A New Year, A New Kitchen – The Griggstown Quail Farm has a new commercial kitchen. Chef Matty Sytsema and Quail farm owner George Rude have worked through all the regulatory and zoning issues to construct and open this new facility for local food. It’s a USDA kitchen, which means it’s been inspected and approved by the US Department of Agriculture.
Oddly, if you visit the farm, which is just eight miles north of Princeton, you aren’t likely to notice the new kitchen. You are however, likely to find new Quail Farm products in the coming year. Chef Matty System has been eagerly awaiting the few slow farming months when he can return to his kitchen to create new culinary items.
January and February are down months on most farms in the Northeast, so this is the time to begin. When I interviewed him, Chef Sytsema said one areas of creation he’d like to work on is pickling. Not only has Matty done pickling since he was a boy helping his mother in her kitchen, but now that the Quail Farm has large fields of vegetables and herbs for its CSA Program, he also has an immediate source of fresh cucumbers and other vegetables to pickle.
But it’s not going to be just about pickles. Ever since Matty created the first chicken potpies for the Quail Farm in 2002 he has developed an expanding menu of culinary products using the farms birds and vegetables. His new kitchen, which is almost 10 times larger than the previous Quail Farm kitchen, was up and running just prior to Thanksgiving. But during that busy time of the year there were no spare moments for creating new products.
Not only is this kitchen much larger than the previous one, it’s specifically designed for culinary convenience and excellence. For example, because the Quail Farm’s signature product is potpies the new kitchen has a temperature and humidity controlled bakery area where pie dough can be worked without melting. In most kitchens that’s accomplished by putting dough in a refrigerator to cool it down and keep the butter from becoming too soft, but in a commercial kitchen there’s no time for cooling dough. It’s far better to control room temperature and humidity to accommodate dough.
If you’d like to participate in a private tour of the Quail Farm’s new kitchen for local food, send an email with your name and phone number to firstname.lastname@example.org We will arrange a group tour. (also please leave a comment below)