reprint of 2004 article from website of Simone Rathlé at http://www.simonesez.com/point-farmer.shtml
The Executive Chef of The Point Has His Own Field of Dreams
It's every chef's dream: to have a farmer custom-grow the produce of his choosing. For Kevin McCarthy, Executive Chef of The Point, that dream becomes a reality whenever Steve Tucker pulls up in his pickup truck and offloads beer boxes overflowing with freshly picked vegetables.
About three years ago, McCarthy approached Tucker, owner of Tucker's Taters, about growing gourmet-quality produce just for him. While Tucker specialized in potatoes, he was willing to give this idea a try in order to expand his business. So now every winter the two men sit down together over seed catalogues and pick out the vegetables that McCarthy will incorporate into his menus over the following spring, summer, and fall.
Somewhere amidst the 300 acres of potatoes on Tucker's farm lies one acre dedicated to Kevin McCarthy's dream. On this plot, Tucker grows a variety of seasonal produce for The Point such as peas, herbs, beans, baby beets, tri-color beets, bok choi, mustard greens, arugula, baby corn, edible flowers, strawberries, butternut squash, garlic, pumpkins, and even the watermelon radishes that McCarthy is certain have never before been raised in Adirondack soil.
On Wednesday afternoons, Tucker will usually give McCarthy a call and tell him what is ready to be harvested, at which point the chef gets to work planning the dishes for his upcoming menus, which change daily. And while McCarthy gets the first pick of the crops, Tucker does sell off the leftovers to other interested chefs.
In today's uncertain economy, it sounds like this small-town farmer and local chef have perfected the age-old business formula of supply and demand. Having cut out the middle man in the process, they keep the produce fresh, and the price down.
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