VPR Cafe

Friday 6:20 p.m. on VPR

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The VPR Café is a weekly feature that's all about Vermont food and the people who grow it, prepare it and love it.

VPR's Ric Cengeri talks with freelance and Seven Days food writers. They share stories from the farms, kitchens and eateries of Vermont that connect our communities.

VPR Cafe: Winter Comfort Foods Stir Up Hearty Flavors And Fond Memories

Feb 14, 2019
For food writer, Melissa Pasanen, The Kitchen Table's cider-steamed mussels bring back memories of a dish she enjoyed as a child.
Jeb Wallace-Brodeur / Seven Days

Even if bitter cold temperatures and mounting piles of snow aren't your cup of tea, there is one thing to love about winter: comfort food! From chicken soup to chili and mac 'n cheese to dumplings, many of these dishes not only warm us physically, but also emotionally.

VPR Cafe: Vermont Fishing Company Reimagines The CSA With... The CSF

Feb 7, 2019
Honeywilya Fish is a Duxbury company that catches, fillets, and ships Alaskan Salmon back to Vermont where it's sold at farmers markets, retailers and through a CSF.
Jeb Wallace-Brodeur / Seven Days

You might have heard of, or participate in, a CSA (community supported agriculture). But now, one small company is bringing the CSF - community supported fish - from the waters of Alaska to dinner tables in Vermont.

VPR Cafe: Remembering Enid Wonnacott

Feb 1, 2019
Enid Wonnacott, who recently passed away, was a leader in Vermont's organic farming movement.
James Buck / Seven Days

Recently, the Vermont agriculture community - and Vermont overall - lost someone who poured her heart and soul into the organic farming movement. Enid Wonnacott passed away January 18 at her home in Huntington. Until stepping down last fall, Wonnacott was executive director of The Northeast Organic Farming Association (NOFA-VT).

Award-winning winemaker, Deirdre Heekin, in her vineyard in Panton in September 2018.
Daria Bishop, courtesy

We know all about Vermont's stellar reputation for beer, cheese and maple products. But wine? Over the last several years, Vermont wines have gained national attention thanks to one woman who has been leading this particular parade.

VPR Cafe: A Bread Pudding To Cure The Winter Blues

Jan 18, 2019
Kismet chef, Crystal Maderia, makes a savory style of bread pudding that's similar to French onion soup.
Jeb Wallace-Brodeur / Seven Days

The winter blues affect almost all of us in one way or another. Less daylight, colder temperatures and a season that always seems to last longer than its allotted 91.25 days. It's the time of year when not only our taste buds, but our souls, crave heart-warming foods that provide comfort during the darkest days of the year. 

VPR Cafe: Small-Town Gathering Spots Keep Vermonters Connected (Part II)

Jan 10, 2019
Andrew Done is a co-owner at The Shoreham Inn and Pub which primarily catered to travelers in the late-1700s, but now serves as a gathering spot for the local community.
Bear Cieri / Seven Days

The role of small-town restaurants and cafes in Vermont goes deeper than just providing food and beverages. Many of these eateries are also committed to community-building, and have done so for centuries.

VPR Cafe: Small-Town Gathering Spots Keep Vermonters Connected (Part I)

Jan 4, 2019
The former IGA buliding in Northfield now houses Carrier Roasting and Good Measure Brewing, where co-owner Scott Kerner is seen pouring a beer.
Jeb Wallace-Brodeur / Seven Days

One thing that makes Vermont Vermont, is the small-town gathering place where locals can grab a meal or cup of coffee while chatting with neighbors. Part general store, part restaurant, part watering hole, food and drink is often secondary to the social aspect at these special spots.  

VPR Cafe: The Yummiest Eats Of 2018

Dec 27, 2018
Listen to this episode of The VPR Cafe to hear the culinary highs of 2018, according to Seven Days food writer, Hannah Palmer Egan.
Apomares / iStock

Chances are, you've skimmed a few "best of 2018" lists at this point. Every website and publication has one... and so do we! Actually, it comes from Seven Days food writer, Hannah Palmer Egan.  

VPR Cafe: Cheese, Glorious (Vermont) Cheese

Dec 21, 2018
The colorful barn at Jasper Hill Farm in Greensboro, one of Vermont's award-winning cheesemakers.
Melissa Pasanen, courtesy

In the artisan cheese world, Vermont has a reputation as a big cheese! That's not just according to cheese lovers here at home, but from the awards presented year after year to Vermont cheese producers at national and international contests. Even representatives from cheese organizations from other states and countries sing the praises of our fine fromage. 

VPR Cafe: Vermont's Trio Of Turkish Delights

Nov 29, 2018
Jackie and Vural Oktay own three Vermont businesses that specialize in Turkish food and products.
Sarah Priestap / Seven Days

Vermont may lack the ethnic diversity found in major metropolitan areas, but there are small pockets of foreign influences around the state. In fact, one couple is creating a small Turkish empire with two restaurants and a retail store.

Aqua Vodka is produced by Appalacian Gap Distillery using excess alcohol from the fermentation-process of making Aqua ViTea's kombucha.
Caleb Kenna / Seven Days

This time, a tale of an alcohol problem, innovation and cooperation. A delightful relationship has blossomed between a Vermont beverage company and spirit maker; Aqua ViTea and Appalachian Gap Distillery. It all started with a big problem that turned into a big win.

VPR Cafe: Celebrating Tradition Through A Family Cookbook

Nov 15, 2018
Creating a cookbook of family recipes will not only preserve traditions but also bring family members together to participate in the project.
Fertnig / iStock

Food, traditions and fond memories. These three wonderful things come together when you create a cookbook of family recipes. Even better, the cookbook can be used as a gift that celebrates who a family is and keeps the family's flavor alive.   

VPR Cafe: Distilling An Old-School Spirit In Vermont

Nov 9, 2018
The pie and doughnut house at Shelburne Orchards now features a tasting room where visitors can sample their apple brandy.
James Buck / Seven Days

With the popularity of hard cider and ice cider, one alcoholic apple product has been left in the shadows: apple brandy. But it is still being distilled in Vermont, and one maker has even opened an apple brandy tasting room! 

VPR Cafe: Pro Chefs Offer Healthy Cooking Classes

Nov 2, 2018
Cooking students and Chef Cara Chigazola Tobin (center) prepare a meal at Richmond Community Kitchen.
James Buck / Seven Days

All around the region, cooking classes seem to be gaining popularity. Some are run by local members of the community at co-ops and others are offered at resorts and feature celebrity chefs. Whether you want to learn to cook or just sharpen your skills, chances are you'll find one close by. 

VPR Cafe: Vermont Vino Au Naturel

Oct 26, 2018
Iapetus is a new line of natural wine launched by Shelburne Vineyard.
James Buck / Seven Days

It has taken a while for Vermont wines to get noticed, and the crawl for the state's winemakers has been slow and steady. However, even sub-genres are now being recognized; in particular, natural wine.

VPR Cafe: Embracing Permaculture In Plainfield

Oct 17, 2018
Chesnuts are part of the perennial agriculture being grown at East Hill Tree Farm in Plainfield.
Jeb Wallace-Brodeur / Seven Days

Permanent + Agriculture = Permaculture. Okay, maybe that's a rudimetary way of explaining what permaculture is but, essentially, it's a more sustainable form of agriculture based on perennials - plants you don't need to replant each year. In this episode, we hear about one Vermont farmer who was unknowingly exposed to permaculture while growing up and then became enamored with it during a trip to India.

VPR Cafe: Dumpster Dinner Delivers A Meal With A Message

Oct 11, 2018
A Vermont version of The Salvage Supperclub, launched in New York, was recently held in a dumpster to bring attention to food insecurity.
Michael Verillo / Seven Days

A trash dumpster was recently used as the staging area for a fine, six-course meal served in Waterbury. Adopted from concept of The Salvage Supperclub in New York, the dinner was prepared with ingredients both gleaned and about to be thrown away. The purpose of the evening in this odd setting: to create a connection between food insecurity and food waste. 

VPR Cafe: Vermonters Return Home To Fuel The Ludlow Food Scene

Oct 3, 2018
Heirloom Tomato Salad at Downtown Grocery in Ludlow.
Tom McNeill / Seven Days

Ludlow, Vermont, is a small town with a big ski resort and a vibrant culinary scene. Like many Vermonters who leave the state only to eventually return, some of Ludlow's restaurants are run by locals who moved away but then came back with cooking skills in tow.     

VPR Cafe: Sweet Doe Dairy's New Twist On Gelato

Aug 31, 2018
Mike and Lisa Davis use the milk of Nigerian Dwarf goats to make gelato at Sweet Doe Dairy in Chelsea, Vermont.
Sarah Priestap / Seven Days

During a recent round-up of summer farmers market finds, Seven Days food writer, Hannah Palmer Egan, was taken with a new spin on a sweet treat from a Chelsea dairy: gelato. The Italian-style ice cream was born around the year 1600. Fast-forward 500-plus years to present day Vermont where we find the frozen confection still being created similarly, but with a twist from Sweet Doe Dairy. 

VPR Cafe: Cookbook Author Explores Changes To Traditional Recipes

Aug 22, 2018
Copies of Joan Nathan's new cookbook on display during one of her recent stops in Burlington.
Oliver Parini / Seven Days

When we think of the foods from a particular culture, we usually don't pay much attention to how it's influenced and has changed as it carries to other places. But a noted cookbook author has done just that in tracking how Jewish dishes have been altered around the globe.

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