When your restaurant is located at an inn with a forty-acre organic farm, it seems quite obvious that your style of cooking will be farm to table. What’s better than picking fresh produce in your backyard and then cooking it later that day for your dinner guests? Well, it could be that you supplement your farm’s crops with ingredients from other local farms. This is exactly what Chef Chad Greer does at Henry’s at the Farm. Located at Buttermilk Inn & Spa in Milton, New York, you are certain to receive a delicious meal filled with fresh, local ingredients. I was able to speak with Chef Greer to learn more about Henry’s.
TT: Henry’s has its own 40-acre farm, Millstone Farm. What are you growing?
CG: Currently we are harvesting tomatoes, kale, peaches, nectarines, summer squash, zucchini, green beans, blackberries & raspberries, swiss chard, lettuce (different types), and herbs. We always have rosemary, thyme, chives, mint, and basil.
TT: Hepworth Farm is located down the road from Henry’s. What items do you get from there?
CG: We get more of the same ingredients to stock our kitchen, plus cukes and peppers. We did not go there at all this week, as our gardens were producing all that we needed. Hepworth Farm is genius at having consistency; they’re the first to have tomatoes.
TT: “Local isn’t a trend, it’s a mantra.” How old is Henry’s?
CG: Henry’s is less than two years old, I’ve been there for three months, though I’ve been cooking locally for years. By next year, I will be determining what’s put in the ground to control what comes out.
TT: Does your menu change daily, or are you able to use same menu for a few days or weeks?
CG: The menu evolves. We never do an entire change. As things go out of season, we replace menu items that include the ingredient. We replace at least three items once a week. We tend to have a smaller menu with a number of specials, then we have something new every day.
TT: What is your favorite dish that includes local produce?
CG: Hepworth Farm Panzanella Salad. The tomatoes and cukes are all grown here (the cukes are from Hepworth); we make own mozzarella.
TT: What makes your menu/restaurant unique?
CG: I’m pretty straight forward. Our food isn’t complicated; I like to stick with basics. I focus on ingredients, not what’s written on paper. Some menus read great but aren’t. I literally drive to farms every week. I don’t see other chefs at farms, but they claim to have farm to table restaurants. We produce what we say we produce and do it well. Maybe that’s unique.