Moose Hill is the second highest point between Boston and Providence, and it happens to look out at a spectacular view of the first: Great Blue Hill. It has been an agricultural site since the 1600s, and is now managed by The Trustees of Reservations, who have revived its history as a cattle farm. The expansive property is full of hidden history peeking out of dry stone walls, hiding in the picturesque barn and wandering up the walking paths to the hayfield, where you can catch a glimpse of the Boston skyline. Our guest chef, Erin Miller, passionately sources New England’s best ingredients for her intimate, thoughtful restaurant, Urban Hearth. She is sure to have an incredible time planning a menu for us. It will be that perfect few weeks of summer that makes chefs in New England rejoice, when the long wait of winter redeems itself with a riot of perfect produce to compliment Moose Hill’s beef.
Moose Hill Farm
These views are too good to stay for just one night, so we are back at Moose Hill Farm for round two. This historic cattle farm spans 347 acres of restored woodlands and pastures, with a charming farmstead that operates as a nature-focused preschool on weekdays. After reception, we’ll have a wander through the hayfields up to the table — where there’s a panoramic view of Great Blue Hill. Derrick Teh will join us in the field kitchen with modern Malaysian-inspired cuisine from his lauded pop-up, Sekali. What started as a pandemic project now has a loyal following, and has earned Chef Derrick a place as a James Beard Award semifinalist for Best Chef: Northeast. We can’t wait to see what he creates for us from Moose Hill’s offerings.
Stone Acres Farm
Jim met Dan Meiser at the Hickories in 2021, and decided to swing by his farm the next day. After thirty seconds on this 200-year-old estate, he knew we had to host an event here. Between the orchards, vegetable gardens, greenhouses, and ornamental garden behind the pristinely preserved manor house, there is outstanding beauty and history in every corner of the property. In addition to the CSA and farmstand, Stone Acres provides farm-fresh produce to the 85th Day restaurant group, which includes the Oyster Club and Port of Call in nearby Mystic. Chef Renee Touponce runs the kitchen at both locations, focusing on the freshest ingredients from coastal Connecticut’s many farms and fishermen. She never ceases to impress us – there or in the field kitchen. Last year, she received a standing ovation for her dinner in the fields at Stone Acres, and we cannot wait for this year’s encore.
Watson Farm with 401 Oyster Co.
The Watson Farm is a historic 265 acre farm in the Narragansett Bay. After five generations, the Watson family bequeathed it to the New England Historic Society with the stipulation that this beautiful land remains a working farm in perpetuity. These days, the farm is managed by Max Sherman, who keeps it home to grass-fed Heritage Red Devon cattle and sheep raised sustainably for meat and wool. We’re excited to explore the farm, but we are especially excited about its coastline. Brian Pinsky from 401 Oyster Co. will share his story of oyster farming in Rhode Island before we sit down to a seafood-focused dinner from Benjamin Sukle, who is currently quite busy – opening a brand new restaurant, Gift Horse, while moving his acclaimed Oberlin to a new space. We can’t wait to give him a bit of a break to join us in the field for the day.
Farmer Dina has welcomed the OITF culinary caravan to The Hickories for nearly ten years. The wandering whimsy of OITF is a perfect match for the once-city-poet-become-country-farmer. Dina’s poetry is now in the field—more boots on the ground than words on the page. She has a vibrant farmstand and CSA with fruits and vegetables, a friendly flock of sheep and a new native wildflower program. This time of year, the dahlias will be exploding like fireworks. We’ll have a wander through her vegetable gardens, meet the farm crew and check out whatever the team’s latest project may be before sitting down to dinner. The long table stretches across Dina’s backyard, where she welcomes us every year to throw a party as the finale for their hardworking summer. Chef Norberto Piattoni is a master of the wood-fired cookery of his Argentine heritage—and our open kitchen at the Hickories is the perfect stage for his creative passion.
Governors Island with Billion Oyster Project ⛴
Join us in the heart of the New York Harbor on Governors Island. These 172 acres are home to transformative public art, open parkland, educational programming, and climate research. We’ll spend the afternoon with two island-based growing initiatives designed to engage New York City students and youth volunteers — one on land and one in the sea. The crew at GrowNYC Teaching Garden will show us around their educational urban farm while Billion Oyster Project shows us a bit of their work to restore the harbor’s oyster reefs. We’ll visit their oyster shell pile along Buttermilk Channel and learn more about their restoration efforts before sitting down to a world-class dinner from the region’s breadth of culinary talent. As an extra treat, the Billion Oyster Project’s Executive Director, Pete Malinowski, is bringing in his family to help shuck some briny beauties from Fishers Island Oyster Farm in the nearby Block Island Sound.
Oliver and Maxwell Ryan own and oversee this beautiful beachfront land, in partnership with Farmer Paul Hamilton. In addition to breathtaking views of the Gardiners Bay, this farm has a wonderful and mysterious history to share, but only for those who see it in person. During the summers, it is full of kids learning the importance of organic farming, but once school starts and the Hamptons crowds die down, the serene beauty of his property really gets to sing. We can’t wait to set the table in the fields along the shoreline for an unforgettable evening with the team from Elaia Estiatorio. Their ingredient-driven Greek cuisine is designed to be enjoyed seaside, so it will be a perfect fit for this farm.
Jason Weiner is our most veteran guest chef in the field kitchen, and he continues to impress us every time. This summer, we’re meeting up with him in the Hamptons at his good friend’s place: Paul Hamilton’s Fireplace Farm. Paul works with owners Maxwell and Oliver Ryan to cultivate both this property and nearby Quail Hill. This beachside haven will impress you with its wealth of colorful produce and beach-front views (can you think of any better combination?) and though the farm bustles with city kids in the summer, we’ll catch it just off-season—when things are a bit quieter but the summer vegetables are still at their peak. Chef Jason will pick from the best of the bunch for a stunning seasonal feast.
Blooming Glen Farm
Tom Murtha gives one of the country’s best farm tours, but last year he gained some stiff competition—from his daughter Dakota when she hopped on the box in honor of our tenth event on their property. Tom and his wife Tricia work tirelessly to keep the agricultural tradition of Bucks County alive while always looking for ways to innovate their farming practices. They’ll tell us about some of this year’s successful experiments (and maybe some less successful ones) while we walk to the table, wherever it ends up. We’ve set the table pretty much everywhere it can go on this farm, but it is always beautiful, even in last year’s drought conditions. Ashley Pellegrino and Christopher Sanchez from Black Eyed Susans will be back in the field kitchen, after cooking an incredible dinner in Seaside, New Jersey last year.
FarmerJawn at Elkins Estate
We met Christa Barfield last year on Elkins Estate, where she charmed us with her approach to organic farming, civil rights leadership, and food sovereignty. After quitting her career in healthcare five years ago, she was inspired while traveling abroad to commit herself to urban farming and work to expand food access in her hometown of Philadelphia. FarmerJawn has had a year of rapid growth since then, and we can’t wait to hear all about it as she tours us around her urban farm on the grounds of the historic Elkins Estate property. We’ll be joined by Chef George Madosky in the kitchen, leading the team from Fork. We love to work with them anytime we’re in the Philadelphia area – Fork is one of Seth’s favorite restaurants in the country. They just celebrated their 25th anniversary and seem to only be getting better with age.