This past fall, we traded our Soho home for a weekend of mountain air, creative brainstorms near a bonfire, waterfall hikes, yoga on the deck, and s’mores filled starry nights. We headed to a wilderness oasis, mountainside at the breathtaking Deer Mountain Inn.

And as we descended upon our new, cozy surroundings in the Catskills, what we fell most in love with was dinner (we are foodies, after all). The restaurant at the Inn celebrates local ingredients, foraged produce—and even cooks with herbs from their own edible garden.

Their passion for ingredient quality felt deeply akin to our own, and so we tapped Ryan Tate, their Michelin-star head chef to share his food philosophy, tips for creating a deeper connection with our meal, and his recipe for the dish that will wow any dinner party. 

 

What’s the earliest food memory and how did it shape your eventual path to being a chef?

My grandfather was a butcher and a gentleman farmer.  We always had lots of things from the butcher shop and fresh produce from the garden. He sent me and my brother into the garden to get vegetables and he often had a salt shaker in his shirt pocket. He would pull onions straight from the ground and eat them like an apple, with salt. After working in some commodity style restaurants, I worked for a woman that tapped into those early memories that helped shape the chef I am today.

 

People toss around the phrase "farm to table" a lot, but tell us what it means to you?

Living in the Catskills and in close proximity to the fertile Hudson Valley, we have access to many wonderful local products. For me, having developed some strong relationships with farmers over the years, farm to table means to support the people that have provided excellent products and discover new farms that can deliver the consistency we need.

 

Are there ways we can achieve a deeper connection with the food we eat every day?

Knowing the story, the origins, the reasoning behind dishes or cultivated items and food traditions is the best and most informed way to connect with food. Books and local food traditions is a great way to engage.

 

What does the phrase "food is medicine" mean to you?

For me personally, my diet is all about moderation and balance. I eat junk food, I eat health food, and I try mostly to eat whole, complete meals. I think your mind is your best medicine. Just like everything in life.  

 

What do you make for yourself at the end of a long day?

Popcorn with nutritional yeast and chili oil. 

 

Who inspires you as a chef? (Can include anyone who makes, writes about, eats food etc.)

José Andres for his humanitarian work. My goal is to one day set up a restaurant so I can be more helpful to those in need.

 

Recipe: Ryan Tate's Artichoke en Barigoule 

Ingredients:

  • 1 organic carrot, peeled and sliced
  • 1 organic onion, sliced thin
  • 8 cloves of garlic sliced
  • 1 stalk of organic celery sliced thin
  • 1 cup of organic white wine
  • 1/2 cup organic olive oil
  • 2 qts vegetable stock or water
  • 2 Tbs kosher salt
  • 6 large artichokes cleaned to hearts and sliced in quarters
  • Herb sachet of bay leaf, thyme, and parsley
  • 1 tsp fresh ground pepper

Process:

  1. Heat olive oil in large sauce pot.
  2. Add onions and garlic and sweat until onions are translucent.
  3. Add carrots and celery and sweat for 5 minutes cooking gently.
  4. Add white wine and simmer until alcohol is cooked out.  
  5. Add artichokes, season to taste with salt and coat in oil/wine mixture, cover with stock or water and herb sachet, cover with a paper cloche and simmer 15-20 minutes until artichokes are tender.  
  6. Add black pepper and serve. Enjoy!

 

Filed Under: Eat clean, Farmer, Features, Food is medicine

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