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Westport Chef Takes Part In Farm-To-Table Dining Series

Chef Wirt Cook took over the Redding Roadhouse in July 2012.
Chef Wirt Cook took over the Redding Roadhouse in July 2012. Photo Credit: File

REDDING, Conn. - Chef Wirt Cook from the Redding Roadhouse and Chef Bill Taibe from Le Farm and The Whelk in Westport will take part in events in Ridgefield in this year's Farm-to-Table Dining Series.

The event is a nationwide traveling culinary program called Outstanding in the Field, which promotes sustainable food culture, its farmers and the chefs who continue to dishes with locally grown and produced ingredients, according to its website.

Dina Brewster from The Hickories in Ridgefield will hold two events this year. One will be Sept. 4 with Taibe and one on Sept. 5 with Cook.

Cook, who took over the Redding Roadhouse in July 2012, has made an impact on the local dining scene with his fresh new outlook and menu for the restaurant, tap room and event venue.

Wirt began his culinary training at the Institute of Culinary Education, where he studied culinary arts and restaurant management. It was there that he met Chef Alex Guarnaschelli of the Manhattan hotspot Butter, where Wirt worked his way up from intern to Chef de Cuisine before eventually making the decision to leave New York City and follow his love of regional New England cooking to Camden, Maine.

Working under Chef Brian Hill at Francine Bistro, the restaurant focused on the best fresh, seasonal, and local ingredients coastal Maine had to offer. After a season in Camden, he returned to NYC to team back up with Chef Guarnaschelli as the Chef de Cuisine at her newest venture, The Darby.

Wirt gets much of his culinary inspiration from his travels throughout the South, especially New Orleans, continuing his love affair with regional American cuisine. His dedication to seasonality, sustainability, and his characteristic laid back style of food is the basis for the Roadhouse’s comforting menu.

Most recently, he was the sous-chef for 2013 Iron Chef champ Chef Alex Guarnaschelli, where he helped his mentor walk away with the prize.

Tickets go on sale March 20 on the Outstanding in the Field website for the events in September.

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