IN THE ART OF SIMPLE FOOD, Alice Waters wrote, “Let things taste of what they are.” Donna Hammond, chef/owner of Hudson Street Café, in Cornwall-on-Hudson, was shaped by the philosophy of local, whole foods after working at Waters’s Chez Panisse, home of the local food renaissance in America. With a degree from the Culinary Institute of America and more than 30 years of kitchen experience, Hammond settled in the Hudson Valley because of its strong farming community and access to fresh, sustainably sourced ingredients. (She playfully calls the Hudson Valley, “Napa Valley East.”)
“If you start with a good product, you don’t have to do a lot with it,” she explains. Hammond applies this philosophy to Hudson Street Hotcakes, her new pancake mix. The dry mix of organic bran, flour and cornmeal may sound somewhat heavy, but Hammond takes pride in the lightness of the resulting pancakes. The mix has straightforward directions and requires only four additional, simple ingredients: one egg, buttermilk, molasses (or maple syrup) and a tablespoon of melted butter. A gluten-free version of the pancake mix also is available. “There is nothing like it on the market,” Hammond says.
Look for more over-the-counter items to come, including preserves, pickles and sandwich toppings. For now, Hudson Street Hotcake Mix is available for purchase at the cafe for $7.50 per one-pound package.