Connecticut’s pastoral Millstone Farm is the location for this episode’s pop-up feast with famed Connecticut chefs Jacques Pépin, Bill Taibe, and Tim LaBant. With Tropical Storm Andrea as the backdrop, host Pete Evans and our three chefs decide on a menu featuring some of this farm’s best, fresh ingredients. Internationally recognized French chef Jacques Pépin gathers local heritage eggs and scrambles up a quick egg dish served in lettuce cups. Chef Bill Taibe offers up a slow-roasted pork shoulder, and Tim LaBant gathers local baby turnips and greens for his phenomenal and unexpected fennel fritter salad.
A word from Pete…
Very rarely am I star struck, however when I knew I was going to share a kitchen with legendary chef Jacques Pépin, I got a bit nervous and extremely excited at the same time. I shouldn’t have worried though, because Jacques was the perfect gentleman who exudes warmth and caring; it was an honor to prepare a meal with him. We were joined by the local Connecticut chefs and food heroes, Bill Taibe and Tim LaBant. Their unfaltering dedication to use the best organic, local produce made this a feast to remember, as did the storm we were in at the time.
Jacques brought his family along to share the experience, and they loved helping out in the kitchen. After collecting eggs from the free-range chickens, we created a delicious egg and tomato dish to start the feast, which I think will be on a lot of American breakfast tables after watching the episode.
Bill then made slow-roasted pork from the local rare breed of pigs, raised on the farm where we were visiting. Tim created the most sublime fennel fritters I’ve ever had.
We picked twisted sister carrots and sourced some honey from the bees on the farm to make a lovely salad with honey and almonds.
All in all, this was the most amazing day, for me as a chef, to cook with legends and like-minded individuals to create such a memorable experience.