So, I just wanted to write and share with everyone an upcoming opportunity that I’m really psyched about. I covered this event for the paper, and in the process got an invite (and a comped ticket, which at $125 is no small feat!).
To summarize: Green Peas TV, a regional online cooking show that travels around the Berkshires, the Hudson Valley, and the northwest tip of Connecticut, takes celebrated local chefs and puts them in unique locales to prepare an elaborate dinner (and by “unique” I mean things like an bridge over the Hudson, an abandoned castle, and more), and just sits back to see what happens. The dinners, dubbed by creator Jane Watson as “moveable feasts,” are then filmed and turned into webisodes. As she explained to me, “I take the chefs out of their restaurants and put them in these unique places for an adventure and the create attention. And whatever they’re making has to be local, right down to the butter.”
The next moveable feast will feature Joshua Needleman, owner and chocolatier at Chocolate Springs Café in Lenox, MA, along with other regional chefs. The event, featuring historic cocktails, a five-course harvest feast, dessert wine and chocolate pairings, and an exclusive historic house tour, will be held at Eleanor Roosevelt’s little-known childhood home, Oak Terrace (which is not usually open to the public), on September 18. Watson describes Oak Terrace as “a creepy old house” full of history. “No one has lived here since the Roosevelt’s and nothing has been done to the inside,” she said. “Back in the 1800s, they built houses so well, it is in surprisingly good shape.” She mentioned the massive fireplaces and giant windows overlooking the Catskills as neat aspects of the house.
There is also a fascinating back story associated with the feast’s location. Dinner at Eleanor’s: A Moveable Feast will celebrate the relationship between the Roosevelt and Morgenthau families. Henry Morgenthau, Jr., was the U.S. Secretary of the Treasury and governor of the Federal Farm Board during the administration of FDR. Eleanor and Morgenthau’s wife, Elinor, developed a friendship based on similar social and political concerns and the Roosevelts made frequent visits to the Morgenthaus’ Fishkill Farms in East Fishkill. Eleanor maintained a lifelong commitment to farmers and farming in the Hudson Valley. Much of the food for the upcoming feast will be sourced from Fishkill Farm, bringing everything “full circle,” Watson said.
As you can see, this is a really unique event (quintessentially Berkshires, as I’ve taken to saying). According to Watson, past guests have included food editors from The New York Times and The Boston Globe, the Zagats – yes, those Zagats – and other well-known members of the foodie circle. And guess who’s going to the next dinner? Like you really need to guess…