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Something's Cooking in Vermont: A Week of Fine Foods

Program Number: 8934RJ
Start and End Dates:
7/20/2014 - 7/25/2014; 7/19/2015 - 7/24/2015; 8/9/2015 - 8/14/2015;
Duration: 5 nights
Location: Brandon, Vermont
Price starting at: $899.00 - Price may vary based on date, departure city
Program Type: Food & Wine
Meals: 15; 5 Breakfasts, 5 Lunches, 5 Dinners    
Meal Options: Low Fat; Vegetarian; Low Salt    

Experience the beautiful country and fine foods in New England’s farm belt of Vermont. With dairying in decline, the hardy family farms had to rely on their ingenuity to stay alive — with delicious results! Explore New England foods, maple products, cider and the creation of culinary pleasures. Meet with local chefs, cheese makers, maple tappers and entrepreneurs who demonstrate the quality and artistry of Vermont foods, as well as a passion and drive that has re-invented the state from sleepy dairy region to an avant-garde, savory destination.




Highlights

• Learn about the production and sample some of the goodies of several area culinary artisans and growers.
• See firsthand demonstrations of gourmet perfection with the inn’s acclaimed Austrian chef.
• Get the inside scoop on how Vermonters developed a unique culture of sustainability, freshness and craftsmanship.



Activity Particulars

Minimal walking and standing; some stairs.




Date Specific Information

7-20-2014, 7-19-2015, 8-9-2015

Enjoy the latest in hearing technology — listening devices — on this date.




Brandon

With its entire downtown recorded on the National Register of Historic Places and the town’s bucolic location among the rolling hills of central Vermont, Brandon is a unique, historic destination near the Green Mountains.



Accommodations
Historic Country Inn listed on the National Historic Register, on the town common; seasonal outdoor pool, located within walking distance to local galleries and historic homes.

Road Scholar Instructors
These instructors are participating on at least one date of this program. Please note that changes may occur.
James Dassatti

James Dassatti is the executive director of the Vermont Living History Association and states that he “lives to teach.” A graduate of Norwich University in Vermont, James instructs Road Scholar programs on Lake Champlain history and the American Revolution.
 
Robert Barral

Robert Barral is the executive chef of the New England Culinary Institute in Montpelier, Vt. He attended culinary school himself in another Montpellier, the city in the Languedoc region of France, then continued his training as a chef at some of the finest establishments in Europe. He crossed the ocean in 1976 and has cooked in Montreal, Edmonton, Chicago and Boston. A faculty member at the NECI since 1987, Chef Barral is known for being a great teacher of classic French techniques as well as for his award-winning Chocolate Bombe.
 
Louis Pattis

Louis Pattis is the innkeeper and chef of the historic Brandon Inn in Brandon, Vt. Since 1988 he and his wife Sarah have owned the inn, which was founded as a simple one-story tavern in 1786. Louis was born and raised in Austria, where he trained to become a chef before working at many top hotels throughout Europe and the U.S. The prestigious Taste of Vermont awards have honored Chef Pattis and the Brandon Inn for everything from entrees to desserts to butter sculptures.
 
Burr Morse

Burr Morse is a seventh-generation Vermont hill farmer. He and his wife, Betsy, own and operate Morse Farm Maple Sugarworks in East Montpelier, Vt. Burr has been working at the farm full time since graduating from the University of Vermont with his bachelor’s in plant and soil science in 1971. During his tenure, Morse Farm has grown from a diversified vegetable/beef cow/maple farm into an internationally known destination and cross country ski center that hosts 60,000 visitors per year. Burr is the author of two books, “Sweet Days and Beyond” and “Golden Times,” and pens a newspaper column and an email newsletter.
 
Meals and Lodgings
   Brandon Inn
  Brandon, VT 5 nights
 Brandon Inn
Type: Inn
  Description: A historic country inn located in the heart of the Champlain Valley with many shops, galleries and historic homes within walking distance of the inn.
  Contact info: 20 Park Street (Route 7)
Brandon, VT 05733 USA
phone: 802-247-5766
web: www.brandoninn.com
  Room amenities: Air conditioned, phones in rooms.
  Facility amenities: An outdoor swimming pool (in season), hot tub, television rooms.
  Smoking allowed: No
  Bathroom: Some bathrooms have large clawfoot tubs and some have showers.
  Elevators available: Yes
  Additional nights prior: Ask for the Road Scholar rate. Call the inn directly for availability and rates.
  Check in time: 3:00 PM
  Additional nights after: Ask for the Road Scholar rate. Call the inn directly for availability and rates.
  Check out time: 11:00 AM


Travel Details
  Start of Program:
3:00-5:00 PM - Brandon Inn Living Room You will be staying at Brandon Inn that night.
  End of Program:
11:00 AM Following the last class You will be staying at Brandon Inn the night before.
  Required documents:
The Road Scholar Health & Safety Form is required. None
  Parking availability:
No charges
Transportation
To Start of Program
  Location:  Brandon, VT
  Nearest city or town:  Brandon
  Nearest highway: Route 7
  Nearest airport:  Rutland Airport, VT or Burlington, VT
  From End of Program
  Location: Brandon, VT
    (Additional transportation information same as above)
Travel Details
 

Brandon/Burlington

 

From Airport

 
 

Service:

 

Commercial Van/Shuttle
Middlebury Transit
phone: 800-388-1002
Advanced Reservations Required

 

Per Person/One Way:

 

$75 - $100
Prices are subject to change.

 

Travel Time:

 

1.5 Hours 

 

Distance:

 

53 miles

   

Call for reservations and schedules. They will try to group other riders together to keep your costs down.

 

Brandon/Rutland

 

From Airport

 
 

Service:

 

Commercial Van/Shuttle
All Occasions
phone: 802-775-9563
Advanced Reservations Required

 

Per Person/One Way:

 

$45 - $50 per car
Prices are subject to change.

 

Travel Time:

 

1 Hour 

 

Distance:

 

34 miles

   

Cape Air comes into Rutland from Boston. Call All Occasions for transportation to the Brandon Inn.

 
Driving Directions
  North and South Motorists can reach Brandon via Interstate 91 and 87, which connects with U.S. Route 7. The Inn is on Route 7 in Brandon.
Elevation Note: None

Equipment Requirements: None
The prices listed for commercial services and facilities that are not included in the program cost, such as airport shuttles or extra nights lodging, are subject to change without notice. Since Road Scholar cannot guarantee the accuracy of these prices, we strongly suggest contacting the companies directly for the most up-to-date information.


Daily Schedule

Day 1: Arrival, Check-in, Registration
(Sunday, July 20)
   
 Afternoon: CHECK-IN: Please arrive at the hotel between 3:00-5:00pm. Check into your room at the front desk and then register with Road Scholar staff in the Main lobby. At this time you'll be given a welcome packet containing your name tag, up-to-date itinerary and other useful information.
 Dinner: A wonderful three course dinner is served at the inn featuring local products. You will choose from a limited menu.
 Evening: PRESENTATION/ORIENTATION: After dinner we will have our Orientaion. This will provide you with information about the hotel, program itinerary, instructors, venues and on site staff.
   
Accommodations: Brandon Inn
Meals Included: Dinner

Day 2: Maple Sugaring-Candy Making Demonstration/Cooking Demo's
(Monday, July 21)
   
 Breakfast: A buffet breakfast is served this morning featuring both hot and cold entree's, homemade granola, cereal, fruit, juice and coffee.
 Morning: PRESENTATION: This morning's session is to include the art of maple sugaring and maple candy making. You'll meet with the staff of the New England Maple Museum. Maple sugaring has been an early Spring tradition in Vermont ever since the Eastern Woodland Indians discovered that maple sap cooked over an open fire produces a sweet sugar. To make their sugar, the Indians would cut a slash in the maple tree and collect the sap as it dripped out. Logs were then hollowed out, and filled with the fresh sap. White-hot field stones were then added to cause the sap to boil. When the first European settlers arrived, the Indians traded maple sugar with them and eventually taught the settlers the secrets of the maple sugaring process. The early settlers added their technologies to the process as seen in this antique photograph. Other Europeans added their own technologies to the process. They bored holes in the maple trunks and inserted wooden or metal spouts. They used wooden buckets to catch the sap, and then carried the sweet water on shoulder yokes to the metal boiling kettles. Early settlers, like the Native Americans, saved their maple as crystallized sugar. Maple sugar became the colonists own sweetener ending their dependence on foreign sugar. Also, it was never tinctured with the sweat of the southern slave as was cane sugar before the civil war. Early in Vermont’s history, each family made their own maple sugar for personal consumption. The sugar house was now their destination where the invention of the evaporator gave more control to the sugar maker's boiling process. Today, plastic tubing transports the sap from the trees to gathering tanks. From there it is transported to the sugar house where it is transferred to a central storage tank to feed the evaporator which boils off most of the water, leaving sweet, thick maple syrup.
 Morning: PRESENTATION: Inn keeper and chef Louis Pattis gives a demonstration featuring local ingredients. Louis and Sarah Pattis acquired the Inn in February of 1988. Louis is Austrian with a strong hotel background including being an award winning Austrian-trained Chef. Sarah is from England, she worked as an Occupational therapist, both in the States and abroad before becoming an Innkeeper. (She says the two jobs have many similarities!) They have four children, Mark, Anna, Nickolaus and Rebecca. Mark is currently serving in the Military, Anna and Nick are attending University and Becca attends the local high school. Anna, Nick and Becca continue to work at the Inn
 Lunch: A chef choice lunch is served in the Garden Room and may include sandwiches, pasta, quiche or other entrée.
 Afternoon: PRESENTATION: Classroom demonstration by local pastry chef followed by another demonstration by an area chef featuring Vermont products. Sample each demonstration.
 Dinner: A wonderful three course dinner is served at the inn featuring local products. You will choose from a limited menu.
 Evening: FREE EVENING: Enjoy a relaxing evenng at the Inn.
   
Accommodations: Brandon Inn
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 3: Dakin Farms, Champlain Chocolate, Champlain Creamery, Shelburne Vineyard
(Tuesday, July 22)
   
 Breakfast: A buffet breakfast is served this morning featuring both hot and cold entree's, homemade granola, cereal, fruit, juice and coffee
 Morning: FIRLD TRIP: Today we visit Dakin Farms, a producer of gourmet foods that include cob smoked hams, turkeys, cheeses and bacon. They also are a large producer of maple syrup and other Vermont products. Enjoy backstage access to their operation. Timothy Dakin settled developed his farm the beautiful rolling hills of the Champlain Valley in 1792. He'd be pleased to know that the same family has owned, operated and loved the farm for the past 40 years, and that they still perform many tasks in time-honored ways he might recognize -- slow smoking meats over smoldering corncobs, and collecting sweet maple sap just before spring arrives. Today we also visit the Champlain Valley Creamery for a talk and tasting of their delicious cheeses.
 Lunch: Lunch is served at the Ice House Restaurant overlooking Lake Champlain.
 Afternoon: FIELD TRIP:This afternoon we visit the Lake Champlain Chocolate Factory. The growing team at Lake Champlain Chocolates continues with the highest standards of chocolate-making that Jim Lampman began with twenty years ago, and still uses only the freshest, natural ingredients. Later, we'll visit the Shelburne Vineyards for a presentation and tasting of their Vermont wines. From vine to glass, they strive to make the finest quality wine from Northern Varietal Grapes grown on their vineyards and regionally sourced from other Northern growers. With a lush Vermont landscape as its backdrop, their state of the art winery and tasting room sits nestled among the vines.
 Dinner: A wonderful three course dinner is served at the inn featuring local products. You will choose from a limited menu.
 Evening: EVENING PROGRAM: Enjoy movie night at the Inn.
   
Accommodations: Brandon Inn
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 4: Cold Hollow Cider Mill, Ben & Jerry's, Green Mountain Coffee Roasters
(Wednesday, July 23)
   
 Breakfast: A buffet breakfast is served this morning featuring both hot and cold entree's, homemade granola, cereal, fruit, juice and coffee
 Morning: FIELD TRIP: Today we travel to the Cold Hollow Cider Mill, followed by a visit to Ben & Jerry's Ice Cream Factory. In 1974, Eric and Francine Chittenden, descendants of Vermont’s first governor, were starting out as farmers near the base of the Cold Hollow Mountains in rural northwest Vermont. They started making apple cider for friends, with a press that Eric picked up somewhere. Before long, the couple saw real business potential in making cider the true, traditional way. In 1977 lifelong friends Ben Cohen and Jerry Greenfield completed a correspondence course on ice cream making from Pennsylvania State University's Creamery. On May 5, 1978, with a $12,000 investment the pair opened an ice cream parlor in a renovated gas station in downtown Burlington, Vermont. In 1979, they marked their anniversary by holding the first-ever free cone day, now a nationwide annual celebration.
 Lunch: Lunch is served at the Cold Hollow Cider Mill where you will have a choice of deli sandwiches and wraps served with fresh apple cider and cider doughnuts.
 Afternoon: FIELD TRIP:This afternoon we visit the Green Mountain Coffee Roasters Welcome Center. Cutting edge design and world-class exhibits offer a multi sensory depiction of the coffee bean's long journey from "tree to cup".
 Dinner: A wonderful three course dinner is served at the inn featuring local products. You will choose from a limited menu.
 Evening: EVENING PROGRAM: Enjoy a game of BINGO for Vermont products.
   
Accommodations: Brandon Inn
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 5: Morning classes and demonstrations/Lunch/Afternoon Class
(Thursday, July 24)
   
 Breakfast: A buffet breakfast is served this morning featuring both hot and cold entree's, homemade granola, cereal, fruit, juice and coffee
 Morning: PRESENTATIONS: Meet Wendy Cijka, her family and one of their goats. Together, they do a presentation on milking, cheese making and tasting of goats milk products. Also this morning, Inn keeper, & Chef Louis Pattis demontrates cooking with Vermont products.
 Lunch: A chef choice lunch is served in the Garden Room and may include sandwiches, pasta, quiche or other entrée.
 Afternoon: PRESENTATIONS: Meet Sheri Sullivan, a local caterer with flare and the pastry chef from Café Provence. Located in the middle of the hustle and bustle of Brandon, Vermont, Café Provence offers gourmet cuisine with a casual touch. Café Provence uses locally grown, seasonally available produce, meat and cheeses and is a member of the Vermont Fresh Network. Chef Robert Barral offers daily specials, a friendly kids menu, a full service bar, on and off premise catering for all your special occasions, and weekly cooking and baking classes. Another member of the Provence family is Gourmet Provence located 1 block North of Cafe, offering freshly baked goods, cakes and pastries, specialty coffees, salads and paninis. Gourmet is also known for its extensive wine selection, Vermont delicacies including goat cheese and maple syrup and lots more.
 Dinner: A wonderful three course dinner is served at the inn featuring local products. You will choose from a limited menu.
 Evening: EVENING PROGRAM: Entertainment in the living room.
   
Accommodations: Brandon Inn
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 6: Food demonstration/Lunch and departure
(Friday, July 25)
   
 Breakfast: A buffet breakfast is served this morning featuring both hot and cold entree's, homemade granola, cereal, fruit, juice and coffee
 Morning: FINAL PRESENTATION: Jelly making demonstration (or similar) with local producer followed by a Scone making demonstration with Chef Pattis and wife Sarah who will talk about English teas.
 Lunch: A boxed lunch is prepared for your departure that includes a sandwich, cookie, fruit, chips and water.
   
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch

Free Time Opportunities
 
  Brandon, VT Discover New England
An excellent web site for everything in New England For additional information, visit www.discovernewengland.org
  Vermont Dept. of Tourism and Marketing
Vermont Dept. of Tourism and Marketing 6 Baldwin St., Drawer 33 Montpelier, VT 05633-1301 Phone: 802-828-3676 E-mail: info@VermontVacation.com If you would like to order a travel packet to help plan your next vacation to Vermont, use our on-line form To order your travel packet by phone, call our toll-free number: 1-800-VERMONT (US and Canada) For additional information, visit www.vermontvacation.com/
Important information about your itinerary: Every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy and completeness of the information featured on this website. Itineraries are based on our best information at this time. Circumstances beyond our control may require us to adjust itineraries or other details. We regret any inconvenience this may cause and appreciate your understanding. Information will be sent to you from your Program Provider approximately three weeks prior to the program start date. The prices listed for commercial services and facilities that are not included in the program cost, such as airport shuttles or extra nights lodging, are subject to change without notice. Since Road Scholar cannot guarantee the accuracy of these prices, we strongly suggest contacting the companies directly for the most up-to-date information.

Suggested Reading List


Maple Sugarin' In Vermont: A Sweet History


Author: Betty Ann Lockhart


Description: Come along for a trip through maple time in Vermont, from the 1600s to the mid-twentieth century. Betty Ann Lockhart introduces the origins of the 'Flavor of Vermont', the tools of the sugaring trade and the personalities who launched maple sugar to world fame. The Abenakis were discoverers of the sweet sap that flowed from Vermont's trees, and Thomas Jefferson was an early promoter of it. During the Civil War, maple sugar was cheered as the moral alternative to cane sugar- the latter having been produced by slave labor- and in subsequent wars, it was shipped to U.S. troops around the world. Enriched with maple-inspired songs, recipes and legends, Maple Sugarin' in Vermont illuminates not just the industry, but also the culture of maple sugar in the Green Mountain State.



Sweet Days and Beyond: The Morse Family - Eight Generations of Maple Sugaring


Author: Burr Morse


Description: In his charming account of growing up in a maple sugaring operation in Northern Vermont, Burr Morse, a seventh generation maple sugar farmer, shares wonderful stories and folk tales that offer a deeper understanding of the hard work and dedication it takes to live such a lifestyle. Delightful images bring to life the four seasons, animals, and other characters who share his world. The result is a five season Vermont experience full of sweet and sometimes bittersweet tales.





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