It has been a busy week of preparing for the restaurant’s opening here at Shelburne Farms. The inn and restaurant have been closed for the past two years due to COVID. Still, the farm itself has been open for visitors to take time in the vast green space and participate in their many educational workshops on sustainable agriculture. We’ve been tweaking the menu with the executive chef and prepping all of the components that can be made ahead of time…, like pickling mustard seeds, making fresh pasta, brining short ribs and lamb shoulder, and earth-baking beets using a burlap sack and the dirt from our farm. The chef has years of experience in various, well-known fine-dining restaurants, such as Gramercy Tavern in NYC, and he has been patiently teaching us the techniques he’s mastered along the way. It’s an enriching experience to participate in this long-awaited opening of such a beloved Vermont establishment. We’re fully immersed in the food we’re creating, which gives all of us a sense of ownership. From picking the serving dishes at antique stores on our days off, to foraging the ramps, garlic mustard leaves, stinging nettles, and wild edible flowers that we decorate each plate with, we’re immensely proud to see it all through. Before arriving here, I was nervous that this job would be just that – a job. But, now, having been here for a few weeks, I know that the head chef is intent on giving us a full spectrum of experiences that we can take with us wherever we choose to go after graduating. Wish me luck for my first shifts this weekend, I will be working breakfasts at the restaurant for the next little while which means early days spent perfecting my eggs. Next week I will share how it goes!
May 13, 2022