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Every year, as the winter weather turns into warm spring days, I begin to think about new beginnings.  New beginnings to me mean baby vegetables, morel mushrooms, peas and most importantly ramps.  Ramps are wild spring leeks.  The bottom part of the ramp has a mild garlic flavor, while the green tops have a distinct onion aroma.  To me, there is no better flavor in the spring. One of my favorite things to do in the spring is to put on my boots and trek through the woods to find and pick ramps.  As a young cook, I can clearly remember going with the whole kitchen team,...
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I am the “new kid” at the Bernards Inn, even though I have been in the Hospitality business for over 17 years. I began working at the Inn in January with the mission to promote our rooms’ product.  Everyone knows The Bernards Inn because of its outstanding culinary reputation, awarding winning restaurant, and memorable social events.   But people will say “Oh ‘Inn’, I didn’t know that meant you actually HAD rooms…I thought it was just a quaint name for the Restaurant!”  We actually have 20 guestrooms that are enjoyed by corporate business travelers, social guests and leisur...
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“Do you cook at home?”  “Not on my days off.” One of the most frequent questions I am asked when people find out I am a chef is, “Do you cook at home?”  The answer is no.  Yes, I am the designated cook on holidays I spend with my family (mainly Christmas day), but on my days off, cooking at home doesn’t even enter my mind.  I enjoy ordering out, usually a good slice of pizza.  I also enjoy going out to a new restaurant to see what is being served.  My favorite place to eat is a little sushi restaurant, in Somerville, called Shumi.  Shumi is tucked away in a ...
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My recent obsession with charcuterie has turned into a deep passion for sausage making.  Growing up, I always loved cured meats such as pepperoni, sopressata and salami.  I have discovered that I can now make these delicious sausages and the reward of tasting the finished product is unmatched.  The great thing about being a chef is that I can share this reward with all that are interested.  Available on our bar menu is our house-made charcuterie plate.  This plate is my pride and joy.  It has different styles of sausages as well as a prosciutto. Charcuterie Plate...
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Charcuterie is defined as sausage, ham, cold cuts of meat, pâtés, roulades, terrines, etc.  It was developed as a way to preserve meats, before the use of refrigeration.  Today, we use this ancient art to add and develop flavor through the use of salt and other spices.  Here at the Inn, we have recently started our own line of charcuterie.   From left to right; house-made chorizo, smoked ham hocks, venison lonzino and foie gras torchon.  My favorite, the smoked ham hock, is a simple way to add a lot of flavor to a soup, broth or stock.  The French lentil sou...
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