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September 28, 2010

Combo Platter: Fast Fare, Fat Toad, Food Fight

First Riverside, Then the World!

By Alice Levitt

When executive chef Dave Coolidge recently left the Essex Culinary Resort &  Spa, he wasn't idle long. Two weeks ago, he took on the role of executive chef at Sugarsnap. "They already have a great philosophy, and I want to expand on that philosophy," he says.

Earlier this summer, the localvore takeout and catering business, with its flagship store on Riverside Avenue, expanded to include a large prep kitchen and store at Technology Park in South Burlington.

However, co-owner Rob Smart has visions of even wider expansion. Coolidge, who joins Smart and Abbey Duke as one of the head honchos of Sugarsnap, is part of an equation that Smart says he hopes will make the business more accessible to the general public. The ultimate goal, he says, is to make Sugarsnap a national fast-food chain, "sort of like McDonald’s, but not McDonald's." That's right, Sugarsnap is not stopping at just two Burlington-area locations.

That's where Coolidge comes in. The chef is currently working on creating signature sandwiches, salads and entrées that will be available at each location. Coolidge isn't far enough along yet to share any projected menu details, but Smart promises that the offerings will vary seasonally to take advantage of produce grown at Sugarsnap's Burlington Intervale farm. For Coolidge's part, he's just happy for the opportunity. "I'm very excited to take them to the next level," he says. "I just want to get their revenue stream rolling hard."

Fawning Over Fat Toad

By Alice Levitt

The secret is out. For years, we Vermonters have known the pleasures of Fat Toad Farm's caramel. September 21, the Tasting Table national food newsletter released a post singing the praises of Fat Toad's cajeta.

The Mexican sweet is better known in its cow's-milk version, called dulce de leche. Fat Toad, a goat farm, makes it with their own does' milk. Tasting Table praises the flavor of the cajeta as providing "the unmistakably tangy depth of your favorite chèvre ... a rich, savory flavor that blows ho-hum salted caramel out of the water." The post goes on to recommend topping apple pie with the sauce, or dipping an apple right into the jar. 

Not into the sweet stuff? We recommend Fat Toad's chèvre, available in flavors including sun-dried tomato and basil or ginger cilantro sesame.

Food Fight

By Suzanne Podhaizer

In case you missed it, on Monday, September 20, a (presumably former) employee of the Red Mill at the Basin Harbor Club was jailed after attacking a coworker with a pair of butcher knives. According to news reports in the Burlington Free Press and on WCAX, the alleged attacker — Joseph Forziati of New Haven — and the attackee, who has remained nameless, were known to get into "disagreements." Guess they had a real beef! 

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