Hudson Valley culinary history in a day

HYDE PARK, NY -- The rich culinary history of the region will be explored and celebrated during the 4th annual "Bon App├ętit: Food and Dining in the Hudson Valley," a conference scheduled for Saturday, March 20, at the Roosevelt Library and Home.

The day-long event, organized by the Great Estates Consortium, will be held in the Henry A. Wallace Center. It was scheduled to coincide with Hudson Valley Restaurant Week, which this year will be held March 15-28. (Details of the restaurant week -- actually two weeks -- are available here.)

The schedule will offer presentations on regional cuisine from Dutch colonial days to the present. Some of the highlights:

• Heidi Hill, historic site manager of Crailo and Schuyler Mansion State Historic Site, will open the conference by exploring 17th century food, using Dutch genre paintings and archaeological evidence.

• Valerie Balint, associate curator at Olana State Historic Site, will explore evolving mid-century dining tastes and trends using Olana and the daily practices of the Church family as an example.

• Frank Futral, curator of Decorative Arts at the Roosevelt-Vanderbilt National Historic Sites, will explore the food customs of millionaires during the Gilded Age, including the behind-the-scenes work of the 24 domestic servants needed to present a "Dinner of Ceremony" in a Gilded Age mansion.

• Lunch will be provided by Gigi Hudson Valley and will feature local food. Laura Pensiero, chef/owner of Gigi, will introduce the lunch and discuss how she uses local farm products for her business .

Conference attendees will have the opportunity to visit participating Great Estates where they will be given an opportunity to engage in special food related tours and activities. Each site will pair with a restaurant offering visitors a Hudson Valley treat. While there is no additional cost for visits to the historic sites, participants must pre-register for the sites they expect to visit.

They are the Vanderbilt Mansion National Historic Site, Staatsburgh State Historic Site, Locust Grove Estate and Clermont State Historic Site.

Space is limited, and meals and refreshments are included in the conference fee. The $60 per person registration fee includes coffee/tea in the morning, the catered luncheon, and afternoon Great Estates site tours.

Additional details and registration are available by phone at (845) 889-8851.
Hudson Valley Restaurant Week
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