Recently, we had the pleasure of joining the Jones Diary Farm team at The Culinary Institute of America for an exciting weekend full of eating, cooking, and learning about the Jones Dairy Farm, their products, and their point of difference. We arrived in Rhineback, NY at the Beekman Arms & Delamater Inn, the oldest inn in the United States, promptly around 6 PM and checked in. We were impressed at how quaint the downtown of Rhineback was – full of restaurants and boutique shops. The Inn itself fit in perfectly with the town … historic, cozy, but certainly not stuffy.
After a quick drink, we joined our peers for dinner at The Bocuse Restaurant. The Bocuse Restaurant is one of the four restaurants on the CIA campus. As you walk into the restaurant, you just know you’re in for a treat. The vibe of the restaurant is super trendy and chic. And the food… awesome. A fun part about the restaurant is, well, you’re being served by aspiring chefs and those training to be in the business!
On Saturday, we headed back to the Culinary Institute of America for a food-filled day.
We started with breakfast that consisted of delicious Jones’ bacon, ham, sausages, etc. By actually tasting the Jones products, we got to see/taste for ourselves how truly good the products are. After breakfast, we moved on into the kitchen.
There in the kitchen, we started to learn more about Jones Dairy Farm and their point of difference. The team from Jones Dairy Farm thoroughly impressed us with their commitment to producing top notch products. In our society today, where publicly traded food companies are the dominant players, it is refreshing and comforting to know that there are still people focused on quality rather than profit margins.
Most of you have heard of pink slime, right? DISGUSTING! And unfortunately, it’s a very serious reality. You get what you pay for. If you’re like us (which you wouldn’t be reading this right now if you weren’t), then you’ll pay a dollar or two over the bargain price for good product. Seriously, who wants to eat garbage?! After learning what we did at the Culinary Institute, you would be appalled at some of the things big CPG companies get away with. Believe us… you don’t want to know. We’re not going to get into it because that’s not what we’re about or what we believe in.
Jones Dairy Farm is a family owned company that has been around for over a hundred years. They are based in Fort Atkinson, Wisconsin and are still producing their sausages, bacon, hams, and other products using the same smokehouses and methods on the same location that they started on. Their products are gluten free and all natural. Their products are those you can trust.
Next, we joined our peers for a knife skill class. We were both really looking forward to this because it’s difficult and an area of improvement for both of us. After a demo from one of the great CIA chefs, we were put to the test! Not bad… but not great! So… we’ll keep chopping.
To end the day, we had a little “Chopped” cookoff. We were split into teams and were each given a mystery basket. Everything we made was lunch. This was such a blast!
Overall, the experience at the CIA was in a league by itself, just like the people that were responsible for amazing weekend. It is rare these days to meet people that are passionate and genuine about the work that they do. We really appreciate Jones Dairy Farm as a business and it helps us remember that there are still big companies out there who stand up for what they believe in and are true to their mission to create quality product.
-Jeff & Cristina