Mark Fredette’s father worked in the hospitality industry, and as a child he was often around kitchens. Fredette was enamored by the magic behind food and often angled to get a closer glimpse of cooks at work. He always knew he wanted to be a chef.
After enrolling in the Culinary Institute of America in 2010, Fredette became enthralled with the farm-to-table movement. His interest heightened while working as executive chef for Sprout Creek Farm in Poughkeepsie (now closed), where he learned the ins and outs of food sourcing.
But it was at Clermont Café—at Germantown’s Tousey Winery—where he fell in love with beef and customers fell in love with him. For such a small restaurant, the café garnered a massive fanbase. But Fredette had bigger ambitions, he wanted to open a proper steakhouse. There aren’t many in the Hudson Valley, and even fewer with a focus on sustainability. Enter Iron & Grass, Fredette’s new Hudson-based restaurant that features locally sourced and sustainable meat, produce, and seafood.
On the menu, you’ll find the aptly named “The Burger,” with grass-fed, grass-finished beef from Dirty Dog Farm in nearby Germantown. Fredette tops each burger with Swiss (locally made) and pairs it with crispy smashed fingerling potatoes. Other sides include grill-charred Hudson Valley broccoli and roasted sweet peppers with garlic.
Iron & Grass serves up other beef cuts from Gulden Farm in Germantown and Grimaldi Farm in Ghent, and duck from La Belle Farms in Sullivan County. Fredette takes special care to preserve the integrity of local flavors. He dry-ages his tomahawk steak for 21 days.
Eventually, Iron & Grass will open a retail butcher shop. Fredette wants to buy larger cuts from farms, break the meat down himself, and work with similarly passionate customers to offer the best service possible. He’s planning to launch a dry-aging program in 2022.
3521 Route 9, Hudson