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2019 Best Bite & Best Sip Winners Announced!

August 15, 2019

Each year at our Annual Forum Dinner, guests taste their way through the incredible offerings provided by some of Vermont's finest food and beverage producers. Besides chatting with all the producers and chefs, making their way through all the delectable offerings, and enjoying themselves, we give them a task, and it's not an easy one-- to choose their favorites. The day after this year's Forum, we tallied the votes to determine the Best Bite and Best Sip of the entire evening! It was a stiff competition, but we are so pleased to announce this year's winners and share recipes.



Best Bite: The Inn at Shelburne Farms - Executive Chef John Patterson & Executive Chef Emeritus Jim McCarthy


Beet Tomato Tartare

Yields 4 appetizers


Rice Crisps
(to save time, you can use thin crackers instead)

  • 1/4 cup jasmine rice
  • 1 cup tomato leaf water (recipe below)
  • 1 pinch salt 

Beet/Tomato Mixture

  • 1 pound medium sized beets (about 3), roasted until fork tender and cut to small dice
  • 4 small tomatillo, small dice
  • 1 shallot, minced
  • 1 cup small diced heirloom tomato
  • 1/2 cup ground cherries, halved
  • 1/4 cup lime juice
  • 2 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • kosher salt to taste


For the Rice Crisp

  1. Place a dozen or so tomato leaves of varying sizes in salted blanching water until the stems of the leaves are soft enough to break apart between your fingers. Transfer tomato leaves to ice water to cool. Transfer tomato leaves to blender and process until smooth. Add water as needed; the mixture should be the consistency of a loose soup.  
  2. In a heavy bottom pot, mix rice, tomato leaf liquid and salt. Bring mixture to a simmer and continue to cook until the rice kernels are completely saturated and soft (approximately 25 minutes over medium high heat). Transfer rice mixture to blender and process in small batches until smooth.
  3. Using pan spray, evenly coat cookie sheet and proceed to pour rice mixture evenly onto the cook sheet. Bake at 275°F for about two hours and allow the mixture to dry until it becomes the texture of fruit leather. Alternatively, you can leave the mixture out on a counter for about two days.
  4. Fill high sided pot with 1” neutral oil and heat to 375°F. Tear the rice paper into bite-sized piecesand fry. Allow to drain and cool before handling.

For the Beet/Tomato Mixture

  1. Combine all ingredients. Season with lime juice, olive oil and salt.
  2. Spoon beet/tomato mixture onto the rice crisps and serve.

Blue Corn Pancakes

Yields 8 pancakes (depending on size)


  • 3/4C butter
  • 3/4C sugar
  • 3 extra large eggs
  • 1¾C milk
  • 10oz ‘cup for cup’ gluten free flour, by weight (2C, measured)
  • 5oz blue cornmeal, by weight (1C, measured)
  • 4.5t baking powder
  • 1T sea salt
  • 1C corn kernels (optional)


  1. In a bowl, combine the dry ingredients- sugar, flour, cornmeal, baking powder, and salt. Stir briefly to mix.
  2. In a pot, heat the milk and butter just until the butter has melted. Add this to the dried ingredients and stir in the eggs. There is no gluten, so no need to worry about over mixing the batter! Add the corn kernels, if using.
  3. Heat a pan or griddle over medium heat. Grease with a little oil or butter. Ladle the batter into the griddle and cook until the top gets bubbly. Flip over and allow the other side to cook through. Serve warm.

Click here to view the Shelburne Farms blog post about the event and photos of their award-winning bites!

Runner Up: Sugarsnap Catering // Smoked pork with a vegetable salad, tomatillo salsa, and harissa

Best Sip: Barr Hill by Caledonia Spirits

The Southside

  • Barr Hill Gin
  • Lime Juice
  • Mint
  • Angostura Bitters
  • Crushed Ice

Runner up: Boyden Valley Winery & Spirits // Maple Creme Liqueur Milkshakes

Prizes generously donated by Boyer's Orchard, Danforth Pewter, and Rockledge Farm Woodworks. Custom woodburning provided by Jean Cayer.

Thank you to Flavor Plate for donating their time and effort to the design and co-development of our website.