A Winter Farmers Market to Warm the Stomach and Soul


One way or another we all have been affected by the polar vortex, a new weather phenomenon that has been coined by AccuWeather or as they prefer to say, "extreme arctic air coming south". Winter is a time where the earth breathes in, a moment for pause and most of all for me — reflection. I have been doing my fair share of reflecting and 2013 by far has been one of the most challenging, creative and enriching years of my life. The construction of Sheridan Green has been an amazing feat — as some of you know — and confidently I can say that this week a final inspection is scheduled; prayers are welcome for a certificate of occupancy. And in between managing and nurturing the building process I have met some of the most amazing edible artisans and craftsman of the East End and made new friends along the way. 


We may not be in the height of a bustling harvest or running into one another at a local farm stand, but in the middle of winter there are plenty of artisanal edibles and chitchat to warm the stomach and soul, you just need to seek it out. A dash of craft and a dose of local nibbles were what I needed and what better way to combat the polar vortex than at a winter farmers market in Bridgehampton on the grounds of the Topping Rose House in the restored barn. This gathering was a celebration and thaw from the frigid grasp we have all been under for the past month. As attendees mingled with artists, artisans and local farmers inside, it seemed Heat Miser made a deal with Snow Miser for a bit of warmth and sunshine outside; It was a balmy 47 degrees and sunny.


The turnout was so sensational that some vendors ran out of items. Holly Browder of Browder's Birds was selling pickled eggs, dry rubs, barbecue sauce, brine and of course fresh farm eggs; I snatched the last dozen — lucky me. Kate Pratt of East Hampton Gourmet had to call her partner Michel Mazuret to bring her more of their signature Lentil Rice Crispbreads as they were selling out. Mecox Bay Dairy was inundated with cheese lovers hovering over their table to nibble on their most celebrated varieties: Atlantic Mist, Sigit and Mecox Sunrise. I walked away with a pound of their grass-fed ground beef and a farmhouse cheddar. Deborah Lukasik of Southampton Soap Company was selling her sudsy craft left and right; thankfully I got to her table in time to hoard the evergreen soap that she featured in a 2013 holiday pack, truly invigorating. Long Island Mushroom was showing off their finest fungus and I took away a 1/2 pound of shiitakes. Chef de Cuisine Ty Kotz of Topping Rose thanked all 31 vendors personally for participating in their first ever farmers market — I thought this was a warm touch. I first met chef Kotz at the Great Chefs Dinner and I was blown away by his beet risotto that tasted equally as beautiful as it looked; fingers crossed that he puts it on the menu.


Topping Rose plans to host another winter farmers market on Saturday, February 15, from 11 a.m. - 2 p.m. If you cannot wait that long and tired of hibernating under Snow Misers ice plunge the Riverhead farmers market opening day is February 1, at 117 East Main Street, in the old Swezey's building and will be open on Saturdays from 11 a.m. - 3 p.m., from February 1 — May 17.

I had big plans for my edible purchase. A dish that would leave you feeling warm and comforted, just like I felt at the Topping Rose winter farmers market.

How does homemade egg noodles with grass-fed beef meatballs in a Parmesan shiitake broth sound? This dish is all about comfort and will take you out of your icy doldrums.

Egg noodles with grass-fed beef meatballs in a Parmesan shiitake broth



Egg Noodles

  • 2 cups of flour
  • 3 egg yolks
  • 1 egg
  • 1 teaspoon of salt
  • 1/3 - 1/2 cup water

Meatballs in Parmesan Shiitake Broth

  • 4 cups of chicken stock
  • 1/2 pound of shiitake mushrooms, thinly sliced
  • 1 medium - large Parmesan rind 
  • 1 lb ground grass fed beef
  • 1 cup of whole ricotta cheese
  • 1/2 cup of fresh italian bread chopped (trim the crust)
  • 1/3 cup milk
  • 1 teaspoon of sea salt
  • 1 teaspoon of freshly ground pepper
  • 3 tablespoons of italian parsley, chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • flour for dredging meatballs
  • 1/3 cup of grated parmesan cheese
  • 6 tablespoons of olive oil


Egg Noodles

  1. Combine flour and salt in a large bowl. Make a well in center and crack eggs into it.
  2. Take a spoon and mix together gently. Add water if dough is not forming a ball. Begin to use your hands when dough begins to come together. It should be slightly tacky.  
  3. Wrap dough in plastic wrap and set aside for 30 minutes. You can refrigerate the dough up to a day. Be sure to have it rest on the counter for 30 minutes to bring to room temperature before rolling out.
  4. Lightly flour your working surface. This will keep the dough from sticking. Roll out the dough with a rolling pin, working from the middle out.
  5. When the dough is about a 1/4 inch thick, cut the dough into strips with a pizza cutter. I found the pizza cutter to be the best but you can use a large knife. If you have a hand crank pasta machine or kitchen-aid attachment you can use that too. But this pasta is super easy to do by hand and is fun. Do not worry if your noodles are crooked, this is all about comfort. I cut them in long strips at a 1/2 inch wide.

    Note: When the meatballs in Parmesan shiitake broth is almost done, cook the noodles in boiling salted water until they float, about 3 minutes.

    Meatballs in Parmesan Shiitake Broth
  6. In a large pot add the chicken stock and Parmesan rinds.; cover and let simmer.

  7. In a large skillet over medium heat add 3 tablespoons of olive oil. Once hot add the Shiitake mushrooms and sauté until the mushrooms are tender, about 3 minutes. Then add the shiitakes to the broth and continue simmering.

  8. In a large bowl, combine the beef, bread, garlic, ricotta, parmesan, salt, pepper, milk and parsley. Lightly mix everything together without overworking the meat, should be light and not compact.

  9. Once everything is combined, place a large piece of parchment or tinfoil on a baking sheet. Roll the meatballs into 1-inch round with your hands and then dredge in flour and place the meatballs on the baking sheet.  Repeat until all the meatballs are ready to be seared.

  10. In the same skillet you used for the shiitakes, heat 3 tablespoons of olive oil over medium heat. Add the meatballs, working in batches to not overcrowd the pan. Use tongs to turn the meatballs and cook until all sides are browned, approximately 5 minutes. You are simply doing a quick sear not cooking the meatball entirely. Place the meatballs in the broth as you go.

  11. Let the broth and meatballs simmer for 30 - 45 minutes.


  12. When done place a laddle of the broth on the bottom of the bowl, add he egg noodles and then a few meatballs with the broth and shiitakes. If you desire sprinkle with Parmesan cheese and serve with some crusty bread.

At the Summer Fancy Food Show Emerging Food Entrepreneurs Dream Big

"There is no life I know to compare with pure imagination." - Willy Wonka

Imagination, wonder and daring to dream big were prevalent at the The Summer Fancy Food Show in New York City; a three-day specialty food smorgasbord featuring food and beverage artisans from around the world. With over 2,400 vendors from more than 80 countries showcasing 200,000 products, it was a foodies edible wonderment. I was only able to attend the last day of the show and focused on local-New York products, however I have a few notables outside of the Empire State.

I had my day cut out for me sampling: beverages, cheese, confections, sauces, spreads, and seemingly everything in between; it was a Pepcid AC commercial in the making. 

My day started with the “New Brands on the Shelf Pavilion” featuring 34 emerging food entrepreneurs, who exhibited their products for the first time at a Fancy Food Show. Mingling and munching down this aisle was by far my favorite; hearing the stories of these passionate artisans was truly inspiring.

Chef Dave Martin was a contestant and finalist on the first season of Bravo’s Top Chef in 2006. I had the honor to cook with Dave at a corporate event a few years ago where I was impressed with his sauces and marinades. It is no surprise that in 2012 he launched Dave’s Homemade, a company that produces small batch artisanal sauces and rubs along with a two-volume set of cookbooks for the home cook. The Ooey Gooey Caramel Sauce is not-so-sweet, made with maple syrup and sea salt; a great sauce for any dessert. Dave is offering 10% off on his products online; simply provide the code ffshow-10.

In 2004, Floyd, NY beer bar opened in Brooklyn, New York. Due to the law they were forced to serve food to keep their beer passion going and glad they did as their Kentucky inspired beer cheese is something to taste. Beer cheese is a southern specialty made from sharp cheddar, quality beer and a unique blend of herbs and spices. My first bite of the show was their original flavor. This was by far my favorite; the beer flavor undertones were balanced beautifully with the sharp cheddar and traces of pimento.

Vanessa Miller is a native New Yorker and a teacher who brought her blackboard way of business thinking to her black labels for her Get Dressed Salads. "The blackboard represents getting started", she said. Her product got its first start through Indiegogo, a crowdfunding platform. She speaks four languages and ironically enough has four dressing to boot; Ginger Gem, Perfect Pepper, Lemon Love, and Va Va Voom Vinaigrette. Vanessa is interested in dressing salads to enhance ingredients, not drown them. My favorite was the Ginger Gem, subtly spicy and silky.


LifeIce, NY

Out of tragedy comes triumph and it is so true for the founder of LifeIce, Paulette Fox. In the summer of 2010, the idea for LifeIce was born out of recipes Paulette made to comfort, hydrate and nourish her mother, who had been bravely battling ovarian cancer. She began blending and freezing flavorful batches of “nutritional ice chips” for her mother who lived beyond doctors’ expectations, giving extra days for Paulette to be with her mother. The 100% natural product is an innovative freeze-and-eat treat that is gluten-free, kosher-certified, GMO-free, fat free, low in calories and sugar. It comes in four distinct flavors: Berry Bite, Chocolate Crisp, Citrus Chomp and Green Grind. The base of LifeIce is coconut water and agave. LifeIce is not so sweet and the flavors are smooth and soothing. I can see this product in a beverage as a fun cocktail as well.

Help LifeIce raise awareness for ovarian cancer.


MitchMallows, NY

Mitchell Greenberg is the founder of MitchMallows, handmade marshmallows. Mitch is a set-designer and it is no surprise as each marshmallow was a character unto itself; Churros, Ginger Wasabi, Pretzels Beer, Banana Split, Watermelon, Mallopolitans and Creamsicle. The Ginger Wasabi was spicy and sweet; a unique marshmallow I can see in a hot chai tea latte.


Saucey Sauce, NY

The sister and brother team Toan and Ken Huynh founded the Saucey Sauce, Co. They started serving their mom’s recipe at dinner parties in Brooklyn, NY and realized they were on to something when friends started asking for bottles to take home. Ultimate Sauce line: Spicy Garlic, Fresh Lemon and Sweet Ginger Sauce. Limited run flavors: Hot Habanero KetJap and Sweet Jalapano KetJap. The sweet and savory taste of the Sweet Ginger Sauce was my saucey star; a sweet balance of brown sugar and ginger. This would make for a great marinade on chicken, pork or salmon.


Worth noting from South Carolina


Green Wave Smoothie Pops, SC

 I love green juice and this product is worth mentioning as I thought it was cleaver, healthy and delicious. For Dee Ann Bauer, a mother or three, she was always looking for ways to sneak greens into her children’s meals. Dee Ann and her daughter began experimenting on ways to develop a nutritious green smoothie blended with leafy greens and fruit. Once they discovered how delicious the smoothies were they developed a farm-to-freezer healthy pop and Green Wave Smoothies was born. These frozen pops are offered in two flavors: Kalelicious and Greena Colada. Both flavors are naturally low in calories and sweetened with fruit. If you live in the area Charleston, South Carolina you can find their product at the Charleston Farmers Market.


New York State aisle

Some sections at the show were broken out into states and countries. Brooklyn had a large presence and was part of the Brooklyn Chamber of Commerce that promotes food and drink entrepreneurs. Long Island had a small turn-out; I was happy to see our East End Long Island neighbors, Natalie and Steven Judelson of the Amagansett Sea Salt Company there.

Amagansett Sea Salt Company, NY

 Long Island was represented by Natalie and Steven Judelson, the founders of Amagansett Sea Salt Company. Their artisanal sea salt is made entirely by hand in small batches from seawater, directly harvested from the Atlantic Ocean, then filtered, solar evaporated, and packaged. Ocean-to-bottle takes place in Amagansett, a neighbor that I need to visit in the near future. I have used their Montauk blend that is infused with lemon zest on seared scallops that complements the sweet scallop flavor. I am particularly looking forward to using their new Southampton blend made with Madagascar Vanilla bean for finishing off brownies or even a sprinkle on top of butter poached lobster.


JoMart Chocolates, NY

Michael Rogak is a chocolatier and his family business has been making chocolates since 1946. Michael has embraced the new food age in Brooklyn and is enthusiastic about the food entrepreneurs that are making a living in Brooklyn. On display was beautifully wrapped candy bars and their butter crunch toffee with toasted almonds was melt-in-your-mouth good. JoMart is offering 10% off their online and in-store products during the holiday months of November - December. Mention out east foodie for this exclusive offer.


The Jam Stand, NY

 Two best friends, Jessica Quon and Sabrina Valle began making Jam in their apartment kitchen in Williamsburg, Brooklyn. They wanted to create a food company that was a true reflection of themselves and their community. Their Jams are uniquely flavored and the fresh fruit is sourced from local farms. My favorite flavor was the Drunken Monkey Jam, made with bananas, lime and rum; this will be my topping of choice the next time I make pancakes. 


Kings County Jerky Co., NY

This 100% Grass-fed beef Jerky was exceptional; hands down my most memorable Brooklyn vendor at the show. Jerky flavors offered: Cracked Pepper, Korean BBQ, Sichuan Ginger and my favorite the Mexican Mole that had rich chocolate undertones and a fine balance of spices. Added bonus, Pasture-raised & non-confined, no antibiotics or added hormones and is low in fat, sodium and high in protein.


Worth Noting outside of New York


Storye Bread, CT

Slowbaked and handmade Rye Bread that takes more than 38 hours to bake a single loaf. Anything with the word slow in front of a food craft is going to be good if not spectacular; Storye Bread is a true slow-craft. Their Rye Breads are: Classic Rye, Fine Rye, Fine Rye with FruiNuts and Classic Rye with Carrots. I enjoyed each one; wheat-free, GMO-free, has 9 grams of fiber and is made with only rye grains grown in Northern Europe. A hearty and healthy bread worth trying.


Cypress Grove Chevre, CA

In 1970, Mary Keehn, single mother of four children living in Humboldt County began looking for a healthy source of milk for her family. By obtaining two goats from a neighbor, she milked the goats for dairy and over the years experimented with the craft of making cheese. Since 1983 Cypress Grove was born and has been a leader in the domestic goat cheese market and internationally awarded for the excellence of its products. Their artisan goat cheese lines are exquisite, in particular their sofi award winning Humboldt Fog, for classic cheese category. This has a subtle, tangy flavor with floral notes and would be lovely with a drizzle of honey. The Midnight Moon is aged six months; dense, smooth with a nutty caramel finish; this on a cracker with some quince paste would do me just fine.


This product was most unique; imagine the interior of a “finger lime vessel” that is packed with citrus caviar and when you cut it in half and squeeze, the finger lime releases individually contained juice vesicles that pop with a tart lemon lime flavor when bitten into, extraordinary. According to Jim Shanley, owner of Shanley Farms it took six years before the Finger Lime trees bared fruit. I can see this product used in a variety of ways, in particular on the rim of a margarita glass, how cool! Jim Shanley and his daughter Megan run the family farm business. They bring to market Citriburst Finger Limes, Morro Bay Avocados, and Sierra Sweet Kiwis.

The sofi Awards

The sofi Award is the highest honor in the $86 billion specialty food industry; “sofi” stands for Specialty Outstanding Food Innovation; and is awarded to the best of the best in specialty foods and beverages from members of the Specialty Food Association. The awards were presented at a red-carpet ceremony hosted by internationally-acclaimed chef Marcus Samuelsson. Getting this prestigious award is like receiving an Oscar for best actor within a category.

A list of New York-based companies that were awarded:

For Outstanding Chocolate

Chocolate Moderne-Avante-Garde Bar Blood Orange Bergamot Flavor

For Outstanding Cookie

Tate’s Bake Shop-Whole Wheat Dark Chocolate Chip

For Outstanding Cooking Sauce or Flavor Enhancer

We Rub You-Spicy-Korean BBQ Marinade

For Outstanding Soup, Stew, Bean or Chili
Sarabeth’s Kitchen-Legendary Velvety Cream of Tomato Soup

You can view all of the sofi awards and finalists here.

Getting around this show in a day was an amazing food race. Next year, I think the full three days would suit me and my stomach well. 

Out East Foodies top 10 Holiday Gifts from the North & South Fork of Long Island

The North and South Fork of Long Island are as festive as ever. The Montauk Lighthouse is decorated in holiday lights, as well as the windmills throughout the Hamlets of the Hamptons. Tree lightings have occurred, libation tastings are being had at some of the wineries and distilleries and local artists, artisans and makers are gleefully putting together their orders for the Holidays or for a Fair. I hope you find this list helpful which is in no specific order and wish you all a wonderful Holiday Season and Happy Shopping!

  1. The Hamptons & Long Island Homegrown Cookbook by Leanne LavinFeaturing Local Food, Local Restaurants and Local Recipes. This book takes the reader on a private tour of outstanding chefs & artisanal growers of the Hamptons & Long Island. I have a copy of this book and is a beautiful addition to my local cookbook collection. Great book for the general cookbook collector or lover of the Hamptons and North Fork food scene.

  2. Mali B. Sweets creates the most beautiful and tasty cakes and confections. They are located in the heart of Greenport Village where I happened to walk into their shop when they were busy putting together their holiday orders. Beautiful boxes of chocolate caramels, truffles, dipped orange peel cookies, nuts, chocolates bars, marshmallows and variety brittle filled these boxes from floor to ceiling. It is no surprise how busy they were as everything in this shop visually looks delicious and the flavors and varieties are sensational. Location: 130 Front Street, Greenport, New York 631.477.6762. Open 8am-9pm Daily. 

  3. Pine Barrens Whiskey is the first American Single-Malt Whiskey created in collaboration by two artisan legacys Long Island Spirits Distillery and Blue Point Brewery.  Instead of creating this liquor from a mash, Long Island Spirits uses Blue Point’s Old Howling Bastard, a 10% barley wine and a regional favorite. This is sweet and smooth and can stand up to your most well regarded brands. I am sending a bottle to my dear friend Bill in San Francisco who is a connoisseur of Single-Malt Whiskeys and I look forward to his opinion. Pine Barrens Whisky comes in 375 milliliter bottles and is sold at Long Island Spirits. Location: 2182 Sound Avenue, Baiting Hollow, N.Y. 631.630.9322. Mon-Thu 10am-4pm, Fri 10am-6pm, Sat 11am-7pm, Sun 11am-6pm

  4. Briermere Farms Pies. Folks line up early for these pies as they sell out early. If you need to bring a delicious edible gift that is sure to make folks go, "Yum" Briermere Farms Pies is the way to go. Christmas Pie List: Apple, Apple Crisp, Blueberry, Blackberry, Blackberry Apple, Cherry, Peach, Peach Cherry, Strawberry Rhubarb, Pear, Raspberry, Raspberry Peach, Raspberry Plum, Pumpkin, Cherry Cream, Blueberry Cream, Raspberry Cream, Chocolate Cream. Prices range from $15.00 - $22 depending on the pie. Located at 4414 Sound Avenue, Riverhead. Open Daily Until Dec. 24th, From 9am-5pm. Christmas Eve Hours: 8am-2pm. 631.722.3931

  5. Patty's Berries and Bunches Pure Local Honey and Edible Pepper Wreaths. You can pick up some of Patty's honey from her hives as well as these clever holiday dried pepper wreaths. Once the holiday season is over use these dried peppers throughout the year in your cooking. Location: 410 Sound Avenue, Mattituck, NY. 631.298.4679

  6. Amagansett Sea Salts. Artisanal sea salts made entirely by hand in small batches from seawater harvested directly from our local sea waters of the Atlantic Ocean in Amagansett and then solar-evaporated to the perfect flavor and consistency, while retaining the natural flavors and nutrients of the ocean. I have tried the Montauk blend on top of seared scallops as a finishing salt and was fabulous. 631.731.3053

  7. Edible East End. Edible East End is published five times a year and celebrates the harvest and artisans of the Hamptons and North Fork. Read about the farmers, fishers, winemakers, chefs, bakers, cheesemakers, beekeepers, and the out east food community of Long Island. They also offer subscriptions for Edible Brooklyn and Edible Manhattan.  631.537.4637 

  8. Balsam Farms Gift Card. This is a great way to Support Your Local Farmer and bring healthy and fresh produce, jarred goods, flowers and anything else at the farm stand to anyone on your list! Makes a wonderful and practical holiday gift for teachers, summer tenants and of course, your friends and family. Location: Town Ln & Windmill Ln Amagansett, NY. 631.316.8784

  9. Southampton Soaps. We all know you are what you eat but we are as well what we cleanse with! Their soaps are 100% natural using plant-derived ingredients to insure a cleansing experience that is beautiful as well as pure and gentle enough for even the most delicate, sensitive skin. They use local, organic additives whenever possible. If you don’t live locally, you may call them at 631.259.3898 to place an order or visit their etsy shop.

  10. Sweet 'Tauk Holiday Fair. All handmade East End products from local artists, artisans and makers. Sweet 'Tauks own products are 100% natural lemonade which is squeezed and mixed fresh using organic, seasonal & local ingredients and lightly sweetened with raw agave nectar. Open: Mon-Thurs 11-1pm, Fri, Sat, Sun & Christmas Eve Monday: 11-5pm  Location: 34 South Etna Ave, Montauk, NY