A new movement in the world of food is sweeping the nation, producing and delivering fresh, locally sourced ingredients straight to your plates. The growing trend is referred to as “farm-to-table,” or “farm-to-fork,” and independently owned restaurants all around are savoring the healthy benefits and plentiful options that it provides. In fact, a recent New York Times article on the subject highlights two acclaimed city chefs who recently decided to bring their recipes to the very place of their origin—the picturesque countryside of Litchfield County, Conn. and the beautiful Berkshires.
Generally speaking, farm-to-table chefs use traditional styles of cooking that emphasize freshness, seasonality and local availability. Some restaurants that follow this methodology may buy their produce directly from nearby farmers, while others are farms themselves. Farm-to-table techniques have recently gained tremendous popularity due to the many food movements occurring around the country, stemming from an increase in awareness for food safety, freshness, quality and other concerns.
Not surprisingly, the bucolic countryside of the Berkshires, Mass. and Litchfield County, Conn., serves as the ideal haven for this recent demand for healthy foods, ultimately taking a predominately metropolitan trend to its true roots—the very land on which each carefully thought-out ingredient is grown. Gladys Montgomery, an agent in our Great Barrington brokerage, describes this unique dining style as now being a vital part of the local experience. “Our longstanding tradition of organic farming provides wonderful locally grown ingredients and farm-to-fork inspiration for the chefs who create the Berkshires’ extraordinarily vibrant culinary scene,” said Montgomery.
The New York Times article, appropriately titled “City Chefs Gone Country,” first details a cozy restaurant in Great Barrington, Mass., known as “Prairie Whale.” The simple yet deeply satisfying, locally sourced eatery is owned by Mark Firth, co-founder of the Brooklyn restaurant group Marlow & Sons, a company highly regarded for its expertise in bringing the country to the city with its chosen food and rustic décor. Tempted by frequent visits to the Berkshires to choose the suppliers of his culinary masterpieces, Firth eventually moved his kitchen up north, and now serves members of the Berkshire community with scrumptious, homegrown options. “The White Hart Inn” is another lovely “farm-to-fork” restaurant featured in the article that hits close to home. Located in Salisbury, Conn., resting near charming town centers, rural landscapes and activity-rich offerings including nearby trails and hiking paths to the Berkshires, this 19th-century dining destination and inn conveniently utilizes fresh ingredients from the farm down the street. English-born chef Annie Wayte, previously known for her work running the kitchens of fashion designer Nicole Farhi’s acclaimed London and New York restaurants, serves as the owner of this popular, healthy spot in town.
Other favorite fresh dining options include Litchfield County’s Arethusa al tavolo and Community Table, as well as The Old Inn on the Green in New Marlborough, Mass., Rouge in West Stockbridge, Chez Nous Bistro in Lee, Café Adam in Great Barrington, Wheatleigh Resort in Lenox and Hops & Vines in Williamstown. But the “farm-to-fork” options don’t end there! New England is overgrown with an abundance of fresh dining options. Make sure to ask around and do your research before planning your next weekend getaway to properly enjoy the total, farm-fresh cultural experience of the region.