chef, forager, teacher

I’ve had a passion since childhood to create. Farm-to-table long before it was a buzzword. Creating everything from soaps and textiles to meals designed around locally sourced and foraged foods.

I am currently the executive chef at The Bees Knees Cafe, a farm to table cafe located on Heather Ridge Farm, an Animal Welfare Approved farm that raises grass fed and pastured meats, poultry, eggs, and honey. We're available to cater private events and curated dinner parties using locally-resourced, seasonal foods. Special consideration is taken for gluten free and paleo diets, vegetarian meals may be prepared by request. 

In addition to weekly brunch and lunch offerings, we organize a monthly "Supper Club" at the farm. This is a five or six course tasting dinner crafted with our own meats and complemented by locally grown and foraged produce, herbs, and flavors. I also teach monthly cooking classes that aim to provide a technique based approach to cooking that is accessible to cooks of all skill levels. For more information about the tasting dinners and cooking classes, please visit the Heather Ridge Farm website HERE

Please take a moment to review a sampling of my work on these pages.

Rob Handel

chef, forager, teacher

I’ve had a passion since childhood to create. Farm-to-table was a way of life before it was a buzzword. I’m a chef, teacher, and naturalist, and I’ve spent my life learning how to bring the wonderful ingredients that are farmed and foraged in the Catskills and Hudson Valley to plates across Upstate New York. With experience catering locally sourced meals for groups ranging in size from 4-400, I revel in providing unique and thoughtful fare that cannot be found elsewhere.

In addition to my cooking I am an experienced cooking and foraging instructor, offering presentations, hands on classes, couples lessons, and foraging walks throughout the Northeast. I’m also a frequent guest on radio programs throughout the Northeast, including WAMC’s Food Friday and WIOX’s Farm Hour.

I’m currently executive chef at The Bees Knees Café at Heather Ridge Farm in Preston Hollow, NY. Here I pair locally farmed and foraged produce with the grass-fed and pastured meats and poultry raised on the farm. Located in the middle of the working farm, the Bees Knees Café embodies farm to table ethos and has been the premier farm to table destination in the Catskills and Hudson Valley for a decade.