We’re delighted to show you the first copy—hot off the press!—of The Berkshires Farm Table Cookbook, which will be published on May 19th by The Countryman Press/W. W. Norton & Company, Inc.
Over the past four-odd years, we’ve been driving down winding country roads and to the far reaches of the Berkshires, a place we’ve lived in part-time for over 35 years. This vast region, seated in Western Massachusetts, also spans parts of neighboring New York, Connecticut, and Vermont. We’ve met the most amazing, dedicated farmers and learned about their struggles and successes in stewarding the land they love and providing nourishment to the community they inhabit (and also love).
The Berkshires is also known for its farm-to-table restaurants—these are an important outlet for local farms and help connect the dots between farm and consumer. We met with numerous chefs and owners who are committed to supporting their agricultural neighbors.
You’ll meet these extraordinary farmers and farm-to-table chefs through personal profiles, striking photographs, and kitchen-tested, homegrown recipes—125 in all.
We are all scrambling to maintain our well-being during a time when our food options have become more limited. Farmers are grappling with the current crisis by pivoting toward (even more) direct sales to their customers. CSA shares are skyrocketing—the good news—and yet farmers’ markets remain closed in many parts. Restaurants have suffered tremendous losses and yet many remain committed to providing food to people, following safe protocols. Some are even expanding beyond meals to include basic provisions. That’s been heartening to watch and we have been availing ourselves of these efforts as we shelter in place.
Who could have foreseen, when we set out on this journey, that the book’s mission—increasing awareness of the health and environmental benefits of buying from local farmers—would be so critical upon the book’s release?
More than ever, we need to support these hard-working, dedicated, and principled people. We continue to share information about sourcing food from these and other locations on this website and our social media channels. In hindsight, we couldn’t have planned for a better time to have our cookbook hit the shelves. Now that it is (almost) out, we cannot wait for you to get to know the folks in the book. We hope it inspires you to know the farmers and farm-to-table chefs in your own neck of the woods.
Stay safe and keep cooking!
Rob and Elisa