of the region. She and her partner, Jerry
Novesky, started the magazine 10 years
ago as a modest 32-page black-and-white quarterly. Now they publish five
full-color issues a year, 96-plus pages
each. “Over the past 10 years, we’ve
seen [the region] grow and mature into
a food destination,” she says.
Take the Hudson Valley Wine & Food
Fest, for example. It was held in a field
on a farm its first year (2001), and barely
2,000 people showed up, says Jennifer
Cristaldi, an organizer. This year, the
festival—Sept. 6 and 7—is taking over
the 168-acre Dutchess County Fairgrounds and 12,000 people are expected
in Poughkeepsie. The food-obsessed
tourist could organize a week’s worth of
activities, from a cooking course at the
Culinary Institute of America in Hyde
Park to a tour of the region’s farms,
restaurants and shops.
Why not start with Fleisher’s?
The Ultimate Destination
Fleisher’s Grass-Fed and Organic Meats,
a modern country butcher shop with
outposts in Rhinebeck and Kingston, is
like a microcosm of the Hudson Valley
itself. Since it opened four years ago it
has exploded in popularity because of
its great-tasting, local food.
Left to right: John Novi, chef at
Dupuy Canal House; Dupuy Canal
House; Jeffrey Gimmel, Swoon
Kitchenbar; fare at Swoon.
to attend. Gourmet magazine is a sponsor. The Hudson Valley Garlic Festival in
Saugerties (Sept. 27 and 28), is expected
to draw more than 50,000 people.
“The food aspect really has come of
age,” says Cristaldi.
That sentiment is echoed throughout the valley—no matter what aspect
of the food scene people are exploring.
The casual gourmet might grab a picnic
lunch from Mint, the eclectic gourmet
shop in Tarrytown, and kick back on
the grassy hills of Brotherhood Winery
for a concert. The curious adventurer
could spend the morning foraging for
wild mushrooms in the forested parks of
Westchester, and the afternoon learning
to make cheese at Sprout Creek Farm
Joshua and Jessica Applestone—he a
former vegan, she a former vegetarian—
opened the Kingston shop because Jessica wanted to venture off her vegetarian
diet, but the couple couldn’t find a way
to buy raised-right meat without ordering a whole animal.
“Since we couldn’t find that, we
figured there must be other people like
me in the world,” she says.
Now they source pork, beef, lamb
and poultry from “open pastures of
small farms in New York,” including
Sir William Farm in Craryville and
Meiller Farm in Pine Plains, and sell it
retail and to restaurants such as Mario
Batali’s Casa Mono in Manhattan, and
Dan Barber’s Blue Hill in Manhattan