Local produce finds its way into NYC chefs’ cupboards

Imagine gooseberries grown on a farm in Afton appearing in a photo in New York magazine, or Norwich-made cheese and mustard as part of an article in another prominent downstate publication.

These are just some of the food items produced in Chenango County that are gaining in popularity. And not only in the media, but on diners’ plates at some of the city’s fanciest restaurants.

Fantasy Fruit Farm, owned by Steve and Linda Dygert of Afton, supplies fruits in season almost daily to green markets in and around Manhattan as well as to the chefs who shop them. Downstate gourmets and restaurant representatives for the past 20 years have mulled over Fantasy’s specialty strawberries, blueberries, raspberries, blackberries, gooseberries, black and red currants and Champaign grapes.

The farm’s award winning gooseberries are featured in a menu created by chef Bill Telepan of Telepan’s on 72 West 69 St. The restaurant, which paired the gooseberries with a pan-toasted cornbread and creme fraiche dessert, was voted the best newcomer in this year’s well-known Zagat Survey.

The gooseberries appeared in the July 30-Aug. 6 issue of New York.

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