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recipe week

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When I moved to Danby, Vermont from Denver, Colorado I knew I was in for a change of lifestyle.  Honestly, from a large urban metropolis of some 550,000 people surrounded by a sprawling suburbanite playground of some 1.5 million souls more to a small rural township of about 1400.  Markets that supplied me with fresh produce and foods from around the world to a market that carries fresh cans of beef stew and baked beans.  From having restaurants of every ethnicity and caliber located on every city block to one single farmhouse restaurant within 15 miles.  Can you say culture shock?  I knew you could. 

Instead of curling up into a ball and sucking my thumb as I rocked myself to sleep at night I embraced my new surroundings.  The sights, smells, sounds, and tastes, were overwhelming.  They helped me understand what “fresh” really means.  Fresh is the egg that was laid this morning.  Fresh is the tomato harvested that afternoon under the summer sun.  Fresh is the fish caught in the early evening under a canopy of flickering lightning bugs. 

To walk through the woods and discover the wild bounty given to us by nature is an epiphany in and of itself.  I never tire of it.  It brings me to state of mind that allows the forest to show me the way.  Fiddlehead ferns, ramps, wild asparagus, wild mushrooms, wild greens and more are out there waiting for discovery.

            I now work with local producers to supply as much of the foods I prepare at Gatewood’s as possible and allowed by the seasons.  I also spend time foraging in the wilds for wild edibles to serve.  If you are interested in foraging yourself please invest in a couple reputable field guides as a first step.  If you can find classes given this is also a great way to become more comfortable finding and identifying wild foods.

            It is the growing season now and I am looking forward to enjoying some of the truly seasonal treats to be harvested. 




            Fiddlehead Ferns, Ramps, Morels, and Asparagus are a few of my favorite spring veggies.  I am lucky enough to be able to find all of these locally in the wild here in Southern Vermont.  We are all lucky enough to have access to them in many of the larger and more modern groceries these days too.  If you can’t find Fiddleheads or Ramps  feel free to substitute Asparagus and Scallions. 


Fiddlehead Fern Cake with Lemon Dill Remoulade


Asparagus and Ramp Slaw



            I love how Fiddleheads, Ramps, Morels and Asparagus all pop up around the same time!  They work so well together and have the flavor, no the very essence of Spring.  No morels or moola for Morels? You can use criminis instead.  They don’t taste the same by any means but as far as mushrooms go they aren’t too shabby.


Asparagus Risotto with Truffle Oil and Fried Asparagus Skins


Chicken Roulade of Vermont Chevre, Ramps and Dandelion Greens

with Fiddlehead Fern, Morel Mushroom and Ramp Ratatouille





            As the weather warms we begin to enjoy Tomatoes, Sweet Corn, Chanterelles, Oyster Mushrooms, and herbs like Basil, Mint, Oregano and Thyme.  I also personally enjoy more seafood in the warmer months.  I find it refreshing and invigorating. 


Mussels Sautéed with Fennel, Tomato, Garlic, and Basil


Wild Mushroom Risotto


Wild Mint Cured King Salmon Gravlax



            I wait all year for the first sweet corn to come up!  And when it does you can bet I’m out in the field picking bushels of the sweet stuff.


Pan Seared Diver Scallops Braised in Sweet Butter with Sweet Corn and Rosemary


Vanilla Mashed Potatoes


Cucumber and Dandelion Salad



            I hope you enjoyed my small ode to Spring and Summer.  I leave you with one of my favorite meals I enjoy on Mondays During the Summer.  Why Monday?  I close the restaurant and hang with the family at home.  This is also a very easy meal that can be prepared the day before to allow for more free time.


Guinness Stout and Vermont Maple Marinated Flank Steak

with Grilled Sweet Corn and Potato-Tomato Salad


Grand Marnier Rice Crispy Treats with Bittersweet Chocolate and Fresh Cherry Compote



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