If brunch is your favorite meal then you probably know of The Farmer’s Daughter in Easton, especially since they serve the meal every day of the week. The gem was recently crowned Best Brunch, South in the 2018 Best of Boston lineup, and this Sunday, October 14, you can experience a taste of what makes it an award-winning restaurant, at this year’s Brunch Bar at the Taste of WGBH Food & Wine Festival.
“It’s a big part of what I always wanted to do. My first restaurant job happened to be a Sunday brunch service,” said Chandra Gouldrup, chef/owner of The Farmer’s Daughter. When she set her sights on a restaurant in Easton she saw a big void. “There’s a lot of great dinner service open six to seven days a week with brunch just one day a week. We wanted to do something that showcased brunch food every day.” If you’ve ever dined at The Farmer’s Daughter, you’ve experienced their unique intersection of comfort food and culinary innovation. From the Boston Benedict made with brown bread, chorizo, pepper jelly, and chive hollandaise, to the savory hash brown waffle, the choices are extraordinary and accessible all at the same time.
The locally sourced menu is full of honestly prepared, seasonal dishes. Gouldrup explained, “We have four large seasonal menu changes - there’s a natural, automatic change once each season comes. When we really cook seasonal and local it’s very specific to New England. It’s a fun challenge to educate our guests on what is truly seasonal locally.” Building relationships with local farmers was “a labor of love” Gouldurp says. “We’ve been there now for five years and every day we strive to make those relationships stronger.” The location of The Farmer’s Daughter was originally chosen partially based on proximity to the local farm, Langwater, a 100% certified organic farm. Their list of partners demonstrates the commitment to sourcing as locally as possible. The cornerstone of breakfast dishes, the eggs, are sourced from a farm so close by that they’re often served the day they’re collected. That’s the epitome of farm-to-table! The demand from The Farmer’s Daughter has helped Feather Brook Farm grow their egg business, and in turn the quality contributes to the success of the restaurant. “It took time to grow these relationships,” Gouldrup said, “It was a very organic process. No pun intended.”
Those partnerships have extended to Gouldrup’s new venture – a dinner service restaurant just a few doors down from The Farmer’s Daughter. Towneship, which opened earlier this year, is housed in a reclaimed 150-year-old Swedish church. The atmosphere is as charming as the food is delicious. “Towneship was built largely in response to what our guest following was looking for,” Gouldrup explained. “They were asking ‘When are you going to open for dinner?’ There just aren’t a lot of options. The Farmer’s Daughter has shown us that the community is starving for something more.” The entire Main Street area in North Easton has seen a revitalization since the opening of The Farmer’s Daughter, making Towneship an even more welcome addition.
“We like to always be pushing the envelope and trying something different. Plus, it keeps my culinary team motivated.” The ability to simultaneously innovate and deliver dishes customers crave is a sweet spot that Gouldrup has mastered. That combo, along with her commitment to sustainability and heads-down approach to cooking good food is what contributed to her winning the 2016 WGBH Culinary Stewardship Award. She has also participated in other aspects of the Food & Wine Festival in the past and feels a kinship working with WGBH. “Supporting the local food movement isn’t just something they say they do,” Gouldrup said of winning the Culinary Stewardship Award. “I don’t consider myself going down the traditional chef’s path, so the partnership with Artisan Taste was a great opportunity, and the award, it opened my eyes. Being part of an event that also showcases what I do everyday in my restaurant, especially since what we do is not super forward like a lot of places – I run this little mom and pop operation – so I guess I really can hang with the rest of the Boston food scene.”
And hang she will, on Sunday when she serves up some unique brunch items at the WGBH Brunch Bar. Attendees will be treated to Gouldrup’s take on milk and cereal. “It’ll be an autumn version of a popular item from our summer menu.” The dish starts with an ancient grains cereal mix sourced from a grain company in southern Maine. Then there’s lightly macerated fruit, seasonal panna cotta, and milk jam, which is milk that’s cooked down to be like caramel or dulce de leche. Goulrup says she’ll spin an autumn-inspired version “with sugar pumpkin, chai spices, and maybe some fermented pumpkin.” The other item on their event menu is a sophisticated take on spam-and-eggs made with pork rillette on charred baguette, a sunny side egg, and a side of light mixed greens. “We may try for sunny side quail eggs, if it’s not too adventurous for cooking under a tent,” Gouldrup confessed.
These treats from The Farmer’s Daughter are just a couple delicious reasons to attend this Brunch Grand Tasting. It’ll be like brunch from all of your favorite restaurants, plus refreshing wines, cocktails from Bully Boy Distillers and Privateer Distillers, and coffee from local favorite Muddy Water Coffee Roasters, all in one place! Can you think of a better way to spend a Sunday morning?