Side Dishes: Top chefs and Intervale farmers "Stick a Fork in It"
Vermont cuisine is known for its strong ties between chefs and farmers. On Sunday, October 30, the Intervale Center Farmers’ Recovery Fund will reap the benefits of that bond when some of the biggest names in Vermont kitchens prepare a feast at a “chefs-for-farms benefit bacchanalia” called “Stick a Fork in It.”
Mara Welton of Half Pint Farm, one of the many affected by flood damage this year, says the event is the brainchild of Misery Loves Co. chef Aaron Josinsky. “When he heard about the flooding, he was just like, ‘Holy crap, we need to do something huge,’” she says. For Josinsky, that meant recruiting chefs, including his Misery Loves Co. partner, Nathaniel Wade; Steve Atkins of Kitchen Table Bistro; and Abbey Duke and Laura Kanya of Sugarsnap. Even chefs not associated with restaurants are pitching in, such as cookbook author Molly Stevens, Healthy Living butcher Frank Pace and restaurant consultant Robin Schempp. Tom Bivins of soon-to-open Crop Bistro in Stowe is cooking at the event and donating one of his home-raised, acorn-finished pigs, which the chefs will roast or smoke whole.
“It’s a collective effort,” says Josinsky, who will bring his own smokers and grills to the Intervale Community Barn. “It’s a good crew and kind of an outside-the-box-crew.”
All food served at the event will be donated, including a forequarter of beef, a slew of chickens and lots of produce from Pete’s Greens. As a result, “100 percent of proceeds go to the Intervale Farmers’ Recovery Fund,” says Josinsky.
Welton hopes that farmers will indeed stick a fork in the bad times over expertly made dinner. “We’re kind of done being sad,” she says. “Let’s celebrate the end of this stupid season.”