Going Local

Posted On : 2011-12-06

I recently learned that “going local” in the kitchen is more than just “farm to table,” the component I have always thought to be the best, most defining one.  I asked our chef how much more difficult crafting a farm to table menu is in wintertime—in a place like Vermont?  He reminded me of the many local products getting current play in the dining room.  It’s true—all the proteins—beautiful meats and cheeses, and then the root vegetables, the local breads...  Now I feel silly.  But still, I learned something less obvious.  I realized it’s not just the products and the relationships that drive the mission, but also the seasons themselves.   Chef’s menus consider the bigger actions of our landscape and it's with great confidence that I report: the arrival of winter is a true joy at the Panther!  Mount Equinox waits for its snow, our fireplaces glow and the kitchen commences with a New England tradition of creating “comfort food” to combat the coming weather.  Chef Jon is a Mainer at heart with big chunk of West under his belt.  He knows exactly what we need to brace against the winter chill but his delivery makes it really fresh and interesting.  Throw in a dash of Alice Waters’ philosophy, a bit of Michael Leviton's Franco-American reverence a la Lumiere, then mix with just enough edgy straightforwardness as you’d expect from big time Maine skier—and you’ve got some great contemporary American food.  Trust us--come hibernate here for a  weekend—you won’t be disappointed!