Generally speaking, you’d have to travel to Brooklyn Heights to experience Chef Charlie Mitchell’s food—though getting a reservation at his Clover Hill restaurant isn’t quite as simple as stumbling upon its glass-windowed facade. It was around this time last year that he became the first Black Michelin-starred chef in New York City (only the second in America) as a result of his innovative contemporary American menu. And a year later, he recently took his talents beyond the Big Apple to deliver a farm-to-table experience at the stylish Berkshires spa resort Canyon Ranch Lenox.
“There’s always some seriousness to cooking for people,” he says, sitting down the morning after his first dinner. “Yesterday was more about like being a home cook almost.” To put it simply, the menu he curated was inspired by things he enjoys eating; giving attendees a spin on dishes they may want to cook at home, but delivering them family style. An autumn greens salad—a tasty mix of grilled bitter greens, gem lettuce, roasted broccoli, and parmesan—came first, and was admittedly my favorite part of the menu. Next was a buttermilk potato dish topped with caviar—one of Mitchell’s favorite things to eat at the moment, he explains, noting that a “fancier” version previously made its way onto the Clover Hill menu. Salmon is a staple for the chef, which he prepared here with rutabaga and turnips, followed by a comforting short rib complemented by collard greens and sweet potato. For dessert? A festive apple tartlet, of course. Nearly 60 guests feasted as the sun set on a crisp fall evening along Canyon Ranch’s idyllic Great Lawn, each course paired with a selection of Dare Bottle Shop wines.
“Harvest Table is a culinary mixtape celebrating the fall season of gathering and the wonder of the local harvest, artisans, and craft products,” Mark Rivers, the CEO of Canyon Ranch tells Vogue. He explains that the event is not only a chance to partake in the dining experience and scenic outdoor settings Canyon Ranch is already known for, but an opportunity to foster new friendships. Good food and good people are, after all, what Mitchell is all about—so having him curate this dinner only made sense.