• Updated Website Address: LocalBanquet.org
  • Looking Back on a Decade of Maple Innovation
  • Listening to Farmers’ Voices in the Ecosystem Services Discussion
  • Updated Website Address: LocalBanquet.org

    We've changed our website. Please update your bookmarks to LocalBanquet.org LocalBanquet.org is where you will now find the latest Local Banquet stories, a new Story of the Day update feature, features from the archives, and information on how to contribute to Local Banquet if you're interested in writing about Vermont agriculture. 

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  • Looking Back on a Decade of Maple Innovation

    Back in 2007, Local Baquet ran an article by Bonnie Hudspeth on maple innovation and production in Vermont. Since then, maple production in Vermont has tripled to 1.8 million gallons a year and innovation seems to have entered a new golden (or perhaps amber) age. We did a quick maple innovation news round up for 2018 / 2019 to help everyone keep up with the some of the trends. 

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  • Listening to Farmers’ Voices in the Ecosystem Services Discussion

    In 2015, the USDA funded a project for UVM researchers to engage in discussions with Vermont farmers about the idea of being paid for ecosystem services. Ecosystem services are things farmers do that improve the environment for everyone, a common example is grass-based farms capturing carbon in the soil as a way to combat climate change. Some services happen naturally through sustainable farming, others take more of an incentive to implement, and either way some policy makers believe that farmers shoudl be compensated for their contribution. 

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Alpaca “Steak Frites”

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Alpaca “Steak Frites”

 From the Cas-Cad-Nac Farm Cookbook. Our family’s favorite recipe to come out of this project is Chef Matecat’s version of steak frites, which uses our alpaca striploin medallions. Lately, we’ve served them with the addition of a garlicky chimichurri sauce on the side.


  • 2 pounds alpaca striploin medallions
  • 4 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme
  • 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 2 tablespoon olive oil
  • kosher salt
  • 6 medium Yukon Gold potatoes, washed
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
  • 12 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 1 tablespoon paprika (optional)
  • baking parchment paper
  • 6 cloves garlic
  • 1 cup parsley
  • 1 cup cilantro
  • 1/2 cup white onion
  • 3 tablespoons white wine vinegar
  • 1/2 teaspoon oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried red pepper flakes
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup olive oil


Marinate the alpaca medallions in a shallow bowl with the garlic, thyme, black pepper, and olive oil for at least a few hours (overnight is better). After the steaks have been marinated and you are ready to prepare the meal, preheat the oven to 425 °F.

Cut the potatoes with skin on, end to end, into 8–12 wedges each, depending on the size of the potatoes. Do not cut them too large or they won’t fully cook. Toss the cut potatoes in a large bowl with the olive oil, salt, pepper, garlic, and paprika (if using), coating them evenly. Feel free to add any other herbs or spices to really make this dish your own. Lay the potatoes on a baking sheet lined with parchment and bake for approximately 20 minutes until they are fully cooked.

While the potatoes bake, prepare the medallions. Remove them from the marinade and roughly scrape off any herbs or garlic stuck to the meat. Season the medallions generously with kosher salt. In a skillet on medium-high heat, add a small drizzle of cooking oil and sauté the medallions for 3 minutes or so on each side for medium-rare. Remove them from the pan and set them on a rack or plate to rest for roughly 4 minutes. Place a portion of fries and 2 medallions on each plate and serve.

For the chimichuri sauce combine ingredients in a food processor or blender until smooth and...voila!

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Our stories, interviews, and essays reveal how Vermont residents are building their local food systems, how farmers are faring in a time of great opportunity and challenge, and how Vermont’s agricultural landscape ties into larger questions of sustainability and the future of our food supply.