ROB HANDEL

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.

photo 3.JPG

Teaching is an outlet that allows me to share my love of food, cooking, and foraging with others and to cultivate those passions in people involved in a wide range of disciplines. I offer hands on group and private classes, as well as lecture based workshops to clubs, associations, foundations, etc. Topics range from basic cooking techniques to fermentation, to innovative ways to utilize wild edibles. Hands on classes typically include a meal at the end, and lectures include samples to taste. For more information about booking a group or private class, or hiring me to speak at your organizations's meeting, please contact me HERE

I am currently teaching periodic classes open to the public on a variety of food topics at Heather Ridge Farm. For more info, please visit the Heather Ridge Farm page HERE

To check for "open to the public" classes and lectures take a look at my calendar HERE

Past Events

Grill To Impress: Summer Grilling Basics

In this class we covered the basics of grilling including how to make your own marinades from ingredients you have on hand, choosing cuts of meat for the grill, what temperature to cook meats to, and how to prepare both a whole butterflied chicken and a whole stuffed salmon on the grill. 

 

Preserving The Harvest: An Introduction to Home Canning

Many people are intimidated to try their hand at canning. Over the course of a couple hours I demonstrated how simple it is to can three summer favorites: pickles, salsa, and jam. In addition to learning the method for each product students picked up tricks and tips about processing the fruits and vegetables that can be applied to any recipe. Each person also left with a few jars of each item that we prepared.

Potent Potables: Making Your Own Liqueurs and Cordials

Making your own liqueurs and cordials is not only easy and cost effective, but it also allows you to customize the final product to suit your own tastes. In this class we prepared limoncello, creme de menthe, and Irish cream liqueur. I also taught the basic liquor infusion technique that can be used to make liqueurs out of almost anything imaginable. 

 

Greenbush Garden Club Lecture: Rethinking Wild Edibles

In this lecture I spoke to the Greenbush garden club about how to convert  common garden weeds into culinary treats utilizing techniques like fermentation and infusions. Afterwards we enjoyed some treats prepared using the techniques I described in the lecture.