Legacy of Respect for Food Lives On Naturally
Introduction by Chef Aura Whitman
I have my mother to thank for my love of preparing food and caring where it came from. This happened long before the current wonderful—hopefully not trendy— movement of connection to the quality and sources of what we are eating.
Growing up, we always had gardens, goat cheese hanging in cheesecloth, bread proofing, something being canned, and we ate no meat unless it came from our stock.
I learned from many great chefs in my career. I always took the best from each of them. A highlight was meeting Julia Child when I lived in Paris for a year attending Cordon Bleu. We catered her 83rd birthday and appeared on “Good Morning America” the next day.
I traveled a lot as a child. We lived in Israel, Connecticut, New York, Oregon and California, exposing me to all sorts of different and fresh foods. The family farm in our life now is in Hancock, NY. It is worked by my husband, his father and his brother. We make maple syrup, raise beef and vegetables, primarily for family consumption. Both my daughters love food. Chloe, 10, loves to help in the kitchen where Reva, 13, will be taste tester. There is nothing offered at their school that teaches or promotes healthy food. The girls are learning from the family, the way I did.
After closing Café Reva, my restaurant on Tyler Street in Pittsfield, I started looking for the next place to reopen something having to do with food.
I saw that Aleisha & Brian of Berkshire Organics were looking for someone to fill a spot in their expansion. We all have the same respect for food and thought this could be perfect. It is!
I thought that customers of Berkshire Organics might appreciate being able to take home prepared, truly healthy, local or organic, non-preservative, non-GMO foods. If they did not want to cook, they could still feel good about eating and feeding their families. The feedback has been so positive.
“Thanks, Aura, I only cook once a week,” “We love the exciting items,” etc. We also have an open kitchen that does specials and offerings that are not typical, which keeps our customers engaged.
I’m happy in my new home at Berkshire Organics and enjoy working with the other creative people that have departments in the store.
Naturally Catering + Takeout at Berkshire Organics
813 Dalton Division Rd., Dalton, MA.
Aura Whitman is a graduate of the Culinary Institute of America, in Hyde Park, NY, and Cordon Bleu, in Paris, France.
Edible Berkshires is a local, independently owned publication dedicated to covering the unique culinary culture of Western Massachusetts.