I have a pretty substantial cookbook collection for someone in their twenties. I own every cookbook Food & Wine has put out in the past five years (there's a lot), I have ones that were passed down from family, and many that I've purchased during my travels, but not one that is from my home state. Today that changes. The Connecticut Farm Table Cookbook written by Tracey Medeiros and Christy Colasurdo comes out today and features 150 recipes from restaurants, farms and purveyors all over the state.
Tracey calls the book "a colorful snapshot of some of the wonderful things happening in Connecticut's food community," and I completely agree. The book takes readers foraging in fields for ingredients, behind the scenes with local bakers and cheesemongers and into the kitchen with some of Connecticut's most acclaimed chefs. With recipes from James Beard Award-Nominated Chefs like Bill Taibe of The Whelk, Le Farm and Kawa Ni, and Joel Viehland, formerly of Community Table, along with recipes from smaller establishments such as Community Farm of Simsbury and Thompson Street Farm there are no shortage of recipes for every type of occasion. One of our favorites is Cafemantic's recipe for Buttermilk Fried Chicken. Christy and Tracey were kind enough to share it with us, so you can find that here.
One of the best things about this book, is that it really delves into the people, farms and purveyors that are behind your favorite restaurants. Many diners don't think beyond what's on the plate in front of them, and as someone who is a huge fan of supporting local businesses I love that this group is getting their day. Tracey hopes that people take away from the cookbook "a new awareness and respect for those who toil long and hard to give us a product that benefits both the land and consumer...the passion these farmers, fishermen, cheese makers, beekeepers, foragers and food producers bring to their craft is awe inspiring. They take great pride in being the very best they can be, hoping to set an example for generations to come. "
The Connecticut food scene has improved greatly over the past few years and is really in an upswing. As Christy notes "the thing I hope people will take away from the book is that Connecticut has finally "arrived" as a state that can hold its own on the culinary scene when it comes to producing top local cheeses, meats, seafoods, and specialty produce. It took awhile for CT to earn recognition as a contender on the green foods scene, but today, one can travel the state and find James Beard Award-winning chefs, food truck operators and cafe owners working directly with local farmers and fishermen in just about every corner of Connecticut. There are surprising food finds from Greenwich to Glastonbury, so the book could not be launching at a better moment in time."