Meet Brent Ridge and Josh Kilmer-Purcel, aka, THE FABULOUS BEEKMAN BOYS. Theirs is a great story! A dynamic couple (one is a doctor and the other a best-selling author) buy the 19th century Beekman mansion on a run down upstate New York farm as a weekend getaway from the hustle and bustle of Manhattan. The recession hits, jobs are lost and to sustain a living they pack their NYC bags, move into their weekend home and decide to turn it into a working farm. The kicker…they had no idea what they were doing or what they were in for which includes a 200 year old ghost child they call Mary Beekman who tiptoes around and thinks these guys are her imaginary friends!
The Beekman Boys started a blog to share their day to day life experiences which is something they call “a shared experiment in seasonal living”. Every step they take is an opportunity to learn something new and their website visitors were along for the ride. The blog was so successful that they were contacted by a television producer who knew America would love to follow them along on this journey. Blog turns into television show and now you can watch the drama unfold right in your own living room. These men appreciate seasonal and local ingredients, support local business and craftsman and have learned how to “work with what we have when we have it”. I met Brent and Josh at the 15th Anniversary of Epicurious at Eataly in NYC. We were seated at the same table and had a great time while Mario Batali cooked us all dinner. You will really enjoy watching them in action so be sure to tune in to their second season at their new home, The Cooking Channel.
Two goats, a llama and drama, oh my!
Let’s get The Fabulous Beekman Boys take on healthy eating.
Diane: Do you see a trend with people seeking better-for-you dining options ?
BBoys: We absolutely see this trend. Healthier (often vegetarian) dishes are some of the most commonly searched recipes on our website.
Diane: What’s your definition of “healthy eating”?
BBoys: It’s sad that most people think “healthy eating” is synonymous with low calorie. We have always believed that if people eat REAL foods, made from REAL ingredients, that their body is naturally more satisfied and fulfilled. You naturally eat less because your body doesn’t continue to crave things the way it does when you are feeding it a bunch of over-processed and synthetically enriched foods. Hooray for real fats and sugars!
Diane: What is your secret to cooking healthier without sacrificing flavor?
BBoys: Anyone who plans to cook a lot at home should really invest in buying good quality spices and to give a try of different types of salt and peppers. Herbs are very easy to grow in small pots right on your window seal or outside the kitchen door. It’s so convenient to pick off a few leaves and toss them into whatever you are making. You will be amazed at what you’ll learn about seasoning food appropriately. Check out our Beekman 1802 Vegetable and Herb Seed Kits available at WILLIAMS SONOMA.
Diane: What is your favorite healthier dish on your own menu and why?
BBoys: I would say it’s our CORN CHOWDER SALAD. We love it because it’s like a deconstructed corn chowder where we use the common ingredients in corn chowder and turn it into a quick a delicious salad. This dish is great served warm or cold and wonderful the next day.
Diane: How about an update on what’s new and exciting in your world?
BBoys: Most exciting right now is the September 20th debut of Season 2 of The Fabulous Beekman Boys on the Cooking Channel at 10:00pm so please tune in! Our “Beekman 1802- Heirloom Cookbook” is doing great and available on our website or at most national bookstores. We are currently working on our second cookbook which is very exciting. We have a unique line of products that are hand-crafted near Sharon Springs NY, using only natural ingredients & quality materials. We support small farms and communities by working with over 20 local crafts people to produce these amazing goods! Check them out HERE