Every year, we hold our own version of the Oscars: the Local Hero Awards, wherein readers vote for their favorite local chefs/restaurants, farm/farmers, non-profits, culinary artisans, beverage producers and food or wine retailers, and the winners are awarded with a feature in our March/April print issue. Every weekday till the polling booths close on December 31st* we’ll be looking back at last year’s winners.
Today we’re highlighting Stony Brook Oil! The below story originally appeared as part of our Local Heroes feature in the 2011 Spring issue.
*There’s still time to make sure your voice is heard! Vote here for your 2019 local hero chefs, farmers, non-profits and artisans.
Stony Brook Oil
Southeast Asia has sesame seeds, the Mediterranean its olives. In 2008, Geneva-based Stony Brook Oil turned to winter squash for a culinary oil with regional roots. The Geneva-based company expeller presses the roasted seeds of butternut, delicata, pumpkin, kabocha and acorn squash for varietal oils in hues from green to mahogany. Their complex flavors—with notes of dried currants and roasted chestnuts—make the elixirs equally appealing as dipping sauces, in marinades and vinaigrettes or as accents in everything from roasted vegetables to vanilla ice cream.
Greg Woodward and Kelly Coughlin launched Stony Brook as a bakery highlighting local, wholesome ingredients in 2002. In 2008, Cornell’s Food Venture Program—also based in Geneva—connected the couple with Brockport-based Martin Farms, which sells meal-ready squash throughout the Northeast. The farm’s 3,000-acre operation was generating mountains of seed destined for the compost. Woodward was game to create a food product, initially envisioning a substitute for butter in Stony Brook’s cookies. Before long, the couple was selling the oil itself, bottled in svelte, dark green glass. They’ve since shelved the bakery to form a joint venture with Martin Farms focusing exclusively on the oil. “These days,” says Woodward, “We use all the seed we get.” — Kristina Strain
Photo Provided by Stony Brook