Cheesemakers of the Week

It’s been a while since I posted a Cheesemaker of the Week. So here it goes…..Twig Farm in West Cornwall, VT….owned by Michael Lee and Emily Sunderman. When I came across this duo…it made me even more excited about Simon and my future plans. It can be done…..Michael and Emily have proved it!

We have been in business since 2005. Our twenty-acre farm is located in West Cornwall, Vermont, about 10 miles south of Middlebury. Michael manages our herd of goats and makes and ages our cheese. Emily manages the business and marketing for Twig Farm and works as an analyst for a publishing company. Michael makes our cheese by hand using traditional techniques and equipment for farmstead cheese production. Our cheeses age in a temperature and humidity controlled enviornment in our cellar. Michael learned his craft mostly by doing. Prior to making Twig Farm cheese, Michael worked as an apprentice at Peaked Mountain Farm in Townsend, Vermont, and before that was a cheese manager at South End Formaggio in Boston, Massachusetts.

But they make it look sooooooo easy……

But Gordon Ramsay is costing you money…at least he is for the Brits.

E-sure, the online provider of home insurance, has noted a new trend in claims involving mishaps in the kitchen.

Since celebrity chefs tried to educate the nation and the blow torch moved in alongside the potato masher, amateur chefs have been getting into trouble.

According to the research, 14% of those questioned had experienced an accident or damaged their kitchen in some way, while trying out new recipes.

Seventy-three per cent of respondents had little faith in their ability as a chef; however 75% were keen to attempt a complex technique.

Esure estimates that £5 billion of household damage has been caused as a result.

Fast chopping, deep fat frying, steaming, tenderising meat and skewering are the most common causes of a mishap.

However, a diner party involving roasted peppers and crème brûlée could be disastrous because 37% of amateur chefs said they would get their paint stripping blow torch out of the shed to create these dishes.

Residents of Wales present the most risk when at the stove, while East Anglian cooks are the most competent, in terms of injury and material damage.

Only 30% of those questioned said they had a fire extinguisher or fire blanket in the kitchen.

By Gill Montia

Watch out for those crazy kilt-wearing Welsh!!!

Summer Internship at Berger Bluff Farm

We had the joy of spending Sunday out at Lee & Ingrid Abraham’s farm in Berger, MO! What an amazing day!!!! It was very hard for me to leave after a wonderful brunch and afternoon walking the farm. I have fallen in love with their daughter Leena…I only hope someday our kid is as cool as she. She made us laugh with her prom night story….and she loves Feist just as much as I do and even went to the show in StL last week. Coolest kid around….she even ate the cheese rind….most teenagers wouldn’t have even put the strange cheese in their mouth….not Leena…she’s awesome.

Simon says our visit got me “farmcited!” (farm+excited). And yes….I am beginning to long for our own little plot of land and to leave the city behind. I would be happy just to move in with Lee & Ingird. I just need to finish grad school first…well, maybe I don’t…I might be able to finagle a way to do it from a farm….ah….a girl can dream…

Anyway….Berger Bluff Farm is in need of a summer intern(s). See below for details:

We are looking for one or two apprentices for the 2008 growing season. Work will include all facets of vegetable farming: propagation, transplanting, cultivation, irrigation, harvest, packout, and delivery. We market our produce in St. Louis at a farmers’ market and restaurants. Our prime consideration is that we find a person or persons who have a passion for gardening/farming-and are willing to work hard, listen to instruction, and apply the information. The intern must enjoy working around others and be flexible to the needs of the farm. Housing is provided in a one-bedroom, restored log house with kitchen and bathroom facilities. We offer a monthly stipend and produce during the season. Please contact us if you are interested.

If you are not familiar with Berger Bluff Farm, I am so sorry! You are missing out! You can find them at the Green Market in the CWE….you will NOT be disappointed with their bounty! Please check them out once the Green Market opens this season. I was introduced to them when I began dating Simon…all those years ago! Sidenote: Lee and Ingrid were the very first people I was introduced to as Simon’s girlfriend!!! AWWWW.

BAD NEWS!!!!!!!

Shaved Duck didn’t get the zoning needed to open to the public.  BOOOOOOOOOO!  I would have figured it was grandfathered in…but NO!  They are thinking the 25th.  But, we did get a sneak peak and it looks GREAT!!!

Instead we went to the new Thai place on S. Grand.  IT WAS GREAT!  Can’t remember the name…Basil Spice…Thai Basil…something like that.  Then headed up the block to the new gelateria and had some coconut gelato.  good good.

Another tip of the hat for St. Louisian on the culinary scene

Today in St. Louis’ Post-Dispatch:

Parkway Central senior Brett Eisen was named national high school chef of the year Saturday night in Miami.

Eisen, 18, beat out nine other finalists in the entrée division of the competition. His recipe, oven-roasted sea bass with citrus-scented Israeli couscous, had been chosen from among hundreds of entries in an annual competition sponsored by Johnson & Wales University, a four-year college that specializes in culinary arts and nutrition.

Eisen receives a full scholarship to Johnson & Wales, renewable for four years. He plans to enroll in the university’s Denver campus in the fall.

Congrats Brett!

Let’s hope he decides to return home after J&W and follow in the footsteps of some of our local greats!!!

how to get kids (and big people)to eat broccoli

cut up a head of raw broccoli. put it bowl.  add craisins, diced red onion and celery, chopped crispy bacon and toasted walnuts.  mix one cup of mayonaise with two tbsp sugar and some riesling vinegar.  pour over broccoli mixture and served.  jesus christ, it’s good.  not healty…but goooood!!!


it’s called broccoli salad…and the term salad is used very loosely here folks.  recipe came from my wonderful mother-in-law.  except she uses raisins, sunflower seeds and regular vinegar.  I adjusted for what I had on hand.

Philadelphia Solo

First off, just to set the record straight…I did NOT bring a camera with me to Philly. I just couldn’t fit it in the suitcase and/or my computer bag. Afterall, this was a trip for work: the amazing restaurants were a by product. And not to mention my best friend from college still live in Philly so we for sure were not going to do any beer drinking, socializing or generic getting jiggy with it.

Friday: Day of arrival. I can’t begin to tell you how good it was to be back in the Philadelphia. I did a brief, albeit, culturally and culinary full stint in this old town back in the early part of 2004. I fell in love instantly. I lived in Center City but dreamed of a day when I would own a townhome on Washington Square. (still dreaming). Philly has a car share service so Blair picked me up in an Audi. Yep, an Audi. PhillyCarShare is no joke. So, first things first…Jim’s. Got a cheesesteak: order was for ‘american wit”. If you have ever ordered a cheesesteak you know what that means. If not….well, it just means I got one with american cheese and onions/peppers. Lucky for me B hid some Bell’s in the Audi and we had a nice little snacky snack on the corner of South Street and 6th. I dropped my bags at B’s minuscule apartment. (it was like living in a dorm room….loft bed and all) and we picked up Kitty and headed to Marigold Kitchen. The Marigold Kitchen is on the corner of 45th and Larchwood…nestled in a residential neighborhood. If you blinked you would probably just think it was somebody’s house. Very minimalist in it’s interior but welcoming. It’s a BYO so B brought a red and his buddy J brought another red. Fun huh. They were good little wines…jammy with great notes of spice. Have to be honest and say I didn’t pay too close attention to them. One was French the other from the pacific NW. Dinner was good. I started off with sweatbread nuggets and puy lentils and a chicken liver terrine on brioche toast with apricot mash and pickled celery. That was the high point of my evening. Not to say that my main course was bad…it wasn’t…it just didn’t pop. It was underseasoned and there was no salt on the table to use. But…despite that it was good. The chicken was tender and the cornbread stuffing was well…corny. The roasted cipollinis and brussel sprouts were done perfectly….it all just needed a bit of salt. The final course was a banana bread pudding. It was painfully obvious that they used the same dinner rolls for the bread pudding. There really was no custard aspect to the dish…they looked like cut up rolls with bananas on them. The flavor was good but I like really dense bread pudding….i like the custard aspect. Kitty had the chocolate cake with vanilla malted milk shot. The malted milk shot was good. Probably the best part of the dessert. B had a tart…i didn’t taste it. He said it was okay.

Next morning: Breakfast at Sabrina’s. By far the best french toast i have ever had outside my own kitchen. Challah lightly battered and pan fried golden brown. Had just enough crispiness and tenderness to make a great french toast. Real maple syrup and crispy bacon. It was nice enough to sit outside and enjoy the morning.

More to come on DiBruno Bros, D’Angelo’s and The Black Sheep Pub. So much to say…not enough time to write!!!

Gerard Craft: Best New Chef 2008

Gerard Craft Wins BEST CHEF 2008!!!!!!!


Gerard Craft, Niche (St. Louis, MO)
The chef and owner of Niche and the adjoining Veruca Bakeshop & Café, Gerard Craft, 28, began his career washing dishes in a pool hall in Salt Lake City. His love of cooking led him to take a job at Bistro Toujours, one of the city’s top restaurants, under Bryan Moscatello (a Best New Chef 2005). Craft held positions at Chateau Marmont in Los Angeles under Mohammad Islam and the Metropolitan in Salt Lake City under Perry Hendrix. He moved to St. Louis in 2005 to open Niche, which is in a converted warehouse in the Benton Park area. Menu standouts are a “Bacon and Eggs” sandwich of braised pork belly, buttery brioche and an oozing poached egg.


Even though my name has changed

I’m still the Annie Denny you all know and love. It’s amazing to me how many people do not know that my last name changed to Lehrer. I have tons of folks emailing me (whom I’ve known for over 10 years) asking who I am. Uh…It’s ME!….Annie Denny…now Annie Lehrer. And some of them were even AT MY WEDDING!!!!

I had no issues changing my last identity crises etc. ….until year later. So for the record: ANNIE DENNY=ANNIE LEHRER. pass it along.