On the night of April 25, the barn in Cortlandt Manor Hemlock Hill Farm burned down, killing thousands of the chickens that represented Hemlock Hill’s livelihood. In addition to the dead livestock, the loss of the barn (and, with it, the ability to raise more chickens) represents a staggering blow to the DeMaria family, owners of one of Westchester County’s last working farms.
If you’ve been paying attention to Westchester’s food scene, you’ve heard already about Hemlock Hill Farm. Birdsall House (and, later, Gleason’s and Peekskill Brewery) sourced many of their meats from Hemlock Hill and all often name check the farm on their menus. Hemlock Hill has also showed up on Restaurant North’s menu, and it was Hemlock Hill’s animals that, since 2006, benefitted from the spent grain from Captain Lawrence Brewing Company. Hemlock Hill Farm may have been quiet, but it was a deeply integrated part of Westchester’s dining and drinking world.
Several of Westchester County’s dining and drinking luminaries have teamed up to support Hemlock Hill Farm after its catastrophic fire. On June 17th, Restaurant North and Captain Lawrence will unite for the Farm to Brewery Dinner to be held at Captain Lawrence Brewing Company. All proceeds will benefit Hemlock Hill Farm and the DeMaria family, who will be in attendance. The dinner, prepared by Chef Eric Gabrynowicz—Food and Wine Magazine award winner and all around superstar—will offer multiple buffets that each celebrate animals that Hemlock Hill raises. Diners can expect to see tables devoted to pork, chicken, lamb, and beef, plus, a “pasture table” that will offer vegetables that have been grown at other local farms. There is some speculation that one table might celebrate the cuy (guinea pig) that Hemlock Hill Farm raises to supply Latin American communities.
Recently, I spoke with Chef Gabrynowicz about Restaurant North’s participation in the event. “This kind of thing is part of our DNA at Restaurant North. Helping a farmer is a huge part of what we’re about. And we’ve had such a long relationship with Scott (Vaccaro, Owner/Brewer of Captain Lawrence Brewing Company), that when he called to propose the dinner, we were an automatic yes.”
Says Scott Vaccaro of Hemlock Hill’s owner, John DeMaria, “I’ve known John and his family since 2006. Every week, he comes by the brewery to get the grain and he’s in his 80’s. They sell my beer in their farm store.” The dinner will offer beer paired by Captain Lawrence, and music will be provided by Evan Watson. Tickets are $200 and all proceeds will benefit Hemlock Hill Farm. Those looking to help may also contribute to a Kickstarter campaign to raise funds to rebuild Hemlock Hill’s chicken barn.
“Raise the Barn” Events to Benefit Hemlock Hill Farm
Check out these other great events designed to benefit Hemlock Hill Farm, one of Westchester’s last family farms. Hemlock Hill recently lost its historic barn to a catastrophic fire.
“Just the Tapp” a Raise the Barn Dinner with Captain Lawrence Brewing Co and The Tapp
June 18, two seatings: 6 and 7:30 pm
$50 per person
From the site: CLBC & The Tapp Bar & Restaurant are teaming up to do our first collaboration dinner featuring our award winning IPAs in honor of Hemlock Hill Farms ‘Project Barn-Raiser.’
This $50 per person dinner will feature four courses prepared by Chef Alexa Wilkinson of The Tapp of Tarrytown and will be paired with three of Captain Lawrence IPAs presented by none other than brewmaster Scott Vaccaro himself.
1st course: India Pale Ale
2nd Course: Captain’s Imperial Reserve
3rd Course: Hemlock Hill Farms ‘Barn-Raiser’ Ale (A never before released IPA that you don’t want to miss… Details to come)
Dessert: A Golden Delicious inspired creation
To purchase tickets, click here
“Barn Raiser” release at Captain Lawrence Brewing Company
Look for the retail debut of this one-off Captain Lawrence creation: it’s a triple IPA that’s been dry hopped four times in four weeks. Proceeds from sales to benefit Hemlock Hill Farms–look for at CLBC
Trivia for Hemlock Hill Farms at CLBC
A special night of trivia at Captain Lawrence Brewing Company: $10 admission for players, all proceeds to benefit Hemlock Hill Farm. Quizmasters Nick Schwartz and Austin Ashley.
Pineapple Pico de Gallo Paleta by La Flor de Michoacan
Sometimes sugary and summer don’t go together. After all, who wants to be all sweaty and ALSO covered in sticky goo? When it gets really hot, slip around one of these icy numbers—the pineapple is tart and lightly salted. Plus, it’s cold, refreshingly watery—and has a bit of chili kick.
574 North Ave, New Rochelle