LA GRANGE, N.Y. -- Mike Polasek, the chef/owner behind the Poughkeepsie-based catering business, Simply Gourmet, Bluestone Bistro , also in Poughkeepsie, and Hyde Park's Uncle Sam's Canteen, always knew he would stay in the area and put his talents to use.
The Culinary Institute of America (CIA) grad, who grew up in Beekman, said he loves the Hudson Valley , which means "local" is important to him at all three of his businesses.
Polasek also uses local produce from the Poughkeepsie Farm Project , though more so with his catering business which is big with weddings and corporate events and at his full-service restaurant.
For those not planning a party, Bluestone Bistro , is where you can find the Hudson Valley in all its glory. Over the next couple months Polasek is tweaking the American-style menu to be more of a farm to table style concept.
"We've met with a lot of farmers and distilleries so that everything, from our coffee to our pub fare to our cocktails has a local focus," said Polasek. This, while keeping the menu "casual and affordable."
For a taste of what's to come, check out the restaurant during Hudson Valley Restaurant Week (HVRW), which starts Monday, Nov. 2 and goes through Sunday, Nov. 15.
Polasek said he's especially proud of his HVRW menu where 85 percent of it has a local focus. "I worked my menu backwards," he explained, "To see what I could get first from area farmers and suppliers and then built our items from that."
Polasek even lists all of the farms he is using on the right side of the menu. (Go here to view.)
"What's better than getting a great deal, and getting fantastic food that suppors the community?" he asks.
Another way Polasek keeps it local: By keeping it "all in the family." His two brothers work in the business and every Friday night his parents, who still live in the area, come by Bluestone for dinner.