WESTPORT, Conn. — One of Christy Colasurdo’s sons planted the seed for her farm-to-table cookbook.
“When he was 5 or 6 years old, he had a crazy interest in agriculture,” the Westport resident told The Daily Voice. But he lived in suburban Fairfield County, so “it was exceedingly difficult finding a farm program for him.”
She did — at Sport Hill Farm in Easton. Each day he would come home from camp and talk about local farming.
Colasurdo channeled that excitement into "The Connecticut Farm Table Cookbook," which was released June 8. She co-wrote the book with Tracey Medeiros, who wrote "The Vermont Farm Table Cookbook: 150 Home-Grown Recipes From the Green Mountain State."
The new Connecticut book features recipes from local chefs and farmers alike, including one from Bill Taibe, who is responsible for the food at leFarm and The Whelk in Westport. His deviled egg and fried oyster plate is featured in the book.
“It’s a very decadent dish,” Colasurdo said. “People will ask for it by name.”
Think it was hard for Colasurdo to get chefs to share their recipes for their most popular dishes? Not so.
“They were thrilled to be included,” she said.
It was more difficult to nail down every farmer and restauranteur the authors wanted to include, Colasurdo said.
Dishes in the book run the gamut from the simple to the formal.
“We’ll have a very sophisticated dessert and then we’ll have a cobbler,” she said, adding that the book contains recipes from both “the high-end restaurant and the food truck.”
She's an advocate for healthy, wholesome food, but Colasurdo doesn’t necessarily equate organic farming with health-friendly practices. She believes that buying from local farms is more important than buying an organic label.
In fact, Colasurdo said, if you were to visit some large, organic factory farms, “It’s not appetizing at all.”
“The small local farmer lives on or near the property and farms in the most sustainable way possible,” according to Colasurdo. “It’s their land. It’s their water table.”
As a food writer, Colasurdo saw that restaurants were taking notice of the local farms that feed their customers. Menus used to feature the names of high-end celebrity chefs, but some restaurants are moving toward listing the names of the farms that supply the food for each menu item.
Colasurdo lives in Westport with her husband and two children. "The Connecticut Farm Table Cookbook" is available for sale through Amazon, Barnes & Noble and other major retailers.
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