VPR Cafe

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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: Dumpster Dinner Delivers A Meal With A Message

22 hours ago
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.

VPR Cafe: Poké Arrives In Vermont

Aug 16, 2018
Scale Poké Bar has been serving Hawaiian-style poké bowls since March in Williston's Kismet Place.
Oliver Parini / Seven Days

Like sushi, poké (pronounced POH-keh) is a dish that includes raw fish; however, with Hawaiian roots, it offers a wide range of other ingredients including pasta, beets, greens and fruit. Poké is typically served in a bowl, has become a nationwide food trend and has finally arrived in Vermont.

VPR Cafe: Vermont Cheesemakers Pass The Baton

Aug 10, 2018
After 35 years, cheese makers Marian Pollack (left) and Marjorie Susman, will be stepping back from the business on their historic Orb Weaver Farm in Monkton.
Caleb Kenna / Seven Days

For more than 35 years, the owners of Orb Weaver Farm have been makeing a Colby-style cheese from the milk of their Jerseys. But that's about to change.

VPR Cafe: Crossing The Lake For A Meal And Some Scenery

Aug 2, 2018
The Old Dock Restaurant & Marina in Essex, NY, offers a full menu and stunning views.
Glenn Russell / Seven Days

While only a few miles apart, traveling between towns in Vermont and New York, separated by Lake Champlain, isn't an every-day commute for everyone. But when you do find time to hop the ferry, there's adventure and delicious food across the water. 

VPR Cafe: Farmers Market Season In Full Swing

Jul 26, 2018
Fresh produce at The Capital City Farmers Market from LaPage Farm in Barre.
Hannah Palmer Egan / Seven Days

Making a weekly stop at your local farmers market is a common event for many, especially during summer. But consider breaking away from your go-to market to explore the farmers and vendors selling their wares in a neighboring town or another part of the state.

VPR Cafe: The Crunchy Goodness Of Cricket Protein

Jul 19, 2018
Flourish Farm in Williston is raising millions of crickets to be used as a seasoned food and protein powder.
Luke Awtry Photography / Seven Days

If fried grasshoppers and other insects are considered snacks in many parts of the world, why not crunch on crickets, too? One Vermont company is counting on the fact that you might appreciate crickets as part of your diet. 

VPR Cafe: Morrisville/Morristown, Confusing Geography But Good Food

Jul 13, 2018
The "Country Classic" served at The Charlmont Restaurant in Morrisville.
Sally Pollak / Seven Days

Not all small towns in Vermont offer enough restaurants to enjoy breakfast, lunch and dinner all at different places. But Morrisville sure does. Or is it Morristown?

VPR Cafe: Delivering The Flavors Of Vermont To New York And Boston

Jul 6, 2018
Since 2013, Myers Produce has been supplying restaurants in New York City and Boston with fresh fruit and veggies from Vermont.
Jeb Wallace-Brodeur / Seven Days

Farming is grueling enough, let alone figuring out how to distribute your product to a wide market. That's where Myers Produce comes in; a Northeast Kingdom-based company that gets Vermont produce to high-end eateries and restaurant chains in New York City and Boston.

VPR Cafe: A Taste Of Summer By The Water

Jun 29, 2018
From lobster dinners to summer buffets, Basin Harbor Club's North Dock is just one of many spots in Vermont to enjoy a meal by the water.
Basin Harbor Club & Resort, courtesy / Seven Days

When the weather turns warm, many of us enjoy taking our meals outdoors to patios, picnic tables and parks. But there's often something more wonderful, perhaps even calming, about dining on or near the water. In Vermont, many of these destinations can be found along the banks of the Connecticut River and on the shores of Lake Champlain.

VPR Cafe: Summer Suds And One-Off Brews

Jun 22, 2018
River Roost Brewery in White River Junction recently doubled their space to expand operations and, possibly, add a tap room.
River Roost Brewery, courtesy / Seven Days

Shopping for Vermont beer has become an almost dizzying experience. With every visit to a beverage outlet, the selection seems to multiply right before your eyes. Now, with summer rolling around, get ready for even more!

VPR Cafe: Chef Dads Cook For Their Kids

Jun 14, 2018
Chef Aaron Josinsky of Misery Loves Company (with daugher, Eda) suggests being flexible when cooking for kids but to keep offering good choices.
Aaron Josinsky, courtesy / Kids Vermont

It's great having a parent who can cook really well, but imagine having one who's a chef! With Father's Day upon us, The VPR Cafe caught up with food writer, Melissa Pasanen, to find out what the area's chef dads are cooking at home. Five-star meals? Mac 'n cheese? And what tasty tricks do these culinary pros use to get the little ones to eat their veggies?    

VPR Cafe: Distilling Dreams (And Spirits, Too)

Jun 7, 2018
Professional colleagues and friends since college, Craig Stevens and Naomi Clemmons, now operate Wild Hart Distillery in Shelburne.
Bear Cieri / Seven Days

Vermont has some outstanding brewers and cider makers, but let's not forget about the ever-expanding list of distillers. Naomi Clemmons and Craig Stevens, colleagues in the public health field and friends since college, operate Wild Hart Distillery in Shelburne and have partenered with other Vermont companies to concoct some unique spirits.

VPR Cafe: Crafting Cuisine With Cannabis

May 25, 2018
In order to cook with cannabis, it must first undergo decarboxylation. One method of doing this is by infusing with olive oil.
egal / iStock

On July 1, Vermont's new marijuana law will go into effect. Residents of the state will be able to grow plants and possess some of their harvest. But not all users enjoy smoking pot; for them, there is cooking with cannabis.

Lumpaing Shanghai, finger-sized spring rolls, are one of the small plates served at Pica-Pica - a new Filipino restaurant in St. Johnsbury.
Hannah Palmer Egan / Seven Days

Central Vermont and the Northeast Kingdom have recently welcomed new food establishments offering tastes of Asia and the western Pacific. Seven Days food writer, Hannah Palmer Egan, shares all the delicious deets in this VPR Cafe podcast!  

Samples of Vermont beer featured at the national Beer Marketing & Tourism Conference held in Burlington in March.
Bear Cieri / Seven Days

Vermont beer is not only wildly popular here at home, but also across the country and around the world. In fact, visit Spain and you might just find a "Vermont-style IPA."  That's what one attendee of the Beer Marketing & Tourism Conference recently shared when it was held in Burlington in March.

Traditional CSA items are still popular, like those from 1000 Stone Farm in Brookfield (pictured), but many producers are now offering niche products like cheese, meat and more.
Courtesy, 1000 Stone Farm / Seven Days

Paying a seasonal fee for a weekly cache of greens and root veggies from a local farm remains popular in Vermont; however, the model of community supported agriculture (CSA) is evolving. In order to offer convenience to customers, many CSA programs are now offering flexible purchase plans and more product options. These approaches also allow more farmers to get in the game.

Elementary school students in Starksboro listen as Eugenie Doyle of Last Resort Farm reads from her book, "Sleep Tight Farm."
Matthew Thorsen / Seven Days

Writing a letter? Having a pen pal? These may seem a little old-fashioned but both are alive and well thanks to NOFA-VT (The Northeast Organic Farming Association of Vermont). They've come up with a program that connects young students with local farmers through correspondence and field trips.

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