Wow, what a great conference I attended last week. It was hosted by Dutchess County Tourism and with over 100 attendees from restaurant owners, caterers, farmers, educators, wineries etc. from around the Hudson Valley. A lot of exciting culinary events, projects, groups are happening in the valley and the amount of people who are visiting the Hudson Valley has grown in these last 5 yrs. This valley is becoming a desired destination for tourism like our west coast folks in the Napa Valley Region. There is an incredible richness of farms, wineries, restaurants, parks, historical sites and roadways that are beautiful during our four seasons with our Fall Season being the most colorful!
The conference was hosted by Mary Kay Vrba, Director of Dutchess County Tourism (second from the right) and ran from 9:00-3:00. It started with a panel discussion on local agritourism lead by three excellent Hudson Valley Chefs, Peter Xavier Kelly, Chef, Vintner, Restaurateur, Laura Pensiero, from Gigi Hudson Vallley, Mark Strausman from Agriturismo. Also, Sara Grady from the Glynwood Center in Garrison, NY spoke on Hard Cider Week and Cider Trail.
Janet Crawshaw from the Valley Table spoke on upcoming Restaurant Week, March 18th-31st and share with us on ideas for packaging the many types of food, hotel, B&B, farms, restaurants etc. and how to work on collaborative culinary packages too.
Lunch was included in this conference and wow what a treat! From the pictures above, this was our lunch and Dessert and it was all from a Hudson Valley Farm. Here’s the menu and where everything came from. Absolutely delicious and another treat that we had during lunch was to listen to Betty Fussell speak on Tasting the River and the Rock.
Salad of Organic Baby Greens and Hot House Tomatoes crowned with Fresh Chevre
From Continental Organics, New Windsor
Mt. Fresh Farms, Highland
Sprout Creek Farm, Poughkeepsie-their goat cheese is melt in your mouth good!
Pan-roasted French cut Chicken Breast, Reserved Pan Jus
from Campanelli’s Poultry Farm, Kenoza Lake. I get their Chickens from Adams and they are very tender, juicy and fresh tasting.
Sautéed String Beans and Herb Roasted Potatoes
Winter Sun Farms, Kingston
Plecan Farms, New Hampton
Warm Granny Smith Apple Crisp with Cinnamon Ice Cream
Hurds Family Farm, Modena
Benny and Caesar’s Ice Cream Poughkeepsie
And do you believe this home grown lunch and conference was $65.00!