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Leftover food news: New chefs debut; Vermont Farmstead Cheese Company expands

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Chef Chris Zint has joined the staff of the Hinesburg Public House, which is expected to open before the end of the year.

Zint was most recently the chef at the Porch in Rochester, which closed in early October. Before that, he helmed the kitchen at Warren’s Pitcher Inn.

As Zint finalizes the menu, owner Will Patten says the Public House will be the exclusive purveyor of grass-fed Angus beef from Hinesburg’s Grass Roots Farm, which is owned by Paul List.

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The Basin Harbor Club has a new executive chef: Christian Kruse, formerly executive sous-chef to chef Rod Rehwinkel. Kruse stepped in as acting executive chef when Rehwinkel left the resort earlier this fall.

The chef, who is entering his eighth year at the resort, first arrived there as an intern from the New England Culinary Institute. Now, he says, he’ll focus on recruiting culinary students to work in his massive kitchen.

With the help of consultant and former NECI vice president Paul Sorgule, Kruse says he hopes to build on Rehwinkel’s modernization of the kitchen and new relationships with local farmers. He hints that he’ll introduce big changes of his own in the 2013 season. Stay tuned.

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Woodstock’s Vermont Farmstead Cheese Company is taking a huge leap forward, or rather outward. The 2-year-old company will debut its cheeses in 14 states this month, selling them outside Vermont for the first time.

VFCC’s cheeses will be sold at 200 or more stores in New York, Massachusetts and throughout the South. The move comes on the heels of more good news: VFCC’s Governor’s Cheddar was chosen as the top cow’s-milk cheddar (aged 12 to 24 months) at the most recent American Cheese Society Annual Conference. That brings to 32 the number of awards the company has won for 15 of its 17 cheeses.

How to account for VFCC’s meteoric success? Talented cheese-makers play a role, certainly, but it’s worth noting that VFCC’s bovines catch their Zs on temperature-controlled waterbeds — a growing trend in the dairy world.

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