Tag Archives: LeFarm

LeFarm, The Whelk, and Kawa Ni Staff to Strip Down and Take TI Polar Plunge

16 Dec

CT Food News, Vol. 10: Summer Fun, Wine, Beer, FIFA, Openings + Major Props

26 Jun

Summer’s in gear and it’s about time you got off your ass and did something.  And, with this list of things going on in and around Fairfield County, you better work it.  Um girl, don’t be lazy and stay home…not with so much going on.  Whether you’re talking about food-focused events, beer and wine, world cup action, or Woodmont’s Farmers’ Market, we’ve got a major checklist for you to cross off.  Plus, we’ve got some props to hand out, some opening/closing info, and a sweet little summer getaway idea.

Events

6/26:  The hostess with the most-ess, Anna Zap, will be at Dinosaur Bar-b-que in Stamford for Drinks on the Deck with Leaf Vodka.  The par-tay begins at 5 pm!

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Secret Ingredient Released for Battle of the Chefs with Chefs Pasternack, Storch, and Taibe

16 May
Grace Weber, executive director of Founders Hall, presents a fresh Pekin duck to Chefs Matt Storch, Forrest Pasternack and Jeff Taibe, who will be competing in Battle of the Chefs to benefit Founders Hall on Sunday, June 1, 4 -7pm, at Founders Hall.

Grace Weber, executive director of Founders Hall, presents a fresh Pekin duck to Chefs Matt Storch, Forrest Pasternack and Jeff Taibe, who will be competing in Battle of the Chefs to benefit Founders Hall on Sunday, June 1, 4 -7 pm, at Founders Hall.  Photo by Karen Rayda.

Oh, duck yeah!  The first ingredient for the appetizer round of the Battle of the Chefs at Founders Hall has been revealed.  On June 8, Chefs Pasternack (Bailey’s Backyard), Taibe (leFarm/The Whelk), and Storch (Match, The Chelsea), will need to use Peking duck in their appetizers.  For these three talented chefs, we don’t think they’ll have too much trouble…but the real challenge is putting out the best duck dish.  Duck can definitely be challenging, too.  It’s pretty easy to overcook and should be served rare to medium rare.  Plus, it does take lots of work to perfect that perfectly crispy duck skin.

All three chefs will be cooking up 200 servings for guests who will then vote for their favorites on June 1 from 4 to 7.  While all three chefs do have the advantage of planning out their attack with the Peking duck, they won’t be so lucky when it comes to the entrée round.  That’s because they’ll open a basket filled with secret ingredients and will have only 40 minutes to put a killer dish together.  A panel of judges will then discuss each dish and pick the winner of that round.  If you want a taste of the entrees, you can buy a special chef’s table ticket.  And, even if you don’t buy that, all tickets will get you enough hors d’oeuvre to fill up that belly, an open bar (oh yeah), and plenty of amazing desserts.

Tickets are now on sale at Founders Hall in Ridgefield, online, or by calling up (203) 431-7000.  Tasting Table Tickets are $500, Floor Seats are $200, and Stadium Seats are $125.  To read more about The Battle of the Chefs, please check out our introduction post and to learn more about the great work of Founders Hall, check out their site.

In the mix: Jeff Marron talks about his new role as Beverage Manager at leFarm and The Whelk

20 Apr

 

When we hit up any restaurant, the first thing we do is check out the drink options.  We need to chill, we need to set the mood, and we need something great to go with our meal.  Whether it’s beer, wine, liquor, cocktails, or something exotic like sake, the drink menu is key to a great meal.  And, while drinks menus can complement meals nicely, they also need to be strong and varied enough for people who just want to hit up the bar.

Verified proof...

Verified proof…

Making all of this come together is no easy task, just ask Jeff Marron. He was just appointed Beverage Manager at Chef Bill Taibe’s locally and nationally celebrated restaurants, leFarm and The Whelk. You might be familiar with Jeff for his insanely in-depth knowledge of wine, beer, and spirits through Saugatuck Grain + Grape of Westport. You might have also tried his barrel aged cocktails (he is the master of the Negroni) at Bar Sugo or other restaurants, and you might have also had his drinks at Luxe Modern Wine & Cocktails.  There at Luxe he is finishing up his role as Beverage and Food Director.  And, now with all of these skills, experience, knowledge, and passion for drinks, he makes his mark on Westport yet again.

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Kawa Ni: Bill Taibe to Open Japanese Pub with Pan-Asian Flavors at Bridge Square Market in Saugatuck

27 Mar
Chef Taibe is outstanding in his field...

Chef Taibe will be opening his third restaurant shortly…you ready?

Update: Kawa Ni is now open and here’s our review!

We saw the news a couple of weeks ago from LeFarm:  “Signed…”  A slew of comments, congratulations, and demands for answers from hungry fans lit up their Facebook page.  Signed what?  Autographs, Declaration of Independence, soul to the devil, or a lease to a new place?  Yes, the latter…but what kind?

Some of the gyoza Chef Taibe devoured in Osaka…

Well, we got our answers when Chef Bill Taibe shared some insights with us into his new spot, soon to be the third restaurant in his arsenal of Westport hotspots.  A name?  That’s in the works now, but he does say that they are close to coming up with one, “Japanese for sure,” he promises.

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Chefs Bill Taibe and Wirt Cook Headline Outstanding in the Field Dinners at The Hickories in Ridgefield, CT

11 Mar

about-contact

Outstanding in the Field has been trekking across America since 1999…and they’ve even hit up international destinations in 2011 such as Italy, Spain, Denmark, Great Britain, and Ireland.  So, what exactly is Outstanding in the Field?  It’s literally a moveable feast, but in the form of a Winnebago that travels from farm to farm, location to location, sets up a ginormous table, pulls in some of the area’s best chefs and local food, then puts on an, well, outstanding meal.

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Arik Bensimon Joins LeFarm, Carlos Baez Takes over The Spread

17 Apr

Rich, fatty, earthy...excellent pork belly atop French lentils

Rich, fatty, earthy…excellent pork belly atop French lentils at The Spread

Life’s kind of strange, isn’t it?  Chef Bill Taibe who started LeFarm and The Whelk became very well known in Connecticut when he cooked at G/R/A/N/D in Stamford, he started his own spot called Relish Food & Wine, and especially when he took Napa & Company to new heights.  When he left Napa in 2009, a chef named Arik Bensimon came in and took the reigns.  He was a chef who had received major praise from his experiences at Le Cirque and Picholine in NYC and La Panetiere in Rye.  LeFarm was born soon after.  And, from day one, Executive Chef Arik Bensimon made a name for himself again at Napa & Company plating food with heart, soul, and reverence for local food.  We were treated to an amazing dinner that Chef Arik prepared and we were really blown away…course after course.  Then this past summer we found out that Chef Arik had left Napa & Co and we all wondered…what was he up to next?  Well, he took Fairfield County by storm a second time by becoming Executive Chef at The Spread in Norwalk.  Again, we had a meal there and we really loved Arik’s rich and hearty dishes that were sprinkled with simple complexity, and vowed to come back time and again.

Local duck egg with black truffle at Napa & Co in Stamford CT

Local duck egg with black truffle at Napa & Co

And, now onto the life is strange part.  Chef Arik Bensimon has left The Spread and is now Executive Chef at LeFarm in Westport, owned by Bill Taibe.  We wish lots of great success to Arik and we’re so happy for him.  He’s the kind of guy who deserves the best.  Being Executive Chef at LeFarm, for him, will be a perfect match and can only push LeFarm to even greater culinary heights.  Seriously…make your reservations now.  You’re not going to be able to get in the door.

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Vote for Your Favorite Connecticut Restaurants and Chefs in CT Restaurant Association Contest

1 Nov

The Connecticut Restaurant Association has put together a list of some of the best chefs and restaurants from the state and needs your help.  They want you to vote on your favorites for Upscale Restaurant of the Year, Casual Restaurant of the Year, Caterer of the Year, Mixologist of the Year, and Chef of the Year.  While we do focus on Fairfield County, there are definitely some great places up for nomination that we’d love to try when we’re out yonder.  But, that’s not to say that Fairfield County isn’t represented!  Pepe’s Pizza is up for Best Casual (they aren’t just New Haven, ya know), David’s Soundview Catering (yeahhhh!) is up for Best Caterer, and everybody’s favorite badboy chef Bill Taibe of LeFarm is up for Best Chef of the Year.

Just vote by filling out the quick form here and giving your e-mail addy.  You can only vote once per e-mail address, so don’t get out of control. :P  Voting ends on November 6 at 5pm.  The winners will be honored on 11/27 at the CRA Salute to Excellent Awards Dinner at Mohegan Sun.  For details on getting tickets or being a sponsor, click here.  So, show some love to our local restaurants and vote them in!  Here are all the contestants:

Upscale Restaurant of the Year
Max Downtown
The Mill at 2T
Union League Cafe
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Wakeman Town Farm Holds First Farm to Table Event Featuring CT’s Best Chefs!

24 Jul

“Grassroots” is an event not to be missed.  It’s the kind of thing that if you miss it, you realize that you’re not one of the cool kids anymore.  It’s the kind of event that when you go, you realize how awesome food is and how wicked good it feels to keep it local.  Although the “Grassroots” farm to table dinner won’t be going on until September 15, we felt that we had to tell you about it now because tickets go on sale this Friday, August 3 and are $150 each.  Make sure that you’re following Wakeman Town Farm by e-mail newsletter if you’re a member…that’s where you’ll find the invitation.  It will also be up on their site with a link to purchase tickets via PayPal.

Here are some of the best chefs that CT has who are locavores, ready to transform local seasonal veggies (from nearby farms) into meals of yumminess:

Gnocchi from Artisan in Southport

Jason Sobocinski of Caseus, New Haven
John Naughright of LeFarm, Westport
Frederic Kieffer of Artisan, Southport
John Barricelli, SoNo Baking Company, Norwalk & Westport

The dinner will also help Wakeman Town Farm to raise money for their farm.  Their plans?  Spruce up the place, give away scholarships, create high school and college internships, and install animal shelters for their children’s program.  Another way to help Wakeman Town Farm is by becoming a member.  Here are some of the ways to help out along with the benefits:

$100 Harvester
  • Gift Certificate for 2 Wakeman Town Farm T-shirts
  • Discount on special events
  • Receive regular updates of the Wakeman Town Farm E-Newsletter
  • Early registration to special events
$50 Family
  • Receive regular updates of the Wakeman Town Farm E-Newsletter
  • Early registration for immediate family to special events
$35 Individual
  • Receive regular updates of the Wakeman Town Farm E-Newsletter
  • Early registration to special events

When we get more details such as the menu, we’ll update this.  So, help support local farmers, local chefs, and Wakeman Town Farm.  Think local, buy local, live local.

Wakeman Town Farm

134 Cross Highway

Westport, CT 06880

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