The First Flush ~ Donko Mushrooms
Mushroom forager and grower Leo Mondragon's visits to Blue Hill at Stone Barns are unannounced and brief. Gesturing and chattering on at a frantic rate, he packs an essay's worth of information into a two-minute description of his latest spoils. We rarely see Leo in the winter, so when he barreled into Blue Hill at Stone Barns' cooks meeting this morning, we knew that the first flush of spring was upon us, and with it - Donko Shiitake Mushrooms.

Ralph the 900 lb Boar: part 1 ... An Update
After an exhaustive search, Blue Hill has learned that the 7-year old, mostly Landrace boar was camera shy; no photographs exist. None. Zilch. So, picture this: True to his heritage, Ralph was waist high and exceptionally long and lean in body, heavy - read meaty - in the hams and the loins. Because of his age and, well, his gender, it was necessary to castrate Ralph before slaughter. Seven months ago, local Penn Yan farmers drew on techniques learned in their native Mexico to perform the procedure safely, free of anesthesia and with very little stress to the boar.

Ralph the 900 lb Boar: part 1
  Maybe it was his diet of organic heirloom grains, foraged flowers, grasses, roots and fruits, or perhaps it was the brilliant Finger Lakes air. Or, it could be that farmers Klaas and Mary Howell Martens never do anything halfway. Whatever the formula that brought Ralph the 900-plus lb. boar to Blue Hill at Stone Barns' kitchen, one thing is clear: he will be a part of Blue Hill and Blue Hill at Stone Barns' menus for days, weeks and months to come.

Early Spring: Ramps
Earlier than usual, but nonetheless welcome. Ramps courtesy of Michael Kokas and Upstate Farms.  

In Remembrance: Boris the Boar
For the past few days every manner of cook has been breaking down a 900 lb pig named Ralph. But, before the kitchen formally introduces you to this magnificent beast from Penn Yan, NY, we thought that we would take a few minutes to remember Stone Barns Center's favorite 900 lb son - Boris (@ 6 min 19 sec in).  

The Orchidist: week of March 19, 2012
Dendrobium Speciosum: simply beautiful  

Dandelion? Burdock? Bitters?
Blue Hill New York is getting ready for Katie Bell's dandelion-burdock bitters.

Last Call: Steak and Eggs!
A lunch you don't want to miss.  Join us on Saturday, March 24th for a four-course feast featuring delicously paired cocktails. For reservations and more information, please call 914 366 9600.

The Orchidist: March 2, 2012
A sea of cymbidium orchids.

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