March 26, 2015 by WhiteStone
This is such a heart-felt and well-researched article by Julie R Thomson on “15 Delicious Reasons Western Mass Deserves Some Serious Food Cred” that appeared in The Huff Post on 3/19/15. We wanted to post it for more people to read, because we love that Ms Thomson recognizes and appreciates all the reasons a place such as Champney’s Restaurant & Tavern sources as locally as possible and delights that area growers and producers are diverse enough to bring us lemongrass, specialty chili peppers, and exotic herbs, along with the fiddleheads, asparagus, berries, maple syrup and seasonal fruits and vegetables as they roll through the growing seasons.
We buy from dairy from Mapleline and heritage grain flour from Four Star Farms and are on The Valley Beer Trail with local draught beers on tap. We are a founding member of CISA’s Local Hero movement, and truly believe that if you don’t eat the view, it could be lost to us forever.
This is her article below, and for the wonderful photos, please follow this link
“A list of the best culinary destinations in the world would probably not mention the Pioneer Valley, located in Western Massachusetts. With culinary powerhouse cities like New York City, Paris and Lima as competition, this small region is devoid of tourists and doesn’t stand a chance of making it on the map. But it absolutely should.
The Pioneer Valley, which is made up of Franklin, Hampden and Hampshire counties, is heavily populated with farms. Small farms. Family farms. The kind of farms we hope our food comes from, even though we know it’s usually grown on large industrial farms like you’d find in Arizona, where our winter lettuce is produced. These small family farms mean great ingredients, and an even greater sense of community. All of that translates into so many delicious things to eat.
While the fine dining scene might be lacking — its restaurants cater mainly to the large college population — the amount of good food to eat certainly isn’t. Here are 15 reasons you’re going to wish you lived in this part of the country.
• 1 No one does CSAs like the Pioneer Valley does CSAs.
Fruit and veggie CSAs are just the beginning. You can find multiple meat CSAs and even local grain ones, too. There is a way for everyone to participate in community supported agriculture here. Many farms even work with SNAP — a government program that offers nutrition assistance to millions of eligible, low-income individuals — making farm fresh food accessible to as many people as possible.
• 2 You can still get your milk delivered here…
…In a milk truck. Seriously. Hadley’s Mapeline Farm delivers their milk plus other common household grocery items like coffee, cheese and butter. It’s cute. It’s nostalgic. But it’s also life-saving during the weeks that you just can’t make it to the store.
• 3 The Valley might not make the best-pizza list, but Hungry Ghost does us proud.
Hungry Ghost Bread not only bakes up fresh loaves and pastries daily — made mainly with local grain, of course — but they make one mean pizza pie. Only available Wednesday through Sunday, you have to be sure to get your order in early because they almost always sell out.
• 4 Our farmers markets are better than yours.
Not even New York City’s Greenmarket can compete with the bounty of fresh produce, locally-made goods, music and general good cheer that can be found at the plethora of farmers markets in the Pioneer Valley. One look at Amherst Farmers Market is proof of that.
• 5 One single donut from Atkin’s Farm can sustain you for a week.
Atkin’s Farm does not hold back when it comes to their baked goods. These donut are as heavy as they are good.
• 6 Honor-system farm stands are still a real thing.
With no one manning the booth, you can seriously just take your pick of produce and leave your money in a box. Bonus: They’re cheap, too.
• 7 THIS alfajor is made here.
Words cannot describe the greatness that lies underneath that chocolate shell pictured above, but you should know that it includes the thickest, densest layer of dulce de leche we have ever seen. This favorite Latin American sweet is made by Chilean Sweets in Sunderland. It is more than memorable. (Lucky for you they’re available on Etsy.)
• 8 Asparagus grows more rampantly than wildflowers.
It’s everywhere. Once spring time hits, you can find asparagus for sale at small road-side farm stands all over the region. The season has never tasted so good.
• 9 Ice Cream stands are EVERYWHERE.
Thanks to the high percentage of diary farms in the area, there is no shortage of milk. And therefore, no shortage of fresh-made ice cream.
• 10 The region has its own Valley Beer Trail.
The People’s Pint, Berkshire Brewing Company and Fort Hill Brewery are just the tip of the iceberg for local beer. There are too many great, small local breweries to count and a great number of places to drink that local beer. There’s even a trail map to help you find (er, drink) it all.
• 11 Two words: Cider. Slushies.
Cider is big in New England. And cider slushies are our best kept secret.
• 12 The chocolate croissants baked by Woodstar Cafe rival the best in Paris.
A bold statement, for sure. But come to Woodstar Cafe in Northampton and see for yourself.
• 13 When you have good dairy cows, you have great cheese.
And man is the Pioneer Valley spoiled with cheese — like with the creamy Hilltown Blue from Grace Hill Farms. When you live here, it’s hard to find a reason to splurge on imported cheeses anymore.
• 14 We have a true old-school butcher in Northampton.
Sutter Meats isn’t just old school in that it’s a traditional butcher shop, but it has dedicated itself to providing sustainable meat to its costumers the way butcher shops used to. The husband-and-wife team that operates Sutters work closely with farmers to guarantee the best and healthiest meat options.
• 15 Eating locally is not just a buzzword, it’s a way of life.
And a fairly easy one to follow to considering how many farms are found in the three counties that make up the area — and how hard organizations like CISA work to ensure that farmers and their local communities are united. It’s a beautiful thing.”
December 15, 2014 by WhiteStone
We will be celebrating Burns Night on Saturday, January 28th, the weekend day closest to the great man’s birthday. Come and ginger up your January starting at 5:30 pm with an evening of tradition and fun as we celebrate our annual Burns Night with the music, supper, poems, and songs that have been part of this event since 1801. Emcee par excellence and renowned bagpiper Eric Goodchild will be here again to show us all how deftly he can stab that haggis!
Space is limited, but you can book now at www.brownpapertickets.com search The Deerfield Inn, click on Robert Burns Supper, click on the picture of the Bard himself, click on purchase tickets. Kilts, ghillies, tartan scarf, plaid sash, sporran, sgian dubh – bring it all out if you have it and wear it with pride!
PS Some rooms just for Burns Supper merrymakers are being held at a rate to make a Scotsman smile. Call us at 413-774-5587.
November 24, 2014 by WhiteStone
King Arthur Flour is sponsoring Historic Deerfield’s second annual “Heritage Recipe Baking Contest.” The deadline to enter the contest is Wednesday, November 26th. If your recipe is chosen as a finalist, the contest date is Saturday, December 6th.
In a nutshell (pie shell), the contest is about sharing a family story about a special baked good that has special meaning for your family. You also have to share the recipe with us. It does not have to be a HISTORIC recipe, but a recipe with history in your family. Do you make the same special cookies every Christmas or holiday with a recipe that has been handed down in your family? How about birthday treats or special baking that you do with many generations of your family? If I could submit a recipe, I would choose our mince pie cookie recipe because my mum and I used to make these every Christmas to share with neighbors who came to call throughout the month of December. A cookie for good luck as well as a glass of mulled wine! I still make them for December and make a wish on the first bite of each and every one!
Here is the link to a website about the contest:
October 22, 2014 by WhiteStone
Monday Night Football! Have a brew, a bite, and watch the game! We have a very large television in the fireplace sitting area in Champney’s, as well as two smaller ones up inside the soffit of the bar.
Karl keeps the draught beer lines really clean so the beer on tap tastes just as the brewer intended it to, coming out at the right temperature, with the right body and color. Enjoy a pint with a friend – either one of the twelve draught beers (six local), or one of the numerous beers in the bottle from the US and across the world. Mug Clubbers – this is a good time for you to take advantage of your 20oz tankard for a 16oz price!
- November 3 – Indianapolis at NY Giants, MetLife Stadium
- November 10 – Carolina at Philadelphia, Lincoln Financial Field
November 17 – Pittsburgh at Tennessee at LP Field
- November 24 – Baltimore at New Orleans, Mercedes-Benz Superdome
- December 1 – Miami at NY Jets, MetLife Stadium
- December 8 – Atlanta at Green Bay, Lambeau Field
- December 15 – New Orleans at Chicago, Soldier Field
- December 22 – Denver at Cincinnati, Paul Brown Stadium
September 9, 2014 by WhiteStone
ROADSMARY’S BABY PUMPKIN ALE ~ Two Roads Brewing, Stratford, CT
Traditional pumpkin ale with a Two Roads spin, aged in rum barrels for added complexity and depth of flavor. A smooth drinking ale with notes of pumpkin, spices, vanilla, oak and a touch of rum.
Style: Pumpkin Ale | ABV: 6.8% | IBU: N/A
OKTOBERFEST LAGER ~ Berkshire Brewing Company, Deerfield, MA
Aged for months prior to release and true to tradition, this Märzen-style lager is brewed using German hops and yeast. Its orange-amber hue reminds us of fall foliage, and its elegant and complex malt structure produces a smooth drinkable brew. It finishes with hints of spice and a subtle hop flavor, just enough to entice you to have another.
Style: Märzen / Oktoberfest| ABV 6.8% | IBU 30
September 2, 2014 by WhiteStone
Karl is a recent graduate from the Dispense Specialist’s Program given by the Micro Matic Institute in Allentown, PA. It is an advanced draft training course so he could learn the skills needed for cleaning the draft beer lines of our dispensing system. Not much worse for a beer fan than flat, “off” beer due to dirty lines, kegs stored at the wrong temperature, or the wrong carbonation! He covered:
- Keg Package
- Temperature and Storage
- Dispense Equipment Components
- System Balancing
- Using Mixed Gas (Nitrogen / CO2)
- Dispense Systems Designs & Applications
– Direct Draw System
– Air Cooled System
– Glycol Cooled System
- Hands-On Installation Techniques & Practices
- Quality Assurance
– Line Cleaning
So now with all that knowledge, all systems are good to go from the Terrace bar’s three taps to the twelve in Champney’s!
And PS still some Mug Club spots open – a really great deal and you get to keep the hand thrown barrel tankard at year end.
July 25, 2014 by WhiteStone
So August 7th, 5:30-6:30, is an extra special Hoppy Hour at the bar with Chris from The River and Element Brewing Company here. Brewmaster Ben will be talking about his craft and offering samples. We have three of their choice beers on draught as well. There will be great bar snacks on the house for all, and a raffle for cool brewski prizes including a Mug Club Membership, worth $50, and two Champney’s gift cards for $25 each.
Also on this night we will have a carefully selected pairing of three local cheeses with three 5-ounce Element pours for $13. Magic!
And yes, we are on the Valley Beer Trail and closer than you think in Deerfield! Our fab bar has those little hooks for your handbag, bar stools made for comfort and staying, not those skimpy wobbly ones that make sure you get a wiggle on and leave. We have scores of varieties of beer by the bottle, twelve on draught, always six absolutely local, and now with the only authentic Trappist ale in America from the monks at St Joseph in Spencer, MA. Full bodied and golden, unfiltered, unpasteurized, with that classic light hop bitterness of a Belgian beer. If you can’t decide – try a flight.
June 9, 2014 by WhiteStone
Come and visit us at our Taste of Amherst booth! We will have our famous Belgian fries by the cone and one of our choice dipping sauces. My mission is to make another album for Facebook with dogs eating fries, face-painted children, and our team of fabulous volunteers having too much fun.
June 3, 2014 by WhiteStone
This isn’t something trying to get folks West of Worcester, it is a way to offer a thank you to the delightful servers and bartenders at Champney’s. Fill out a Wow Card when the person looking after you is awesome and put the slip in the comments box by the front desk in the fireplace lobby. We will gather up all the slips at the end of the month and give the wowiest a prize!
February 25, 2014 by WhiteStone
The Founders’ Mug Club tankard will be handed over to its owner on April 1st, when the new Mug Club begins. Membership remains at $50, and we have 48 new barrel tankards, hand-thrown by Sunset Hill potters. Each mug has an individual number on the bottom so the mug with your number will hang on a hook with your number. We will never mistake whose mug belongs to whom!
Mug Clubbers get special offers throughout the year, but, most importantly, they get a 20-ounce tankard of their choice from among our twelve draught taps, at a 16-ounce price!