Armed with Chez Panisse cookbooks leavened with Alice Waters’ manifestos for sourcing the freshest ingredients available, Deb Whiting launched Red Newt Bistro on Seneca Lake. Almost 10 years later she is known for championing Finger Lakes food and wine and has become our local foods education and outreach maven, with television appearances, recipes in national magazines and cooking for promotional events in Washington, DC.
A long time leading member of the Finger Lakes Culinary Bounty, she promotes the link between chefs and local farmers and is herself in constant contact with growers to get their goods on her ever-changing seasonal menu. She’s delighted with how far Red Newt has come. “Now, at the height of the season, my menu is 80 to 90 percent local,” she says with pride.
With her recent “Restaurant Award” for excellence in fine dining from theWine and Grape Foundation and a cookbook of her own on the way, we’re even prouder to call her one of us.
This article originally appeared in our Spring 2008 edition.