Global Journeys with Jill Dutton

New York: Unearthing the Flavors of the Sullivan Catskills with Bob Eckert

July 11, 2023 Jill Dutton Season 1 Episode 2
Global Journeys with Jill Dutton
New York: Unearthing the Flavors of the Sullivan Catskills with Bob Eckert
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In this captivating episode of Global Journeys with Jill Dutton, we embark on a culinary adventure through the picturesque Sullivan Catskills region of New York. Joining Jill is Bob Eckert, chef and proud owner of Northern Farmhouse Pasta, a culinary gem in the heart of the Sullivan Catskills.

"The Sullivan Catskills and mountains around here have soul; that, and my beautiful wife is what drew me to the area. Each village is a chapter, and the Catskills is a book with many chapters." - Bob Eckert

Bob proudly serves exclusively New York State-sourced wheat at his restaurant, celebrating the local farmers and their sustainable practices. As the conversation unfolds, Bob shares his expertise in foraging, divulging valuable tips and insights into wild ramps, mushrooms, and other seasonal treasures.

Throughout the episode, Jill and Bob paint a vivid picture of the Sullivan Catskills, showcasing its hidden gems, enchanting landscapes, and the warm hospitality of its residents. Together, they celebrate the unique blend of flavors, traditions, and stories that make this destination a true culinary haven.

HIGHLIGHTS

  • Bob and Jen Eckert's journey of starting a pasta shop and eventually opening a restaurant
  • Emphasis on using local ingredients and 100% locally grown wheat for pasta
  • Quick overview of the Sullivan Catskills through rapid-fire questions and answers
  • Discussion on the region's outdoor activities, particularly fishing
  • Highlighting the year-round appeal of the region for outdoor activities
  • Bob's tip for visiting the Sullivan Catskills: don't over plan, go with the flow, and engage with locals for recommendations
  • Conversation on the quality of New York water and its impact on breweries and distilleries
  • Jill Dutton's experience dining at Northern Farmhouse Pasta and highlighting two standout dishes: Wild Ramp and Prosciutto Flatbread, and Savory Oxtail Ragu
  • Bob's insights on the use of wild ramps in dishes and the unique flavors they offer
  • Bob's journey from construction to the culinary world and his passion for making pasta


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Jill Dutton  0:09  
Welcome to Global journeys with Jill Dutton, the captivating travel podcast that takes you on an extraordinary adventure around the world. I'm your host, Jill Dutton. And I am thrilled to be your guide through the mesmerizing tapestry of cultures, landscapes and experiences that await us. Global journeys with Jill Dutton is more than just a travel podcast. It's an exploration of humanity itself. Through the power of storytelling, we illuminate the lives of the remarkable individuals we encounter along the way. Whether it's through the eyes of a fishing guide, a distillery owner, a mixologist, a historian, Chef or even a farmer, each person we meet adds a rich layer to the narrative of culture and place. 

In this podcast, we embark on a transformative journey, where the focus goes beyond the typical tourist attractions. Instead, we dive deep into the hearts and souls of the places we visit, uncovering the hidden gems, and untold stories that make each destination truly unique. Join me as we venture off the beaten path, seeking authenticity, connection and a deeper understanding of the world we inhabit. Together will unravel the tapestry of cultures one story at a time. 

Although my writing career began in the late 90s, when I created and launched a wellness publication called evolving magazine. Since 2015, I've worked as a travel writer on a mission to seek out the locally celebrated foods, liquor trends, outdoor activities, and stories of those I meet along the way. My work has been published in Wine Enthusiast afar woman's world, first for women, insider Roadtrippers, modern farmer, chilled magazine and many more digital and print publications. I'm also the creator of global plates. The people we meet the food they eat a syndicated column. Creating this podcast is the next step in my journey of sharing the stories of the people I've met along the way. So pack your curiosity, leave your preconceived notions behind. And let's embark on global journeys with Jill Dutton, where each episode promises to inspire, educate and awaken the Wanderlust within us all. too. 

Today we travel to New York State on a remarkable journey through the mesmerizing landscapes and hidden gems and flavors of the Sullivan Catskills nestled in the heart of New York State, the Sullivan Catskills is a region that's long been whispered about among intrepid travelers, seeking solace and inspiration in nature's embrace. It's the home of us fly fishing, and with its sprawling forests, pristine lakes, and picturesque mountains, this enchanting destination promises a tapestry of experiences that will ignite your sense of wonder. On a recent visit, I discovered agri tourism, local foods, liquor trends, and a food festival located at Bethel Woods, the original Woodstock location. You can view my itinerary and use it to plan your own visit at global journeys with Jill dutton.com. Or there's a link in this episode's notes. 

An integral part of the locale is a chef and restaurant owner who calls this place home. In today's episode, he'll take us on a journey of the Sullivan Catskills, but also offer a deeper look at his culinary styles, locally sourced wheat and foraged food items. During my visit to the Catskills. I was fortunate enough to dine at Northern farmhouse pasta, where I met the owners Bob and Jen Eckerd. Born in Queens, New York, Bob grew up on a small island called broad channel, where fishing was the town pastime. He says he spent his time on the water enjoying fresh seafood, not a traditional chef background, Bob ran one of New York City's largest union carpentry companies with 350 employees. Bob and Jen started their pasta shop in 2011. And in 2014, Bob resigned from his job in New York City and moved full time to Roscoe New York in the Catskill Mountains to be with his wife Jen and their two boys. In 2015, the couple took their wholesale pasta business, and started the restaurant eight years later, and the couple is still serving authentic Italian dishes using local ingredients. So without further ado, please join me in welcoming Bob Eckerd to global journeys with Jill Dutton. Bob, thank you for joining us today and sharing your insights about the Sullivan Catskills and your restaurant northern farmhouse pasta. We can't wait to embark on this incredible journey with you

Bob Eckert  4:50  
no problem How you been right.

Jill Dutton  4:52  
Oh yeah, how about you?

Bob Eckert  4:54  
All I could do is complain about the heat it's the kitchen has been pretty warm. But besides that You know, we're blessed and everything's good.

Jill Dutton  5:01  
Let's take a quick look at the Sylvan Catskills. I'm going to ask some rapid-fire questions that you can respond to briefly just a sentence at most, or two. The questions are designed to give the listener a quick overview of the destination, so, just a couple of sentences will be great. Are you ready? I am. Okay. What do you believe the Sylvan Catskills is known for

Bob Eckert  5:23  
solving Catskills? I would say in a few words would be the outdoors. It's small towns, great food, and farms that are surrounding us here.

Jill Dutton  5:33  
Fantastic, gorgeous, gorgeous scenery. And also aren't you known for and I know it's the home of fly fishing. Fly Fishing was started there. Yep. So

Bob Eckert  5:43  
so the, you know, the Roscoe area solving Catskills is the birthplace of fly fishing in America. It originated from what they understand in England, but yeah, this area's where it originated in America. And it's really steeped in that pretty, pretty deep since the 1800s.

Jill Dutton  6:03  
Excellent, excellent. Well, thank you. So what are your favorite activities? It's something outdoors, is it in the kitchen? And why would it be suited to your location? You know, what is it about? The Sullivan Catskills that you really enjoy doing?

Bob Eckert  6:15  
It's fishing is it I mean, it's, it's fishing. It's what got me up here. I grew up on a really quaint small island as a kid as an adult. And my wife was from this region, and I learned about the art of fly fishing. And I wanted to get into that. And I started coming up here and just got into the whole scene of being in a river and fishing and these days, yeah, it's fishing in a river, but it's also getting into a lake with a spinning rod and catching some bass. And I enjoy it.

Jill Dutton  6:47  
I love it. I love it. Okay, so are there any hidden gems or lesser-known spots in the region that you'd recommend to travelers visiting,

Bob Eckert  6:55  
the one thing I would tell people is you can come up, you could stay places, but I always think just getting into the great outdoors here, whether it's the summer or the winter, I think the hidden gem is just experiencing it outdoors overnight. Now everybody's not going to want to do that. And of course, these days we have there's glamping sites and everything but at least you're getting out there someone I you can find a secret waterhole or a beautiful view but I think just being out there looking at the clear sky or falling asleep in a tent with the snowfall and on top of it is magical.

Jill Dutton  7:28  
I agree. I agree. And that leads into you mentioned the time of year when do you think is the best time to visit? 

Bob Eckert  7:35  
Well, I'll tell you the Sullivan Catskills has become and everybody's gonna say like, Oh, it's great year-round wherever they are. And there is places people know there's things to do but but in the 22 years, 23 years I've been up here I will tell you this sold and Catskills has become a year-round destination because I believe and especially at the COVID people learn that they can get outdoors if you're in a city you can get to a town like Roscoe where there's only 500 the population is 500 people versus you know, eight 9 million being up here now it's people got outdoors after COVID And now you can come during the summer there's so much going on and and in the fall and spring but even in the wintertime, you know, you can just go out get into the outdoors hike, find a great little you know, coffee shop or an incredible restaurant or museum. So it's there's a lot year-round here.

Jill Dutton  8:28  
Fantastic. And do you have a best tip for someone planning to visit the Sullivan Catskills

Bob Eckert  8:33  
don't plan, don't don't plan and plan how to get here plan how to get back. But when you get here, maybe make a plan for one place, dinner or something like that, but just go with the flow talk to local shop owners talk to a waitress at a restaurant and ask her what she likes to do on her day off an owner of a brewery or distillery or just that's I find that's the best way that you can come in and say you got to do this, this and this. And you really don't want to have a schedule you up here. It's a little laid back. You want to relax and just take it all in.

Jill Dutton  9:08  
What do you think about the New York water?

Bob Eckert  9:11  
Well, the water in the region for you know, for, for the breweries and distilleries, it definitely it affects it. I mean, you know, what's kind of, I guess an oxymoron or weird in a way is that, you know, being somebody that grew up in the New York City area, you know, you swear by the water in New York City, but what's funny is the water for New York City comes from 15 minutes down the road from where I live in Roscoe right now in the reservoir. So yeah, so I mean, listen to the water up here is, is being distributed to 9 million people down in New York City. It must be good.

Jill Dutton  9:45  
That's right. Well, look, thank you for the quick look at the solvent Catskills. I'm eager to learn more about you though and your story. So on my trip, I was fortunate enough to dine at your restaurant, northern farmhouse pasta, and you know, the quaint, intimate location It added to this experience of this explosion of flavors that I enjoyed. And two of the items that stood out for me were your Wild Ramp and prosciutto flash flatbread and I was drunk on the flavor. Because I've written about rams before, but I don't believe I've actually ever tasted them especially so, so pungent and wonderful. It was just probably one of the top five foods I've ever tasted. And I loved it so much that I you know, as you know, took an order back to my cabin down for breakfast. And then the second item was the savory oxtail Ragu. That dish also took it took me back to memories of my childhood because my dad would cook oxtail soup on Sundays, you know, slow cooking all day for Sunday supper. If we could, let's start discussing these dishes, and then we'll move on to your personal story. So So

Bob Eckert  10:51  
actually, I'm going to ask you a question. What major city in America is named after wild ramps, and it's very close to you? 

Jill Dutton  10:58  
You'rekidding me? 

Bob Eckert  11:00  
No, did I stump you? Well, so back in the 1700s, there was an explorer and a botanist, and I can't remember their names from England. And they were on Lake Superior. And they were talking to the Native Americans and in England, while ramps called ramsons. So they're on the lakefront in Lake Superior. And he said, Look at all these ramsons and the Native Americans call them Chicago gurus, Chicago gurus, so hence the word Chicago as the wild ramps. Yep.

Jill Dutton  11:31  
Oh, that's fascinating.

Bob Eckert  11:33  
Funny, funny little tidbit when you go down the rabbit hole looking into while ramps, yeah, so while ramps are, you know, they're unique to you know, many places in the north. Years and years ago, they were huge down in West Virginia and places like that, but they almost got picked, because the people sell them they make great money on him. But there's only a small window to gather them. Typically, April, April is the month is when you get the best one so so we go out, and when I say we, I I'll go out and pick them or check on when they're coming up. And we just like you said, we love the flavor. It's really unique. It's got a garlicky oniony flavor. It's only this time of year the bulbs once they get thicker later in this season and may let's say they're great for pickle and a lot of people will will do that. But it's they're just a great product and it's like the first green thing that you see in the woods. So once we go out into the woods and Spring is coming through now it's it's the first thing you see it gets exciting to get them.

Jill Dutton  12:38  
I love it. I love it. So and I'm curious do you ever dehydrate any and use the dust in your recipes or anything like that? I know you said pickling?

Bob Eckert  12:47  
Yep. So we yeah, we use them like on a on a flatbread these days, mainly for a pesto we used to we used to do more wholesale before the restaurant and we used to actually make a Wild Ramp fettuccine. So we used to take the ramp and just blend the leaves we used to, we only pick the leaves, because we don't and we don't pick a lot like when we find a patch we pick a little bit because you don't want to wipe them out. You know you want them to come back every year. So we just go in and we pick a little bit here and there and then move on to another patch but we used to use the leaves in a fettuccine. So it was this great earthy flavor. oniony like I said garlicky, which is really nice. But besides that these days, mainly in pesto, we use them more. Like I said the bulbs will get pickled, they usually don't get on the menu. I'll eat them before I put them on the menu.

Jill Dutton  13:37  
Okay. And then the oxtail Ragu is that A is using oxtail a unique ingredient to Ragu. So I'm kind of curious what led you to, to this recipe and to put it on your menu?

Bob Eckert  13:48  
Yeah, you know, I remember seeing it somewhere way back when it intrigued me and but I always like, you know, we had a lot of Spanish restaurants where I grew up in Queens, and you would go in and get like a oxtail stew with some rice. And I always loved it, and then started working with it. We were almost emulating the Spanish versions that I had as a kid. But then, I learned more about putting into a Ragu. And what I learned was just that the fattiness of the fat on an oxtail just it melts real quick. So it really coats everything and adds this incredible flavor. Unfortunately, these days oxtail is almost if not more expensive, per pound of meat than filet mignon is something like that, because, you know, it's mostly bone, but the flavor is just intense. And we get it from local farmers, which is what really makes us happy.

Jill Dutton  14:43  
Yes, very much. Okay. Well, thank you for the insights into those two tissues. I mean, been a couple of months now since I was there, and I still can't stop. Thank you. So if you would, let's talk a little bit about your culinary journey and how you wound up becoming a chef and opening a restaurant in Sullivan Catskills

Bob Eckert  15:01  
yeah so in my previous life I was in construction and I worked down in in Manhattan mainly I ran a company that still is still exist. We had about 400 Union carpenters in the 15 years I was with them I did 31 high rises in Manhattan a few very notable ones and a lot of my time is spent taking clients out to dinner dharna we eat in phenomenal restaurants and the one thing I always noticed just was you know, if you went to a Italian restaurant it was like it was about what was on the pasta but it was never about the pasta and I started researching it and making pasta on my own at home and right away semolina you know, that's what everybody knows to your use and and I just thought to look into well, that's funny semolina, what about is this from the Northeast is from New York. And then I learned that it doesn't grow here right now because just too humid or it doesn't grow well. So most of the stuff is red wheat, which is the typical flour we all have in our in our pantry. So I started making pasta with that a little bit trying different, you know, whether it was double zero if you want to call it a white flour or a whole wheat flour. And we found something in the middle, which was a what they call high extraction, or it's half the husk is sifted out, but it was as close in bite the semolina as I can get, you know, I enjoyed doing it. And one thing led to another, I was like, Well, let's start a pasta business. I was coming upstate, on weekends to be with my family. And I think well, maybe when I retire one day, we'll have a little pasta shop where we could just sell pasta at the farmers markets, and I'll be great. I get antsy real quick. So I was like, well, let's let's do it this summer. And we started doing a farmers market that another farmers market and this was around 2011. And in 2012, we were able to get a machine so not everything was being done by hand. And yeah, we're still cutting everything mixing everything. Yeah, it just started doing real well at the farmers markets. And we started selling pasta, and then we wound up really being recognized for it because we step back and we looked and we're like wait, with all the restaurants in New York. Nobody's doing or not so much that but nobody in New York is using 100% locally grown flour to make their their pasta and and it blew my mind. So I was like, Alright, this is cool, not knowing what it would lead to. And we really started making pasta, a lot of it. And around 2013 I had bought the building with a restaurant is I thought, well, this would be a great place to have the pasta shop and we could sell directly to people instead of run into all the farmers markets. As soon as we opened up a month later, somebody was like, oh, we can't wait for your restaurant. I said no, it's pasta shop. They're like no, but you can have a restaurant too. And I'm like, No, it's a pasta shop. And the wheels got turned into my head and my wife thought I was out of my mind. Which is typical and, and we started more or less thing was July 5 2015 and didn't know what I was doing when I was not I had no culinary training, just really enjoy good food. We'd love to cook, but enjoyed the great food that I added a lot of the restaurants in in New York City. And that's it. We changed our menu every week. I just was really trying to teach myself I was reading a lot about it listening to podcast and everything I could to see you know what I was doing and how to make it better. And and here we are eight years Few days ago was our eight year anniversary. So we're ventilations. Yeah, we're in town ninth year now. And it's been fun. But we stopped the wholesale because doing a wholesale and the popularity of the restaurant was too much but but we really focused on the pasta being the common denominator, if you will at the restaurant, and then we'll do things with it. But our goal always was from the beginning it was to use 100% New York grown wheat and it's an organic grain where we don't push that it's organic. We're all it's awesome that it is but but it's it's grown alone the Finger Lakes in various farms, grow it and then there's one mill up there called farmer ground and these guys you know, they'll they'll mill it to order so if I say I need 1000 pounds, the date on the bag is a week, a week before you know so it's not something that's been sitting on a shelf somewhere for a year. Yeah. So and again when we make our pasta I mean you look at it box of pasta you buy in a shop in the store or something. You know there's there's a lot of ingredients they're not bad, but they're fortifying it. When you look at the ingredients when we were doing wholesale it was water and New York we know none of these things added to it. Now with the restaurant we do use egg in our pasta just because it's a little more luxurious. It goes well with the foods that we're doing. We always have some pasta without egg if somebody's vegetarian or vegan. But yeah, the past has been the bulk of everything. But you know, the restaurant is always every week. It's just how do we make it better or really how do we make it simpler in the beginning? I got it Crazy what recipes we would do in we literally were serving pulled pork, and half the pig's head would come out to the table with some buns and pickles and a bunch of forks and my gosh, yeah, I still remember the first time the first one I ever sold was an 11 year old girl from from Nashville from Kentucky, I'm sorry, from Kentucky. And I was blown away that she bought it and she dug right in. And we were doing we were doing a lot of crazy stuff. But you know, when you're in a small town, sometimes people just want meat and potatoes or real simple stuff. And in the wintertime, you want to you want to get by you know, so there was one night where I was sitting with a phenomenal chef I can't pronounce his last name, actually is his name. He used to run things for a chain in a city called BLT. And then he wound up running the Four Seasons in Maryland and now he's actually in charge of the 10 restaurants at the Yellowstone National Park and just phenomenal guy and one night we were sitting on the front deck of the restaurant and I was talking about doing tasting menu and that's what he did at this this great restaurant up here to the Bruce and and he said he goes Bob because don't do a tasting menu because just too simple people want simple food they don't want you know and all this other stuff is great looks good but you know what, they might come to the restaurant once a year or seasonal to have something different but he goes they're gonna come to your restaurant for comfort food twice a week or you know, every weekend which is what we see. So we're we're trying to make it affordable simple and local ingredients as as much as possible.

Jill Dutton  21:36  
Everything I everything I tasted at your restaurant was it was it was wholesome and filling in flavor for me was just fantastic. Like you said comfort food. But it is something that I could see eating frequently versus you know, a tasting menu that you might do on occasion. My next question is what are some of the favorite forage ingredients from the solo and Catskills region and how do you utilize them in your cook

Bob Eckert  21:59  
through going through the year kind of we all start in April May foraging for wild rams which is like I was saying one of the first things that we can get out here. Going into this time of year you get wild watercress you know the wild ramps will use in pasta and dishes the flatbread this semi wild watercress we get to pick which is like arugula and whey real spicy, delicious and will sometimes do a pesto with or sauce. And we also like to provide like do a salad with that with other items that we could for some days, there might be a lot of dandelions growing popping up all around. So go and pick some dandelion leaves and make something with that. One of the big items up here of course, different ones during the summer is mushrooms this time. Yeah, this time you would get chicken mushrooms, which they're bright orange. They're real meaty, they're not watery and delicious. Literally. You could fry it up at some breading and somebody think of it as a chicken cutlet.

Jill Dutton  22:59  
Oh my Yeah,

Bob Eckert  23:00  
so we'll use that and some dishes, then you know, there's a few other things but what happens during the summer there's just a lot of products from local farmers that we can utilize. But once we get back into the fall, we're looking at hen of the woods mushrooms porcini mushrooms, oyster mushrooms kind of year round when it's warm enough but but mushrooms become a big integral part of the dish like right now we have a dish with porcini mushrooms that's staying on year round, but we'll we'll do various other ones as well.

Jill Dutton  23:32  
Excellent, excellent. And I wonder if that's kind of a traditional, you know, the umami of mushrooms if it's a typical hearty fault kind of dish, is that the reason because that's when they're they're available? Yeah, it

Bob Eckert  23:46  
is. It's I mean on pasta Of course it's it's just an incredible dish and get that that flavor, umami flavor of course what else is there great with different meats doing some kind of you know mushroom sauce with me in a full with since Roscoe is a big hunting community this this area there's a lot of venison being you know, a lot of people out hunting and, and mushrooms just they just pair so incredible with that. And then they keep on to a lot of them, you know, you're able to go out and get quite a bit and some of them hold up real well if you package them right and freeze them. And we can get you know, utilize them into the winter time.

Jill Dutton  24:25  
Oh, it sounds delicious. Okay, could you share maybe a memorable experience a story from your foraging adventures,

Bob Eckert  24:33  
I think really out forage. And the one thing is you just don't know what animals are gonna pop up especially where we're at in the wild woods and all that and yeah, I got spooked by a porcupine one time it was a real big one. I didn't know they grew that big. And I wasn't concerned about the quills or anything but I was just set in my zone picking ramps near a little ledge of rocks and out of nowhere, I just heard some rocks Still in right behind me and I turned around, it was a pretty big porcupine, bigger than I anticipated. It scared the crap out of me. So I walked away slowly and let him have his spot. It was it was his to begin with. So

Jill Dutton  25:13  
that's great. Thank you. Any challenges that you face when working with locally sourced Cree ingredients? Or Or? Or is that process of educating your diners on the value of these local produce? Or, you know, just if you could just tell me, I guess a little bit about why you want to incorporate such hyper regional ingredients into your menu.

Bob Eckert  25:34  
Yeah, it's, I mean, because they're out there. And it's just so many people don't know. I mean, I didn't know when I was a kid that I can go on, you know, dandelions, for instance, where there are weed, but meanwhile, they're just tasty, little green, full of nutrition. And so people, you know, don't understand that. And, you know, being in a such a small community, you put stuff on there, and you have people that might be up here from the city that are interested in trying something different like that, where locals might be like, hey, wait a second, I just mowed that the other day, I'm not eating it, you know, so it's really trying to have that conversation with them. And a lot of times too, when it's on the menu long enough, and people come back to like, Hey, let me try it. You know, like, we've talked about the oxtail Ragu. It's one of my favorite dishes. And you know, it's something that people like, oh, oxtail, oh, it's a tail as But meanwhile, as kids, they probably had it in stew never knew that that's the part it was. And once they get over that, they understand hey, it's, it's a piece of meat, it's, you know, delicious. So it's, it's the same thing with a lot of the ingredients, I think up here some of the major challenges, and it's more so a challenge for farmers is bringing, you know, whether they're raising cattle or some there's, there's no place to process and close to a lot of these farmers have to drive to three hours to a processing facility to have everything be taken care of and packaged up it adds a cost to them. And and hopefully one day somewhere in Sullivan County area will will have a facility but it's also knowing what animals they're bringing in, you know, one farmer I deal with mainly hilly acres farm, we, you know, he'll call me up and tell me what he's bringing to the facilities for butchering, and, and he'll, you know, let me know, okay, you know, we're bringing pork Do you want your 30 pounds of ground pork? Yes, you know, or, he's passing by and he'll drop off, you know, 40 or 30 pounds of ground beef or whatever it is that we're getting from him that week. So it's really it's working close to them but understanding that the farmers time is so they got better things to be doing and talking to people sell and they got animals to raise and so it's really no one the farmer when you can get the stuff from them.

Jill Dutton  27:48  
Wonderful. Well, finally, do you have any last thoughts about the Sylvan Catskills or anything that you just would like to share with the audience?

Bob Eckert  27:55  
You know, some someone that may have been someone who grew up on an incredible you know, little island in Jamaica Bay and living underwater and then getting to have a career in construction to city and just seeing so many things and and to do quite a bit of adventurous traveling from you know, heliskiing up in Alaska to scuba diving off South America and it's not you know, climbing out in the Tetons. I'll tell you the Catskills I tell people the Catskill Sylvan Catskills in the mountains, rounding up soul, their stories, every little village is different. It's the one thing that really drew me in to being up here. I mean, besides my beautiful wife, but But it's, you know, it's just the the region you can go from one town to the other. And it's just it their chapters in a book, Sullivan County is a book with many chapters. And each of them has to be you know, checked out and, and I just recommend people you know, like I said, take the time, you know, if you come in for five days or four days, try not to schedule every day and every time period just get up and go with the flow and and you'll figure it out if you miss something especially up from like the city area, only an hour and a half from us and, and you can come back it's just a great place and talk talk to the people people you know, they have the time they're in a farm or farmers market or restaurant talk to them. They'll they'll tell you a little hidden spots, you might find out a hidden swimming hole, something like that nobody knows about. I love it.

Jill Dutton  29:24  
I love it. Thank you so much, Bob, I appreciate you joining us today and sharing your experiences not only a chef but the solvent Catskills to thank you very much. Thanks, Joe. I appreciate that. As we come to the end of this episode of global journeys with Jill Dutton. I'd like to thank Bob Eckert for sharing his view of the Sullivan Catskills and the local culinary world we're flavors are intertwined with a deep sense of locality. As we are on this exciting podcast journey together, I invite you our incredible audience to be a part of it. Share your own travel stories, insights and recommendations with us. Whether you have a hidden gem in your hometown or a dream destination that has captured your imagination, we want to hear from you. Your suggestions will help shape the future episodes of global journeys, guiding us towards extraordinary locations and experiences that deserve a spotlight. Remember, this podcast is not about the host, or the guests. It's about the collective exploration and discovery that unites us all as wanders in this vast world. So reach out to us through our website, social media channels or email and let your voice be heard. Thank you for joining us for this episode of global journeys with Jill Dutton. Until next time, may your travels be filled with endless curiosity, open hearted encounters and transformative adventures. Safe travels fellow explorers and keep wandering.

Transcribed by https://otter.ai

Wild Ramp Flatbread, Oxtail Ragu
New York Wheat
Foraging
Sullivan Catskills: A Book with Many Chapters