From Farm to The Fenway: The Fall Menu at Audubon
While many mourn the passing of summer, chefs and restaurant-goers in New England find fall a prime time to shine a light on local ingredients. Apples, pumpkins and squash dishes spring up every October providing New Englanders with hearty and healthy options and long-awaited seasonal specialties.
Suzi Maitland, head chef at Audubon in The Fenway welcomes autumn with open arms and a head full of unique recipes. “Some of my earliest memories are going to fall festivals and fairs and the food that you could find there,” says Maitland. “I think that’s why I get so excited about the season…that nostalgia.”
Now offering a butternut squash and ginger soup accompanied by a house-made roll with melted Gruyère cheese as the perfect vehicle for dipping, Maitland is finalizing a complete fall menu set for early October. Expect a pork chop braised with local apple cider and homemade pumpkin ravioli with saffron cream sauce.
“Fresh and local ingredients are the most important part of any dish,” says Maitland. “Keeping it local assures that everything is extremely fresh. The ingredients are what you build the dish around. Right now all the farms are letting out their apples and pumpkins and we’re really excited about that,” says Maitland. “Fall is my favorite season for sure. You have stuff like squash and pumpkins, they are super flavorful—you can work with those elements a lot and manipulate those flavors.”
Known for integrating classical cooking techniques into unique comfort food, Maitland takes high-brow skill and makes it accessible in a casual setting, “I think my style is taking classic dishes and cooking in a fine dining way, but making it more approachable for everyone,” says Maitland, who is also head chef at Trina’s Starlite Lounge in Somerville. “Every dish is done the same way as you would get it in a fine dining restaurant and cooked properly, but it’s a better price point and people don’t feel isolated. There are no big words on the menu.”
Besides sourcing from local farms for their fall dishes, Maitland and Audubon have also turned to Piggery Farms in Trumansburg, New York, for their pork products. “Our friends at Mei Mei Kitchen [also in The Fenway] told us about the farm,” says Maitland. “[Mei Mei co-owner] Mei has been going to school around there and found out about them. They’re super young and it’s a very small-scale operation. Their products have just started making their way into Boston and we’re very impressed with the flavor.”
Featured on their tasty Sunday Brunch Menu, Maitland is highlighting The Piggery’s pork on their epic Brunch Burger and their Angels on Horseback—a sandwich with sausage, eggs and fried oysters. Sounds amazing.
We look forward to sampling these dishes, along with all the new autumn menus in The Fenway. What seasonal treats are helping you make the transition from summer to fall?