Mad River Taste week kicks off on August 3 with a pig roast feast featuring dishes highlighting local farms and food producers. Erika Lynch of Babette’s Table and Bill Cavanaugh of the Mad River Food Hub are collaborating to spit-roast a whole von Trapp Farmstead pig, deboned and stuffed like an Italian porchetta. Side dishes that represent the best that Mad River Taste producers have to offer will be prepared by Canteen Creemee Co. There will be ice cream sandwiches from The Sweet Spot, a cash bar featuring cocktails from Mad River Distillers, beer from Lawson’s Finest Liquids and Collaborative Brewing, and cider from Tin Hat. Playing music for the event will be local Rob Williams, band leader of Phineas Gage. The pig roast will be held on the Mad River Green on Saturday, August 3, at 5 p.m. Tickets can be purchased online at www.madrivertaste.com/tasteweek.
Erika Lynch is a former teacher who packed up and headed to Gascony, France, with her partner and their two children to study classic French charcuterie with master butchers Kate Hill and Dominique Chaporlard. Two years after starting her business at the Mad River Food Hub, the USDA-inspected business incubator in Waitsfield, Lynch is producing an extensive line of cured meats built around locally sourced product from von Trapp Farmstead, Snug Valley and others.
Lynch will also be on hand to discuss her handmade charcuterie on Friday, August 9, at the Mad River Taste Place as Mary Tuthill, head cheese monger at Mad River Taste Place, pours complimentary glasses of cider and discusses how artisanal salami pairs with Vermont’s many excellent ciders. This will be a fun way to learn the versatility behind both hard cider and cured meats.
"We had a great time last year and the event was a sellout. In addition to attending the pig roast this Saturday and the cider and charcuterie pairing on Friday, I would recommend attending the Collaborative Brewing tour in Waitsfield on Monday, August 5, and von Trapp Farmstead tour in Warren on Friday, August 9. Both these tours will provide a great insight into artisanal food growers and beverage makers," said Bill Cavanaugh, manager and meat specialist at the Mad River Food Hub.
The brainchild of Robin Morris, president and founder of the Mad River Food Hub and the Mad River Taste Place, Mad River Taste Week will offer people the chance to discover local food and drink, made and grown by local artisans and craftsmen.
"The Mad River Valley has long been known for its exemplary food scene, one of the first and favored farmers’ markets in Vermont, an active localvore movement, and many award-winning artisans including Ploughgate Creamery, von Trapp Farmstead, Lawson’s Finest Liquids, Mad River Distillers, Tonewood Maple, Green Rabbit Bakery, Tin Hat Cider and Vermont Bean Crafters," Morris said.
Highlights of the week include daily farm and facility tours, tasting events and educational workshops, led by food makers and farmers in The Valley. The week will finish with the annual Vermont Cheese Council dinner on August 10 at the Inn at Round Barn Farm, Waitsfield. Those wishing to continue their pursuit of Vermont-made delights are encouraged to attend the Vermont Cheesemakers Festival in Shelburne on August 11.