Thursday, February 2, 2012

Locavores Descend on Mohonk Mountain House

When Henry and I first drove up to Mohonk Mountain House in New Paltz, we couldn't help but marvel at the beauty of the 1870's Victorian castle, stone turrets and picturesque setting. We arrived Friday afternoon, during a bright and sunny moment of an otherwise stormy day, and just in time to kick-off Locavore Weekend.

From a cooking demo, with Ric Orlando of New World Home Cooking Co.,  wine and whiskey tastings, and local food and crafts artisans sharing their goat cheese, cookies, cupcakes and beer and celebrating the Hudson Valley, to learning more about the local food movement in New York from Lea Kone of NOFA-NY. It was a great weekend, I met lots of new people, and it was a true pleasure to present the Lighthearted Locavore's tips on buying and eating locally-sourced food in a storybook setting to so many lovely people.


Chef Ric Orlando, Apple-Leek Soup Demo (Photo: Lexi Van de Walle)
Special thanks to the charming and talented dinner partners and Chefs Ric Orlando and John Novi of Depuy Canal House, father of 'nouvelle cuisine' and other "gustatory marvels" (People, 1983), for an amazing dinner and Whitecliff Vineyards for the tasty Gamay Noir buzz. And, to Katie, Elizabeth and Samantha for pulling off such a great event.

Foie Gras Pate, Spinach Mousse, and Rice Paper Habit with Fennel and Beet (Photo: Lexi Van de Walle)
Novi prepared a local foie gras pate flavored with Tuthilltown whiskey that I had tasted a few hours earlier.....
Whitecliff Vineyards, 2010 Gamay Noir, Gardiner, NY and a glass of bubbly (Photo: Lexi Van de Walle)
Our table of nine, including Ric, his wife Liz and family, John, and tastemakers Alison and Ken on a Dish Trip Foodie Travel Adventure, Henry and me, enjoyed several bottles of of the Hudson Valley's Whitecliff Winery's Gamay Noir, and some bubbly Ric had stashed in his room...
Cheers, Alison Benford (Photo: Lexi Van de Walle)
The locavore lobster and grits entree Orlando prepared was seasoned with Creole spices, including some kick-ass peppers and Andouille sausage.
Montauk Lobster and Wild Hive Grits (Photo: Lexi Van de Walle)
The cheese plate, which Novi curated, was a cow's milk cheese with cumquats from a New Paltz farm and local bread and butter.
Harpersfield Tilsit Cheese and Candied Cumquats (Photo: Lexi Van de Walle)

And, finally the Dressel Farms grown apples made a delicious cake -- despite being full I ate every last bite, including the ice cream and the mint leaf! 
Warm Apple Walnut Cake (Photo: Lexi Van de Walle)
There was lots of fun activity on Twitter (@chefricorland, @lightlocavore, @dishtrip, @bonsaidollfern) and a post-trip review on Trip Advisor declaring Locavore Weekend at Mohonk Mountain House to be "locavore-rific". Hope to see you all next year!


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