Guest Chefs & Menu

Menu Description

Cocktail Hour/Registration

Assorted passed hors d’oeuvres from local chefs including Jim Gold, Druthers, Kim Klopstock, Airstream Catering, others. Elihu Lamb prepared by Chef Michael Blake. A collection of regional cheeses with pickles, spreads, and preserves as well as various breads fired over the pits.

Main Event

Five open-fire pits each manned by two of our regional guest chefs.

Vegetable Pit

Rory Moran and Didi Emmons

Producer—Pitney Meadows Community Farm and various market growers

Seafood Pit

Alex Baker and Michel Hunter

Producer – Moby Rick’s seafood

Beef Pit

Dan Spitz and Josh Colletto

Producer – Mack Brook Farm, Elihu Farm

Poultry Pit

Nathan Gould and Chris Bonniver

Producer— Ramble Creek

Mushroom Pit

Tara Norvell and Michael Lapi

Producer—Mariaville Mushroom

Salads

Kevin London

Producer – Pitney Meadows Community Farm, Saratoga Apple, Hand Melon Farm

Dessert Pit

Michael Blake and Kim Klopstock

Producer—Hand Melon Farm, Saratoga Apple

Guest Chef Rory

Chef Rory Moran

Comfort Kitchen • Saratoga Springs, NY

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Working in kitchens since age 15, Rory trained in some of the area's most loved restaurants, including four years at Max London's. Describing himself as a "cookbook obsessive," he developed his own creative cooking style with a focus on locally sourced and seasonally inspired comfort food. For the last five years, Rory has been the chef and owner of Comfort Kitchen, in Saratoga Springs, working closely with local farms and food artisans to create the seasonally inspired menus that have brought his restaurant a cult following and critical admiration from Edible magazine and Albany Times Union. He was named "Rising Star Chef" by The Times Union in 2015.

Guest Chef Lapi

Chef Michael Lapi

SUNY Cobleskill

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An instructor of culinary arts and meat processing at SUNY Cobleskill, Michael points to his upbringing in central New York as a major influence on his perspective on food as a medium for artistic expression. An advocate of locally sourced and foraged foods, he worked for years through fine dining kitchens and in 2003 opened the Canajoharie-based restaurant, Church & Main, with his wife. By forging close connections with regional food producers, taking advantage of high tunnels, and using select preservation methods, he was able to provide an exceptional fine-dining experience year-round. He is deeply involved with the Chef's Consortium, a group of like minded individuals who promote the use of local diversity and sustainable farming methods through an educational and fundraising platform.

Chef Michael Blake

Chef Michael Blake

Yaddo • Saratoga Springs, NY

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Michael has worked in notable casual and fine dining restaurants around the country. Born in Leominster, Massachusetts, he began his career in Boston at the Harvard Club while attending classes and graduating from Johnson & Wales University. After spending time honing skills and discipline in the distinguished kitchens of Meritage, Radius, and Lumiere, he packed the car and moved west to Oregon where he landed as a sous chef at Portland’s beloved Noble Rot wine bar. After opening Urban Farmer in the Nines Hotel he moved north to Seattle to open Mistral Kitchen as the Chef de Cuisine, exhibiting his take on the marriage of classic and nouvelle cuisine. A trip to the mountains in Steamboat Springs, Colorado turned into a few years after meeting his wife Jessica. They moved back to Boston where Michael took the helm as Chef de Cuisine at Area Four in Cambridge and eventually assuming the role as Chef of Research and Development at acclaimed O Ya, where he helped develop the menus and systems for new concepts in Boston and New York City. After the birth of their son Jack, Michael and Jessica moved to Saratoga Springs and he took the role as Head Chef at the legendary Yaddo, where he and his team cook daily changing menus for the artists in residence.

Guest Chef Kim Klopstock

Chef Kim Klopstock

Lily and the Rose • Saratoga Springs, NY

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Kim has been dedicated to clean, organic, bio-dynamical farmed foods long before it became trendy. It was a natural segue when she started her business to incorporate those ethics and ideals into her company. She specializes in organic, seasonal farm to fork, regionally sourced food.

Chef Dan Spitz

Chef Dan Spitz

Fat & Happy Catering

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Dan Spitz, private chef in New York’s Capitol Region, brings a different approach to food and to his clients. He spent the majority of his early years in Portland, Oregon, where he made his mark preparing unusual and acclaimed dishes for some of the west coast's elite restaurants like the Zagat™ rated Zefiro. As the executive chef at Mint and Ripe he began to understand and care about "sustainability" in agriculture and pasture raised and grass fed animals. The last twelve years he has spent opening two fine dining establishments as the chef at Beekman Street Bistro and as the Chef de Cuisine of Max London’s both in Saratoga Springs, NY. He now brings his love of farm fresh foods along with his expertise and inspired tastes to your table.

Chef Tara Norvell

Chef Tara Norvell

Honeys • Brooklyn, NY

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Tara is part chef, part culinary artist and part socially minded pioneer. In 2014 Tara was recognized as a Future Food Leader by Heritage Food Network. After opening a small restaurant and running a Whole Foods partnership she joined the team at Parley for the Oceans. Tara now resides at Honey's in Brooklyn, her focus on sustainability has led her to explore mostly plants, wild, local and responsibly sourced. Tara currently runs a weekly service and private catering at Honey's and Enlightenment Wines.

Chef Didi Emmons

Chef Didi Emmons

Didi & Co. • Boston, MA

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Didi Emmons is a serial restaurant opener.  The last was a non profit called Haley House Bakery Cafe in Dudley Square, Roxbury.  This healthy cafe is a workplace for men and women who face significant barriers to employment. She also founded Take Back the Kitchen at Haley House: TBK is a non-profit instructive cooking program at Haley House designed to mitigate health disparities for teenagers in Roxbury and Dorchester.   

She now lives in Milton with her husband Henry MacLean.

Didi has authored three cookbooks.  Her first, Vegetarian Planet, sold a quarter million copies and was nominated for  a James Beard Award.  Her second book is about Vegetarian entertaining and won an IACP Her most recent was nominated for the IACP award in the politics category.  Wild Flavors (Chelsea Green Publishing), celebrates 46 edible herbs and weeds and Eva Sommaripa, the eco and community minded whirling dervish who grows them. 

In 2011, Didi collaborated with Project Bread writing a veggie-centric cookbook entitled “Lets Cook Healthy School Meals” for public school cafeterias throughout New England. It was published in the fall of 2013.

Didi has both a B.S. in foodservice management from New York University and a Grand Diplome from La Varenne Ecole de Cuisine in Paris.

She has written for the Boston Globe, Cooking Light, Vegetarian Times, Edible Boston and Food Arts, among other publications.

Chef Alex Baker

Chef Alex Baker

Yves • New York, NY

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Alex Baker is the former Chef at Yves, a French inspired restaurant in New York City where she received one star from The New York Times. She is a graduate from Le Cordon Bleu in Paris and spent time cooking there for chefs Inaki Aizpitarte at Le Chateaubriand and Daniel Rose at Spring. After Paris, Alex landed in New York where she cooked at Locanda Verde and the Michelin starred Rebelle. She is passionate about local and seasonal food and loves exploring farmers markets all over the city. Alex is inspired by the way a meal brings people and communities together, and hopes her cooking can spread her passion for food.

Guest Chef London

Chef Kevin London

Farmhouse • Saratoga Springs, NY

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Kevin was a founding member of the Slow Food Saratoga Chapter and was a delegate to Terra Madre in Italy. He is also a member of Chefs Collaborative. He previously worked in the kitchen at Blue Hill at Stone Barns in Pocantico Hills, NY and at The Kitchen in Boulder, CO. He has a degree in culinary arts from the Institute for Culinary Education in NYC and has a BS from Cornell University’s School of Hotel Administration. He currently runs his own farm adjacent to the Pitney Meadows.

As the owner of the former Farmhouse Restaurant at Top of the World he operated a farm, seasonal, vegetable-inspired restaurant and inn. The farm grew a diverse array of vegetables, fruits and herbs for the restaurant, CSA and farmers’ markets as well as for a line of prepared soups, salads and sauces for sale. The restaurant hosted dozens of weddings, cooking classes, farm dinners and special events annually. The restaurant was voted Best in the Adirondacks, featured in regional publications and on a Food Network Special on Farm to Table Dining. He has done extensive food and beverage consulting and design work.

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Chef Josh Colleto

Nighthawks • Troy, NY

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A graduate of The Culinary Institute of America, Josh began his career in Portland, Ore., working in the kitchens in several of its top restaurants. Upon returning to upstate New York, he was integral to the opening and success of several prominent restaurants. He has recently opened Nighthawks in Troy, NY to wide acclaim.. Josh is an active member of the Chefs Consortium and works with the catering company Heirloom Fire. He believes that local, seasonal ingredients are the best inspiration and frequently collaborates with other area chefs and farms that share this belief. When Josh not cheffing, Josh can be found foraging with his dog, playing in bands, or selling real estate. With Michael Lapi, he designed and built the Pitney Meadows fire pits.

Michele Hunter

Chef Michele Hunter

Hamlet & Ghost • Saratoga Springs, NY

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As Executive Chef, Michele Hunter draws on a well-seasoned background from some of the region’s best establishments. After honing her skills at The Culinary Institute of America, Michele contributed as sous chef to the scratch-made, seasonal menu at Chez Nous Bistro in Lee, Massachusetts. She then became pastry chef at the highly acclaimed Yono's & DP Brasserie in Albany. Eventually, she established Sifted Bakeshop, where she was a wholesale supplier for numerous coffee shops and Albany-area small businesses. Prior to joining Hamlet & Ghost in 2018, Michele was the executive pastry chef at The Adelphi Hotel, supporting restaurants including the Blue Hen, Morrissey’s and the neighboring property, Salt & Char. Constantly looking for inspiration, she is an avid cookbook collector and frequents the local farmers market, sourcing only the freshest ingredients for her recipes.

Chef Guest Nathan Gould

Chef Nathan Gould

O Ya • Boston, MA

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Landing a gig at Boston’s most acclaimed high-end sushi spot requires an impressive resume—and Nathan Gould certainly has one. After growing up learning old-school French cooking techniques from his mother and grandmother, the budding chef earned degrees in culinary nutrition and sports nutrition, plus spent a summer studying wine in Germany. Gould went on to run a catering company in New Jersey and to work for several years on Martha’s Vineyard at Harbor View Hotel and Beach Plum Inn before moving to Boston and channeling his varied expertise into sushi.

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