By Kevin Chap
Photographs by Michael Fisher and Aron Meinhardt
Stylist Jennifer Rutherford
The Reluctant Panther Inn and Restaurant
Chef Sigal Rocklin, 2018 Vermont Chef of the Year, is known to engage in forays for her own foraged ingredients. Although a native of Israel, her keen sense of place and palate couple with her affectation for adventure and makes her cuisine a feast for the eyes and the imagination. The Reluctant Panther’s patio treats guests to a perfect view of Mount Equinox, and Chef Sigal can point to areas up the mountainside where she has located some of her dishes’ ingredients.
Easily one of the most approachable fine dining chefs, Sigal weaves together a menu sourced from local ingredients. When she is not whipping up culinary delights, equal to those found on menus of the best eateries in the world, she can be found washing dishes or mopping the floors of her own kitchen, an example that sets the tone for the inclusive and unpretentious nature of the luxury property that permeates every corner of the service. Your chef, waiter, host, and property manager work as a team to ensure your experience is one of note and memorability.
8 oz. flour
6 egg yolks
1 whole egg
1 tsp. milk
1 tsp. olive oil
1 tbsp. ramp purée (blanch 5 ramps and purée with 1 tsp. of water)
To make the fettuccini, mix all the dough ingredients in a mixer with a dough hook on low speed until incorporated; add a little flour if it’s sticky. Mix for 5–10 minutes until smooth. Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 1 hour (this will make it easier to roll).
Pull the dough from the refrigerator, and using a pasta machine, roll the dough into thin sheets 10–12 inches long, and then cut it into strands. Flour he strands to keep from sticking.
The pasta can be made at home ahead of time and kept in the refrigerator for one day or in the freezer for up to two weeks. Purchased prepared pasta can also be used.
1 oz. butter
6 oz. assorted wild mushrooms (hen-of-the-woods and oyster mushrooms are best)
2 garlic cloves, chopped finely
1 shallot, chopped finely
½ lb. fiddlehead ferns, blanched for 6 minutes in boiling salted water and then cooled in an ice bath and drained
12 oz. pheasant confit, meat pulled off the bone and chopped
2 oz. white wine
8 oz. creamy goat cheese
Salt and pepper
1 oz. chives, chopped
2 oz. toasted breadcrumbs
Heat up a large pan on medium-high heat. Add the butter and the mushrooms and cook for 2–3 minutes. Reduce the heat to medium and add the garlic and shallots; cook for 1 minute. Add the fiddleheads and pheasant confit; season with salt and pepper. Add the wine, let the wine cook for 1 minute, and then add the creamy goat cheese. Mix the ingredients and let cook in the pan.
Meanwhile, start boiling the fettuccini; in a large pot, bring 4 quarts of water to a boil and add 1 tablespoon of salt. Cook the pasta to al dente (for fresh pasta it will only take 3 minutes; store-bought pasta will take longer).
When the pasta is ready, drain it. Stir in the rest of the cooked ingredients, taste, and adjust the seasoning. Add the chopped chives and plate. Top with toasted breadcrumbs and serve.