"I just want to eat well and keep it unpretentious."
Meet Mark Firth, the owner and chief farmhand of the Bell & Anchor, a farm to table restaurant located up in Great Barrington, MA. I came to the Berkshires looking to get away from the city - to get out into nature and get a little closer to my food source. Mark, a long time Brooklyn resident, had the same idea a few years back. Except, once he discovered the Berkshires, he knew he'd found his home.
I met Mark at a James Beard House Cure-All dinner in NYC last winter, and was impressed with a lot of the food being showcased by chefs in his area. The dinner pretty much inspired my week-long road trip. I wanted to see for myself what restaurants were up to upstate, to see the caliber of food coming out of small towns known for the farm-to-table movement; towns that also supply NYC and Boston with a lot of farmed meat and produce. To say the least, I was impressed. The creativity, the inspiration, the passion were all there; added to that, a sense of camaraderie between all the farms and restaurants - a real sense of community around food. I filmed at a couple of restaurants that you'll get to know over these next few weeks - some thick with history, some riding on new ideas. I hope it inspires you to escape the city. There's a level of excitement building amongst all the chefs I met, you could sense it, you could see that summer was everyone's favorite food season.
So, enjoy this little piece on the Bell & Anchor. Mark co-founded two of my favorite restaurants in my Brooklyn 'hood: Diner and Marlow & Sons. He has a knack for creating very special spaces. And the food by Chef Stephen Browning is as comforting as food can get. I think the shot of the burger in the video, visually, says it all.
Thanks for watching food. curated.! Happy Eating!