Friday, December 8, 2006

A Whisper from the Kingdom....

Sustainable Hardwick

People are starting to talk. At the center of a growing community of organic farms, dairies, local milk processing, soy-based products, and artisan cheese makers, Hardwick is taking the lead in Vermont agriculture. But with all the "growing" and "producing," there has been relatively little change in cooking outside the home since the Buffalo Mountain Co-op opened its second floor cafe.

That is about to change. New restaurants and cafes are looking to Hardwick and neighboring towns because of the proximity to farms, new business, and outdoor activities, as well as the cultural programming at the Hardwick Town House.

Among the new ventures is our project, Claire's. Named for local artist and legendary host Claire Fern, our cafe is inspired by the sense of community and the commitment to the land we all share in Hardwick. We call that New Vermont Cooking. It is not just a flavor or a fad. It is a way of life - how we live in a community and build opportunity for all of us, our responsibility to farmers, guests, our staff, and our neighbors. We believe in the self-reliance for which Vermont is famous, as well as our open and welcoming hospitality. New Vermont Cooking is a way of life as well as a way of cooking.

Our Community
This blog is not a commercial endeavor, but a forum for discussing New Vermont Cooking, local and sustainable agriculture, artisan products, and the rural economy. We will post items about our project - how we are making Claire's come about and the challenges of opening a restaurant. We welcome others in the community to post on their own experiences and ideas as a forum to promote our community and the values we live by.

Recipes and Cooking
Of course, we will include recipes inspired by local ingredients, and encourage others to do so also.

(Photo: Chef Steven Obranovich and Claire's partner as well as Galaxy Bookshop owner Linda Ramsdell. Photo, by Mike Bosia, originally published in the "Side Dishes" column of Seven Days)

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

WE are all looking forward to Claire's opening.