August 22, 2011

Another Guest Blog: A Visit to Vico, Mark Ganem's Restaurant

Continuing with our guest blog contributions, Mark Ganem, our Online Pet Editor, would like to share another side of his life – the restaurant that he co-owns and is the chef of in Hudson, New York.  Congratulations, Mark, for your five-year anniversary and the food looks great!  Thanks for sharing.

Hudson, New York, is a former whaling town, located two hours north of Manhattan on the Hudson River.  It’s filled with 18th and 19th century architecture, which fell into disrepair during the 1960’s and 70’s.  In recent years, however, Hudson has experienced a revival and today, there are dozens of antique dealers and art galleries, and a bourgeoning music scene.  In 2006, my partner, Adam Klersfeld, and I decided to open a restaurant there at 136 Warren Street, in what is now a bustling community.  We named the restaurant Vico, in honor of the tiny village of Vico d’Elsa in Tuscany, where I lived and cooked for two years. Situated halfway between Florence and Siena, and just a stone’s throw from the ancient hill town of San Gimignano, Vico d’Elsa left an indelible imprint on my memory of great food, wonderful hospitality, and breathtaking landscapes.

I was also guided by my friend, Chef Cesare Casella, of Salumeria Rosi.  I have very fond memories of the wonderful summer evenings spent at Cesare’s family restaurant, Vipore, near Lucca, Italy.  Those impressions were also inspirational to opening my own restaurant many years later.  At Vico, we strive to use local and sustainable ingredients, whenever possible.  The vast majority of our meat, poultry, dairy, eggs and in-season produce is locally grown and raised in Columbia County, and that percentage is growing daily.  Now that I’m a restaurant owner, I no longer travel like I use to.  Instead, I use my summer vacation days to spend more time at the restaurant, which is something I love.  Please enjoy my guest blog.

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