Hello from South Hero and the Blue Paddle Bistro! When approached to write this column I accepted the challenge on behalf of my best friend for 25 years and business partner here at the Blue Paddle Bistro, Chef Phoebe Bright. Several days passed, then a week or two, and I found myself struggling with how…

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“It’s not quite like the Paddle hat signed by the President, but here you go, Mandy.” Recently, I was presented with one of our Blue Paddle orange and tan baseball hats with three signatures on the bill. It’s similar to a cap President Obama signed for our friend, award-winning photojournalist of the New York Times,…

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Over the course of the last few days, I have experienced moments of wanting to tear my hair out, inner conflict and grief. Of course, I’m perhaps being a bit melodramatic, but if you are parents and have kids — either the two legged kind or four — you probably can empathize with me. It’s…

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It seems funny — at least to me — that I am in the food business for I am not a “foodie,” nor do I enjoy cooking. I have visited our local pet store far more times over the past 12 months that I have stepped into a supermarket to do an honest hour of…

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It’s always been an unspoken commitment that Chef Phoebe and I share to offer music to our dinner guests. For me, the urge to have our restaurant filled with warm melodies and the inevitable applause have always been a strong one for me. I love music. I love live acoustical music in particular. Always have,…

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I have many fond memories of growing up in New Jersey. Now, before you begin to trash-talk the Garden State (believe me, I’ve heard it all), let me be perfectly clear: We lived in one of the gorgeous parts of New Jersey, in a little town called Changewater. I would even have to say that…

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Here we are in the middle of the summer. Humid days, cooler nights and occasional thunderstorms that rip across the broad lake to water the beloved flower and vegetable gardens that many of you have labored over for the better part of the last few months. The summer season represents many different things to all…

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It seems only apropos that I write about the Paddle Pups, our restaurant’s awesome beloved and well-known mascots. After all, we are in the dog days of summer where the days are sultry at best — muggy, humid and, at times, down right oppressive. Especially, I suspect, for our canine companions. We (I’ll explain the…

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I have often wondered why every restaurant I go to has soup on the menu. It seems to me that it is almost a required menu staple, a must-have to be complete. We all dine out, right? You, too, must admit that some kind of soup is almost always on the menu at you favorite…

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Chef Phoebe is all about 90 pounds when her pockets are loaded up with coins, a cell phone and golf tees. She’s fit as a fiddle, a tiny little thing that stands about 5 feet tall. She loves to create food for others to share and delight in but she herself doesn’t relish in the…

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