I enjoy cooking on occasion, even though I am truly not a master of the art. Childhood experimentation with flavors and combinations never produced a holy grail similar to the collision of chocolate and peanut butter seen in the Reesee’s Peanut Butter commercials on TV (click on here for reference). Pouring boiling Mrs. Butterworth’s into snow on the front lawn failed to create maple candy, and my cool whip and pretzel sandwiches, topped with chocolate sauce served on hotdog buns were deemed less than conventional crowd pleasers. Happily I learned quite early by strict adherence to printed recipes, I could create a meal not only my dog, but also the occasional human might enjoy. My very first cookbook was a Peanuts (of the Charles Schultz variety) compendium of recipes. After several attempts, I made a passable version of Frieda’s French toast. As I matured into adulthood, and the novelty of serving French Toast as a main course for dinner waned, I began to branch out my repertoire, tackling more complex recipes found in other books and magazines. While perhaps never conquering the most daunting recipes out of Saveur or Gourmet magazines, I have made some multi-step meals from “Someone’s in the Kitchen with Dinah” that I like to think would have done Ms. Shore proud.
Though not quite ready to totally cede my culinary duties to those more skilled and experienced, there are often times when I could use a hand, am stymied with what to serve guests, want to try something different, or just don’t feel like cooking. I was happy to discover there is a business offering solutions to these issues located right here in Germantown. FarmTable is the creation of a husband and wife team, Dawn Breeze and Gianni Iacono. I already knew of Dawn as a local artist. One day I saw a post from Dawn on my Facebook news feed alerting me to the existence of FarmTable. I went to the website and was intrigued by the variety of services they offer; from custom meal drop-offs and a weekend supper club, to catering, menu planning and consulting, grocery shopping and kitchen stocking. Dawn’s artistic sensibility was evidenced by the tantalizing images of food found on the site.I stopped by their home last month to visit and discover more about the business.
Dawn and Gianni live in one of those Currier and Ives farmhouses near the center of town. As I approached the front porch, two sleek slightly exotic looking chickens strutted across my path as if on cue. I went in, sat down and chatted with Dawn and Giovanni, taking an occasional break to discuss some serious cannon and crew-related issues with their young son, who was sporting a pirate hat adorned with a skull and crossbones while playing with his pirate ship that afternoon.
Moving upstate about nine years ago, the family has lived in Germantown for the past four. Prior to living here Dawne had been a private chef with clients in New York City and Martha’s Vineyard. She began to offer some the same services locally as she had for her customers in the City. At the same time Gianni, who was born in Sicily and comes from a strong gastronomic heritage, began preparing dishes based on his own family traditions and recipes. They worked together, broadening their business to include catering and other services. They are currently marketing a fantastic tiramisu, based on a family recipe from Gianni’s family, which can be found at local farmers markets, grocers (including Germantown’s own Otto’s) and specialty food shops. At risk of using one an incredibly overused term, their business has truly grown organically, adapting to the needs of the local community, using ingredients from local sources and farms whenever possible.
Although we all love the idea supporting local farmers and creating meals from scratch for our friends, families and ourselves, the reality is many of us don’t have the time or talent. Gianni and Dawn have created an option which makes it easy by offering me the option of ordering a creative, locally sourced meal, either from a menu online or custom designed, have it delivered to my door, ready to assemble. Because, sometimes even Dinah Shore needs a rest.
For more information on FarmTable, you can go to their website by clicking here.