Tracey Medeiros knows food. And she knows good, healthy food. Aside from being a food stylist, recipe developer and tester, she is the author of three cookbooks — “The Connecticut Farm Table Cookbook,” “The Vermont Farm Table Cookbook” and “Dishing Up Vermont.” She also writes a column for Edible Green Mountains Magazine called “The Farmhouse Kitchen: A Guide to Eating Local” and is currently working on a Vermont Non-GMO/Organic cookbook, to be released October 2017.
Medeiros recently answered a few questions from The Bridge about the food movement and culture in Vermont.
Why write about food and the food in Vermont in particular?
My inspiration for writing all of my cookbooks has always been the desire to promote community wellness through the process of growing food in a healthy, responsible way. This has been the message in each of my books and is the driving force and lifelong purpose behind each of them.
As a resident of Vermont, I love to frequent its farmers’ markets, roadside farm stands, sprawling farms and innovative restaurants — they truly connect me to Vermont’s food community.
What sets Vermont recipes apart from other regional recipes?
What sets Vermont’s recipes apart from those of other regions is the enduring passion that their creators have about supporting the local food community, who return this loyalty and trust by using the best growing practices possible to produce products that are healthy and delicious. Vermonters want to know who grows their food and how it is grown, prepared and cooked. These dedicated chefs and farmers share a common bond and goal: showing respect for the land through the use of sustainable practices, which help preserve biodiversity, pristine farmland and our environment for future generations.
What is happening now in the Vermont food scene that wasn’t happening a decade ago?
Vermont is leading the nation with the organic and Non-GMO movement. The Non-GMO movement in Vermont has hit critical mass. The people in Vermont truly understand the value of knowing what is in their food and flock to farmers’ markets, organic markets, farm stands, CSAs and specialty food stores because they are invested in the sustainable, organic and Non-GMO movements.
Is there a particular food trend in Vermont that you see happening in the local restaurants?
The number of restaurants in the state of Vermont that are serving locally farmed, organic and Non-GMO fare on their menus is growing significantly. Their strong support for the organic and Non-GMO movement’s philosophy is displayed through the creatively healthy, delicious offerings that they showcase on their menus and daily specials.
Do you see Vermont-inspired recipes in other regions? If so, where?
Yes, I am constantly seeing Vermont products featured in other regions, specifically on restaurant menus, from New York City to Connecticut to Massachusetts, to name only a few. Of course, my “Connecticut Farm Table Cookbook” has given me many opportunities to research local eateries and their recipes during the extended time that I spent in that state.
Which restaurants in the Montpelier area exemplify Vermont eating?
Kismet, located on Main Street in Montpelier, exemplifies Vermont eating. Its owner and chef, Crystal Maderia, is passionate about eating fresh, whole foods. The menu at Kismet features a wide assortment of organic offerings. Kismet has been kind enough to contribute two recipes for my latest Non-GMO/organic cookbook project.
Woodbelly Pizza exemplifies Vermont eating as well. Currently they can be found at the Montpelier Farmers’ Market on Saturdays from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Its owner and chef, David Huck, partners with local farmers to bring his customers the best in fresh, nutrient-dense organic food. Woodbelly Pizza has contributed three recipes for my latest Non-GMO/organic cookbook project.
To learn more about the Medeiros and to order her books, go to: www.traceymedeiros.com.