VPR Cafe

Sunday 10:45 a.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 food writers from Seven Days and Vermont Life food editor Melissa Pasanen. They share stories from the farms, kitchens and eateries of Vermont that connect our communities.

Chef Jesse Lauer serves guests in his home during one of his pop-up dinners dubbed "Dinner with Friends."
Matthew Thorson / Seven Days

If you're an adventurous eater, you might just be interested in a 12-course meal of exquisite recipes never before prepared by the chef. Well, that's just what's served when you pull up a chair at the home of Chef Jesse Lauer.

Vermont Youth Conservation Corps members and leaders pause while helping to weed at Yoder Farm in Danby.
Daria Bishop / Vermont Life

Thanks to the Health Care Share project, tons of healthy produce from Vermont farms is now within reach of families and individuals who need it most.

Andrew Ryan is not only executive chef at Wake Robin in Shelburne but is also co-owner of Drifter's Cafe in Burlington.
Brent Harrewyn / Seven Days

Life unfolds in strange and mysterious ways. But the two cooking gigs of a Vermont chef might be the oddest food/venue combination on record; yet Chef Andrew Ryan makes it work.

Just as you would before visiting the grocery store, make a list of what you need when planning a trip to a farmers' market.
kasto80 / iStock

A farmers markets can be a fun place to do your shopping but, keep in mind, they are, in effect, open-air grocery stores. So it makes sense to have a plan before you go. 

Tom Smith with freshly picked sour cherries from Mad Tom Orchard in East Dorset.
Sylvia Smith

Summer in Vermont is glorious for so many reasons including our delicious, locally grown, ripe and ready fruits. One of which is the sour cherry!

Hannah Palmer Egan / Seven Days

Vermont farm stands have probably been around as long as Vermont farms themselves. But nowadays, you're likely to find a wide array of items far beyond fresh fruit and veggies.

Jaclyn Hochreiter, public outreach coordinator for Addison County Solid Waste Management District, shows a worm composting bin to workshop participants.
Melissa Pasanen / Vermont Life

So, you've made quiche with sauteed kale stems and leftover grilled salmon; shared that last portion of tomato soup with an elderly neighbor; and trained the kids to grab fruit from the "eat me first" box in the fridge. But what to do with the rinds, skin, bones and other food waste?

Waste Free Kitchen Handbook, courtesy

From the unidentifiable slimy greens in the back of your vegetable drawer to lunch meeting leftovers, as much as 40 percent of food produced in the world is wasted.

marcopasqualini / iStock

The seasons move quickly in New England; the cold chill of winter fades, spring makes a short visit, and then summer arrives with thoughts turning to picnics! 

Matthew Thorsen / Seven Days

Maybe you prefer stocking your pantry with food from the grocery store, farmers' market or your own garden. But, truth is, there's a lot of perfectly edible food available... in dumpsters!

Melissa Pasanen / Vermont Life

At colleges today, students and the local community are exposed to many exciting food adventures. Some of which are happening at The University of Vermont. After setting out to learn about Vermont-grown saffron, Melissa Pasanen, freelance journalist and Vermont Life food editor, stumbled onto a couple of interesting student-driven food events at UVM. One in honor of the Iranian celebration, Nowruz, and another featuring the cuisine of Puerto Rico.

Sharing food photos through social media is becoming increasingly popular; especially on Instagram!

Vermonters and visitors to the state love dining at farm-to-table restaurants. But these eateries are not always profitable for the proprietor.

Melissa Pasanen / Vermont Life / Food Network

Food Network asked VPR Cafe regular Melissa Pasanen to come up with a list of iconic Vermont eats and drinks and where to go to enjoy them.

GoodLifeStudio / iStock

From its ability to compliment a meal to the limitless array of flavors, the "cocktail" has certainly evolved since the days of prohibition.

Melissa Pasanen / Vermont Life

It's a hectic time of year for Vermont dairy farmers who also operate sugar houses during maple syrup season.

Hannah Palmer Egan / Seven Days

From Chinese restaurants where you can eat on a dime to higher end Asian-fusion establishments, Seven Days food writer, Hannah Palmer Egan, recounts some of the places and dishes she has tried so far and those she hopes to visit soon.

Brooke Wilcox / Seven Days

Seven Days food writer, Julia Clancy, shares the story of one Vermont brewer who combines her love for beer with dietetics and hard work.

Melissa Pasanen / Vermont Life

The Gilfeather Turnip may not be a beautiful root vegetable — but what it lacks in appearance, it makes up for in sweetness and fame. 

RapidEye / iStock

The messages we've received through the years regarding fat in food have been hard to decipher. First, it was said that all fats were bad. Then came the breakdown of polyunsaturated fats and trans fats; some good, some bad. Suzanne Podhaizer, a food writer for Seven Days, helps us make sense of all these fats in this episode of The VPR Cafe.

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