Hello all! I can’t believe it’s been this long since my last post! Take it as a sign that business here in Jamesport is booming and I just haven’t had the time to make it happen. The hustle and bustle of Summer is fading away, and Fall is nearly upon us. The signs are everywhere. Farmstands advertising their harvest goods like late summer corn and squashes. Bright orange pumpkins poking their stems out of late evening fields. Cool crisp air filling your lungs during those first sips of morning coffee. All good things.
The waters as of late have been chilly but refreshing and a great way to spend the afternoon off. Perusing through the inlets and channels of Long Island's North Fork has given me a new appreciation for fresh sea life.
A bit of Salicornia or Sea Asparagus that we happened across.
Incredible things are happening at the Inn including one of the most productive and successful summer seasons we could have wished for. The progress that was made in just the first three months of being opened is astounding. Some of the menu highlights have including whole fried fluke or sea bass prepared with a Thai style fish sauce, Bao dumplings with our 24 hour pork belly and Montauk tuna, and the Sunday whole roasted chicken special.
A couple of very prominent writers have given the Inn and it's food top marks including the NY times and an often read food blog: Always Hungry. Check out both here when you get the time...
Needless to say, the summer rush was big and it has launched us into a equally busy fall. The fall line up includes items like braised wagyu shortrib, autumn squash gratin, and brussels sprouts with chili glazed duck tounges. Can't wait!!
North Fork farmers markets flourish in the fall with the summer's bounty.
Earlier this summer all of us cooks had the opportunity to take a much needed field trip to the South Fork and visit Art Ludlow’ dairy farm: Mecox Bay Dairy. We've been using several of Art's cheeses on our tasting menus at the restaurant and thought it would only make sense to see the source - up close and personal.
The Ludlow brothers: Art and Harry have been in the cheese making business since 2000 or so. Since then, their award winning cheeses and produce have garnered them much East End respect. Originally, they brothers were both potato farmers, but after realizing that the potato business was simply a waste of their fertile land, decided to scrap the potato scene for much more exciting ventures.
Enter: the cows. In 2002 Art and his wife bought a few Jersey cows and got to work at creating some of the best artisanal cheeses the East End has ever seen.
All in all, they've got about five cheeses in the works right now. All are raw milk cheeses, or not pasteurized, a process that is unfortunately a dying art here in the States.
-The Shawondasee, a nutty semi-hard cheese that means 'prevailing Southwest wind'.
-The Mecox Sunrise, a washed rind cheese that's aged for 2-4 months. The cheese is a bit more on the funky side, and is named after it's characteristic orange rind. This is the cheese we've featured the most on our tasting menus at Luce & Hawkins paired with sour cherries and chestnut honey.
-The Atlantic Mist, a rich creamy disc, very much so a triple creme, produced by P. Candidum and P. Album molds.
-Sigit, another favorite of ours, named for one of the cows on the farm. It is aged the longest of all their cheeses and therefor packs the biggest punch on the taste buds.
It's a good thing Art is still doing what he's doing. We love eating his cheeses as much as he loves making them. It's not all about tradition with him either. Art makes a ricotta that he allows to curd at 180 degrees for 24 hours. It produces a tiny moist curd that's more reminiscent of whipped cream than anything- light and fluffy. He chooses to pair his own share of the takings with peaches and Grand Marnier. Just goes to show you what a little ingenuity and creativity can achieve with the simplest of ingredients.
The moldy stuff isn't the only thing the Ludlow brothers have gotten right. With a trip to Mecox Bay Dairy you'll also find tons of home baked goods, fresh produce like corn, turnips, tomatoes and pepper, maybe even a pig for that roast you've been dreaming of. The brothers also sell about 250 turkeys each year.
Please be sure to check out the Mecox Bay Dairy website and grab a few items. I know I've greatly enjoyed their cheeses - I'm positive you will too!
As for me, I couldn't be more excited to see what the fall harvest brings us this year. Stay tuned to find out!
Go eat some cheese!