Local chef cooked at Macy's demo
Devin Mills, co-owner of the Peekamoose Restaurant in Shandaken, was one of thousands of chefs selected as a representative of farm-to-table cuisine at the Macy’s Culinary Center in midtown Manhattan on March 7. Mills was selected by the Ulster County Tourism Board and the “I Love NY” campaign to showcase Catskills cuisine. Adding to the challenge: Mills was operating with just one hand, having broken his right hand a week beforehand.
Mills enlisted the help of Craig Thompson of ShandakenBake, who bakes in the Peekamoose kitchen, to aid him in the two-handed aspects of cooking. The two joined forces to roll Goat Cheese Gnocchi for the more than 50 audience members in attendance at the demonstration in The Cellar Kitchen of Macy’s Herald Square. The end product: goat cheese gnocchi with toasted walnuts, beef confit and mache.
During the demo, both men lauded the benefits of buying local.
“As consumers, you have a choice,” Mills told those present. “You can go to Sam’s Club and buy a 10-pound bag of Russet potatoes, which will work fine for the recipe but will lack flavor. Besides, you don’t know how long ago the potatoes were harvested. Or you can shop at a local farmers’ market and buy an heirloom variety Green Mountain potato from the guy who literally pulled it from the ground that morning and get all the best flavor, nutrients and quality. Personally, I’m always for the small producer: they care more and have a better product.”