Monday, May 14, 2018

Springtime in the Berkshires

Ghent Alterpiece, Hubert and Jan van Eyck 1432

Springtime in the Berkshires

We have thus far exhausted trillions of winters and summers,
There are trillions ahead and trillions ahead of them –

--Walt Whitman, Song of Myself

To taste the creamy center of Camembert in spring is to taste the essence of the season of rebirth. In young cheeses, the grassy meadow fed upon by grazing livestock can be tasted. And lamb in spring, spring lamb, to be specific, takes the journey.

In South Egremont at John Andrews Farmhouse this coming Tuesday on May 15, a six course wine dinner with ingredients inexhaustible pedigree will feature such a cheese. Local spring lamb, succulent and surrounded by accolades in the form of fish, fowl, greens and dairy will be at the center of the feast.

With the exception of diver scallops, trout, duck, California wines and a cheese that must travel south from Vermont’s Northeast Kingdom, it can be said that this meal is as local as the weather can be glorious at this time of year.

Spring lamb is lamb of a diminutive stature, the lamb in question, about 30 pounds. This main course marks a fifteen-year relationship between livestock farmer Lila Wilde Berle, and chef Dan Smith. Lila grew up on the land where cows pasturing at Highland Farm in Lee Massachusetts will provide the milk for cream used a ragu served with the main course, grilled lamb and braised lamb belly with sun chokes from chef’s kitchen garden.

Other farms bringing food to the table are Rock City Farm, Ghent, NY, which is providing oyster mushrooms for the pasta course. Trout smoked on the premises will be served with fresh baby greens coaxed into this world by the indefatigable Ted Dobson of Equinox Farm.

The aforementioned Camembert, a goat’s milk Bloomy rind cheese from Miracle Spring Farm in Gallatin NY will make up the cheese course along with a raw cow's milk cheese with a washed rind called Berelberg of Berle Farm's in Hoosick, NY, and a Bayley Hazen Blue, gentle in its veiny sumptuousness and caved at Jasper Hill Farm in Vermont. Finally, a jam made of caramelized black mission figs will sound a redolent yawp of sweetness to end the meal.

Somerston Wine Dinner
Tuesday, May 15th 2018

John Andrews Farmhouse Restaurant
224 Hillsdale Road (Route 23)
South Egremont, MA 01258
(413) 528-3469

For more information and to make a reservation: