Since things have quieted down over at the MFAA (Millstone Farm Animal Association), I thought I’d turn my attention to some of the humans who play important roles at Buttermilk Falls Inn + Spa. Specifically Chad Greer, our newbie executive chef for Henry’s at the Farm. Chad, and his wife Tammy Ogletree who doubles as his pastry chef when she’d not teaching Pilates, comes to us from the highly acclaimed and much mourned by many Beso in New Paltz, where Chad and Tammy worked their culinary magic very successfully for six years. Having bailed on Beso to take some time off and plot the next chapter of their lives, they’re back in the kitchen here at Henry’s. And we couldn’t be more excited, because they – along with Sarah Zeidner, their manager at Beso, who has taken charge of the service – have renewed Henry’s and are making it into the restaurant our owner, Robert Pollock, always envisioned. One that will serve the dining desires of area residents, as well as Buttermilk guests.
And when I say “renewed” I mean it, even though Henry’s isn’t very old, having open in April of 2011. With the new chefs have come new menus and even a new name, which maybe you’ve noticed. It’s now Henry’s at the Farm (as in Millstone Farm, our 40-acre organic working farm that supplies so much of our produce, along with all our honey and eggs), as opposed to the original Henry’s Farm to Table. That turned out to be a bit of a misnomer because, in this climate, there is no way a restaurant can be all farm to table all the time. So having that trendy phrase in the name was sort of like false advertising. Although certainly inadvertent – we did source as much as was practical from locals farms, purveyors and artisanal food producers.
We still do, but with Chad in charge, we’re doing it better and smarter, because Chad knows all the best Hudson Valley resources. And what he does with those locally sourced ingredients is making my mouth water as I type. I can still taste the house-made pasta with grilled prawns in a tomato cream sauce with local corn that was a special the other night. In fact, it was so special, so good and so well-received, it got cycled onto the menu. And then there are Chad’s chipotle and honey braised Hereford beef short ribs with housemade cornbread and local bitter greens, which I hear were a signature at Beso and which are drawing former fans to Henry’s.
Chad describes his cooking as being “on the masculine side, producing strong, distinct flavors.” One taste of those short ribs and you know exactly what he means.
Right now Chad says his Henry’s menus are sort of compilation of his greatest hits, dishes he knows works. His way of easing into a new kitchen and training a new crew. But once he’s settled in and the kitchen crew has adapted to his style, Chad is looking forward to being more experimental and creating new dishes for Henry’s. I, for one, can’t wait!