Local Hero Profile: Max’s Tavern

“Local makes the most sense—not just because it’s local, but because it’s fresher. I am trying to find the best ingredients and the two go hand in hand.” - John Thomas

“Local makes the most sense—not just because it’s local, but because it’s fresher. I am trying to find the best ingredients and the two go hand in hand.” – John Thomas

Manager John Thomas got his start at Max’s Tavern fifteen years ago making pizza in the kitchen, and Chef Paul Roberge came on board thirteen years ago, initially as sous chef and now as executive chef. Both John and Paul are strongly committed to supporting local farms, and one glance at Max’s menu reveals a bounty of locally grown produce.

Chef Paul shops at the Forest Park Farmers’ Market every Tuesday to pick up the freshest produce and make connections with farmers. They also get weekly deliveries of local produce from Red Fire Farm in Granby, MA, The Garlic Farm in Granby, CT, The Kitchen Garden in Sunderland, and others. Local produce is not always the easiest or cheapest option, says John, but without question, the quality is unmatched.

What is your favorite part of your job?

John: “The people who come through the door. The vibe and energy— there are always new, fresh faces.”

Chef Paul: “I spend so much time managing and doing other things that my favorite part is actually getting to cook!”

Chef Paul Roberge

Chef Paul Roberge

Did you know?

Max’s organizes “Chef to Farm” dinners with Rosedale Farms & Vineyards in Simsbury, CT in the Summer and Fall. You can make a reservation at maxcheftofarm.com.

How do you want people to feel at Max’s Tavern?

John: “We want people to feel the great hospitality and the great service we’re proud to offer.”

A taste of local on the menu:

Try Max’s Caprese salad, with fresh, flavorful tomatoes from The Garlic Farm!

CREDIT ZOE ELKIN

Photo: Zoe Elkin

Max’s Tavern supports Red Fire Farm

Farmers: Ryan and Sarah Voiland

Story: Red Fire Farm has been growing certified organic produce since 2001. They offer a wide range of vegetables, fruit, flowers, and bedding plants at their two farm stand locations in Montague and Granby. You can also find their produce at the Springfield and Northampton Tuesday farmers’ markets, by shopping at local retailers like Green Fields Market or River Valley Co-op, or by signing up for a CSA share. Organic farming practices, supporting the local food economy, public education, and land preservation are core values that farmers Ryan and Sarah bring into their farming practices.

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