We are so damn lucky to live just north of one of the greatest restaurant and food-shopping cities in the world, making it easier for farmers, chefs, bakers, grocers, and even the guy who makes artisan pizzas on the back of a ’52 Chevy pickup to sell to a population constantly in pursuit of exceptional food and new flavors. We are the beneficiaries, backers, and even supporting critics (yes, you, Yelpers) of a cuisine revolution that continues to build as we see a generation of lifetime- and second-career-types melding their business acumen with their passion for food.
John Ubaldo of John Boys Farm was a stockbroker until 9/11, when he threw it all in, bought a farm in Washington County, and started raising Berkshire pigs that have restaurants and farmers’ market shoppers clamoring for his humungous pork chops with the marbling of a fine steak and his superior cuts of bacon. Lisa Moir decided to move from helping students as a social worker to building her community via amazing locally sourced (sometimes with mint and strawberries from her roof garden) ice cream one flavor at a time. Dean Medico built a very successful printing business but saw the writing on the wall as iPads were replacing printed materials. He sold the business and discovered the simple beauty in a perfectly executed pizza.
I wanted to dig deeper, in my own backyard, with my camera and recorder, to meet the chefs, artisans, grocers, and farmers who had the foresight, fortitude, and good fortune to build businesses that have helped make the Westchester County food scene come alive.
Ossining resident Darryl Estrine happily ate his way across the County for the first story he’s photographed and written for us. Estrine is currently working on his second book and making films for clients like Le Creuset and Mahopac’s Camp Nabby.