The Hudson Valley is that beautiful, expansive chunk of land along the Hudson River that's home to many farms, some of which are represented at the New York City Greenmarkets. The farmers trek into the city with their cherries, beets, goat cheese, and many other fresh goodies piled onto flatbeds to sell at farmers' markets and restaurants.
We recently road-tripped* with chef Dan Kluger of ABC Kitchen, winner of a James Beard Award for Best New Restaurant last year, to meet some of the farmers that supply his ingredients at ABC. While Kluger could easily send someone else to shop for them at the Union Square Greenmarket, he insists on walking over himself (conveniently, that walk is only a block) every Wednesday to maintain his relationships with farmers and purveyors. His sincerity and commitment to using sustainable and seasonal produce at ABC Kitchen play a large part in the restaurant's success.
*Since the road trip was part of the On the Road campaign sponsored by Mercedes-Benz, who also does work with the James Beard Foundation, they provided us with a sweet 2012 Roadster convertible for the ride. Very smooth, even on those dirt paths to the farms. It was also funny to see them parked next to the tractors.
Our road trip stops included:
Along the way we met three pigs, 13 peacocks, and too many goats to count; ate sugar snap peas, cider doughnuts (hey, who said you have to wait 'till fall?), and beet salad; sampled whiskeys at the Tuthilltown Distillery; talked with farmers about this year's season; then headed back to ABC Kitchen to enjoy a dinner that included some of the produce we picked up that day.