‘Beltane in the Berkshires’ at the Beard House in NYC

Mid-Spring Harvest Dinner Welcomes First Signs of the Season

Beltane is the anglicized name for the Gaelic May Day festival, a springtime festival of optimism, taking place halfway between the spring equinox and summer solstice. With a few short weeks before the first greens begin to burst forth, we thought it appropriate to transport a little bit of spring in the Berkshires to New York City.

photo credit: Clay Williams
photo credit: Clay Williams

Earlier this year, we had the absolute pleasure of presenting a Spring dinner at the James Beard House where chef-owner Dan Smith of John Andrews Farmhouse hosted his second solo dinner for the Beard Foundation on April 19. The ‘Beltane in the Berkshires’ menu included highlights of favorite dishes from Dan’s repertoire and featured locally sourced ingredients from more than two dozen farms and food producers in the region.


Menu ingredients for ‘Beltane in the Berkshires’ were sourced from farms and food makers including Barrington Coffee Roasters, Berkshire Blue Cheese, Berkshire Mountain Bakery, Berkshire Mountain Distillers, Berkshire Wildflower Honey, Berle Farm, Blue Hill Farm, Cricket Creek Farm, Farmer Ground Flour, High Lawn Farm, Honey Dog Farm, Hudson Valley Duck Farm, Indian Line Farm, John Andrews Farmhouse Garden, Lila’s Farm, The Meat Market, MX Morningstar Farm, Rawson Brook Farm, Rock City Mushroom Farm, Taft Farm and Zinke’s Farm.

Founded in 1986, the James Beard Foundation celebrates, nurtures and honors America’s diverse culinary heritage through programs that educate and inspire. The James Beard House in New York City’s Greenwich Village is a ‘performance space’ for visiting chefs. Known as New York’s best-kept gastronomic secret and located in the former townhouse of celebrated cookbook author and culinary icon James Beard, the James Beard House hosts more than 20 dining events every month to showcase culinary artists from around the world.

photo credit: Clay Williams for the James Beard Foundation
photo credit: Clay Williams for the James Beard Foundation

Dan has been a member of the James Beard Foundation for six years and since 2010, has been presenting dinners with a team of chefs from the Berkshires. His first appearance was in collaboration with The Red Lion Inn and Berkshire Farm & Table as part of the very popular Berkshire Cure-All winter dinner at the Beard House, working with a collective of like-minded Berkshire chefs to present the multifaceted culinary artisanship of the region.

Sous Chef Dinner Celebrates 25 Years

Sous Chef Dinner Menu - photo by Angela Cardinali

Chef-owner Dan Smith commemorated a silver anniversary last year and on May 22, celebrates John Andrews Farmhouse Restaurant’s 26th year in business. Wow, how times flies! Since May of 1990, Dan has been creating seasonal cuisine honoring farms and food makers from all across the region.



In recognition of the people who helped shape the John Andrews kitchen over the last two decades, Dan invited five former sous chefs to present a five-course meal in March of 2015. Hailing from Massachusetts, Nathan Turner from the Brick House Pub in Housatonic, Bjorn Somlo of Nudel Restaurant in Lenox, Ralph Feigel of Salt Box Farm in Concord and Sean Boyle of Mazcots Sports Bar & Grill in Lenox joined Glenn Strickling of The Greens at Copake Country Club in Craryville, NY, to cook up a storm at John Andrews.

Each chef prepared one course with a focus on local ingredients. It was a great evening and we hope to do it again sometime soon!