The head chef at Region’s 117, Northern Virginia’s hottest new farm-to-table restaurant, has some advice for people in the greater Washington area cooking at home this Thanksgiving on finding locally sourced ingredients to prepare a farm-to-table meal. Executive Chef Scott Bilstad shares some of his top choices for Northern Virginia farms, wineries and meat and dairy suppliers as well as a favorite recipe.

“At Region’s 117, we spend a lot of time thinking about how to find the freshest local ingredients for our menu,” said Bilstad. “Thanksgiving is the one day of the year when American families have the opportunity to do the same in their own kitchens, and we thought that they might be interested in some of our favorites in the greater Washington area.”

Bilstad, who previously worked at Art & Soul in Washington, D.C., recommended these favorites this Thanksgiving:

• McClure baby Swiss-style cheese, Mountain View Farm, Fairfield, Virginia
• Smoked and cured ham, Spring House Farm, Lovettsville, Virginia
• Tempranillo red wine, Cana Vineyards and Winery, Middleburg, Virginia

Region’s 117 is a new farm-to-table dining restaurant located inside the new Shenandoah Lodge & Athletic Club at Trilogy® at Lake Frederick, an exclusive and upscale 55+ active lifestyle resort community just 90 minutes from Washington, D.C. The menu focuses on regionally inspired American comfort food made using locally sourced ingredients from the Shenandoah Valley and surrounding areas. Bilstad said the key to farm-to-table cooking is finding recipes that highlight the best seasonal offerings from your favorite local suppliers.

“Thanksgiving is a day when we celebrate how the Plymouth colonists first learned to eat off the land with the help of the Wampanoag Indians,” added Bilstad. “It’s only fitting as we remember that time in history that we strive to support our local farms as well.”

Below is a recipe for buttermilk biscuits with cheese and chives straight from the desk of Bilstad:

Cheesy Drop Biscuits

2 1⁄2 cups self-rising flour
2 tsp of baking powder
1⁄2 tsp of baking soda
1 tsp of kosher salt
4 oz of unsalted butter (cold and cubed)
1⁄4 cup of grated Mcclure cheese (swiss)
1 oz chives (finely chopped)
1 1⁄2 tsp granulated sugar
2 large eggs
1 1⁄2 cup buttermilk melted butter for tops.

1) Heat the oven to 400 degrees.
2) With a mixer like Kitchen Aid with the paddle attachment, mix the well-combined dry ingredients with the cold butter, cheese, and chives until it resembles coarse corn meal. With the mixer on low speed add the eggs one-by-one until well incorporated with flour mix. Continue on a low speed and in a steady stream add the buttermilk to the mix and further mix until all the butter milk is incorporated.
3) Scoop with a one-ounce scoop on a sheet tray and while baking brush with butter. Cook for about 12 minutes or until golden brown.


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