For chef Adam Kaye, food is the family business. His great-grandfather was a butcher in Johannesburg, South Africa; his grandfather owned a butcher supply and spice-milling company; and his parents owned retail cookware stores and now run a catering company.
Kaye is the Vice President of Culinary Affairs at Blue Hill. He joined the Blue Hill team in October 2000 and worked his way up the kitchen ranks to become Chef / Kitchen Director. Prior to Blue Hill, he worked in Washington, D. C. at Vidalia, Rye at La Panetiere, and at Chanterelle in New York City.
Adam talks about the Blue Hill Stone Barns experience, their new yogurt line, working with kids, and gives his insider guide to the culinary gems in Westchester County.
By Chef Adam Kaye
The Blue Hill at Stone Barns Experience
There are a lot of ways to experience both Blue Hill at Stone Barns and Stone Barns Center for Food and Agriculture and there is really no one way to take it all in. Obviously, the restaurant delivers, hopefully, a completely unique dining fine dining experience rooted in a farm-driven cuisine that tells a story of the agriculture on the farm at Stone Barns and further afield in the Hudson Valley and beyond. Depending on the time of year, a visit to Blue Hill at Stone Barns for a meal could include a walk around the farm or a visit to the greenhouses before or after you meal. There is a lot to see and do visiting the farm alone - programmatically, there is always a lot going on. Self-guided tours, egg collecting activities for kids, foraging walks, farmer-chef activities. The Blue Hill Cafe and Grain Bar is open daily from 10 am to 4:30 pm. This is a much more informal way to enjoy Blue Hill's food: pastries, salads, soups, sandwiches etc.... And then there are the amazing events scattered throughout the year at Stone Barns: Sheep Shearing Festival in the Spring; the Summer Solstice in June and the hugely popular Harvest Fest in the fall.
630 Bedford Road, Pocantico Hills, NY 10591
T: 914.366.9600 | www.bluehillfarm.com/dine/stone-barns
Blue Hill Signature Foods
Blue Hill launched a line of vegetable-flavored yogurts that are now available nationally. The yogurts are produced with 100% grass-fed whole milk and come in flavors like Beet, Butternut Squash and Carrot. They were developed in the kitchen at Blue Hill at Stone Barns and are now produced by an amazing dairy in upstate New York. One of the most exciting developments at the restaurant over the past few years is the bakery we built last year. We are now baking all our breads in-house and milling our own flours. We have an incredible flour mill imported from Austria in the bakery and have been experimenting with all sorts of amazing wheats and grains. We are working with organic grain farmers and wheat breeders and coming up with really special 100% whole breads - using both ancient grains like Emmer and Einkorn, as well as completely new varieties that haven't even been named yet. It has really transformed things for us at the restaurant.
Blue Hill has been collaborating with Stone Barns to teach and inspire kids for over 12 years. A great example is the Farm-to-Kitchen program that brings 3rd and 4th graders from around the region to our kitchens. One of the things that excites me is teaching new young cooks how to teach kids about food and its connection to farming. I am personally inspired by these up-and-coming chefs and their dedication.
Chef Adam Kaye's Westchester Guide
MORNING | Coffee + Breakfast
This is a new coffee shop opened in Larchmont at the end of 2015 and they probably serve the best cup of coffee I've ever had - in Westchester or beyond. Jenny, the owner, is a true artist. She uses Counter Culture coffee and brews the most perfect cup. She's got me hooked on the flat white which is one of the most wonderfully rich, decadent treats. It is really more than just a cup of coffee.
130 Chatsworth Avenue, Larchmont, NY 10538
The Kneaded Bread
If I'm ever in Port Chester in the morning, I make sure to stop in here. Their chocolate brioche is pretty amazing, packed with generous chunks of chocolate.
181 North Main Street, Port Chester, NY 10573
T: 914.937.9489 | www.kneadedbread.com
SHOPPING & MARKETS
ITALIAN | Cosmo & Alex Pisano Brothers
This is dangerously close to my house, which is just a few blocks away. It is an Italian deli that is truly a gem - the kind of New York place that is a national treasure in my opinion. It's like having the best of Arthur Avenue on my doorstep. I make a lot of pizza and fresh pasta with my kids so I'm always in here getting fresh mozzarella, tomato passata, pasta flour, cured meats...you name it. If I need burratta or Sicilian anchovies or Calabrian chili paste, this is the place I come to. The aroma alone is worth the trip. (I once overhead a woman telling someone else on line that she puts on weight just by inhaling in the store!) It is also the kind of place that makes you feel like family. The owner Pat seems to know everyone who steps into the store and their sandwiches are works of art (see my lunch comments below!)
252 Mamaroneck Avenue, Mamaroneck, NY 10543
MIDDLE EASTERN | Yaranoush
I've been coming to Yaranoush in White Plains for years. It is a small market that's packed with products from all over the Middle East - tahini, pickles, dried fruit and nuts, baklava, about 6 different kinds of feta. We'll have falafel night at home two or three times a month, so I'm always stopping at the store to pick up dried chickpeas or schug or pita or whatever else I need to complete a Middle Eastern dinner.
322 Central Avenue, White Plains, NY 10606
T: 914.682.8449 | www.yaranush.com
BEER | Half Time
If you are as into beer as I am, this is a beer superstore (literally) in Mamaroneck. It is dizzying in here - it is the size of a decent-sized supermarket, devoted exclusively to beer, aisle after aisle with every style imaginable from every region of the world. They also have about a dozen taps so you can get your growlers filled. There is a lot of home brewing equipment for sale as well. Pretty amazing - and within walking distance of my home. I've really never seen a store like Half Time before.
139 Hoyt Avenue, Mamaroneck, NY 10543
T: 914.341.1666 | www.halftimebeverage.com
SMOKED FISH | The Smokehouse
This gem is hidden on a pretty commercial/industrial stretch in Mamaroneck and they have really high quality smoked fish. They mainly do a thriving wholesale business, but have a small store at the front of their smokehouse. All of the smoked fish I've eaten from here has been incredible. In particular, they do a pastrami'd smoked salmon that is delicious, as well as a whitefish salad that is as good or better than any I have ever eaten.
434 Waverly Avenue, Mamaroneck, NY 10543
T: 914.630.4788 | www.thesmokehouseny.com
FOOD TRUCK | Teca's Taco
This is a food truck on Fifth Avenue in New Rochelle with the best tacos around. Super authentic and that's all they sell out of the truck (plus Mexican coke in a bottle!) I either get the Adobada (pork) or the Birria (beef) tacos - usually about 3 or 4 at a time. When I'm off on a Monday, I'll treat myself to an order of tacos. It's an old UPS truck that's been repainted and repurposed and is parked alongside some playing fields and when the weather warms up, people are lined up on the sidewalk.
Between Portman Road and Potter Avenue, New Rochelle, NY
MEXICAN | Tecalitlan
The owners of Teca's Taco also run a small restaurant in New Rochelle called Tecalitlan. It's a tiny hole-in-the-wall, mom-and-pop place (literally - I think both mom and pop are cooking in the kitchen), but the food they put out is some of the best and most authentic I've had outside of Mexico. Tacos, sincronizadas, sopes - they are all really delicious.
123 Union Avenue, New Rochelle, NY 10801
ITALIAN DELI | Cosmo & Alex Pisano Brothers
I also love getting a coppa sandwich here. It is super thinly sliced coppa, fresh mozzarella and sweet sundried peppers on a ciabatta roll. The oil from the peppers soaks into the bread and brings the whole thing together. I'll get it with a side of a few pieces of grilled preserved artichokes antipasti that they sell.
252 Mamaroneck Avenue, Mamaroneck, NY 10543
The Craftsman Ale House
My drink of choice is a great craft beer and no one has a better and more extensive list than The Craftsman Ale House in Harrison. Joe Vicidomini, the owner, is a craft beer savant and has put together a beer menu that is truly encyclopedic. The beers on tap are constantly changing so there is alway something new and interesting to try. They also do pretty regular brewery tap takeovers and meet the brewer events. The food menu is pretty impressive too - bar staples like wings and burgers are all really good. I actually originally discovered The Craftsman after reading a favorable review of their Buffalo wings. I spent my undergraduate years in Upstate New York so I take my wings pretty seriously. The Craftsman never disappoints.
235 Harrison Avenue, Harrison, NY 10528
T: 914.630.7484 | www.craftsmanalehouse.com
Located in Dobbs Ferry, this has become my favorite dinner spot in Westchester. I never tire of eating David DiBari's food. I love everything about the place - first obviously is the food. But it is just plain fun to have a meal here. The decor (CBGBs meets Roberta's), the music, the beer list, the wine on tap, the movies projected on the back wall - it all works perfectly. And David's pizza, served whole with kitchen shears, rivals anything I've had in Manhattan or Brooklyn or anywhere for that matter. His lemon pizza with smoked scamorza cheese and chili has to be one of my all-time desert island foods - period! And he does this app with brussels sprouts, Rice Crispies (!!!), sweet chili and parmesan - I could eat a of bowl of that every day. I have so much respect for a chef who is so talented and has such great technique but keeps things totally fun and accessible. I've never not had a delicious meal at The Parlor. I wear my Parlor "Legalize Marinara" t-shirt around town with pride!
14 Cedar Street, Dobbs Ferry, NY 10522
T: 914.478.8200 | www.theparlordf.com
Dinner With Kids
Ironically my kids are fairly picky eaters, although that is starting to change. The first sign of that change was when my wife and I took them to Bartaco and they loved it. Very convenient since I've been coming here for years and have always loved the place. It's a great concept - tasting food in a super relaxed venue with great decor (the margaritas are pretty killer as well). My eldest son loves the falafel tacos (yes, falafel tacos) and grilled corn and my younger son gets the crispy fish tacos and sesame ribeye tacos. My wife and I love pretty much everything on the menu. We come here on the early side with the kids, which works well since the wait can get pretty crazy when the weather warms up - actually, it is really never NOT busy. The kids also love the ordering system - you get to fill out your own menu card with your order - plus the loungey outdoor furniture. It's pretty rare to find a place both where my wife and I can go out for dinner with friends or we can go as a family with our young sons. Sitting outside at Bartaco on a warm summer evening is kind of a like a little vacation - eating tacos, drinking cold beers and margaritas, hanging out with your family. What could be better? And it's a whole lot cheaper than a flight to Tulum.
1 Willett Avenue, Port Chester, NY 10573
T: 914.937.8226 | bartaco.com
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