My Self Guided North Fork Foodie Tour

I have to admit, since I have been living in NYC for over 17 years I have not driven a car since. When I met my husband, then boyfriend Chris 13 years ago he drove a stick shift and still does and so, I never drive. Well, the self-guided North Fork Foodie Tour would be my debut getting back on the road. My husband Chris was busy working on our upcoming "Sheridan Green" residence, so I borrowed my Parent's car and drove from East Quogue to Southold, about a 30 minute drive. Happy to say I arrived there safely. I remembered the rules of the road, donated some change to a boot drive for the local fire department along the way and not one scratch on the car. However, it took me 20 minutes to figure out how to shut off the windshield wipers. Long story short, our next car for sure will be an automatic once our house is built!

My self-guided tour to meet the folks who dedicate their lives to producing unique local foods began at the Peconic Land Trusts Learning Center at Charnews Farm in Southold.

I was handed a map listing 17 places to see and I only had 6 hours to complete my tour. Before I set-off to plan my day I stopped by the Slow Food East End table. I love what this organization stands for and was a perfect way to start out on my journey.

I picked four places to visit, which I thought would be a good variety for the day. North Fork Egg Farm, Catapano Dairy Farm, Koppert Cress and TY LLWYD Farm. It was hard to decide considering they are all worthy for a visit.

1st Stop: North Fork Egg Farm, Southold NY

Mathew Bloch is the owner of this great North Fork Egg Farm. There are 275 humanely raised free-range hens that feed on organic grain and graze on untreated, unfertilized pastureland. Chicken Breeds are: The Rhode Island Red, Barred Rock, LegHorn and Marans. The movable coop system is something to see. No ticks in sight on this parcel since they eat all insects. I see hens at our future home, to help ward off ticks and feed our bellies. 

Their Eggs can be purchased on the North Fork at these locations:
Salamander’s: 414 1st St., Greenport, NY 631.477.3711
Sang Lee Farms: 25180 Rte 48, Peconic, NY 631.734.7001
Orient Country Store: 950 Village Lane, Orient, NY 631.323.2580
Reddings Market: 184 North Ferry Rd., Shelter Island, NY 631.749.0003
Country View Farm: 57995 Main Rd., Southold, NY 631.903.1335

North Fork Egg Farm: 49900 Route 48, Southold 11971

2nd Stop: Catapano Dairy Farm, Peconic NY

This small family operation raises their goats and makes the most delicious and healthy products: Goats fresh milk cheese, yogurts, fudge and goat milk skin care. The goats were very sociable and willing to pose for a photograph since they are the star of the show! Highlight for me was their award-winning Chévre as well as their Sun Stream Solar Panels which supplies one-third of their electric bill.
Catapano Dairy Farm: 33705 North Rd. Peconic 11958

3rd Stop: Koppert Cress, Cutchogue NY

This state-of-the-art greenhouse facility is so impressive and the taste of these outstanding morsels is equally impressionable. They produce unusual varieties of aromatic herbs grown as micro-greens, micro-vegetables and specialties. Although 99% of their product is for Chefs, you can buy them seasonally from their stand out front. There were a few families on my tour and the children were so inquisitive about the products, especially the Sechuan Buttons that reminded me of Pop-Rocks with a numbing effect. I thought to myself what a perfect gateway product to get kids to learn about farming and flavor profiles. Not only did it peek the children’s curiosity but adults as well. I cannot wait to use their product and hope they go mainstream for the general public to consume!
Koppert Cress: 24323 Route 48, Cutchogue NY 11935

4th Stop: TY LLWYD, Riverhead NY (pro-nounced tee clewed)

Raw milk anyone! TY LLWYD Farm has been active since 1870 and is the only certified raw milk dairy on Long Island and a plus, they have a solar-powered water heater to wash the milk bottles. Love that! Their milk comes from 9 Jersey cows. The farm also raises DeKalb Gold chicken, ducks and geese; and grows a wide variety of vegetables and unusual varieties of potatoes. David Wines who owns the farm with his wife Liz gave us the last tour of the day. When you meet David you are automatically thrown back to 1870, experiencing his families heritage, approach and sincerity in being a farmer, he is the real deal! This was my last stop on the Tour and I wish it lasted another day! I Cannot wait to make some ice cream from their raw milk!
TY LLWYD FARM: 5793 Sound Avenue, Riverhead 11901

The North Fork Foodie Tour left me inspired and I will be whipping up something yummy in my kitchen this week to share with you all.

The North Fork Foodie Event was presented by the North Fork Reform Synagogue.

3rd Annual Harvest East End and My 1st Harvest

How appropriate that the Harvest East End at the Hampton Classic Horse Show grounds in Bridgehampton be my first post and gateway to the great bounty of Long Island’s East End. This event brought together 40 award-winning wineries as well as 30 regional restaurants and their finest chefs who featured locally-sourced creations in partnership with Farmers, Fishermen, Beekeepers and Cheesemakers, to name a few. The coming together for this special event--which supports land, the environment and the East End community making this region so great--raised $42,000 for these three charities: East End HospiceGroup for the East End and the Peconic Land Trust.

I had 3 hours to immerse myself into the world of these artisans. Although my time was brief, I was able to quickly take a journey to each vineyard, restaurant or farm and taste what makes each so special. There is a common thread amongst the East End Community and their artisans-it is a sense of stewardship to the land and sea. But what makes each stand out amongst one another is their philosophy, story and history. I am truly honored to have met each and every one of these artisans and look forward to telling their stories about what they thrive on and create.

SOME NOTABLES FROM THE EVENT

The Fifth Season
Chef Erik Orlowski, Chef John Urbinati
Corn Infused Ricotta Cheese with Roasted Heirloom Cherry Tomatoes on Multigrain Crostini.

These little bites told such a tale of the corn fields and goat farms.

Koppert Cress
Known for their outstanding flavored Micro-Greens, Micro-Vegetables and Specialties for chef or mixologist who want year-round rare ingredients in order to create his or her signature dish. I was fascinated by these folks. 

The punch these little morsels have to complement a dish or libation is incredible. Watch out for the Sechuan Button! 

Savoring the Hamptons by Silvia Lehrer, featuring Starr Boggs Restaurant
Chef Starr Boggs
Scallop Mousse with Lobster Mayonnaise and Fresh Tomato Relish.

The condensed flavor profile of the sea was sensational.

Farm Country Kitchen
Chef Tom Carson
Lobster Risotto with Fresh Local Tomatoes, Local Herbs and Spinach .

Unfortunately, I was unable to try his dish (was all gone which states the obvious) however this chef's passion was nice to see.

T’Jara Vineyards: 2008 Merlot.

Their not-yet-released wine was delish and the label designs were cool which I can appreciate since I am a designer at heart.

One Woman Wines and Vineyards: 2010 Gruner Veltliner.  

Hey power to the woman and the Gruner was fantastic and smooth.

Note: These two were my husbands favorites as I could not take him away from these tables so I figured I should make a special note here.

Clovis Point: 2010 Tank Fermented Chardonnay, 2008 Cabernet Franc and 2007 Vinter’s Select Merlot.
McCall Wines: 2011 Pinot Noir Rose, 2008 Merlot Reserve,  and 2007 Bens Blend

To read more about the Harvest East End and its sponsors and supporters: harvesteastend.com