(Editor’s Note: I’m so, so sorry I’m late with this news. Please forgive me.)

Sam Beall Dies at 39

Sam Beall (pronounced Bell), one of the leaders of the farm-to-table culinary movement, died on Feb. 25th. His parents’ country inn, Blackberry Farm, became a national destination for fine dining under his close watch. He was 39 years old. A spokeswoman for the farm said he died in a skiing accident. He is survived by his parents, his wife, Mary Celeste; a son, Sam; four daughters, Cameron, Rose, Josephine and Lila; and a brother, David.

Mr. Beall grew up on the family farm, in the foothills of the Great Smoky Mountains in eastern Tennessee. His father, Samuel E. Beall III, founder of the Ruby Tuesday restaurant chain, bought Blackberry in 1976 and ran it, with his wife, Kreis, as a small country inn.

Studying at the California Culinary Academy, Sam would later work in the restaurant at the Ritz-Carlton hotel in San Francisco, and then at several California wineries. While living there his passion for heirloom ingredients, fine wine and artisanal food began.

Once he returned to Blackberry Farm, he began to make changes; “…he added the Barn, a fine-dining restaurant; the Wellhouse, a spa and health center; and, within the main house, a more casual restaurant, the Dogwood. He also created an ambitious wine program,” reports the New York Times.

Both of the restaurants use the farm’s vegetables, pigs, chicken, cheeses and other ingredients. The farm also employs a master gardener, baker, cheese maker, butcher, jam maker and chocolatier. Ah-mazing…

In 2011 Blackberry Farm was voted the top resort in the continental United States and Canada, by Travel and Leisure. Two years later, Bon Appetit would rate it the best food lover’s hotel in the United States.

We are sad to say goodbye and our hearts go out, even belatedly, to his family.

Source: NY Times