By Len Boccassini
2003′s festival was a rainy affair, with an amazingly large crowd showing up on the drier of the two days, Saturday, and a good number of brave souls showed up on Sunday, despite considerable rains and a muddy Garlic Marketplace. The traffic that resulted on Saturday taught us some lessons about traffic flow. In any event, 30,000 people showed up during the weekend, to enjoy the festivities and to stock up on their favorite herb.
There may be no such thing as a perfect festival, but we all felt the 2004 festival came close. Great weather, great crowds (50,000 for the combined Saturday and Sunday), and with the combined efforts of the Kiwanis Club of Saugerties, Saugerties Town Police, Saugerties Village Police, Greg Chorvas and his Cantine Field team, and especially the New York State Police, traffic and parking went amazingly smoothly. Good music, good food, good weather, and of course all enhanced by garlic . . . you can’t beat that!
The weather was cooperative in 2005, with a little rain early on Sunday putting a glisten on what was otherwise a great weekend. There were 5 stages of entertainment for the first time, the garlic lectures moved out from their usual home in the Main Pavilion, to a tent in the West Garlic Marketplace, and people commented that they liked the change, as they could hear the lecturers better. And there were more booths than ever, with a grand total of 250 booths. The official crowd for 2005 was 46,000. The official attendance numbers for the 2006 Hudson Valley Garlic Festival were 19,000 for Saturday and 17,000 for Sunday, for a grand total of 36,000 garlic lovers. And that was with a little sprinkle of rain on both days!
For those of you who were there for the perfect weather of 2007′s festival, you were either a part of the 25,000 garlic lovers who showed up on Saturday or the 28,000 more who come through the gates on Sunday. As a result, 2007 was the largest party Pat Reppert and the Kiwanis Club have ever thrown in celebration of the garlic harvest – a whopping 53,000 attendees!"
The onset of Autumn is a joyous time for those of us in the Greater New York metropolitan area who feel garlic is the most essential weapon in their cooking arsenal. I say this because September 27th and 28th brings the 26th Anniversary of the Hudson Valley Garlic Festival™ to Saugerties, New York.
The Kiwanis club of Saugerties and the Garlic Festival Committee are planning another great festival that will include live entertainment, music, crafts and an array of garlicky goodies that we garlic lovers will simply find irresistible; items like garlic knots, garlic wraps, garlic fried dough, garlic steak sandwiches, garlic caramels, deep-fried garlic pickles and even garlic ice cream!
The Festival began in a most humble manner and quickly,escalated in popularity. According to their website:
"In 1989, Pat Reppert of Shale Hill Farm and Herb Gardens organized the first Garlic Festival held in the Hudson Valley – and perhaps on the East Coast. It was started as a promotional event for Reppert’s fledgling herb business and for New York State grown garlic. With no paid publicity except through her newsletter, ”Notes from Shale Hill Farm,” an article in the local Kingston Freeman newspaper and word of mouth, the attendance at the first festival far exceeded estimations.
In 1990, over 425 ”garlic lovers” attended the event in Reppert’s herb gardens-quadrupling the previous year’s attendance and stretching the facilities at the farm to its limits. In 1991, tickets were pre-sold to control the crowds and Reppert had over 1500 phone calls from people who were scrambling to gain admission. At this point, she knew she had something much bigger than she could handle, so she approached the Kiwanis Club of Saugerties about adopting the festival.
In 1992, the Kiwanis Club of Saugerties held their first Garlic Festival at Cantine Field in Saugerties, New York. The pre-festival crowd estimates were 2,500 if the weather held. To everyone’s surprise, despite considerable rain, 5,000 people attended and had a great time. Again in 1993 it rained, only in the morning, and attendance more than doubled to an estimated crowd of 13,000. On the last Sunday of September 1994, the weather finally cooperated and attendance took off to over 30,000.
The festival reached its attendance peak in 1995, when the turnout was estimated at 40-45,000 garlic enthusiasts. Some logistics problems resulted, including a Thruway traffic jam and Route 9W being blocked for 11 miles or so. To control the crowds and in order to grow in a more controlled fashion, a decision was made to expand the festival to two days and to begin charging an entrance fee. As a result the first two-day event was held in 1996. 1997′s attendance was estimated at 23,000. Good weather in both 1998 and 1999 saw attendance grow to 32,500 and 34,000 respectively. The threat of rain for Saturday and Sunday caused the 2000 Festival’s attendance to drop to 19,800. Excellent weather in 2001 and 2002 resulted in huge, enthusiastic crowds of 39,500 and 46,500 respectively.
This year, the event promises to be one of the best yet and the list of vendors is as follows:
2014 FOOD VENDORS
F1/F2 Angelo’s Village Pizza Chicken and Steak with Garlic
F3 Hickory BBQ and Smokehouse Pulled Pork, Chicken Wings
F4 Café Aurora Italian pastries, Italian ices
F5 Pysner Roasted Almonds Nuts, almonds, pecans, cashews
F6 Ulster Kiwanis Club Garlic Chili and Chili Dogs
F7 Citrus Sensations Fresh Citrus Beverages
F8 J & S Concessions Garlic Steak and Onions
F9 Guido’s Frozen Desserts Garlic ice cream
F10 Tango Cafe Garlic Wraps
F11 KC’s Roasting Pit Bratwurst and Pulled Pork
F12 Mark Prusky Garlic Fried Dough
F13 Legal Swine
F14 Vegetarian Oasis
F15 Ben & Jerry’s Funnel cones, ice cream cones
F16 Troop 131 Garlic marinated beef on a stick
F17 Troop 36 Garlic corn on the cob
F18 St. Mary of the Snow Garlic Fried Dough
F19 Sarchioto’s Garlic Steak Sandwiches
F20 Taste Budd’s Chocolate Café Garlic Caramels, Chocolate
F21 Timi’s Food Garlic Hummus, Tabouleh,
F22 Spacey Tracy’s Deep Fried Garlic Pickles
F23 New World Cooking Blackened Green Beans
F24 Main St. South West Grill Mexican Garlic
F25 Janek’s Fine Foods Kielbasa & Kraut, Pierogies
F26A Dutch Country Pretzels Garlic and Cinnamon Pretzels
F26 Stone Pony Garlic Chicken Cutlets in Herb
F27 Stone Pony BBQ Turkey Legs
F28 Saugerties Elks Lodge #2574 Garlic Hamburgers
F29 Times Square Catering Taco Salad, Chicken Pita, Philly
F30 Tony’s Concessions Potato garlic soup bread bowl
F31 Rip Van Winkle BSA Council...Chicken Wings, Garlic Fries, Sliced Apples
F32 Gisano’s Garlic Knots
F33 Savonna’s Restaurant Garlic Pizza
F33A Brunilda’s Garlic Roast Pork Garlic BBQ
F34 Blue Kats Mens Club Garlic Sausage, Salt Potatoes
F35 Bread Alone Garlic Focaccia, Bread, Pastries
So Just What Type of Garlic Is That?
A Few Varieties of Garlic
Softneck garlic is the type you'll most likely see in the produce section of your grocery store. Its name comes from the multilayered parchment that covers the entire bulb, continues up the neck of the bulb, and forms a soft, pliable stalk suitable for braiding. Its papery skin, or sheath, is a beautiful creamy white color. Softneck garlic typically has several layers of cloves surrounding the central portion of the garlic bulb. The outermost layer's cloves are the stoutest; the cloves of the internal layers become smaller closer to the center of the bulb. Of the several types of softneck garlic, two are most abundant.
This easy to grow variety has a strong flavor and stores well when dried, it will last nearly a year under the right conditions. The Creole group of silverskin garlics has a rose-tinted parchment.
Artichoke garlic has a milder flavor and may have fewer and larger cloves than silverskin. You can store it as long as eight months. Artichoke garlic may occasionally have purple spots or streaks on its skin, but don't confuse it with purple stripe garlic, a hardneck variety that has quite a bit of purple coloring.
Unlike softneck garlic, hardneck varieties do not have a flexible stalk. When you buy this type of garlic, it will typically have an extremely firm stalk protruding an inch or two from the top of the bulb. Hardneck garlic sends up scapes from its central woody stalk when it is growing. A scape is a thin green extension of the stalk that forms a 360-degree curl with a small bulbil, or swelling, several inches from its end. Inside the bulbil are more than 100 tiny cloves that are genetically identical to the parent bulb beneath. Many people call these "flowers," but they are not really blooms. If left on the plant, the scape will eventually die and fall over, and the tiny cloves will spill onto the ground. However, most never make it that far. Cutting off the scapes keeps the plant's energy from forming the bulbil and therefore encourages larger bulbs. But don't throw out the scapes. They can be a delicious ingredient in your cooking.
There are three main types of hardneck garlic:
Rocambole: This variety has a rich, full-bodied taste. It peels easily and typically has just one set of cloves around the woody stalk. It keeps for up to six months.
Porcelain: Porcelain garlic is similar to rocambole in flavor and typically contains about four large cloves wrapped in a very smooth, white, papery sheath. People often mistake porcelain garlic for elephant garlic because its cloves are so large. Porcelain garlic stores well for about eight months.
Purple stripe: This hardneck variety is famous for making the best baked garlic. There are several types of purple stripe, all with distinctive bright purple streaks on their papery sheaths. Purple stripe garlic keeps for about six months.
Another member of the Allium clan, Elephant garlic (Allium ampeloprasum), may look like a good buy because it is so large, but its flavor is very bland. Elephant garlic tastes more like a leek; in fact, its garlic flavor is slight and its healing properties are inferior to those of other garlic varieties. Use elephant garlic more like a vegetable than a flavorful herb.
The Brightest Bulb
Once you've decided which variety of garlic to use, consider the following tips to find that perfect bulb:
• Select bulbs that are completely dry.
• Choose bulbs whose cloves are plump and firm.
• Look for plenty of papery sheath.
• Avoid soft or crumbly cloves; spongy or shriveled cloves; bulbs or cloves with green shoots (they are past their prime); and preminced garlic, which has a weak flavor.
Drinks and dignitaries... what more could you ask for? Well, how about a fantastic menu?
The evening will begin with a WHITE HOUSE ROOF GARDEN SALAD
followed by your ENTRÉE CHOICE of:
STUFFED PORTABELLO MUSHROOM.
Finish with a delectable DESSERT, CHOCOLATE FREEDOM.
MEET THE CHEFS...
CHEF GUY MITCHELL
CERTIFIED EXECUTIVE CHEF
Chef Guy Mitchell is a graduate of the Culinary Institute of America and apprenticed at the Waldorf-Astoria Hotel in New York City. He sits on The Board of Directors for the New York City Culinary Academy.
Chef Guy Mitchell has served as Executive Chef for the Philadelphia Eagles, all of the “Rocky” Hollywood film sets
and has hosted the famous QVC television show as well as the The Atlantic City and Philadelphia Food and Wine Festivals. Chef GuyMitchell cooked for the Academy Awards and while working in New York, has served as Executive Chef for David Rockefeller in his distinguished Montauk Yacht Club on Star Island. He also worked with Chef Ron Duprat at the James Beard Foundation in New York City.
Through Guy’s arising accomplishments, he has had the unique pleasure of working closely with the White House and Vice Presidents' residence to host special engagements with the Presidents’ and Vice Presidents' chefs. He recently was invited by the Commander Navy Installations Command as a guest Judge for the CNIC Navy-Wide Culinary Competition. Navy Chefs are selected from their region to fly to Washington D.C. to compete against each other. Some of these Navy Chefs are later chosen to work at the White House Navy Mess, the Vice Presidents' Residence, the Pentagon and other high ranking Navy Installations. Chef Guy was awarded the MCPON coin from the Master Chief Petty Officer of the Navy, Rick D. West for his service.
Chef Guy also performs at the Fancy Food Show in New York City representing Canada in the Canadian Pavilion. Guy prepares White House dishes using Canadian products. Guy always uses the phrase, "Canada is our neighbor": and "Canadians are our friends".
He has also had the great pleasure of working with such famous chefs such as Emeril Lagasse, Morimoto, Bobby Flay, Paula Dean, Guy Fieri, Robert Irvine, Tyler Florence, Ingrid Hoffman, Duff Goldman (Ace of Cakes) and Giada De Lorentiis, all from the Food Network.
Chef Guy has received rave reviews from every publication in Bucks County about his scrumptious entrees. His “all-star” one of a kind personality and great talents make our own Chef Guy Mitchell Southeast PA’s Top Chef.
Chef Guy continues to entertain guests through cooking Demonstrations. Through these fabulous demonstrations, he has had the privilege of working with the renowned pastry Chef, Robert Bennett, formerly the Executive Pastry Chef of Philadelphia’s La Bec Fin and Food Network Chef.
Chef Guy has currently created a group of former White House Chefs called the "White House Chef Tour" where they travel the east coast performing food demonstrations at culinary schools, fund raisers, wine and food festivals and other events.
However, Chef Guy is not all business! During the 9/11 Tragedy, he hosted and raised $30,000 for the Fireman’s Burn Center in New York City. He also was part of the Hurricane Katrina fundraiser which raised $50,000. During his accomplished career, he has also become a Noted Mastery of Culinary Creations. It was documented in the
restaurant reviews by Mr. Richard Burn, “His 30 years of experience clearly shows in his dishes”.
CHEF MICHAEL "WOODY" RABER
UNITED STATES NAVY RETIRED
White House Chef Michael Raber is a native of Delanco, New Jersey and a 1990 graduate of Burlington County Institute of Technology Westampton. Chef Raber joined the Navy in June 1990. He completed recruit training at Great Lakes, IL and Basic Enlisted Submarine School, Groton, CT. He is a Master Certified Food Executive from International Food Service Executive Association (IFSEA). He has completed advance culinary skills course at Fort Lee , VA and attended the Culinary Institute of America, Hyde Park, New York. He is a graduate of Burlington County College with an associates in applied science degree in Food Service Hospitality Management.
Chef Raber's assignments at sea include USS PORTSMOUTH (SSN 707) where he stood watch as the nuclear weapons security guard. He was later selected for conversion to Food Service Specialist where he served as the leading Petty Officer of Food Service. He was transferred to the USS DOLPHIN (AGSS-555), the last diesel submarine and the world's deepest diving submarine. On board he earned the Navy's Deep Submerges Pin and also served as a Culinary Specialist. Exhibiting all-around proficiency, he also stood watch as Sonar Operator and Submarine Rescue Swimmer on the open ocean during two operational deployments.
Chef Raber's shore assignments include Naval Hospital Millington, TN. He completed two deployments while assigned to the Fleet Hospital. Chef Raber was selected for Presidential Food Service, Washington, D.C. and served as the Food Service Purchasing Coordinator for the White House Navy Mess Logistics Department. As Presidential Travel Advance Team Leader, he spent more than 250 days on 75 domestic and overseas Presidential trips supporting the President and First Family with personalized services and security. As a kitchen supervisor in the West wing, he was awarded THE FIVE STAR FIVE DIAMOND AWARD for the years of 2003, 2004 and 2005. Chef Raber served as a Federal Response officer for the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) from 2001 and 2009. His service earned him two certificates of appreciation from the United States Secret Service Presidential Protective Division for his efforts in providing logistical support and food security. In 2008, Chef Raber received the New Jersey Council Vocational Technical Schools Successful Graduate Recognition Award. Retired as a chief from the navy in 2010, he now works for Burlington County (SPCA) police and the the office of Military Education & Veterans Services at Burlington County College.
Forks & Corks: A White House Dinner
Raffle, Silent Auction & Cork Pull
Guest Speaker, Johnetta Alston Lake
White House Chefs, Guy Mitchell & Michael "Woody" Raber
Silent Auction Sneak Peak
Saturday, September 27th, 2014
Forsgate Country Club
Tickets: $100 Per Person
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- Hank Barrett, Executive Chef, Sangria Modern Spaniard Cuisine
- Jason Clark, Executive Chef, Mount Hill Tavern
- Jason Clark, Chef de Cuisine, Final Cut Steakhouse
- Jason Viscount, Executive Chef, BRICCO
- Travis Mumma, Executive Chef, Cafe Fresco
- Lawrence Rosenberg, Bacon Bites
- Daneyon White, Executive Chef, Chef Exclusive
- Cassandra Callahan, Pastry Chef, Ciao! Bakery and BRICCO
- Rob Russo, Proprietor, Girasole Cucina Italiana
- Shannon Cerrigone, Juan Melkissetian, Chef John, Slider Street
- Joseph Marazzo, Proprietor, Virgola
- Maudeline Pierre Louis, Owner, Maddy's Authentic Caribbean Cuisine
- Frank Dominick, Fusion Fire Asian Restaurant
- Craig & Chris Kunisch, Allendale Bar & Grill/Mahwah Bar & Grill
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