Les Hook and Nova Kim


Nova Kim and Les Hook wildcrafting in a meadow
Nova Kim and Les Hook wildcrafting in a meadow. Photo by Herb Swanson for NPR.

An All-New Culinary Weekend Program at the Inn at Weathersfield

I’ve had the pleasure of working with Marilee Spanjian, owner of The Inn at Weathersfield in Perkinsville, VT to create their all-new Culinary Weekend Series of monthly programs featuring guest presenters and cookbook authors.  In a separate building on the grounds of the inn, the Spanjians recently built a a beautiful new cooking studio, The Hidden Kitchen, where lecture and hands-on classes are held. The Culinary Weekend Programs are open to inn guests and commuters, while local diners can enjoy the special theme dinner, offered as a tasting menu, in the restaurant Saturday and Sunday nights. There is also an opportunity to meet the guest presenters at a cocktail hour and book signing in the Tavern from 5-6 PM on Saturday. It’s an exciting new program open to locals and out-of-town visitors that kicks off with Vermont Wild Edibles on May 3. Here are the details for the first event. 

Vermont Wild Edibles with Wildcrafters Nova Kim and Les Hook, May 3, 2014

With spring comes a whole host of wild edibles and mushrooms frequently overlooked and often available out one’s own door. Join internationally- acclaimed wild food experts and spirited educators Nova Kim and Les Hook, who will share more than 80 years of combined wildcrafting knowledge and experience with guests at a Wild Edibles Culinary Weekend Adventure at The Inn at Weathersfield on May 3. This event marks the first in the inn’s all-new series of Culinary Weekends.

 Slide Presentation, Field Trip & Wild Edibles Dinner

In this unique workshop and field trip, open to both inn guests and commuters, students learn to identify and enjoy wild foods for culinary purposes. They’ll learn about proper

Pepperwort and Trout Lily leaves
Pepperwort leaves and Trout Lily leaves, likely to be available this spring. Taken by Nova Kim.

collection techniques and the tools needed, as well as the concept, ethics and environmental impact of responsible collection. And of course, they’ll follow Nova Kim and Les Hook into the Inn’s fields and woods on an exciting exploration to collect what nature is offering at the time (10 AM- 1 PM). That evening Executive Chef Jean-Luc Matécat prepares a special menu featuring wild spring edibles, collected by Nova and Les, to be enjoyed by participants in the private wine cellar with the presenters. The menu will also be available as the tasting menu in the restaurant Saturday and Sunday evenings, May 3 and 4.

Learn from the Experts — More than 80 Years of Wildcrafting Knowledge & Experience

Nova Kim and Les Hook have appeared in numerous publications including Food Arts, Vermont Life, Yankee, and New York magazines, The New York Times and Village Voice. They have been featured on NPR’s Splendid Table and Weekend Edition, and at the Smithsonian Folklife Cultural Festival; presented for Slow Food USA at Terra Madre in Italy, and the Native Food Summit in New Mexico; and in 2013 were the conference field trip Leaders and presenters for the 7th International Workshop on Edible Mycorrhizal Mushrooms in Guatemala. In addition Les and Nova are adjunct professors of Wildcrafting and Mushroom Gathering at Green Mountain College and Vermont Technical College. Sought out by acclaimed chefs, they have been supplying Vermont’s high-end restaurants with mushrooms and wild edibles for more than two decades now.

Limited to Just 12 Participants

The Hidden Kitchen at The Inn at Weathersfield
The Hidden Kitchen cooking studio at The Inn at Weathersfield

For an optimum interactive learning experience, the culinary program is limited to just 12 participants. Price ranges from $599 per couple/$399 for singles (includes Sat. lodging, the class -fieldtrip, a wild edibles dinner with the presenters, and breakfast) and $199 for commuters (class and dinner).  Details can be found at www.weathersfieldinn.com/hidden-kitchen/

The 2014 Culinary Weekend Series at The Inn at Weathersfield

The complete 2014 Culinary Weekend series highlights Vermont and New England’s seasonal farm offerings. The schedule includes: June 7, Culinary Herbs with MA cookbook author Betsy Williams; July 12, Farm-to-Table with Vermont cookbook author Tracey Medeiros; August 2, Pit Roasting with Executive Chef Jean-Luc Matécat; September 13, Apples & Cider with NH cookbook author Ben Watson; October 25, Food Preservation with VT cookbook author Andrea Chesman; (no classes in Nov.); and December 6, Colonial Cocktails with VT author and food writer Corin Hirsch.

A New England Premier Culinary Destination

Built in 1792, The Inn at Weathersfield is a New England Premier Culinary Destination offering 12 unique en-suite guest rooms, an acclaimed fine dining restaurant and tavern,

The Inn at Weathersfield in Perkinsville, VT
The Inn at Weathersfield, taken by Stagnitti Photography

vegetable gardens, and a wedding amphitheater on 21 wooded acres. It is conveniently located 20 minutes from Woodstock and Ludlow, around four hours from New York City, and 2.5 hours from Boston.

Privately owned by Marilee and Richard Spanjian, their mission is to offer the best of what’s fresh from family farms and the seashores of New England, to create a unique culinary experience for the non-professional cook and the discerning traveler and diner.  

To learn more or to book a class call (802) 263-9217, or book online at www.weathersfieldinn.com,  or email stay@weathersfieldinn.com.  

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