The Pruyn House will become a miniature version of the Capital District on Thursday, Aug. 23, when local food, art and music is spread across the grounds for “A Taste of Local: An Evening of Food, Wine and Talents.”
Diane Conroy-Lacivita is organizing the event, sponsored by the nonprofit community volunteer organization Friends of Pruyn House, and said at least 24 vendors will set up shop to give attendees a sample of their communities.
“We started with the immediate community in the Town of Colonie and expanded. We’re trying to look at people producing products (locally) and looking at individuals who may be making cultural … contributions to the community,” said Conroy-Lacivita.
There will be cheese, chocolate dipped fruits, tea, local restaurant samples, meat from Ralph’s Pork Store, Shaker desserts from the Shaker Heritage Society, folk dancing, skits, a sculptor, multimedia art and more. There will be Japanese, German, Chinese, Thai, Lebanese, Polish, Greek and Turkish dishes to try.
Katrin Haldeman will be on hand to debut café food made entirely with local ingredients. The dishes are brand new because the doors of Dali Mamma in the Harmony House Marketplace in Cohoes won’t open until Wednesday, Aug. 1.
“It’s farm to fork. I’m using local produce, local farmers, community gardens, all natural meat products and sustainable to-go containers,” said Haldeman.
She said Dali Mamma fills an increasingly popular culinary void.
“I don’t think there’s too many choices out there for good, healthy food and if it’s not available we can’t consume it,” said Haldeman. “Supporting our local farmers has got to be important to everybody so they can continue on.”
Haldeman creates each menu item based on seasonal produce and ingredients. There’s a turkey sandwich with carrot apple ginger slaw and a chicken curry salad. Vegetarian options include couscous salad and beet salad and some of her soups are lentil, chili or corn chowder.
“A Taste of Local” is the perfect way to introduce people to Dali Mamma and mirrors her own approach to business, said Haldeman.
“I think it’s fantastic when businesses and companies work together,” said Haldeman. “It’s a further extension of community, which is central to what I’m doing and is important to me.”
R&G Cheesemakers is the definition of “community” and will have an array of homemade cheeses to nibble on. Sold mostly wholesale and at farmers markets, the cheeses created at a creamery in Cohoes (if you’re “in the know” you can knock on the back door and buy some right there) are as local as you can get, made with milk from area cows, sheep and goats.
“The approach we take is all small batch artisanal cheeses … and we’re hand making all our products,” said owner Sean O’Connor.
O’Connor said each batch of cheese starts off with “traditional” cheese making methods but toward the end, they get an R&G Cheesemakers twist.
“We’re just trying something different so whether they be cow’s milk or goat’s milk we do a variety of different flavored cheeses,” said O’Connor. “For example, we’ve got a hard Italian bleu, a semi-soft goat cheese that we brine in espresso, fennel pollen in one.”
There are about 30 different varieties and O’Connor said he’ll have samples from across the board on hand at the Pruyn House.
“Hopefully some eyes get opened to our products,” said O’Connor.
Conroy-Lacivita said the event is good promotion for the Pruyn House and local small businesses.
“The response from all these entities has been really overwhelming. I think it’ll be a wonderful event to show a good representation of what we’re doing locally culinary wise, art and music,” said Conroy-Lacivita.
Admission is $20 for Pruyn House members and $25 for non-members. The event is 6 to 9 p.m. and reservations can be made online at pruynhouse.org or by calling 783-1435. The Pruyn House is located at 207 Old Niskayuna Road in