Edible Berkshires

Mazzeo’s: Good Product, Good Service Runs in This Family for Generations

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Story and photos by Caroline Alexander

Rudy and Michael Mazzeo are two chips off the old butcher block.

“My father was a butcher and so was my grandfather,” says Rudy, who runs the Mazzeo’s Meat & Seafood Department inside the Guido’s Fresh Marketplace store in Great Barrington, along with his brother Mark. Michael, his brother, does the same at the Guido’s in Pittsfield.

Their father, Rodolfo, and their uncle, Pasquale, started Mazzeo’s Market in Pittsfield in 1960. That classic Italian market had the romantic charm so characteristic of family-run Italian markets. The brothers extend their family’s history of service and commitment to their customers.

Always excellent, always fresh, Mazzeo’s offers exceptional and extensive variety: 18 types of homemade sausages, eight kinds of stuffed chicken, marinated lamb, pulled pork and many cuts of steaks and roasts. They get high marks from professional and well as visiting celebrity chefs shop there as … Read the rest

A FARMHOUSE RESTAURANT

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Photos by Caroline Alexander

Nestled on the side of the road on Route 23, heading west, just before the NY border, is a welcoming refuge for hungry locals and visitors. John Andrews: A Farmhouse Restaurant, has been around for so long, it’s an indigenous part of the landscape in the Berkshires.

Dan Smith, chef/owner, grew up on a farm in Iowa, then worked briefly as a sous chef in Florida before relocating to Salisbury, CT, in the late 1980s. He and his former wife purchased a two-story house—at the time, Sebastiani’s Restaurant—in 1990 on the outskirts of South Egremont, MA, and named the restaurant after his then father-in-law, John Andrews.

When Dan started out, his menu was American, with Northern Italian influences, and it’s still that way. But, his connection to local farmers has developed and deepened over time. As Dan’s culinary expertise evolved over the years, so has his … Read the rest

SUMMER HYDRATION: THE BAR SCENE

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Photos and details by Caroline Alexander

With summer upon us, restaurants and bars in the Berkshires are expanding hours and opening up lovely patios to al fresco dining.

Many chefs look forward to this season for its abundance of locally raised vegetables and meat, and they pride themselves on sourcing ingredients from farmers they know well. Farms are often listed on menus here, and you’ll see these farmers at the farmers markets.

As you tour the Berkshires, we hope you’ll stop in one or more places for a drink and have a taste of the local cuisine. Chances are the vegetables were just recently pulled from the ground right here.

Many bars listed are restaurant bars, and unless otherwise noted they serve meals or light fare at the bar. It’s a great way to taste our local cuisine and enjoy a beer from the region or a restaurant’s signature infusion … Read the rest

High Lawn Farm

Cream of the Crop for Three Generations

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High Lawn Farm’s Jersey cows are NOT from the Garden State. The breed originates from the Isle of Jersey in the English Channel, and they are easily distinguished from other cows because of their beautifully dramatic heads, with large eyes surrounded by contrasting shades of beiges and browns.

When you taste 100% Jersey milk, cream or butter, it has a rich sweetness that is exceptional. Chefs in the Berkshires know High Lawn’s milk and cream well— they’ve used it for years and rave about it:

  • Peter Platt (chef/ owner, Old Inn on the Green): “I have used High Lawn dairy products exclusively for over 25 years. The low-temperature batch pasteurization preserves the exceptional flavor of the 100% Jersey milk.”
  • Brian Alberg (executive chef, Red Lion Inn): “Knowing where my food comes from and how it is produced is very important to me and
Read the rest

History on the Hoof

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Milking Devon arrived with Pilgrims, lovingly bred in Berkshires

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It’s all connected … the landscape, the farms, the cows and the food. It’s all right here in the Berkshires, and the customer base is smart and eager to support what’s locally grown. They’re getting less timid about buying meat farmed in the Berkshires, as well as the traditional staples of vegetables and artisanal breads.

Jen and Phil Leahey raise heritage cows and pigs on their farm in Lee, and they attend the farmers’ market in Great Barrington each week, selling pasture-raised beef and pork, all hormone- and antibiotic- free. Jen and Phil manage the Leahey Farm full-time. The farm has been owned and operated by Phil’s family since 1889, and they’re committed to making it work for the long-term future.

Leahy's

The extended Leahey family has held onto the farm for generations, and even while many in the family work in … Read the rest

Pot Roast with the Leaheys

Pot Roast Meaty soup bones, chuck steaks, short ribs and shanks are ideal cuts for slow cooking. While grass-fed meat may cook differently from corn-fed meat, recipes are easily available online.

The Leaheys chose a beef chuck roast, bone in, for this recipe. After searing the meat in a Dutch oven, garlic, onions, parsley, thyme and bay leaves are added. The ingredients are generously covered with beef broth, with a bit of tomato paste stirred into the broth, then cooked with the pot covered for about 4 hours.

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