Schenectady to experience the Regional Food Bank’s Chefs & Vintners’ Harvest Dinner. This year the theme is MOTOWN, and the event opens with a fabulous cocktail hour featuring a wine tasting, silent auction and food demonstrations. The evening continues with an elaborate six-course dinner prepared by the area’s finest chefs and a fantastic live auction. The chefs create a gourmet meal comprised of fresh, New York State grown and produced ingredients, with each course expertly paired with a New York State wine. This year they will raffle off a 2018 Honda CR-V! The event will be held on September 27, 5-10 PM, Cost is $150. To purchase tickets visit www.regionalfoodbank.net/car.
Where You Can Find Ric This Summer
On June 7th Ric is hosting a New World Pop Up Happy Hour at the Stockade Tavern in Kingston from 5-8 PM. Offerings will include Oysters, Chicken, Seitan wings, Ropa Vieja Sliders, Purple Haze Shrimp, 4 Cheese Eggplant Balls, and Street Corn Hummus. All plates range from $5-10. “This will be the best pop up at the BEST Cocktail Bar. Fill the Stockade!”
Next up is the ALL AMERICAN SUMMER CLASSICS which will be held at the Different Drummer's Kitchen Albany Cooking School on June 14th. “Learn and Eat 5 perfect summer recipes for that pot luck, family gathering or just a summer dinner on the deck night.” Dishes include Steamed Mussels in Beer, Sausage, Potato and Corn Hobo Packs, Memphis BBQ Beans, Horseradish Slaw, and Berry Berry Crisp. The cost is $75.00 and reservations are required.
Join Ric on June 15th from 6-9 PM at the Bluecashew Kitchen Homestead in Kingston for A Night In Peru. Proceeds will benefit the Corazón de Dahlia Development Center which supports child and family development in rural Saylla, Peru by providing a comprehensive set of ongoing educational programs through the village’s municipality for children ages 5-12. Ric will be cooking and serving tastings of Peruvian specialties--- Baby Potatoes Huacaina, Ceviche, Peruvian Chicken with Green Sauce, Anticuchos, Palmito Salad with Avocado, Peruvian Pop Corn, and Quinoa Salad.
The final summer event will be held on July 14th at 6 PM at The Beverly in Kingston. The Buffet Pop Up & Dance Party will feature the NWHC best sellers- Thai Italian Love Twisted Bolognese, Saigon Street Style Calamari, Thai BBQ Salmon, Green Curry Chicken and Tofu, Vietnamese Salad and the crowd’s favorite…Blackened String Beans. The buffet will be stocked from 6-8 PM. The music featuring Ric, Spike Priggen, Andy Shernoof and Doug Wygal playing originals, classic garage, underground rock n roll and other quirky stuff begins at 9 PM. $25 admission.
If all this wasn't enough, Ric is also developing a Podcast and a memoir cookbook which may be called, One Million String Beans. Ric loves to say that the “Peasants were always right and 3,000 years of eating food a particular way, can’t be wrong.” We can't wait.
For more details, please visit: Ricorlando.com