Executive Chef Cathy Hohmeyer gives a cooking demonstration to guests during a History of Food Tasting Dinner.
A sampler of desserts from around the world.
A History of Food Farm-to-Fork "Common Roots" banner.
1920s Speakeasy with "Library" desk featuring best "Cellars" (with a C).
Hand-crafted Wine & Beer Cellar with over 250 wines and the Adirondack's largest selection of craft-import beers.
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History of Food Tasting Experience

This five-course tasting event is fun, interactive, and myth-busting, with cooking demos, recipes, forgotten foods, and techniques you can use today to spice up your menu at home in the natural, whole foods traditions of our past.

Savor a Culinary Journey

The History of Food Series is part of an ongoing event at the Lake Clear Lodge, which began as an Adirondack History of Food in collaboration with a host of North Country organizations, businesses, and individuals.

The expanded History of Food reaches back to the origins of various foods, how food shaped history, the myths and legends of their healing power, and how the hunt for certain foods formed the quest for world discovery, created our way of life, and associations with people and cultures.

How Does it Work?

Re-imagine yourself as an ancient pharaoh, goddess, Adirondack pioneer, Great Camp diner, and so much more as we explore the History of Food.

Seasonal themes, historical events, myths, and legends of food paint your palette as you taste your way through food history.

Your History of Food Experience Includes

  • Nightly five-course tasting dinner of foods from around the world.
  • Opportunity to explore a Historical Adirondack Great Camp.
  • The Password to get through the hidden door to an authentic 1920’s Speakeasy.
  • Access to peruse the hidden beer and wine cellar.
  • A seat in the 1886 Stagecoach Dining Room or Lake View Great Camp.
  • Cooking demonstrations and recipes.
  • Interactive interpretive materials and trivia.
  • Myths and legends.
  • Ancient techniques.
  • Common roots to today’s food.
Spiralized zucchini and tomato for a History of Food Tasting.

Food: We Think About It Every Day

What will we eat, where do we get it, how will we eat it, where will we eat it, and who will cook it? Where does food come from? Is it local? A GMO? What about my diet? Allergies? Preferences?

History: Food = Civilization

We would not be where we are today without it.

History is often viewed in terms of various cultures, countries, religions, empires, dynasties, revolutions, wars, political and social variances, art, music, and more.
Yet without food, none of this would have occurred.

How we eat today, our customs, even the fork and knife versus the chopstick, table mannerisms, wedding and funeral events, religious rites, holiday traditions, and foods, and how we associate different foods with different places, all can be traced back to history.

Myths of Where Our Favorite Foods Come From

Where did that tomato come from? Were carrots always orange? Why was the potato initially thought of being evil in Europe? Why were certain Mesoamerica foods considered “foods of the gods?”

How does all this relate to the history of Adirondack food from the Native Americans and pioneers to the Cure Cottage days, the eras of the Great Camps, and today’s local farm movement?

The Five Eras of Adirondack Food

Native American Era

The first peoples in the Adirondack region eventually formed the 6 Nations of the Iroquois Confederacy. Today in the Adirondacks this includes the Akwesasne, founded by the Mohawks. The Mohawks, or Kanien'kehá:ka (“People of the Flint”), were the easternmost people of the Confederacy. Their reverence of nature and the land established ancient sustainable food practices such as the cultivation of the "3 Sisters.”

Approx. 1800s

Pioneer Era

They came for outdoor recreation, to lumber and mine the Mountains, and to get away from it all. Working the Great Camps, guiding, and developing the nascent tourism industry were a few of the many diverse faces of the pioneer period. They lived off the land, they were builders and had one thing they all shared: their love of the Adirondacks. They were proud to be its first "European settlers.” This diversity set the stage for what is the unique and eclectic Adirondack Cuisine today. Yet they all shared 3 Common Roots to today's palette. Can you name them?

Approx. 1800 - 1900

Cure Cottage Era

The story of the Adirondacks can be told in 50 years, from 1850 to 1900. From the remote, arduous journey of the rugged Slyvan Mountains, where it would take you days to travel here, to the trains that linked Lake Clear to New York City, our area blossomed in a unique way. Wellness is one of the Adirondacks oldest and often forgotten economies. Tuberculosis (TB) affected all walks of life and they journeyed here for the clean air and the therapeutic qualities of its trees.

Approx. 1870 - 1950

Grand Hotel Era

The era of extravagance and simplicity evidenced in the complexity of what was the Roaring 20s. From elegant Great Camps and Grand Hotels to rustic lodges and camping. From 5-course dining and black tie dancing to game foods and small farms. This all led to an era that represents the Adirondacks most diverse cuisine. None other typified by the many European immigrants who called this their Adirondack Alps, hence the name of our restaurant, and were instrumental in assisting Lake Placid to be able to host the 3rd Winter Olympic games in 1932.

Approx. 1850 - 1970

Farm to Fork Era

The buy local movement is often perceived as a recent culinary trend. In the Adirondacks, it is in our roots. The remoteness of our area, the harsh conditions, the expense of delivering products necessitated living off the land, artisan farming, and gardening. Fermenting, bone broths and vegetable stocks were all a necessity where the growing season is short - and temperamental. Today, the Adirondacks have experienced a renaissance in local products which range from maple syrup to grass-fed meats and from local wines and beers to exotic vegetables.

Approx. 2000s +

Add On to the Fun!

Add to your experience with our nightly workshops and demonstrations.

Myths, History, & Legends of Ancient Brews & Spirits Tasting

Tonics from the gods, the elixir's by the ancient shamans, rations for the pyramids, beer as gold, a savior of the people. Join us for a 30-minute tasting and exploration of the myths and legends of ancient tonics and how they shaped what we drink today.

Schedule of Themes

This is our tentative schedule of themes for the summer and fall. Please keep in mind that this is for sample purposes only, and the theme is subject to variation and change without notice, based on fresh deliveries and other circumstances.

  • July: Medieval Times: Feasts, Spirits & Knightly Foods
  • August: How Spices Changed History
  • September: History & Myths of German Foods
  • October: Adirondack Fall Fest History Dinner

Reserve Your Experience

Join our family for a distinctive, fresh-cooked tasting journey that transcends time and spans the globe. You can view our current schedule and make reservations below.