A Feast for Your Senses at Vermont’s Twin Farms
February 16, 2020 by Laura Fishman
There’s nothing more inviting than spending afternoons curled up by a glowing wood burning fireplace with a view unto a gentle snowfall settling on grand birch trees. This romantic and serene New England experience awaits travelers at Twin Farms, Vermont’s only luxury five-star resort. The 300-acre pastoral property finds its home nestled along Vermont’s bucolic hills in the quaint town of Barnard, located just an hour and a half south of Burlington.
Twin Farms is a Relais & Chateaux destination that embodies attentive yet intuitive service in a setting where nature is the star amenity. The resort’s cozy chic main house, cottages and suites are adorned with an eclectic, museum-quality art collection that inspires the imagination. Guests can explore this adults-only playground with hikes, snowshoeing, garden-side picnics, antiquing and relaxing spa therapies. Dining is a visual feast for the eyes and the palate with a delicate balance of local flavors, textures and masterful plate design. The culinary journey is true to its fertile farm roots starting with sumptuous Vermont breakfasts and culminating in farm-to-table dinners that celebrate a day of leisure well spent.
Photography by: Phillip Angert
We spoke with Twin Farms’ Sous Chef Sylvain Courbet about the key ingredients to the resort’s authentic epicurean experiences.
What makes the Twin Farms’ culinary program so special?
Our philosophy is to let the ingredients speak for themselves, keeping our dishes clean and crisp. We work with neighboring sustainable farms, subliming their products into every dish.
How does Twin Farms customize the culinary experience for their guests?
At Twin Farms, every guest reserving a room receives a concierge form to list their food allergies, likes and dislikes. It allows us to enhance the guest experience and design every dish according to dietary needs and specifications. We can also prepare special meals and cakes for celebrations (birthday, wedding anniversaries, etc.).
At dinner, the kitchen offers a seven-course menu, which is tailored according to each individual guest’s preferences.
Who are some of your favorite local farmers to work with?
Being in a rural state such as Vermont, we are surrounded by reputable farmers. We have been collaborating with a produce farm called Heartwood Farms that provides us with a bounty of vegetables from the spring and throughout the cold winter months with cellar vegetables. They also offer artisanal vinegar and ciders. We work in tandem with a poultry farm called Kiss the Cow, that raises chickens, ducks and turkeys just two miles up the road from us. Heritage Farm and Almanack Farm are our pork and beef suppliers all year round. They give us beautiful pasture-raised animals.
On site, we have our own organic garden and passionate caretakers that provide a customized list of vegetables for the kitchen, take care of our chickens and look after our beehives.
Vermont produces some of the finest cheeses in the world and it is always a pride to share them with the guests and recommend wine pairings as well.
How do the Twin Farms sommeliers and culinary team surprise return guests?
It takes the entire staff, from reservations to the dining room team and the guest relations to continually surprise and delight our guests. We listen for any clues or information from our guests to surprise them with a special wine they had on the night they met or a dish they served at their wedding.
Are there any stand out vegetable dishes that shouldn’t be missed?
Something as simple as our tomato soup or our ratatouille, where every ingredient is homegrown in our soil. From elephant garlic and zucchinis to tomatoes and aromatic herbs, these dishes embrace locavore traditions. Add to that tomato soup a grilled cheese sandwich with local Vermont cheddar and house made bread, and you won’t want to leave the table!
How has the vegan, vegetarian or meatless movement inspired your culinary team to create unique meals?
We have broadened our vegan and vegetarian options over the past few years. A Vegan breakfast alternative is available for some of our chefs’ creations. We also offer a daily vegetarian option for lunch. Dinner features creative specialties that balance rich taste with fresh, healthy ingredients including vegetables, grains, nuts and legumes.
What is an iconic Twin Farms dish that return guests rave about?
Guests come back every time for our fluffy lemon soufflé pancakes filled with fresh strawberries. (Let’s hope it’s not just for the pancakes!). The dish is pure comfort food and a must-try menu item. To top it all off, our famous Vermont maple syrup is the perfect accoutrement: It is the taste and toast of Vermont!