Weighty Matters

FOURTEEN DAYS AND SIX POUNDS LATER, the fall edition of Hudson Valley Restaurant Week 2014 is history. The vast majority of the owners of the 200 restaurants that officially participated in the event woke up happy Monday morning—many set new records for the number of meals they served. We never get tired of hearing from diners who visited a restaurant for the first time and then tell us they’ve found a new favorite, or from restaurateurs who were nearly overwhelmed by the number of covers. And the servers and busboys and line cooks and dishwashers who made it through the full two weeks still standing deserve applause and some sort of merit badge, as well.

Speaking of next time, the next Hudson Valley Restaurant Week will be in March 2015, and it marks the event’s tenth anniversary. It will be hard to top this most-recent one in either business or enthusiasm, but an anniversary is cause for celebration. We’re headed for the workout machines in the meantime because it could be a ten-pound event.

And speaking of poundage, this issue is a heavyweight when it comes to food, whether you’re planning to eat out or eat in. We’ve got hearty recipes from almost a dozen restaurants—starting with six perfect soups that will help beat winter chills, guaranteed. Toss in a few more recipes from Poughkeepsie’s liveliest new restaurant/brewery and more from one of Westchester’s hottest chefs, and you’ve got the makings of a very serious diet if you expect to make weight by Christmas. If it’s a liquid diet you crave, we’ve even got a couple of recipes that call for something quite special (notorious and infamous also come to mind—just a little kiss from the green fairy—absinthe—the mythical/mystical herb-based elixir that is being produced right here in the Hudson Valley now that the century-old ban on its production and import has been lifted.

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Concerning weightier matters, we take an up-close look at the work of professor Dennis Derryck—a man who doesn’t complain about what’s wrong with our food system, he just goes ahead and fixes it. Thanks to his efforts and ability, tons of food are being delivered monthly to thousands of those who need it most.

To you and to all, a toast.

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