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On the Menu - The Daily Planet

September 2, 2015

Smoke-Roasted, maple cured Boyden Farms Oxtail atop grilled chevre and cracked pepper polenta paired with whiskey and wild berry bacon jam and mint and cocoa roasted pecan pesto. A mouthful to say, but a delicious mouthful! This dish won Chef Justin Bigelow of the Daily Planet in Burlington the Best Bite Competition at the 2015 VFN Forum.

Chef Justin is a new addition to the Burlington dining scene and the Vermont Fresh Network, but there has been lots of buzz about his playful menus at the Daily Planet – especially his Dr. Suess themed Vermont Restaurant Week Menu. Most chefs take the opportunity of Restaurant Week to offer an abbreviated menu that’s more easily prepared to deal with the overwhelming crowds, but Chef Justin went all-out with a culinary tribute to Dr. Suess – complete with a Pop Rocks garnished appetizer!

We asked Chef Justin how he developed his adventurous style… “I spent almost 12 years mastering the rules and fundamentals of cooking, before destroying all boundaries. I learned the rules, specifically so that I could break them. The result: creativity driven menus, designed to give diners an experience like no other.” Chef Justin also shared his view of food as an art form, and “unlike other artwork, food disappears. I find comfort in that. I create something new, and then it's gone. I'm able to constantly evolve flavor combinations and presentations. I never have to commit to any finite form of expression!”

Vermonters demand for local product has also fueled Justin’s creativity at the Planet, and he’s been working hard to seek out and build great partnerships with farms like Half Pint and Boyden to celebrate on his menu. Visit the Daily Planet this fall to taste a play on the Best Bite winning dish featuring Boyden Farm Oxtail! 


     VFN Executive Director Meghan Sheradin presents
   Chef Justin Bigelow with a JK Adams cutting board at   the 2015 Annual Forum for his 'Best Bite' winning dish.

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