The FLX FAQs: Katie Church of Finger Lakes Cider House
Katie grew up in the Finger Lakes as a farmers’ market kid. She fights for sustainable agriculture, small farms, and broad palettes from within the safe, savory cocoon of someone who’s only ever known organic, farm-fresh food. She’s now exactly where she should be, creating menus using only food produced in the Finger Lakes as the chef at Finger Lakes Cider House.
Edible Finger Lakes: What is the most interesting thing you always keep in your fridge?
Katie Church: My husband recently counted 32 mason jars. At a quick glance I see bone broth, pickles, loveage-rhubarb paste, five jars of jam, olive oil for frying Tortilla Espanola, bacon fat, chipotles in adobo, rennet, a couple of mustard experiments…
EFL: What’s the last meal you cooked for yourself?
EFL: What’s the one kitchen tool you couldn’t live without?
KC: I was gifted a gorgeous layered steel Japanese vegetable knife. Total game changer.
EFL: What was the first Finger Lakes wine/beer/spirit you ever tasted?
KC: My first Finger Lakes wine love was Treleaven Dry Riesling, but cider was the first Finger Lakes beverage for me. In the fall my dad would pick us up from school and we’d head to the state forests to gather wild seedling apples and take truck loads to the cider mill. As teens my brothers started making hard cider, and we still press apples together every fall.
EFL: If you could add one item to the Finger Lakes foodshed that isn’t already there, what would it be?
KC: Vegetable oils!
EFL: What does it mean to you to be a part of the Finger Lakes foodshed?
KC: I have always been involved in small farming communities in the Finger Lakes, and I am continually awed by farmers’ hard work and innovation. They are taking the tastes and practices of centuries and melding them into the technology and future vision of the 21st century. It is a true everyday revolution.