NWCT Kitchen Tour Expands To Include Food At Every Stop
By Shawn Hartley Hancock
The organizers of the popular kitchen tour in Northwest Connecticut have evolved their event, now in its 14th year, from an architectural OMG (who doesn’t like to walk through a gorgeous kitchen, or two, or six?), into a veritable moveable feast. Wise and down-to-earth tour organizers, by offering gourmet nibbles at every stop – think the snap of a radish or the rich aroma of a butternut squash soup – remind us of the original purpose of the kitchen, not as a place to gloat about fancy appliances or expensive cabinets, but as a place to prepare and enjoy food with family and friends.
Upcoming on Saturday, Nov. 5, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., the tour features a wonderfully diverse group of kitchens in the towns of Kent, Sharon and Lakeville, including a thoughtfully updated 1930s cottage kitchen, a restored 1810 Colonial with its original butler’s pantry, and even the grange kitchen of Hotchkiss School’s Fairfield Farm, complete with breathtaking views. The kitchen tour is a benefit for the Housatonic Musical Theatre Society, whose production of “The Drowsy Chaperone” is scheduled for next March.
Ticketholders will be greeted with delicious examples of great cooking, baking and preserving at every kitchen, as well as special demonstrations by local chefs and area food producers, thanks to the efforts of Deborah Nugent, the tour’s food chair for the last four years. “Deb networks with lots of area restaurants and caterers to arrange for donated gourmet nibbles at each kitchen,” says event co-chair Laurie Wadsworth. The group started adding food to the tour four years ago. “It was a pretty low-key effort initially, started by parent volunteers,” says Wadsworth. “But it’s Deb who has upped the ante.” It’s no joke that the nametag Wadsworth writes out for Nugent is “Foodie Extraordinaire.”
The variety and inventiveness of the gourmet offerings seems to improve every year, if that’s even possible. On Saturday, homeowner Bill Littauer, whose kitchen is on the tour, will bake various breads and croissant throughout the day (ahhh, the aroma!), pairing his fresh-from-the-oven samples with organic fruit jams from Adamah Organic Farms. (Adamah will also make its dilly beans and pickles available for sampling and purchase.) At the Hotchkiss Fairfield Farm kitchen, members of the Hotchkiss Apiery Society will demonstrate how to make lip-balm from noon to 2 p.m.
In addition to gourmet cheeses from Bull’s Bridge Inn and sandwich wraps from La Bonne’s, the Falls Village Inn will offer its grilled saucy shrimp, chef Susan Wolfe-Hill will make her vegetarian nori rolls, and Gifford’s will feature a new dish: chili-seared filet of beef on crostini with horseradish sour cream.
Favorites like The Marketplace Café’s chicken satay and the Villager Restaurant’s chicken wrapped in bacon with sweet and sour sauce join new dishes from Jam Food Shop (chicken chili), and Fife ‘n Drum (roasted cauliflower and sunchoke bisque). Dressings and marinades will be available for sampling from Krazy for Kazu, and Kent Coffee & Chocolate Company will offer a selection of chocolates and chocolate-covered fruit.
Door prizes include contributions from the Inn at 34 in Hudson, NY, Millbrook Winery, Salisbury Pharmacy, Harney & Sons Tea, Salisbury Wines, Stateline Liquors, artist Colleen McGuire, the Pink Cloud Gallery, Jolie Maison and North Elm Home.
Local businesses sponsoring the kitchen tour and the March musical production include Belter Builders, Best & Cavallaro Real Estate, Churchill Building Company, Elyse Harney Real Estate, Herrington’s, Lindell Fuels, Inc., Mountainside, Northeast Radiology, Salisbury Bank, Sharon Hospital, Torrington Savings Bank, and William Perotti & Sons, Inc.
So now, you can come as hungry for tasty nibbles as you are for ideas and inspiration.
2016 Kitchen Tour to benefit Housatonic Musical Theatre Society
Saturday, Nov. 5, 10 a.m. - 4 p.m.
Tickets, $40, available online in advance, as well as on tour day, and at the Salisbury Pharmacy, Kent Apothecary, and the Sharon Pharmacy. Tickets are also available at any of the kitchens on the tour.