Now Located in Ludlow, Vermont, at the Foot of the Jackson Gore Access Road to Okemo Mountain at the Junction of Routes 103 & 100 North.
After thirty years of working in commercial kitchens, dreaming about food and flavors and presentations and taste, especially taste, I'd like to report that I still love cooking second only to being able to sit down to a dinner with family or friends.
I had the wonderful, good fortune to have summered on Block Island. It is a small island 13 miles off the Rhode Island Coast. I was about six years old, redheaded and sunburned and stayed that way (not the six year old part, of course) summering on Block Island for years and years. I met blue crabs at Dunn's Bridge with a net, flounder and fluke on rental row boats from Twin Maples with my father, mussels picked from the beach at the club, pickerel from Continental Pond (bony!), lobster from Stanley Stinson and bluefish from everybody! I fished, swam and always came home hungry.
My father, Harry, was a devoted vegetable and flower gardener. As a child, his mom, made him learn all the Latin names of the flowers she grew! So our harvest from the sea was fleshed out with delicious vegetables throughout the summer.
It was my dream to be a fisherman. And so my romance with commercial fishing, lobstering to be specific, got to become a reality for six consecutive summers while I was in college at Saint Lawrence University as an English major. Now I was the Lobster Provider at my family's house and boy did we eat!
I moved to Block Island right after college and worked on the boat and hosted numerous dinner parties. (I needed help eating all those lobsters!) These cooking events always had me on the phone with my mom asking her how she did this or that. The fishing season ended around mid-October. This was good, because I would be seeing my own breath in the house for three days running (It was after all, a summer cottage!).
I would pack off to the Mainland, mostly Vermont and find a cooking job there. Eventually, I came to realize the extent of my passion for entertaining and cooking, and moved to Harvard Square in Cambridge, Massachusetts, to further my experience in the kitchen. I ended up working in French and Moroccan Restaurant called Ahmed's. While there, I studied with a dynamic Italian lady of boundless enthusiasm. Her name was Roberta Dowling and she had just started a cooking school in Porter Square.
After work in those days, we would revel till last call and often proceed to Chinatown for eats. These forays started my on my fascination with Chinese and especially Thai food.
Many restaurants later, here I am at Harry's. And looking forward to cooking for you.
About the Staff
In twenty four years, there is bound to be some turnover, especially in a restaurant. That is why I think it is so remarkable to have such wonderful help, all who have persevered and poured their energy and time into Harry's.
We all love Debbie. She has been here at Harry's for seventeen years and counting. She has managed Harry's, made our drinks, done the scheduling, answered every phone reservation called in, served our dinner, listened to us pour out hearts out and always is ready to go with enthusiasm and a smile. With this overwhelming portfolio of excellence and dedication, I feel particularly lucky that after 17 years of co-working together, we are now married and managing both Harry's and our farm together.
John and Jodi Seward have been stalwarts at Harry's. John stepped up and agreed to Chef Harry's while we tended our Block Island restaurant. His talents at the stove have created new depth and interest. Jodi took over the phone and front for Debbie while on Block Island. Her ready smile and easy going manner have been a hit with both our customers and our staff while we were off on our summer restaurant gig.
Karen Sechy has worked at Harry's for 20 years. She is both a waitress and the sauceress, delivering to our wholesale sauce accounts. Both Karen's daughters, Tiana and Aliza, have worked here as well as Vera's daughter, Bess, and Debbie's daughter, Julie. Many high school Saturday nights have been given to working at Harry's by these daughter's and sons often at the dish sink.
My devoted staff is a blessing and really helps to make your visit and return visits to Harry's Café special.