Bits and Bites: Berkshire food writers recognized


National recognition

Food writing is alive and well — and tasty — in the Berkshires.

Darra Goldstein, Williamstown resident and Williams College professor, has been nominated for a 2016 James Beard Foundation Book Award for her 900-page "Oxford Companion to Sugar and Sweets."

Goldstein — founding editor of "Gastronomica: The Journal of Food and Culture," which was named the 2012 Publication of the Year by the James Beard Foundation — has authored five cookbooks.

Her most recent cookbook, "Fire and Ice: Classic Nordic Cooking," — a cookbook covering classic Scandinavian home-cooking — has also been nominated as a finalist in the "International" category for the 2016 International Association of Culinary Professionals awards.

The 2016 IACP Awards recognize the best food writing of the year, and three nominees, including Goldstein, hail from the Berkshires.

In the "Children, Youth and Family," division, North Adams'-based publishing house Storey Publishing was nominated for it's book "Cooking Class" by Deanna F. Cook. This colorful, kid-friendly cookbook will get your little ones in the kitchen with more than 50 easy-to-make recipes and ideas. Recipes include favorites like applesauce, French toast, popcorn chicken, pizza, and more.

Great Barrington resident, writer and blogger Alana Chernila is nominated for her newest cookbook "The Homemade Kitchen," in the "General" category.

In a world of dietary restrictions, knowing what's best to eat "can really end up stressing us out," Chernila told The Eagle in an interview last October when the book was released. "There are things that are delicious and fun to do that don't end up fitting into all these rules; enjoying those treats, and creating celebration and fun around food, is really what's most important to me."

For more information, and for a complete list of nominees, visit

Winners will be announced during IACP's 38th annual conference in Los Angeles on April 3.

A hearty, hungry congratulations to all our local nominees.

Go green

If you're looking for some traditional Irish grub, grab a seat at one of the many Berkshire spots serving up their share of corned beef Thursday.

Eat on North in Pittsfield is hosting a St. Patty's Day Celebration from 5:30 to 8 p.m. Thursday with a traditional Irish buffet and tunes with DJ BFG. The buffet will include bangers and mash, Guinness stew, corned beef and cabbage.

Dream Away Lodge in Becket is offering a $10 corned beef and cabbage dinner Thursday, while supplies last. If that's not your favorite Irish food item, you can try something from their new spring menu.

Patrick's Pub in Pittsfield will be serving corned beef and cabbage to the tunes of fun Irish drinking songs from 6:30 to 9:30 p.m. Thursday.

Can't go out on Thursday? That's OK, the '6 House Pub in Williamstown is serving a special Irish-themed menu all week, through Saturday. Try some Irish lamb stew or Irish soda bread muffins.

In North Adams, stop by Freight Yard Pub and Restaurant for — you guessed it — corned beef and cabbage, while listening to Eamon Duo.

Stop by PortSmitt's Lakeway Restaurant in Pittsfield for $11.99 corned beef and cabbage.

Get some corned beef hash for breakfast or lunch on Thursday at Pleasant and Main Cafe and General Store in Housatonic.

At the Water Street Grill in Williamstown, von Trapp Brewing will be taking over the taps from 6 to 9 p.m. with giveaways and a raffle for a one-night stay at the Trapp Family Lodge. Corned beef and cabbage will be served for lunch and dinner.

Restaurant week in Vermont

For $20.16, you can get lunch, lunch for two or a single dinner during Bennington's Restaurant Week at participating restaurants.

Starting Saturday and running through Sunday, March 27, the culinary event is a great way to try new places, or eat at old favorites for one low price. Participating eateries include Donovan's, JC's, Jensen's Restaurant, Kevin's Sports Pub and Restaurant, Lil' Britain Fish & Chip Shop, Madison Brewing Co. Pub & Restaurant, Pangaea, Ramunto's Pizza and The Publyk House Restaurant.

Each participating restaurant will offer a unique culinary menu. Diners are encouraged to make advance reservations. The meal deal does not include beverage, tax or tip.

For more information, visit


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