Local Purveyors’ Blog Post Series: La Belle Farm

At the Swift House Inn, here in Middlebury, VT, we pride ourselves on the quality of our food. We only serve the freshest ingredients and buy local for everything that we can for our full complimentary breakfast for our inn guests and our on-site restaurant, Jessica’s. Along with reintroducing some old favorite dishes at Jessica’s, we’ve also been updating some of our classic dishes to go with the new season.

Back in April we introduced some new salads to go with the warm weather: the B.L.T. salad featuring crisp lettuce, ripe tomatoes, bacon, and creamy Boucher Blue cheese dressing, the Citrus salad featuring baby arugula, strawberries, orange segments, pea tendrils, handmade feta, Marcona almonds, and citrus vinaigrette, and the Spring salad featuring wilted kale, quinoa, asparagus tips, parsnip, spring onion, and maple balsamic dressing. In the beginning of May we re-introduced our Veal Piccata, which hasn’t been on the menu since 2013! The veal piccata consists of tenderloin scallopini, shallots, and capers, with a lemon butter chardonnay sauce, and served with vegetable du jour and a choice of potato du jour or rustic rice pilaf with lentils and black-eye peas.

We are currently working on updating our dessert menu and some of our classic entrées. We updated our key lime cheesecake to rhubarb cheesecake made with mascarpone, and served with strawberry coulis and Chantilly cream. The Artisanal Cheese selection is now featuring Vermont Creamery Chévre made from fresh goat’s milk, and Grafton, Vermont clothbound cave aged cheddar.

If you are a regular guest, you know we always have a delicious duck entrée on our menu. Last week, we updated the duck entrée to a duck confit leg, served with creamy polenta and spring onion chorizo stew. Both the duck leg and the chorizo are from La Belle Farm in Ferndale, NY, just over four hours away from Middlebury.

La Belle Farm has been in operation on their 43 acre farm for 10 years. They are one of only three Foie Gras producers in the United States. They are currently producing 130,000 ducks per year for high quality Foie Gras, but hope to increase to 182,000, as their demand currently exceeds the amount the company can supply, forcing them to refuse requests for larger shipments.

La Belle Farm spent two years researching and developing the Foie Gras production process. They worked with Cochecton Mills and their nutrition experts to produce a natural product free of hormones, vaccines, and unnatural alterations. They strive to produce a natural stable diet while giving flavor and producing high growth rates. La Belle’s Foie Gras is made from Crossbred Moulard Duck, and yields a great taste while rendering off less fat than others on the market. All products are processed and packaged in the company’s U.S.D.A. inspected plants to ensure highest quality and freshness. Their selections include Grade A, B, C, as well as Euro, Petite, Butter, and Portion Sliced Foie Gras. Bella Bella Gourmet is their gourmet kitchen, performing further processing of their raw products, and handles their distribution. Their distribution network extends to every state, as well as Canada and Mexico. Other products La Belle Farm offers: Petite liver, sliced liver, duck fat, smoked magret, duck gizzards, duck confit, and duck eggs. Visit their website, or watch a video about their farm.

We will continue our blog post series about our local purveyors here on our website, but be sure to sign up for our newsletters for updates on the Swift House Inn and Jessica’s Restaurant.

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