BREWSTER, N.Y. – The opening of the Tilly’s Table, a farm-to-table restaurant and catering venue, at Tilly Foster Farm begins a new chapter at the Putnam County-owned property. Tilly’s Table, which is the latest public-private partnership for Putnam County, showcases local culinary talents and features ingredients grown in the Hudson Valley. It celebrated its grand opening the weekend of June 2.
“Based on the success we have had at Putnam County Golf Course, having a public-private partnership at Tilly Foster Farm with Homestyle Catering is a fiscally sound decision that allows the county to also be social responsible,” said County Executive MaryEllen Odell. “Chef Sandra Marinelli is working with Chef Christopher Devine, the corporate chef of Ace Endico, both of whom are Putnam residents to develop delicious menus that make Tilly’s Table be a culinary destination in the Hudson Valley.”
Marinelli of Mahopac, who is heading up the restaurant’s kitchen, has been trained at Marymount College, The Institute for Integrative Nutrition and The Natural Gourmet Institute in Manhattan. She carved a niche for herself, nourishing and cooking for others as she does for her family. Her belief in the healing power of food and its ability to nourish not just physically but emotionally is based on the Ayurvedic principles of what you put into your body creates who you are, inside and out. This holistic approach will be incorporated into all she creates at Tilly’s Table.
Devine, a Brewster resident, attended the Culinary Institute of America in New York, and has over 30 years of experience as a leader and pioneer in the culinary world. Recently, he has held the role of executive chef and general manager at Trump Tower, where he directed numerous events and catering services for 15 years. During his tenure with the Trump Organization, Devine also opened and operated six restaurant divisions including The Trump Grille, Trump Café, Trump Bar, Trump Store and the Trump Ice Cream Parlor. As an esteemed colleague for the Trump Organization, he recently had the honor of working directly with White House staff to ensure a smooth transition of all culinary services and amenities. Following his respected career with the Trump Organization, Devine is currently the corporate chef and product specialist for Ace Endico, a Brewster-based fine foods distributor.
“I have been driving past the farm watching all the progress the county has made on the property and when they announced that they were opening Tilly’s Table I knew I wanted to be part of it,” said Devine. “Tilly’s Table will be a go-to destination in the Hudson Valley.”
Tilly’s Table opening manifests Putnam County’s vision to turn the deteriorated property into a treasured resource that all the people of Putnam can enjoy.
“Three years ago, we embarked on the journey of making Tilly Foster Farm an economically viable county asset,” said Odell. “After listening long and hard to the public about they wanted to have happen at the farm, we developed the farm’s mission, which is that the farm fosters financial, environmental, social and historical stewardship through a variety of program offerings by means of public-private partnerships.”
Putnam County purchased the 199-acre Tilly Foster Farm in 2002. The county took over management of the property in 2014. Odell and the Putnam County Legislature had the county utilized the strengths and talents within its own workforce to repair, modernize and rebuild the property.
“First, we brought the chicks back, then the pigs and the other animals,” said Odell. We invested in our infrastructure because we understood that we needed a sound foundation if we were going to reach for the stars. Plus, we formed a partnership with BOCES and now have vocational training now being taught at the farm.”
Odell credits the Putnam County Highway and Facilities Department for most of the physical labor and craftsmanship that has done throughout the farm, especially in the rehabilitation of the lodge.
“Look at the flooring and chimney work in Tilly’s Table,” said Odell. “The creativity and skills of the highway department workers can be seen throughout the venue. It leaves a lasting impression. Generations from now will still talk about the craftsmanship and work that was put into this place.”
Fred Pena, P.E., commissioner of Putnam’s highway and facilities department is proud of his team as well. In addition to making the property achieve code compliance and have general safety and usability, the department had to enhance or replace things associated with the water supply, power supply and septic system.
“We found strength through every obstacle and grew from it,” said Pena. “We strategically outsourced and effectively used our resources to an extremely effective result.”
Legislator Ginny Nacerino, chair of the Putnam County Legislature, believes that the rejuvenation of Tilly Foster Farm is one of the government’s most significant accomplishments since she has been on the Legislature.
“The revitalization of Tilly Foster Farm is a true testament of what can be done when we work together toward a common goal,” said Nacerino. “I know that Tilly Foster farm will prove to be the jewel of Putnam County For generations to come. We affectionately call Tilly Foster Farm the people’s farm because indeed it is.”
“The success of Tilly Foster Farm does not belong to one person, but to all the people of Putnam County,” said Odell. “Together, we have been able to revitalize this property and make it a destination for everyone in the Hudson Valley to enjoy. We have saved this historical icon of Putnam’s farming heritage, while making it an economically viable county asset.”
Tilly Foster Farm is located at 100 Route 312 in Brewster. The farm is open daily from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tilly’s Table is open for- Sunday brunch and private events. For reservations or for more information about Tilly’s Table, call 845-808-1840.