Gary Hirshberg is out once again to change how America eats. After playing a lead role in the organic revolution in co-founding Stonyfield Farm nearly 30 years ago, his new Chelsea’s Table, an organic and natural cafe opening Friday at Chelsea Piers, seeks to move fast food from guilty pleasure to nourishing delight. Think grilled cheese made with Vermont-raised, hormone-free cheddar, hand-tossed salads with organic greens from Long Island farms, hand-crafted sandwiches served on freshly baked organic flatbread, and organic yogurt smoothies –– all ready within minutes of ordering — and you start to understand Hirshberg’s vision.
Breakfast through late night snack, Executive Chef David David Siegal’s menu, emphasizing locally-sourced ingredients, will please any palate. Eggs from a fourth-generation upstate family farm, all-natural deli provisions from Applegate, hormone-free cheeses from Vermont Creamery, chicken from Pella Farms in Bethel, NY and young lettuces and herbs from North Fork Long Island farms are just some of the locally-sourced ingredients taking center plate.
“Chelsea’s Table will be proof positive that ‘healthy,’ ‘delicious’ and ‘fast’ are not mutually exclusive,” said Hirshberg. “Like Stonyfield, Chelsea’s Table is about more than food and commerce. It is a movement that aims to change how we think about food, support family farms, feed our families and accommodate today’s time-challenged lifestyles.”
In a nod to America’s dairy bars of yore, the cafe’s Stonyfield Organic Dairy Bar features walk-up (or bike/skate up) window service — Hudson River view included — serving up smoothies, organic Greek, regular and frozen yogurts and other treats made with organic Stonyfield yogurt and milk, almost too good to be good for you. All-organic best-sellers from Honest Tea and Late July snacks and artisanal, house-made flatbreads with Champlain Valley Milling flour and organic, estate-made Mast Brothers chocolates, transported to Brooklyn via sailboat from the Dominican Republic, are among other back-the-future delights.
Chelsea’s Table is open seven days from 7 a.m.-9 p.m., on Pier 62, just west of the 23rd Street entrance to Chelsea Piers. The cafe’s catering arm, with its own menu, is equipped to serve intimate parties and big corporate functions. Menus can be viewed at www.chelseastable.com.