Food and Culture

Singing Out Against Hunger 2016 Series

Founded in 2003, Singing Out Against Hunger was created to provide nutritious food for our neighbors in need and to raise awareness of their ongoing plight.  In cooperation with local merchants, volunteer musicians, and civic-minded people, Singing Out Against Hunger raises thousands of dollars each year through free musical events, raffles, and donations.  “We believe that self-expression, through music and the arts, a volunteer spirit, and the talents of individuals will help to rid the East Bay communities of hunger”.

10417771_621404817956084_320568549749734131_n

Since their inception, SOAH has raised more than $165,000 and has provided over 100,000 pounds of food to community food banks and suppliers. Their impact has aided over 3,500 households and over 5,000 individuals in the East Bay area.

10600477_662381493858416_8169792956971289934_n

Each year, Singing Out hosts free, local concerts for the enjoyment of the community, while raising money and showcasing local merchants & musicians. This year, SOAH will be hosting their free concert series at Evelyn’s Drive-In, as well as events at The Sakonnet Collective, Coastal Roasters, Art Cafe and South Shore Beach just to name a few venues. “You may think that food insecurity isn’t a factor in the neighborhood that you live in, yet 1 in 6 children are living in poverty right here in Rhode Island”. Hunger affects the old, the young, single individuals & family’s alike. Come support this grassroots organization, enjoy an afternoon of fun, all for an amazing cause!

Upcoming+EventsFor all event info, and more information on volunteering, hosting an event, or seeing what they are all about, visit their website at www.singingoutagainsthunger.org and follow them on Facebook & Instagram.

Sakonnet Collective Concert Series– Saturday, June 11, 2016- 
The Art Cafe Concert Series-

Evelyn’s Drive-In Concert Series-

Evelyn’s Drive-In Concert Series-

Coastal Roasters Concert Series-

South Shore Beach Concert Series-

Evelyn’s Drive-In Concert Series-

Sandywoods Concert Series-

 

The Tranquil Living Experience on the Farmcoast

Anyone who is looking for a tranquil experience — give the hidden secret of Little Compton a taste. Vast fields surrounded by pristine beaches, the country-side town is the perfect place to call home for the true adventurer.

farmcoast-12
The drive out to Little Compton is absolutely stunning. Roll down your windows and let mother nature take its course through your hair. Make sure to stop at Milk & Honey Bazaar. It is an artisanal cheese and specialty foods market located in historic Tiverton Four Corners, RI. Visitors are encouraged to sample there selection, as this is the best way to find what makes your tastebuds happy.
farmcoast-11


farmcoast-5  farmcoast-6

Of course, to compliment the cheese…one must find the perfect wine. Carolyn’s Sakonnet Vineyards  is more than just a winery. It’s a place that charms the senses. It’s masterpiece allowing the mind, body + tastebuds to be stimulated. 100% Vidal Blanc showcases flavors and aromas of lime, grapefruit, and pear. Crisp and medium bodied, it pairs well with summer salads and seafood.

farmcoast-7farmcoast-1
If you have already fallen in love with Little Compton, Libby Kirwin Real Estate has a property blooming with farm charm ready to be called home. Tucked away, this bohemian home is full of character. The outdoor fireplace makes a perfect setting for colorful fall bbq’s and the spacious interior leave possibility for exquisite design. Little Compton is a playground. Especially for those who love farm-life, gardening, being outdoors + the ocean. 

farmcoast-4farmcoast-3

 

farmcoast-9

It’s hard to picture “home” any other way.

Written by Marial Maher of Libby Kirwin Real Estate
All photography by Visual Manor
farmcoast-2

Festivals on the FarmCoast

Summer is a time to celebrate, and here on the FarmCoast there are plenty of chances to join in the festivities. FarmCoast festivals highlight the unique people, art, food, and landscape of our four towns and are happening here all summer long!

The Westport Fair July 16th– 20th

Here’s where you can experience a good old-fashioned summer fair right on the FarmCoast. Think local crafts, BBQ, 4H, carnivals, and music. In partnership with Lee’s Supermarket the fair grants scholarships each year to community recipients. The fair is located at 200 Pine Hill Road Westport, MA. For more information visit the fair website.

Arts and Artisan Festival July 19th

The 27th annual Arts and Artisan Festival is the longest standing art fest on the FarmCoast and is one of the many FarmCoast traditions that only gets brighter with age. The festival features over 75 New England artists showcasing everything from textiles to painting to photography and more. Live entertainment and amazing food by the Acacia Café food truck will be there all day long. The festival is held on lawn behind the behind The Mill Pond Shops in historic Tiverton Four Corners at 3998 Main Rd Tiverton, RI from 10-4pm. The rain date is Sunday, July 20th. To learn more about the festival and vendors, click here.

Padanaram Village Celebration July 26-27th

Explore Padanaram and the “Days of Yore” in this two-day celebration commemorating Dartmouth’s 350th anniversary. Saturday enjoy sidewalk sales, nature walks, a SEMAP culinary presentation, historic reenactments, concerts, tractor rides and more. Sunday brings more historic presentations, a baseball game, and family centered events. There will even be a birthday cake! For more information about this two-day event, click here.

SouthCoast Artists Tours July 19th & 20th AND August 16th and 17th

Now in their 11th year, the South Coast Artists are once again opening their doors during the Open Studio Tours this summer, providing visitors a glance at the life and work of established and unique area artists. Grab a tour map and wander through the FarmCoast towns on your choice of two weekends this summer to see live multi-media painting, sculpting and pottery, mosaic and more. The SouthCoast Artists are a non-profit organization working together to preserve and enrich the community through art. Click here for more information or to download a map.

Cultural Survival Bazaar July 26th and 27th

A traveling Bazaar of indigenous art and culture, this celebration of native people is the most colorful of the FarmCoast festivals. Here you will find tribal crafts, artwork, clothing, jewelry, carpets, and accessories, not to mention live music, Native American storytelling, cultural presentations, craft-making demonstrations, and short films all on the lawn of the Soule-Seabury House in Tiverton Four Corners from 10am to 5pm. Dedicated to the principals of fair trade the Bazaar facilitates the expansion and access to American markets. In the past seven years alone the bazaars have generated over $3 million for indigenous artisans, fair trade businesses, indigenous communities’ programs, and Cultural Survival’s work on behalf of indigenous peoples. For more information on the mission, the artists and performances click here.

Sing out Against Hunger  July 26th through October

A series of music performances by local musicians will once again take the stage on the FarmCoast to raise awareness and gather canned goods for the Tiverton Food Drive. In cooperation with local merchants, volunteer musicians, and civic-minded people, Singing Out Against Hunger raises thousands of dollars each year to help rid the community of hunger. Their main event at Evelyn’s Drive In will take place September 12-14th where you can find raffle prizes, a silent auction, and great local bands. Other concert locations and dates can be found here.

Hope to see you at one of the many Festivals this summer!

Community Supported Agriculture: Top 10 Reasons to get a Farmcoast CSA this Summer

Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) is a big part of the FarmCoast heritage. The land in all it’s lush and fertile beauty is credit to the bountiful farms and farmers and their faithful integrity. If you haven’t signed up for a farm share this year, here are ten reasons why you should. Scroll down for a list of farms on the FarmCoast offering delicious summer produce.

10. Because we all know by now to SHOP LOCAL. 100% of your money spent on a farm share goes right to the farmer who picked those veggies allowing them to more efficiently sustain their business and crops.

9. Because in your market bag each week will be super FRESH, colorful, often ORGANIC produce that you’d pay more for in the grocery store.

8. Because the average COST of a couple’s farmshare is about $25 per week. For the same cost as a trip to the movies you can help to sustain and maintain the farms and open space on the FarmCoast for years to come and eat vegetables while you’re doing it.

7. Because summertime is a great time to get CREATIVE in the kitchen. Each week you’ll bring home an assortment of seasonal produce giving your dinner menu a chance to refresh. Not sure what to do with kohlrabi? Not to worry, many of the farms send home recipes to accompany their veggies.

6. Because you’ll get to know your farmer and other veggie-loving farmcoast FRIENDS. Anyone for a farmcoast CSA cook-out?

5. Because you’ll be in the know. Your trip to the farm each week will be like a crash course in eating by season, and even long after your CSA has expired you will continue to shop smarter and cook healthier.

4. Did we mention healthy eating?

3. Because food is culture, and part of the FarmCoast CULTURE is food. Join the wave of Farmcoast foodies!

2. Because getting it from the farm will minimize your carbon FOOTPRINT by decreasing how far your food travels.  Most food travels over 1500 miles before you eat it!

1. Tomatoes, corn, sugar snap peas, beets, blueberries, peppers, kale, cucumbers, peaches, squash, garlic, and happiness all summer long.


It’s not too late to get in on a CSA this summer. Below are a list of FarmCoast farms offering shares.Contact individual farms for details and share availability. Most begin in the next couple of weeks so don’t wait! Do you already have a share? Let us know what’s your favorite CSA take-home.

Tiverton

Roots Farm 

Mello’s Farm Stand

Little Compton

Wishing Stone Farm

Westport MA

Hilltop Farm

Skinny Dip Farm 

Dartmouth
Apponagansett Farm 

Brix Bounty Farm

Round the Bend Farm

Silverbrook Farm

Look Who’s New on the FarmCoast

A host of new members have jumped on the sustainably-minded bandwagon we call the FarmCoast, a beautiful stretch of land that sits on the coastal border of Massachusetts and Rhode Island. Farmcoast, as the name implies, is a community graciously dependent on its land, but farms are not all you will find here. Food caught fresh and sustainably sourced, clothing hand-made and fair-trade, art in many accomplished forms, and people who appreciate these precious modern amenities are all scattered across the FarmCoast landscape. If you haven’t been to this region of New England yet, now’s the perfect time. Here are some of 2014’s newest members. Welcome aboard!

The Local Bouquet

The local bouquet is a full service “field to vase” floral design studio using domestic and locally grown flowers and offering gorgeous event assortments, flower subscriptions, and workshops. Visit their website to learn more about Mary-Kate and Maureen or to order your own FarmCoast blooms.

Simmons Cafe and Market

You will find some flowers from the local bouquet stocked in the new Simmons Cafe and Market, a historic, lively café and marketplace that features natural and organic foods, local products, healthy meals, art, music, and wifi. Simmons Cafe is located at 78A Crandall Rd in Little Compton, RI.

Shop-Isa

An artist gallery and artisan boutique overlooking the Sakonnet River, Shop-Isa features a blossoming assortment of fair-trade and handmade goods. You will find everything from soaps and jewelry, to photography and up-cycled home vintage accessories. Find Shop Isa at 1793 Main Rd. Tiverton,RI and online at shopisa.tumblr.com.

Katherine Lovell Studio and Gallery

Previously part of the Mill Pond Shops, Katherine Lovell will be joining the FarmCoast and the lively arts community in Tiverton Four Corners in a new location at 3895 Main Road in Tiverton. Don’t miss her grand opening on June 14th to see wonderful, nature-inspired works of art! To learn more about her paintings visit klovell.com.

Acacia Cafe-Food Truck

Acacia Cafe is the tastiest new FarmCoast member, a Food Truck, serving up a mouthwatering menu and traveling throughout Rhode Island and the southcoast of Massachusetts at regular locations and special events. All their ingredients are locally grown and sourced, all natural and organic whenever possible. They will be guests of honor at the Tiverton Four Corners Food Truck Concert Series this summer, don’t miss it! For more information on their food, locations, and menu visit them online at acaciacafe.com.

Sakonnet Collective

A new member with a new location in Tiverton Four Corners, this colorful art gallery and studio brings excitement and enthusiasm along with fine furniture, sculptures, mixed media art, ceramics, and jewelry crafted by local and resident artists as well as visiting artists. Stop by their new location at 3842 Main Rd, Tiverton, RI for their Grand Opening on June 14th or visit them online at thesakonnetcollective.com.


Tess & Carlos

 
An urban upscale boutique comes to the village of Four Corners! Tess and Carlos is well-known for their high-quality, European-style women’s clothing and accessories. They have stores in and around the Boston metropolitan area and now right here on the FarmCoast. Read all about their new boutique on the Discover Rhode Island Style Blog!

For a full listing of all FarmCoast Members, visit our website at www.farmcoast.com.

Set in Stone

On the breezy front porch of the Stone House, Stefanie May took a break from reservations for some afternoon sun and a chat about the place many vacationers, and even locals, are just now discovering for the first time. “This is our year,” Stefanie said of the Stone House, a sultry and secluded estate surrounded by a glimmering seascape and outstretched gardens. This once-exclusive 1854 residence has been through the hands of many proprietors throughout the years and is now in its 6th year of operation as an The Stone House…an inn, tavern, day spa, and special events venue. This summer, the Stone House is celebrating the sweetness of their most fruitful season yet.

Despite it’s size, this rural destination in Little Compton, RI is anything but overwhelming. Park in their private lot and wander over the expansive lawn in front of the house to gaze at the sea before checking in. Step through the lobby, modest and stylishly minimalistic, mirroring the calmness of the summer town and humbling visitors with its serenity. Subtle historic details–like a winding spiral staircase– honor the original architecture and provide just enough New England charm.

Choose from 13 artfully simplistic rooms in either the main house or the Wood Barn with the same mix of modern design and historic preservation. Each guest room is equipped with custom-made linens, i-pod docks, and a “gourmet corner,” but if you want a little more luxury,  upgrade to a room with features like their Japanese style soaking tub, heated flooring, fireplace, or stunning water views. Keeping with the Italian style in which it was built, the Lantern room invites its guests to enjoy the cupola, a 360° outlook tower offering arguably one of the most beautiful views in Little Compton.

Among new amenities to the property is this year’s new in-house chef, Steve Osman, already getting “rave reviews,” says Stefanie, with an impressively native Tap Room menu, served the inn’s downstairs speakeasy, and tempting tapas selection that can be enjoyed on their outdoor patio. Other perks of staying at the Stone House include a panoramic view of the water from the front porch, and of course, the beach, just a short walk from the main doors of the property. Don’t forget to make an appointment at the spa which boasts a seductive selection of treatments from aromatherapy to deep tissue massage.

This year the Stone House hosted 13 weddings and hopes to expand its wedding community in the years to come. They hold many other special events throughout the year, most recently a 15-year anniversary party for their friendly neighbor and  jewelry designer Tiffany Peay. Personalizing each event among the Stone House staff’s top priorities; “We pride ourselves on service,” says Stefanie. Another Stone House employee, and special event floral designer Marc Vaughn, revealed a garden cove on the front lawn that he and the staff would be transforming into an intimate ceremony location for an upcoming wedding. “We’re really here for outside guests as well as locals. We’re moving upwards.”

Come for the service, the style, the beach, the spa, or the cuisine. But whatever you come for, may it be as rejuvenating and romantic as the view from the porch of the Stone House.

Learn more about the Stone House at stonehouse1854.com

Worth the Journey

A fresh cup of coffee and hot breakfast, like most other things in New Enlgand, come with a long history, especially if your griddle-compainion of choice are jonnycakes. These sweet little cakes are made from ground corn meal, a tradition that dates back to colonial New England when travelers would fill small knapsacks with the ground meal as food for a long journey. Some think a variation of spelling over time is what started the name jonnycakes, but others remain skeptical. Even Gray’s can’t say for sure where the namecomes from, but what they do know is that Rhode Island is (or should be) the only place to get the goods. Started over 300 years ago, Gray’s Grist Mill is still grinding this Rhode Island breakfast staple, celebrating a tradition that intrigues and delights rhody locals and neighbors alike.

Thorton Simmons and wife Mary now operate this historic mill/museum located on the thin line between Westport, MA and Adamsville, RI. Recently mentioned on the Today Show, the famous mill has gone through several owners since it’s first documented ownership in 1717, and each has been devoted to the outstanding preservation of this once-mainstream occupation. Long ago, (centuries really) grist mills were the thing. Each town had it’s own, and each mill provided livelihood to the growing populations. Today grist mills are as rare as people like Thorton and Mary who devote their time to the history and labor. However, with the help of a few modern accessories like an electric motor (mills were once powered by water), the work is little lighter. Despite some advances, the mill stands true to its roots; it makes good use of two 1 ½ ton stones to crush corn kernels for one thing.

Narragansett Indian Flint corn, is the corn of choice. This hard-to-grow variation of corn is best nurtured in Rhode Island soil; its uniquely sweet flavor makes for a sweet breakfast, and a proud crop of Rhode Islanders. Rhode Islanders are not the only ones who know a good thing when they see it; chefs and local cafes across the region stock Gray’s jonnycake mix for hungry customers.The best part: the mix ground fresh, is preservative-free making it one of the most all-natural, all-local foods you can get your hands on. The modern miller recommends keeping your mix in the fridge.

Whether your going to get some fresh breafast or to tour the history of the mill, a stop at Gray’s is worth the journey. Thorton even says there’s talk of a coffee shop in the Mill’s future, a chance to make this stop on the FarmCoast a little sweeter.

To get an insider’s perspective on the workings of the oldest New England Grist Mill, and a few delicious recipes, visit www.graysgristmill.com.

Among the Wild Flowers

Creeping into the essence of our culture is a not-so-new food movement where salad is picked from the backyard, honeys and jellies are collected in kitchen jars, and whisky’s distilled in big stainless pots; “The small farmer is the new gastronomic superhero,” says NPR’s Bonny Wolf. Another popular food expert is no stranger to the heroism of local farmers. Didi Emmons, the Boston-based “roving Eco-chef” found one farming superhero worth shadowing for over 10 years. The result: her new cookbook, Wild Flavors, featuring all the nitty-gritty details about one glorious garden, and the flavors that bring bushels of popular, smitten chefs to Eva Sommaripa’s bounty.

Eva is not your average 70-year-old, and not your typical farmer either. Perhaps that’s what drew Didi like a magnet to the unconventional farm in South Dartmouth back in 2001. Known as Eva’s Garden, the farm was then building a solid customer base of renowned New England chefs excited by the innovative flavors grown by Eva and her team. Like many local farmers and FarmCoast residents, Eva found a sanctuary in the fertility of the coastal land. After traveling back and forth to Cambridge restaurants in the early stages of her farming operation, top chefs quickly propelled Eva to a celebrity status.

In her garden, weeds are a delicacy, and plants you’ve never heard of make dishes to die for. While Eva’s Garden has over 200 varieties of wild flowers, herbs, and greens, Wild Flavors features over 40 of the common and uncommon varieties, and 150 recipes to enjoy them. If you’ve resolved to eat more vegetables this year, this book will certainly give you a jolt of enthusiasm.  The book is divided into seasons with recipes to suit the theme of whats growing at any given time. Didi’s picks for winter (themed, “Salvaging”) include dishes like Parsnip Tea Cake, Root Vegetable Latkes, and Sprouted Hummus. Between the recipes, Didi details the life cycle and botany of the ingredients, and the story of the inspiring woman who grows the plants. Eva’s gained significant press over the years for the same superhero qualities Didi found in her ten years ago. A complete blend of cooking instruction, narrative, botany, and foodie life coaching, Wild Flavors is a robust addition to your cookbook collection.

Pick up a copy of the book and see for yourself why everyone’s talking about Eva, and better yet what Eva’s talking about. “There are so many forms of life…that’s the most exciting part of the whole thing,” she says. Wild Flavors reveals the succulent truths about a life digging for treasures in the dirt. The book itself is a worthy FarmCoast treasure.

Wild Flavors is available at The Cottage in Tiverton Four Corners and Partners Village Store in Westport, MA and at your local book seller. For more information on Didi Emmon’s life in the world of good food visit www.didiemmons.com.

All in a Day’s Roast

It’s just about 4 in the afternoon, the sun is winding its way down behind the Sakonnet river, illuminating drifting boats and choppy waters in a golden yellow, while the god-given smell of roasting coffee is warning people like fog horns of a freshly roasted round of coffee beans. This is the inhalable story of Coastal Roasters…

A small coffee shop with a sturdy foundation, Coastal Roasters was founded in 2002 by Donald Machado and his partner Lisa when they decided to purchase the small surf shop overlooking the Sakonnet River. Before then, Donald knew only a little about coffee, spending his free time  “home-roasting” for friends and family using a popcorn popper and zest for good quality. When the itch to broaden his horizons became too much to bear, the couple bought the Tiverton property, fixed it up a little, and started a business selling wholesale coffee beans. Thankfully, Donald invested in something a little bigger than a popcorn maker for Coastal Roasters, which quickly evolved into the area’s most visited cafe, as the smell of coffee crept into the heart of the coastal town. “I underestimated how many people are interested in quality coffee,” said Donald, but that was what he knew then.

Now Coastal Roasters is a mega coffee gathering place, roasting daily, over 50,000lbs of coffee a year and featuring over 20 unique blends of bean. “We don’t do a lot of tutti frutti stuff,” says Donald, “we try to stick to just coffee.” And good coffee besides; 70% of their beans are organic or Fair Trade and all of it brewed with respect for the environment and the farmers that grow the beans. Concentrating on quality and sustainable production has given the shop a cultured reputation for “being green,” drawing in true coffee lovers for miles and miles.

“We have to be at the right place doing the right thing, at the right time, which is kind of a niche,” says Donald who sources, roasts, and packages the beans. The beans themselves arrive from mostly small farms in exotic locations all over the world, and although they honor basic regional coffee blends, Coastal Roasters has expanded their inventory over the years to meet customer needs. Teas, smoothies, frozen drinks, and nearby bakery selections are on the menu, as well as custom blends like Wild Wetamoo, Fort Baron, Coastal Gold, and Old Stone Bridge. Keeping in local is all part of the plan.

Coastal Roasters has also become part of a larger campaign for educating the masses, not just about coffee, but community values that extend beyond the roaster. They sponsor a range of fund and awareness-raising events like Singing Out Against Hunger, which raised over 60,000 last year, in conjunction with Evelyn’s Drive In, for providing healthy meals to local families in need. Other beneficiaries include the Little Compton Community Center, Allen’s Pond Wildlife Sanctuary, Dartmouth Natural Resources Trust, Sakonnet Growers Market, and the Tiverton Four Corners Arts Center.

The most gratifying ambition of Coastal Roasters is their mission to educate about coffee: where it comes from and what it supposed to taste like. “Some people don’t realize beans need to be roasted,” says Donald. There’s a whole world of coffee out there, beyond the bag. If you want to know the secret to the Coastal Roasters taste, it’s in the roasting. They roast in small batches, and often. And oh, what a delicious smell…

As all good businesses do, Coastal Roasters has continued to expand, these days, through the main roads of cyber space. Online coffee sales are a new vessel for acquiring fresh beans, and Coastal Roasters recently launched online ordering on their website. Donald has seen immediately the benefits of reaching a larger demographic, sending off to customers from Florida to the West coast. Perhaps more exciting for the consumer is Coastal Roaster’s Coffee of the Month Club, an impeccably convenient way to familiarize yourself with regional blends, or to stay at home in your pjs. A unique blend of coffee arrives on your doorstep (or a friend’s if you so choose) once a month to be savored each morning, afternoon, or night.

But don’t let us sway you, stop by Coastal Roasters where “the coffee speaks for itself.”

Open year round, 6am-5pm at 1791 Main Rd. Tiverton RI.

 

Brides and Pickles, a Welcome Affair

Whenever a wedding is around, food is in order. Extravagant or intimate, indoors, or out, there’s always a generous supply of food at weddings. Food is what makes a celebration a celebration, after all. Weddings, in particular, rely upon good food, real food, food that is meaningful and maybe even symbolic. That’s why the job of wedding planning can be such a tough one; to roll love and harmony, quality and symbolism into one meal is really no piece of cake. So naturally, many brides look to the experts. And around here, the experts are ready and waiting.

Down the winding, narrow streets of the FarmCoast, Dan George of Smoke and Pickles parks his smoker, a 3-chamber cooking machine. While the name doesn’t exude anything entirely regal, the smoker is extraordinary in its duties. It’s a charcoal-black contraption that prepares feasts on site, retaining flavor and freshness by smoking, barbecuing, and grilling, if need be, all at once. Weddings that hire Smoke and Pickles can be spotted from down the road. People watch starry-eyed and salivating as the smoker pulls in, a fragrant white cloud signaling the makings of a feast.

Behind the triumphant veil of smoke and rich flavors is a modest team of talented food experts carrying with them an authentic attitude of abundance, celebration, and elegance coupled with real “foodie” enthusiasm and a small touch of humor.  “It takes a Coastal Village” is their motto, because Smoke and Pickles is a cooperative effort. Each member has their own role operating the “engine,” as they refer to themselves, drawing on their unique personal histories and the support of the robust FarmCoast food community. There’s Dan, proprietor and Pickle Man, his wife Chris who can often be found playing the fiddle and performing “quality control;” theres Mark, the light-hearted Grill Master, snow-border, and long-time chef, and Kristen the Sourcer, Expediter, modern Forager of sorts, ensuring the arrival and preparation of exceptional quality. Not to mention Sally, the event planner, and the catering staff. Bustling around as behind-the-scenes guests, this group creates a visible sense of harmony to the work of preparing and serving food. Their cadence with each other is the result of a long stream of steady practice, knowledge, and sincere effort to capture moments, and foods, at their best.

Perhaps the most splendid attribute of the group is their resourcefulness. All the food prepared by Smoke and Pickles arrives from local farms and providers within a 20 mile radius. Famous herbs from Eva’s garden, crisp organic veggies picked the day of, or oysters straight from the bay. “We keep things whole as late in the game as we can to keep things as fresh as possible,” says Dan. Nothing is pre-packaged or prepared; the team reaps the sweet benefits of knowing every farmer around by name.

When it comes to the menu choices, Dan treats them like he treats his food, with reverence, compassion, and wisdom. Artistically-composed menus reflect such worldly cuisines such as Coastal New England (of course our favorite), Southern Barbecue, Vegetarian, Latin American or Middle Eastern fare and, although heavily influenced by the Bride and Groom’s palate, are always guided by seasonal farm offerings during that time of year (or week or day), and most always involve giant loves of bread. Dan endeavors to maximize flavors through contrast with pairings like… melons and mint, littlenecks and sausage, whole wood-grilled bass or salmon or chicken or steak, roasted lamb, long and slow barbecued pork, rhubarb relish, freshly chopped parsley and basil…and other sophisticated, mouth-watering combinations. Smoke and Pickles has a vision beyond simply feeding crowds, and that’s honoring glorious “rights of passage,” providing meals fit for kings and queens, brides and grooms, or people who just love food.

Details are another seductive part of the package. In addition to hand-carved wooden cutting boards and whispy flower bouquets, full-service event planning, from the initial planning stages to last-minute details, is included in the service. Sally Huntington holds this all together as a vital liaison between the brides and grooms and the Smoke and Pickles staff. Expert organizer and conceptual guru, Sally joined Dan in the beginning of his pickling adventure with a savvy business background and the necessary patience for making things go as smoothly as possible.

So where do the pickles come in? They’re in the heart of the close-knit company, what started it all, and always, colorfully adorning the appetizer table. Dan George was once  a lawyer, and –at what happened to be just the right time– asked his friend Chis Schlesinger, then chef at The Back Eddy, if he could help out in the kitchen. Days later, Dan was crowned “pickle chef” at The Back Eddy for no particular reason other than perhaps, now chef-extrodinaire Schlesinger knew it was a stroke of genius. “No one had heard of a pickle chef,” says Dan, including himself. Dan became a pickle master, dunking his hands and elbows into the history of pickles, the traditions, and oh, the flavors. He went on to attract attention from food writers around New England and co-wrote a pickling cookbook called Quick Pickles-Easy Recipes with Big Flavors. The profound influence of pickles and pickling on Dan infused this idea for the now famous team of roving caterers, striking down wedding-food stereotypes, and breathing life, creativity, and pickles into the industry.

Smoke and Pickles is the way of fresh, good food and heartfelt hospitality, the way homegrown catering should be. A slice of modern tradition, at your service.

To contact Smoke and Pickles, please visit their website at www.smokeandpickles.com. To see more photos of their events visit us on Flicker!