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Oddly Enough

Chef turns his love of nature into his own brand of cooking at one-man restaurant.

Thursday, February 06, 2014 - 01:51

Feb. 6 - If you want to eat at Damon Baehrel's upstate New York restaurant, be prepared to wait as long as five years to get a table at this unique eatery.

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NATURAL AUDIO. NO REPORTER NARRATION. SOUNDBITE: Chef/grower Damon Baehrel saying (English): "I'm chef/grower Daemon Baehrel. And I say grower because I work completely alone in my restaurant. And Native Harvest is what I'm going to take you through today, which is not only my cuisine, but my way of life. You can see everything that I serve comes from the 12-acre property. I have no suppliers at all, unless I choose to have some seafood. But Native Harvest is the process of creating the components to make these preparations. And sometimes it takes one to two years to create a flower or an oil or anything that I need to create these dishes. It just started off, I had guests that would come, they would tell other guests, they would want to come back and you can just guess how it's mushroomed, no pun intended, over the years. And I know that we've gotten thousands of requests the last few weeks from I believe over 55 countries. So people really do come and that's what is so amazing - that food is what brings everyone together. The base price without wine and tax and gratuity is usually $255-275 (USD) per person. And it's about a five hour experience that's just about spending time with me. I work here alone, so I'm the cook, the waiter, the gardener and it's so fun to interact with the guests over those five hours. Now I'm going to have you try a little piece of pine needle cured pork. Now remember, no salt in this at all. Essentially, in this case I took some of the hog necks from the Tamwith hog, brined them in a combination of pine needle juice, pine needle powder and fresh pine needles. I didn't want it to be based on any other cuisine. I wanted to do my own thing. So by watching nature reveal itself and really trying to imagine what's possible, that's how Native Harvest evolved and it's still evolving. Even after 25 years, I think I'm just scratching the surface."

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Chef turns his love of nature into his own brand of cooking at one-man restaurant.

Thursday, February 06, 2014 - 01:51