Chef Cassy Vires heads to Claverach Farm

Chef Cassy Vires is once again behind the stoves full-time. Vires, who most recently managed the teaching kitchen at Companion, is now the chef at Claverach Farm. Her first dinner service was Saturday, June 16.

Vires said she originally reached out to the Claverach team at the beginning of the year to see if they needed guest chefs to work events occasionally.

“I wasn’t doing anything on Saturday nights and was looking for a creative outlet,” Vires said. Owners Sam Hilmer and Rachel Shulman didn’t need anyone at the time, but several months later, they contacted her about taking a full-time chef position so they could focus on Claverach’s farming and winemaking operations.

“They loved doing the dinners but didn’t have the time to devote to them, so they were looking for someone to come in and take them over,” Vires said.

Vires said she’ll base her menus on what the farm has available week to week, much like she did at her former restaurant, Home Wine Kitchen in Maplewood.

“When I was at Home, we had a new dinner menu every week,” Vires said. “I’d just get the list of what was available from the local farmers and sit down and write my menu. It’s a lot like that.”

She said the Saturday dinners at the farm will continue, and come fall, Friday night service may be added as well. Now that she’s on board, Vires said the farm will likely host more private and special events.

“This is exactly what I should be doing in life,” Vires said. “Saturday night at one point, I thought, ‘This dish really needs something green on top. It would be awesome if someone would pick me some mint,’ and 10 minutes later, someone comes back with mint from the farm. We did a lavender cheesecake, and we opened the door, and there’s lavender right there.’”

Matt Sorrell is staff writer at Sauce Magazine.