By Amanda Neal
ICC Student, Professional Culinary Arts plus Farm-to-Table
As we crossed the Williamsburg Bridge and left Manhattan, my classmates and I anxiously anticipated our trip to North Fork, Long Island, where we would be visiting both Macari Vineyard and Peconic Oyster Farm. Like our previous field trips, this visit to the vineyard and oyster farm was a part of the Professional Culinary Arts plus Farm-to-Table program at the International Culinary Center. We were especially excited for this field trip because we knew we would get some fresh farm air, delicious wine and freshly shucked oysters right on the water – and that’s exactly what we got.
Our first stop was Macari Vineyard in Mattituck, New York. Alexandra Macari, wife of Joseph Macari, quickly met us and talked us through a wine tasting of some of their most popular wines. We tasted two whites, a rose, three reds and a dessert wine. They were all equally enjoyable. After the tasting we had lunch outside. It was a beautiful sunny and 70 degree day, and we overlooked the acres of grape vines, about to bud break at any time. After lunch we took a tour of the grounds and made some last minute purchases so we could take some wine home. Overall, it was a lovely morning at the vineyard, and we were ready to check out the oyster farm next.
After leaving Macari Vineyard, and a quick 15-minute drive later, we arrived at Peconic Oyster Farm in Peconic Bay, New York. I didn’t know what to expect because I’ve never been to an oyster farm or really even knew much about harvesting oysters. However, it was a really interesting and remarkable farm. The best part of our visit was at the end when we sat on a picnic table right on the water, shucking and eating some of the freshest oysters I’ve ever come in contact with. All in all, learning about beautiful wine and fresh oysters is my idea of a perfect Saturday, and I couldn’t have experienced it without the Farm to Table program at ICC.