27 February, 2015 - by Vera Chang, Shelburne Farms

Ready, Set, Chop! Jr Iron Chef is Coming!

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Ready, set, chop! On Saturday, March 21, 65 middle and high school teams will compete in the state’s eighth annual Junior Iron Chef VT. This local foods cooking challenge empowers youth to connect with where food comes from, healthy eating, and from-scratch cooking. Since its founding, the competition has more than doubled the number of participants with teams coming from every corner of the state. 
This year’s Jr Iron Chef VT is particularly timely. Since last year’s competition, First Lady Michelle Obama and the White House administration began conversations about how to introduce basic culinary skills in schools as a way to promote healthier eating. Yesterday, U.S. Senators Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) and Thad Cochran (R-Miss.) introduced the bipartisan Farm to School Act of 2015 to increase federal resources committed to bringing fresh, local foods to schools nationwide. 
One of the first youth culinary competitions to focus on local food and school meals, Jr Iron Chef VT is one example of the state’s groundbreaking farm to school efforts. Vermont has some of the longest-standing programs in the country. Today, eighty-nine percent of Vermont schools are involved with farm to school programming thanks to state policymakers, food service professionals, and nonprofit organizations, including the founders of Jr Iron Chef VT: Vermont Food Education Every Day (VT FEED, a partnership of NOFA-VT and Shelburne Farms) and the Burlington School Food Project.
The impact of Jr Iron Chef VT is broad and can last beyond graduation for many participants. Maraika Lumholdt, a South Burlington High School and Jr Iron Chef VT alumna is serving as a judge this year. “I know from personal experience that the process of competing is a real challenge, but it pays off,” Maraika said. “Jr Iron Chef VT inspired me to think about food in a new way – where food comes from to its preparation. While creating recipes, my teammates and I learned about the connection between farms, nutrition, and taste and how to cook well while working together.”  
Guided by coaches – local chefs, food service directors, and teachers – student teams create original recipes that incorporate local foods. Students work through real-life challenges similar to those food service face to create healthy, nutritious school lunches, including sourcing ingredients themselves. Teams have just 90 minutes to prepare their kid-tested, seasonal fare. Jr Iron Chef VT winning teams will have the opportunity to prepare their recipes for legislators in the Vermont Statehouse, and their dishes will also be featured on school lunch menus around the state.
A selection of the dishes on this year’s Jr Iron Chef VT menu: Vermont Root Vegetable Empanada with Maple Adobe Sauce; Ricotta Gnocchi with Butternut Basil Sauce in Kale Spinach Nest; and Sensational, Satisfying, Seasonal Soup. 
Some of the 20 Jr Iron Chef VT judges working under the guidance of Chef Jim Birmingham of the New England Culinary Institute include: Lake Champlain Chocolates Research and Development Specialist Lauren Deitsch, Hotel Vermont Executive Chef Doug Paine, and Twin Valley alum and Hermitage Club Chef Joel Gonzalez.
The 8th Annual Jr Iron Chef VT will take place Saturday, March 21 from 9:00am to 3:30pm at the Champlain Valley Expo Center in Essex Junction, VT. Cost for attendance is $3 for an individual, $5 for a family. Jr Iron Chef VT is sponsored by several local and state entities including Northfield Savings Bank; Vermont Agency of Agriculture, Food, and Markets; and Blodgett. Its media sponsor is WCAX. For more information, please visit www.jrironchefvt.org.

Ready, set, chop! On Saturday, March 21, 65 middle and high school teams will compete in the state’s eighth annual Junior Iron Chef VT. This local foods cooking challenge empowers youth to connect with where food comes from, healthy eating, and from-scratch cooking. Since its founding, the competition has more than doubled the number of participants with teams coming from every corner of the state. 

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12 February, 2015 - by Claire Fitts Georges, Butterfly Bakery

Baking with Maple

Category: Recipes

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Some recipes easily adapt to including maple syrup - with sauces, spreads, marinades, and glazes, for example, just replace other sweeteners with maple syrup and keep adding the syrup until you have the flavor you want (you may find that because maple adds flavor, not just sweetness, you want to increase the amount over something like sugar). Baking, though, can be intimidating. So, we asked Claire Fitts Georges of Butterfly Bakery, a wholesale bakery specializing in maple syrup based baked goods, to give us a quick introduction to the art:

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9 February, 2015 - by Corey Burdick

Maple Conversion

Vermont is my adopted home. I have lived here full time for 12 years, but spent my childhood in upstate New York. I’ll admit I’ve been slow to accept real maple syrup into my culinary repertoire. My reluctance to embrace the culture and tradition of soaking one’s pancakes in true, local maple syrup can only be attributed to the breakfast tables of my youth; crowded with Aunt Jemima and Country Crock. Food memories can be powerful and often determine how one crafts meals and diets for a lifetime. But, sometimes patterns are meant to be broken, so in that spirit, last March I took a trip to one of my favorite natural areas: Shelburne Farms.

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9 February, 2015 - by Helen Labun Jordan

Maple Info: Lots of Ideas for Using Lots of Syrup

Category: Recipes


Several years ago I was traveling to a certain European country where maple syrup was not part of the national menu (the country was Macedonia, but I'm not going to point fingers). Our hosts admitted that, while they appreciated visits from Vermonters, they'd also filled a kitchen cabinet with bottles of unused maple syrup. They couldn't believe how many pancakes Vermonters must eat to go through as much maple syrup as we apparently consumed.

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1 February, 2015 - by

Open Farm Week 2015

11 December, 2014 - by Vermont Fresh Network

The VFN Top 10! A Local Gift Guide.

Keep it local and delicious this holiday season and give the gift of Vermont food. From tasty treats to memorable experiences for the whole family--we've got you covered. Without further ado...

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21 November, 2014 - by Helen Labun Jordan

An Unlikely Vineyard

Category: Place Profiles

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A good book, good wine, good food...sounds like a great weekend and some great gift ideas, just in case you were planning ahead!

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13 November, 2014 - by Healthy Living Market

Healthy Living Wants to Bring a Local Turkey to Every Table


Today Healthy Living Market and Café in South Burlington will be kicking off their annual Thanksgiving turkey pre-order program where customers will be able to order local, free-range and antibiotic/hormone-free turkeys over the phone, in-store or online at www.healthyliving.com/vermont. As in past years, they will be offering fresh and fair priced turkeys from a handful of local farms around Vermont as part of their “A Local Turkey for Every Table” campaign. Healthy Living has been a driving force behind the “Buy Local, Eat Local” revolution in Vermont and has made it a priority to support local growers by selling turkeys at fair market price to customers in Chittenden Country for over twenty five years.
To get things started, last week Healthy Living’s Co-founder Katy Lesser and team headed out to Adam's Turkey Farm for their annual visit. Adam’s Turkey Farm has been a local Vermont poultry grower for over 30 years and is one of the three local farms that include Misty Knoll Farm and Stonewood Farm providing turkeys to Healthy Living for the pre-order season. Lesser has known Dave and Judy Adams since the late 80’s when she first started offering turkeys in her store during the holidays.
“I started thinking about Thanksgiving at the store and wondered if customers might like local turkeys. During my research, I came across Adams Turkey Farm and went to visit Dave and Judy Adams at their farm in Westford. That’s where I actually got my first lesson in local agriculture and met dedicated farmers who raise poultry of astounding quality,” said Lesser. “The rest is happy history; we worked together to make a plan. I learned about turkeys and the Adams learned about wholesale. That first year I sold about 25 turkeys....since then we’ve sold more every year!”
This year’s farm visit marked the 25th anniversary of the grocer and vendor working together to provide the highest quality turkeys during Thanksgiving. Knowing who grows the food they sell is a high priority for Healthy Living. Seasonal staff visits to the farms have become part of their mission. For this trip, new members of the Healthy Living staff were able to see the farm while learning more about raising local turkeys.
For more information and to pre-order your turkey today, check out www.healthylivingmarket.com/saratoga. Click here for more information and assets.

It's almost turkey time.  Do you have your turkey yet?  Maybe you want to get out on the farm and see where the turkeys live; maybe you're having a turkey-free holiday and need to get to the farmers market or food market for your supplies; maybe you head to a restaurant to have your holiday meal.  Whatever Thanksgiving looks like for you, Vermont is full of local foods to guarantee a delicious holiday!

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1 November, 2014 - by Vermont Artisan Village

You’re in Good Company: Shelburne’s Food Artisans


Not only is Shelburne home to iconic Vermont brands (Vermont Teddy Bear and Shelburne Farms, to name two); our quiet town is home to a strong, and growing, community of hard-working, passionate artisans. They do things by hand, they follow their hearts and they produce incredible products. Here are some to check out.
Studio Cacao Chocolatier
Kevin and Laura Toohey, with their son Ronen, make each and every chocolate truffle by hand here in Shelburne. In fact, Studio Cacao was the first tenant to join Vermont Artisan Village back in 2012. Kevin, a trained chef, recently returned from a week at the L’Ecole du Grand Chocolat in New York City excited to tweak his silky-smooth truffle. “When a truffle is made properly,” he told us “it is super light and carries flavors well. I want you to bite into one of our truffles and get a real burst of flavor.” Sounds great to us! Toohey is currently at work perfecting a fleur de sel caramel and truffles infused with rose geranium. Check Studio Cacao out online and in the Burlington Town Center Mall on Church Street.
Folino’s Pizza
Folino’s Pizza, housed in a shared space with the award-winning craft brewer Fiddlehead Brewing Company, has a simple mission: To Make the Best Pizza. Fresh dough is made daily and shaped, by hand, into pizzas scattered with simple toppings. Every pie is baked in a 1000-degree brick oven to bubbly, charred-crust perfection. Wait! Before you take that first bite, don’t forget to grab a growler of Fiddlehead’s funky, citrusy IPA.
Chef Contos Kitchen & Store
Chef Courtney Contos is a Chicagoan by birth, a chef and a consultant who has worked with Charlie Trotter and Martha Stewart. She recently opened a kitchen store in town where she sells a curated selection of cool stuff for the kitchen and home and hosts cooking classes. We hear that she recently hosted an Apple Cake Cook-Off and Fall Party. She makes us excited about food and is a vibrant personality. Plus, she’s launching a culinary tours business and has one of the best foodie Instagram feeds around.
Shelburne Vineyard
Located across the street from Vermont Artisan Village is Shelburne Vineyard, a pioneer in the Vermont wine industry. Shelburne Vineyard harvests almost 20 acres of grapes every year to produce award-winning wines like their Marquette, made from a red grape cultivated to thrive in cold-climates like ours. The Vineyard practices sustainable agriculture. The Winery is open seven days a week for tastings and tours. We’ll often pick up a bottle of Marquette and a few pizzas from Folino’s to bring home for dinner.
Cricket Radio Linen
Elizabeth Archangeli and Angie Lizotte are the designers behind Cricket Radio Linen, which makes beautiful linens and other gorgeous goods like pillows, aprons and the most adorable baby onesies! We are thrilled to have Cricket Radio onsite at Vermont Artisan Village. Their products provide a beautiful backdrop for beautiful food. Cricket Radio’s designs are influenced by Indonesian batiks, vintage Americana and rural Vermont and have a decidedly Martha Stewart-meets-etsy flair (no surprise, they were finalists last year in Martha Stewart’s American Made Awards).
Shelburne Country Store
This country store, right off the Shelburne Green, dates back to 1859. Like any good country store, the Shelburne Country Store has anything and everything, including rubber duckie stickers, Bite Me boxer shorts, maple candy, handmade bracelets, scarves and authentic Vermont beef jerky. The collection, and store, is managed by Steve and Deb Mayfield.
What are some of your favorite Shelburne-and-area artisans? Please check out our Facebook page and share your ideas there.

There are great things going on in Shelburne.  Check them out!  

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21 October, 2014 - by Sheila McGrory-Klyza, The Vermont Epicure

The Vermont Hard Cider Tasting Project

Looking for something to do when the weekend rolls around?  There are many wonderful food and agriculture related activities and events. Why not try some hard cider tasting?  Read this great post from The Vermont Epicure.  Do your own tasting and see how your experience compares.  Cheers!

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