Living mostly out of the public eye on a 12-acre farm in Earlton, NY, Chef Damon Baehrel is the stuff of legend. With table bookings well into 2025, Baehrel is a one-man show who cooks, serves, cleans, and even plays host at the namesake 20-seat restaurant on his property.
As if that wasn’t enough, Baehrel harvests every single ingredient he uses, with the exception of meat, seafood, and dairy, from his own farm according to a style of cuisine he calls “native harvest.” In his recent book, Native Harvest: The Inspirational Cuisine of Damon Baehrel, Baehrel explains the methods and recipes necessary to capture the cuisine, which features flavors that can only be found on his New York farm, such as locally foraged mushrooms, unique flours made from acorns and cattails, and brines made from pine needles.
Part cookbook, part guidebook, Native Harvest also covers subjects as varied as cheese-making, mushroom growing, foraging, organic growing, harvesting, composting, and creating unique flours, hand-pressed oils, and seasonings. He even explores creative ingredient preserving techniques like vinegar-making.
Native Harvest, currently $45 a copy through December for a holiday promotion, is an ideal resource for food enthusiasts, organic growers and foragers, and cooks of all ages and skill levels.