Meet the SUNY Cobleskill Chef Sourcing Meat for the Prestigious Fire Feast at Pitney Meadows

The Fire Feast on the Farm at Pitney Meadows Community Farm in Saratoga Springs invites renowned chefs from around the country to prepare a multi-course farm-to-table dinner over live fire pits on August 1 — and they will all be cooking meat sourced by SUNY Cobleskill’s Michael Lapi.

“This is a really big event for this area,” Lapi said. “They’re flying in a lot of really high-caliber chefs from all around the country.”

Lapi, a visiting instructor at SUNY Cobleskill, has been working with Saratoga County producers to be sure the celebrity chefs are cooking with the highest quality pigs, chicken, beef, and lambs. He’s also helping to design and build the fire pits for the event. When cooking time rolls around on August 1, he’ll be working as a chef at the beef station.

Each celebrity chef will be supported by a pit crew featuring a distinguished local chef, like Lapi, and local culinary students. See a full list of participating chefs.

This is the first year Lapi is participating in the Fire Feast on the Farm, and he’s thrilled to support the educational mission of Pitney Meadows.

SUNY Cobleskill Visiting Instructor Michael Lapi
SUNY Cobleskill Visiting Instructor Michael Lapi

“The education aspect is where it starts,” Lapi said. “Teaching younger people and the public about what they’re eating and why it’s important to eat local, well-raised and prepared food — it’s the most important thing you can do. It’s the first step to having a better life.”

Lapi has long been an advocate of locally sourced and foraged foods. After years of working his way through fine dining kitchens and traveling, he and his wife opened their own restaurant in 2003. They forged close connections with regional food producers and adhered to the seasonality and sustainability of their choices to deliver a locally sourced, fine-dining experience year-round.

Now, as an instructor of Culinary Arts and Meat Processing at SUNY Cobleskill, Lapi shares his expertise of farm-to-table cuisine and whole animal butchery with aspiring culinary professionals. He is also deeply involved with the Chef’s Consortium, a group of like minded individuals who promote the use of local diversity and sustainable farming methods through an educational and fundraising platform.