Vermont was all over the big-time food mags this month. In Gourmet's "Good Living" gift guide, a $5 package of Vermont Smoke & Cure pepperoni looks like an amazing value next to other items in the spread, such as a $14 bottle of artisan soy sauce and a $35 jar of pistachio paste.
In Food & Wine, West Coast cheese guru Laura Werlin touts a couple of Vermont varieties - Vermont Butter & Cheese Company's "unctuous" bloomy-rind "Bijou" and the washed-rind "Saraband" from Dancing Cow Farm in Bridport - in a piece on preparing "The Great American Cheese Plate." There's also a recipe for an apple cake with toffee crust from pastry chef Lara Atkins, co-owner of The Kitchen Table Bistro in Richmond.
F&W didn't have an Atkins exclusive. Another KTB recipe appears in Bon Appétit's monthly "Readers' Favorite Restaurant Recipes" section. This one is for garlic-roasted chicken with fingerling potatoes and bacon. There's another Vermont entry in that piece, too: sweet potato and ham soup from the Inn at Essex.
Readers of the mag who page further will find a collection of recipes by Susan Reid of King Arthur Flour in Norwich, who shows them how to make cranberry-cornmeal quick bread, whole-wheat rolls and "dipping biscuits."
And all three 'zines laud The Tenth Muse: My Life in Food, a new memoir by part-time Green Mountains resident Judith Jones, Knopf editor and cookbook author extraordinaire. A young Jones was responsible for getting a weighty, previously rejected tome by a trio of unfamiliar authors into print. The book, Mastering the Art of French Cooking, by Julia Child, Louisette Bertholle and Simone Beck, would have a profound impact on American kitchens.
Meals and wheels? Chris Conn, formerly of Stone Soup in Burlington, recently left the crunchy café to start up a staff-only, mostly organic eatery at Dealer.com's new LEED-certified Pine Street building. The dining facility, which will serve the company's 125 employees, is slated to open in November. Conn is in the process of hiring kitchen help and a skilled barista.
He plans to bring in local, seasonal veggies from Black River Produce, meat from LaPlatte River Angus Farm and Misty Knoll, and bread from Red Hen and O'Bread bakeries. "I'm going to work with as many local people as possible . . . The [company] president wants to encourage . . . the healthiest food available," Conn says. His wife, Emily, will make breakfast pastries and cakes for the restaurant in their certified home bakery.
Dealer.com will also provide a bunch of ways to work off the calories the Conns supply. Chris cites a gym, a one-on-one b-ball court and a planned full-sized tennis court as a few of the workplace's amenities.
Tuscan Kitchen, on Shelburne Road in South Burlington, has closed. According to a staffer who answered the phone at the defunct eatery, which was owned by the Reel Hospitality restaurant group, "The building sold." She believes the structure, which housed Perry's Fish House before being reincarnated as a Mediterranean resto, "is going to be leveled" by the developer who purchased it. Reel Hospitality spokespeople did not respond to messages at press time. According to the company's website, any outstanding gift cards may be redeemed at Sweetwaters, the group's remaining local property. "Please know that we have worked hard to maintain an affordable, locally owned, family-style restaurant on Shelburne Road for the community . . . we have deeply appreciated your patronage and support," the announcement reads.
Since June, a new sushi chef has been dishing up the fish at Sakura Bana on Church Street. Sakura manager Ron Takahashi confirms that "Take" Matsuda, formerly a chef at the high-end Okei in Tokyo, sliced sashimi in New York City and California before moving to Vermont. Have things changed since his arrival? "[The food] is basically the same, but with better presentation," Takahashi suggests.