My February/March James Beard Foundation newsletter arrived in the mail some weeks back, but I got to reading it only this week. The issue, published by the New York City-based nonprofit that promotes chefs, restaurants and (increasingly) culinary sustainability, was devoted to baking.
Boston baker and restaurateur Joanne Chang (Flour, Meyers + Chang) was featured prominently on its cover. My flutter of regional pride only increased when I turned to page 2 and discovered the strawberry shortcake at Beth’s Farm Market in Warren listed among James Beard Foundation Vice President Mitchell Davis’ favorite baked goods in the entire nation, a list he whittled down to just six sweets.
The shortcake was in illustrious company, including items from The Doughnut Plant in New York City and Tartine Bakery in San Francisco. Here’s what Davis (who, full disclosure, is a friend; I worked at the foundation for many years) wrote:
“Every time I find my way to Warren, Maine … I am blown away by the uber-deliciousness of this strawberry shortcake. The strawberries, which are grown on Beth’s farms, are sliced and left to macerate so they are juicy and flavorful, and the whole thing is covered with a large dollop of whipped cream, milked from Beth’s cows. Typing this now, I am salivating.”
As are we.
— PEGGY GRODINSKY