Organic Food

Who Says the French Don’t Get it? They Always Got it.

See what happens when you turn a 29-year-old French Chef loose on a Catskills area sustainable farm. This fantastic menu prepared for AIWF members did everything right. Portion sizes were right. Flavors exploded in our mouths. Organic chicken is just plain better and for a take away they gave each person a little brown bag of ramps, freshly picked from the woods around Woodstock.  Yum.

Eat Local, Fresh & Organic to Discover Real Flavors

AIWF and Stone & Thistle Farms Join Forces
Catskills Duck Keeping Cabbage Free of Pests (photo courtesy of AIWF)

Every foodie knows what asparagus, spinach, carrots and chicken taste like, right? Actually, a recent tasting demonstrated that only those who have savored organically grown varieties served at the peak of their freshness truly know nature’s magic.

Displays of produce available year-round at the supermarket may look impressive, but most of the flavor gets lost when it ages while being transported great distances. Produce grown with chemical fertilizers will never match the flavors that develop when plants are grown in soil kept healthy with organic methods.

AIWF and Stone & Thistle Farms Join Forces

At a recent tasting of superbly prepared dishes, Chef David Toutain certainly dazzled with his creativity, but the indisputable stars of the evening were the incredibly fresh and organic ingredients that went into his menu. The setting was “A Chicken in Every Pot: Organic, Meadow Raised Chicken and Produce from Stone & Thistle Farms.” The event was produced by the New York Chapter of the American Institute of Wine & Food (AIWF) on a recent night in Manhattan.

Stone & Thistle Farms do their good work in upstate New York’s Catskills region. AIWF is a non-profit organization founded by Julia Child, Robert Mondavi and others in 1981 “to enhance the understanding, appreciation, and quality of what we eat and drink.”

David Toutain’s evident flair for applying classic French techniques to thoroughly modern dishes delighted foodies attending the event, but even his simple preparation of the spinach was striking for the difference freshness and organic growing can make.

Here’s a look at the menu enjoyed at the AIWF tasting:

• Asparagus with mousseline of blood orange & thyme foam

• Spinach with black sesame & carrot puree

• Chicken liver mousse & shallot confit

• Cornish Cross Chicken with orzo & ramp pesto

• Rhubarb with barley syrup infusion & ginger “sable”

The wine selection was by Robin Kelley O’Connor of Sherry Lehmann. Those lucky enough to make it to the tasting were also given gift bags of ramps freshly dug by the Catskills’ Allison Bennett to take home.

More Local Organics Please

Growing food without chemicals predates history and was once the only way to farm. We need more of it today. It not only produces healthier food, it leaves clear skies, clean water and makes eating a lot more fun.

A AIWF Logo.jpg
To learn more about AIWF, the sponsor of the event, and the events they will be presenting in the future, go to: The American Institute of Wine & Food

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