State Agriculture Commissioner Richard A. Ball hosted the State’s Taste NY Culinary Tour on Long Island, which provided more than a dozen leading restaurateurs and chefs from New York City with a first-hand look at the quality and diversity of New York agriculture in the region. The tour was led by the New York State Department of Agriculture and Markets and included visits to four farms and processors across Suffolk County. The tour was organized in an effort to connect restaurateurs with regional producers and growers, and highlight the many opportunities for the sourcing of local foods.
Participants got a first-hand look into the artisan goat cheese making process at the award-winning Catapano Dairy Farm in Peconic, a multi-generational vegetable farm in Riverhead run by the Schmitt Family and home of the famous Holy Schmitt's Horseradish, Long Island's only certified organic and pastured poultry farm in Mattituck run by the Browders, and at the final stop, participants visited Widow’s Hole Oysters where owners have been cultivating eastern oysters in Greenport since 2003.
With over 100 different crops grown, Long Island growers and producers offer a unique agricultural diversity. They provide abundant, high quality commodities, such as vegetables and potatoes, fruits, poultry and livestock, nursery and floriculture products, seafood, and varieties of wine and grapes. With excellent, well drained soils, access to fresh water and proximity to wholesale and retail markets, Long Island is an important agricultural region in the state. Across the region, agri-businesses employ well over 10,000 people, and is a billion dollar industry that generates billions of dollars more for the Island’s largest industry—tourism, travel and hospitality.
Three Taste NY Culinary Tours were planned this year, Long Island and Finger Lakes regions concluded, the final tour will take place in the Hudson Valley in October. The tours were part of an initiative by Governor Cuomo to promote New York’s food and beverage industry.