It was a cold and overcast day when I stopped by Peter Sliwka’s booth at the New Hope Farmers’ Market last November. “You have to taste this honey,” said Susan Pierson, the market’s manager. No arm-twisting needed. I’ve become a fan of local, raw, unprocessed honey ever since I heard it might help with my seasonal allergies. We chatted, I bought some cream honey and went on my way.
But, oh my. This was not just any local honey. Bright, complex and, of course, sweet, but not overly so. All winter I have found myself sneaking into the kitchen, dropping a spoon into the honey jar and eating it straight. Turns out, Mark has been doing the same thing.
Let’s take it up a notch. What if you could eat honey this good, but as prepared with food by a talented and innovative chef, right here in Bucks County? You’re in luck. Honey Restaurant in Doylestown and Slow Food Bucks County have joined forces to create a wonderful menu and evening for Monday, March 22nd.
Sliwka will be on hand to talk about the honeys used. He is the proprietor and beekeeper of Stagecoach Apiary in Lehighton, PA. Stagecoach was chosen for this dinner due to the variety of hives they keep throughout Pennsylvania which will allow for a diverse tasting of honeys. Honey’s Chef, Joe McAtee, has created an exciting and varied selection of small dishes, pairing the different honeys with meats, cheeses, seafood, and vegetables.
“I was glad when Slow Food approached us,” said McAtee. “This is something we’ve wanted to do for a long time.” Although honey takes center stage at the popular Doylestown restaurant every day, McAtee and his wife, Amy, believe in using local ingredients whenever possible.
McAtee has another mission, too. “It’s important to show that honey is not just a sweetener,” he says, explaining how honey compliments so many foods, and even influences texture. The menu demonstrates this with honey used in a vinaigrette, sorbet and custard. McAtee is also excited about the honey and cheese pairing course. “There is so much complexity in both honey and cheese.”
The details. The six course meal is $40 per person (this does not include beverages, tax or gratuity; Honey will be offering a flight of honey wines and beers). Reservations begin at 5 pm and go to 9 pm. Please call the restaurant directly to make a reservation at 215.489.4200.
Here’s the mouth-watering menu:
- Rice Crusted Calamari, Chorizo, Crispy Chickpeas, Cilantro, Spicy Cactus Honey
- Crispy Veal Sweatbreads, Smoked Honey, Truffled Mac N’ Cheese
- Honey Brined Giannone Chicken, Charred Ramp & Fava Bean Ragu
- Meade Sorbet Intermezzo
- Artisan Cheese Plate with Honey Pairings
- Caramel Flan, Blood Orange and Ginger Relish, Lemon-Thyme Syrup, Candied Thyme
Much thanks to Slow Food Bucks County for initiating this event, particularly chapter leader Kimberly Kaufmann and coordinator Sharon Schwartz, and working with Chef McAtee and Amy McAtee to make it happen. Here’s some additional information about Honey, Stagecoach Apiary and Slow Food Bucks County.
42 Shewell Avenue
Doylestown, PA 18901
Stagecoach Orchard Apiary
P.O. Box 381
Lehighton, PA, 18235
Peter sells honey at the New Hope and Emmaus Farmers’ Markets, as well as in Philadelphia at the Rittenhouse and Head House Farmers’ Markets.
Slow Food (Bucks County chapter)
Slow Food is a non-profit, eco-gastronomic member-supported organization that was founded in 1989 to counteract fast food, fast life and the disappearance of local food traditions. To do that, Slow Food brings together pleasure and responsibility, and makes them inseparable. Slow Food helps people rediscover the joys of eating and understand the importance of caring where their food comes from, who makes it, how it’s made and how our food choices affect the rest of the world.