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Locavore Movement

Friday, October 19, 2018

Dining on a Dime: UVMMC Garden Atrium

Posted By on Fri, Oct 19, 2018 at 4:25 PM


Carrot fritters and roast vegetables - SALLY POLLAK
  • Sally Pollak
  • Carrot fritters and roast vegetables

A voluntary trip to the hospital is not a bad thing. Such an outing comes with benefits if the destination is the Garden Atrium café at the University of Vermont Medical Center.

Cost and personal choice are two of the pluses. Local and fresh are two more. With a longstanding commitment to sourcing local ingredients, UVMMC purchases food from more than 70 regional farmers and producers, according to its website.

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Wednesday, June 6, 2018

An Heirloom Tomato Salad With Mystery Tomatoes

Posted By on Wed, Jun 6, 2018 at 3:59 PM


Heirloom Tomato Salad at Rí Rá - SALLY POLLAK
  • Sally Pollak
  • Heirloom Tomato Salad at Rí Rá
The salad on the menu at Rí Rá Irish Pub in downtown Burlington is called Heirloom Tomato Salad. The first ingredient listed in the description is “Half Pint Farms [sic] heirloom tomatoes.”

But Half Pint Farm hasn’t harvested tomatoes since the fall of 2017, and the first harvest of this season will be in about six weeks, said Mara Welton, who owns and operates the farm at Burlington's Intervale with her husband, Spencer Welton.

Mara Welton handles farm deliveries herself, transporting produce to about 30 restaurants in Chittenden County. In the 13 years  that Half Pint has been growing tomatoes, Welton said she has never delivered them to Rí Rá.

“I’m infuriated. This is something that's been happening regularly," Welton said, meaning beyond this instance and this restaurant. “It happens on different levels and it erodes our brand, and I think it erodes every farm’s brand that is being used this way.”

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Friday, September 8, 2017

Dining on a Dime: Mad River Taste Place

Posted By on Fri, Sep 8, 2017 at 5:05 PM

Cheese board at Mad River Taste Place - SALLY POLLAK
  • Sally Pollak
  • Cheese board at Mad River Taste Place
Before dining on a dime in Waitsfield, I sat on a nickel.

On a made-in-Vermont swing through the Mad River Valley, I stopped for a peek at the Bundy Modern. Wow!  The stunning hillside gallery in a private home in Waitsfield is exhibiting the work of southern Vermont artist Johnny Swing through September 10.  (Read the Seven Days review here.) Many of Swing's pieces are made of money, including a low-slung couch of welded nickels that I sat on gingerly — mindful of the $150,000 price tag. Swing's chair of pennies is listed for a cool quarter mill.

With those prices in mind, I felt like I hit the bargain basement when I got to the Mad River Taste Place.  The priciest cheese, Sunrise from Mt. Mansfield Creamery, sells for $31.99 a pound. Most are in the $16 to $20 per pound price range, and all are made locally.

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Monday, August 7, 2017

The Big Feed at Shelburne Farms: Vermont Fresh Network Dinner

Posted By on Mon, Aug 7, 2017 at 4:01 PM

Vermont Fresh Network fundraiser at Shelburne Farms - SOPHIE X. POLLAK
  • Sophie X. Pollak
  • Vermont Fresh Network fundraiser at Shelburne Farms
The Vermont Fresh Network held its annual gala last Sunday evening at Shelburne Farms.  The occasion is billed as a "forum," but it's perhaps better described as a mass feeding.

About 400 people attended the sold-out fundraiser for the VFN — a statewide nonprofit that connects food producers and restaurateurs, and works to strengthen partnership between the groups. The network's membership includes 113 chefs and 140 farmers/food producers.

Sunday night at the Coach Barn, farmer-chef connections were on display in a delicious and creative array of mini-meals, from  complex (smoked beef with pickled blueberries and radishes, garlic-chili aioli, basil and mint) to simple (ham and butter on baguette).

To honor the event, we recognize seven contributions:

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Friday, February 3, 2017

The Simmering Bone Sells the Nourishing Power of Broth

Posted By on Fri, Feb 3, 2017 at 7:00 AM

Beef broth from the Simmering Bone - COURTESY OF THE SIMMERING BONE
  • Courtesy of the Simmering Bone
  • Beef broth from the Simmering Bone
After Rachel Collier had her first child, she researched best practices for introducing solid foods to little ones. In the process, bone broth — which is made by simmering bones slowly over a long period of time to extract as many nutrients as possible — came up again and again. Now, it's not only a part of her family's daily diet, it's also the basis for her business, the Simmering Bone. "It's pretty amazing stuff," she explains.

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Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Tilt (Finally!) Opens in South Burlington

Posted By on Wed, Jul 2, 2014 at 10:21 PM

1983 game Tapper isn't in the house, but its bartender is, attending to E. Honda and Darth Vader
  • 1983 game Tapper isn't in the house, but its bartender is, attending to E. Honda and Darth Vader
There was no escaping the heat last night. But inside Tilt Classic Arcade and Ale House, it was practically a sauna. The air conditioning shorted out earlier that day, leaving the restaurant steamy by its 7:30 p.m. opening. The system will be fixed on Thursday morning, but the throngs at last night's opening sweated to the oldies nonetheless. 

Anticipation had built to a fever pitch since Seven Days announced the upcoming "adult" arcade in March. The usual new-restaurant holdups ensued, slowed by the major renovations to the space involved in creating Tilt's two floors of arcade games in just 12 weeks

"It's been a series of unfortunate events," says co-owner Thom Dodge, of the weeks and days that led up to opening.

Last week, the fire department was called to the space to help with wiring concerns in the hood system. Following a longer-than-expected wait for approval from the fire marshall, Tilt opened at last evening after a brief false start of a promised 3 p.m. debut.

What did gamers find? 

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Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Carpe Buzz: Fresh Brews to Sip This Season

Posted By on Tue, May 20, 2014 at 5:49 PM

After winning Seven Days' Vermont Brew Bracket in April - FILE PHOTO: 14TH STAR BREWING
  • File photo: 14th Star Brewing
  • After winning Seven Days' Vermont Brew Bracket in April

Vermonters are observing their rites of spring – warm days blossom with floral dresses and rosy, bare chests, and by evening, sunburns for paler, more foolhardy revelers.

For casual tipplers and craftbrew dilettantes alike, spring also means bright, sunny beers best sipped fresh in the open air, whether the venue is your back porch, on the lake or in the garden, or at your favorite watering hole.

Over the last few weeks, Vermont’s brewmasters have been rolling out the season’s new releases. It's a fruity, citrusy batch that predictably forges new trails into IPA territory, with stops along the way for ciders, sours and saisons. Just in time for Memorial Day and the official (unofficial) start of summer.

Read on for a smattering of noteworthy new brews, listed by release date.

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Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Three Penny Taproom Debuts All-American New Menu

Posted By on Tue, Apr 1, 2014 at 2:11 PM

The Hasslehoff Burger is best enjoyed shirtless.
  • The Hasslehoff Burger is best enjoyed shirtless.
Hungry for a Hasselhoff Burger? The $34 patty is cooked well done and topped with ketchup, then served on the bathroom floor. "The celebrity price is in line with the celebrity experience," says a representative for Montpelier's Three Penny Taproom, which debuted a new spring menu today.

The source told Seven Days that the new menu was designed to keepThree Penny in line with popular New York restaurants, such as Guy Fieri's landmark Guy's Kitchen & Bar.

Starting today, Three Penny guests will be welcomed to "Flavor Town" with a new take on the cheese plate. Kraft Singles, Cheetos or Easy Cheese are each available for $9. Larger parties may want to indulge in all three for $15, served with a side of ketchup.

Waist watchers can stick to the salad menu. The Jell-O salad is composed of lime gelatin, canned pineapple and artisanal marshmallows, while the taco salad features Doritos and jarred salsa.

Since Three Penny is ultimately a beer destination, snacks and sides are an important addition to a can of Schlitz or Olde English 800. Irish Nachos make the most of our Blarney-kissin' cousins' cuisine with boiled waffle fries, Kilkenny jalapeños and a Guinness drizzle. An original dish, Pigs in a Biskit, features pigs-in-a-blanket, crusted with Chicken in a Biskit crackers.

One sweet snack is appropriate as a starter, side or dessert. A bowl of Cinnamon Toast Crunch will run you $6. Add milk for just $17 more.

We look forward to trying Three Penny's hip new fare soon, with or without a shirt.

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Thursday, March 20, 2014

Chewing the (Local, Organic) Fat With Alice Waters

Posted By on Thu, Mar 20, 2014 at 12:10 PM

Alice Waters - GILLES MINGASSON
  • Gilles Mingasson
  • Alice Waters
Alice Waters will be visiting Vermont early next month. She'll speak at Sterling College's Dunbar Hall on April 3 at 6:30 p.m. But she isn't just a celebrity chef, restaurateur and Slow Food pioneer passing through on a press tour. Waters has New England connections: Her daughter, Fanny, attended the Mountain School in Vershire, and Waters herself has an honorary degree from Dartmouth College. 

Most importantly, she has friends in Vermont. The first leg of her tour will be under the guidance of famous food writer and sometime Northeast Kingdom resident Marian Burros. After her visit to Sterling, Waters will tour Burlington's Intervale Center with its community relations manager, Joyce Cellars.

Spearheading such events has been Cellars' job when other luminaries, such as Mark Bittman, came to town. But this visit will be special. According to Waters, "[Cellars] came to work at Chez Panisse when she was very young. She was my right arm."

Waters is not only a restaurant luminary but an activist: Her Edible Schoolyard Program has gained traction in bringing real food to K-12 schools, and she hopes to see the movement expand to schools and hospitals across the country. 

In anticipation of her whirlwind tour, we checked in with Waters about Vermont cuisine, food ethics and eating shoes.

SEVEN DAYS: What brings you to Vermont?
ALICE WATERS: I think there are a lot of things that bring me to Vermont. Sterling is certainly a place that I’ve heard about for a long time from Marian Burros. She just wants me to see the way the curriculum works, the way food is served, and I’m very, very interested in that, of course. 

I also have a very, very good friend, Joyce Cellars at the Intervale. She is connected with Slow Food Vermont, and they're very excited to have me come and sign books and talk the talk.

I guess I always have these big visions of what can happen there. I’ve thought for a very long time that Vermont is the state that is really ready for edible education in the public schools — to officially get [to a point] to feed all children real food for school lunch would be an irresistible model for this country. 

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Monday, March 10, 2014

Alice Waters to Speak at Sterling College

Posted By on Mon, Mar 10, 2014 at 11:50 AM

alice-waters-by-gilles-mingasson_small.jpg
"60 Minutes" called her "the mother of Slow Food." Foodies know her as much for her work with public policy as her groundbreaking cookbooks. Yep, we're talking about Alice Waters,

With a recent surge in big names including Sandor Katz filling the instructor lists for sustainable food programs at Sterling College, it's not a big surprise that a talk by Waters, the woman behind Berkeley, Calif.'s world-famous Chez Panisse, is the college's latest coup.

Waters will appear at Sterling early next month as part of the school's Vermont’s Table Speaker Series. Past speakers have included ecologist and ethnobotanist Gary Nabhan and The Art of Fermentation author Sandor Katz. He'll teach a course in fermentation at Sterling in July.

Will Waters be Sterling's next visiting professor? It's unlikely, given the restaurateur's busy schedule of running her legendary restaurant and writing cookbooks such as The Art of Simple Food and In the Green Kitchen. Waters is also known for pioneering the Edible Schoolyard at Berkeley’s Martin Luther King Jr., Middle School. That program led to the School Lunch Initiative, a national program that has influenced Vermont's own push for local food in schools.

Vermonters can see Waters on April 3 at 6:30 p.m. at Sterling's Dunbar Hall. The event will be free, but tickets must be presented at the door. Slow Food lovers can reserve seats and learn more about the event at sterlingcollege.edu.


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