Emily in the Kitchen

For the past few weeks Alison and the farm kitchen crew have been hosting Emily Homnick, a recent graduate from the Natural Gourmet Institute in New York City. She arrived just in time for the intense strawberry season, and jumped right in. She now can add strawberry-lemonade-popsicle-maker to her list of other achievements, because it turns out that it isn’t nearly as easy as one might imagine! We asked Emily to write us a Farm Note telling us a little about herself and her time in the Cedar Circle Farm kitchen.

A little bit about me: I’m Emily, a recent graduate of the Natural Gourmet Institute in New York, a culinary school with a focus on health-supportive cuisine. I chose to do my internship at Cedar Circle because I’m interested in working with local, organic, and seasonal produce. I truly believe the only way to motivate people to eat healthy foods is to make them taste good! Here at the farm that’s not too difficult, as most fruits and vegetables come directly from the fields to the kitchen. Fresh food, with all or most of its edible components, is the best food.

Here in the kitchen I’ve learned a lot about efficiency. Alison and Justin have both worked in fast-paced professional kitchens in New York and the Bay Area. It’s been great to work one-on-one with them and get the individual attention I probably wouldn’t have gotten in a traditional restaurant internship. It’s amazing to watch a more seasoned chef work their way through a case of onions or celery so quickly and neatly, and to get constructive criticism of my own knife skills. I’ve also gotten to do some independent recipe development for the baked goods sold in the Hello Cafe. (Keep an eye out for biscotti, coming soon!)

Though I’m originally from a rural area outside of Kalamazoo, Michigan, this is my first visit to Vermont. After living in bustling New York for the past three years I admit I had a little bit of culture shock at first. But I very quickly fell in love with Vermont’s landscape (The mountains really are green!), and the people and their commitment to local goods. A lot of “local” food in New York actually comes from Vermont, and it’s been a pleasure to get to the source and connect with the produce I sometimes take for granted. Going to the Union Square Greenmarket on Saturday mornings will never be the same after seeing the hard-working fieldworkers every day over the past two weeks, nor will preparing that food in my own small kitchen or whatever professional kitchen I end up working in in the near future.

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