Harvest to Heat

The Harvest to Heat Experience…

Let me start this by saying what an honor it was/is to be included in this book next to so many accomplished and talented chefs and amazing farmers from all over the country.

When Darryl and Kelly first contacted me about contributing to the book I first thought that maybe they had got me mixed up with another chef!  Then Kelly went on to describe their vision for the book, the ideas and sketches they had thus far, and some of the participating chefs that were already on board, and I knew they had me mixed up with someone else, they had to!  Truth be told, all kidding aside, when Kelly first described what she was writing and how, I was beaming.  What an amazing idea. What an incredibly relevant and important piece for our times right now, both in the professional cooking world, and in our home kitchens, where we are finally again reexamining everything we eat, where it comes from and how it’s grown or produced.   I wanted in immediately, and was so humbled and honored to work with such knowledgeable, passionate and talented people.

We had some great conversations and shared ideas on recipes, food sources, farms and other chefs over the course of the next few months.  They asked me what I would like to contribute, and I asked them what they would like to see in the book.  We went back and forth, ideas swarming like bees on honey.  We finally came the consensus of the noble chicken.  At first I thought, chicken?  Really?  I finally get to be in a cookbook alongside some of my professional heroes (Thomas Keller, Eric Ripert, Daniel, Jean-George, Paul Kahan, the list goes on….), virtual chef demigods, and you want me to do a chicken dish?  Then, after a few minutes when I got over myself, I thought about it and a huge smile stretched across my face.  What is one of the most sustainable, soul-nourishing and flat out enjoyable things to eat when done well?  What comfort food do we all crave now and again when roasted properly on the bone with all its juices in tact?  What do chef’s often say they would want cooked for them if someone is asking? A proper roasted chicken.  Moist, crispy-skinned, tender and succulent, well-rested, juicy and undeniably primal when eaten off the bone.  Rustic.  I’m ok with rustic, it’s how I cook, and what I enjoy, and it’s the philosophical heart of the farm to table food stance.  Simplicity and purity without too much tamper, and definitely without gimmick or gadgetry. With a renewed sense of pride and purpose I poured out some ideas and Kelly and I settled on the ones that are included in the book.  In it you’ll find my chicken farmer, where I source all of the poultry and eggs that we use at nicks on broadway.  Baffoni’s Farm.  Not so far from our little city, just on the outskirts of Johnston, where there’s still farm land left and thankfully people left who are special enough to work it.  Paul and I had a great time touring the farm with Kelly, Darryl and the crew.

So I hope you’ll enjoy reading these recipes as much as I did writing them.   While I may be a bit bias, I truly feel this is a special book.  They’ve done such a wonderful job collecting real stories and colorful, passionate people from all over our country.  The recipes, the photography and the ideas shared in Harvest To Heat are interesting and inspiring.  So stop reading this and go get yourself a copy already!

Cheers,

Derek

For more information on the book click here to go the website:

Harvest to Heat

And check out this amazing short film by Darryl, filmed at Blackbird Farm in Smithfield, RI.   This is where I source my beef from, and one of the farms I truly believe in and enjoy partnering with.

“I believe in this chef”

  1. Bruce and Liz Fiedorek says:

    We had dinner at the bar with you last night and truly enjoyed the experience! We will be back. Just wondering if you have recipes posted anywhere or a book out by the chef?? Please let us know. My husband would also like to be added to your email list
    bruce.fiedorek@gmail.com

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