Kismet Kitchen + Dog River Farm

A Montpelier mainstay, Kismet Kitchen is owned by Crystal Maderia and embraces farms and food makers from all over the state to create the delicious internationally inspired menus and meals that are hewn from produce and products at their peak. The menus they plan for their community are inspired by their travels, stories, love for each other, and the celebration of good health.

Location: Montpelier, VT

Chef: Crystal Maderia

Crystal Maderia “loves the food she makes,” according to George Cross, a former teacher who, with his wife, Julie, opened Dog River Farm, in Berlin, in 2001.

Crystal is the owner/chef at Kismet Kitchen, in Montpelier. She and the Crosses are joining forces for the WYSIWYG Festival.

George is a fan of Crystal’s breakfasts at Kismet. Ninety percent of each dish has local food, and Crystal’s breakfast menu is full of meat and vegetarian options – or both, such as the pulled pork cider hash with carrots, root crops and two poached eggs on top.

“It’s absolutely nuts,” says George. “She really believes in cooking local, healthy food. And the Crosses grow it at their diversified organic produce farm, where they raise everything from greenhouse tomatoes and raspberries to eggs and Christmas trees.

George was a teacher in New Jersey and Vermont for 15 years before he started farming.

“Being a farmer gives me the opportunity to do what I want on any given day,” he says. “I like the challenge of it.”

As for the farming lifestyle, well, to George it beats sitting at several traffic lights over 7 miles each morning in New Jersey.

“It allows me to contour my days, weeks and months around other things in my life,” he says, adding that he now gets to make a living by caring for the Earth.

“It feels good,” he says. “I get to be on my land all day, every day.”

Location: Berlin, VT

Farmer: George and Julie Gross