Phoebe Cole-Smith’s love of farming was kindled at her family’s farm in Illinois, stoked at The Putney School (a working farm) in Vermont, and continues to be fueled at DIRT ROAD FARM in Weston, Connecticut, which she owns and operates with her husband, Mike Smith. She is the chef behind PICNIC which hosts farm-to-table barn suppers and private culinary experiences. Her affinity for cooking began in childhood with appreciation for her mother’s hearty, seasonal, made-from-scratch fare. Her palate was cultivated through early years of restaurant work during high school summers and throughout college, as well as on her travels throughout the US and abroad. She also credits her appreciation of food with exposure to the high/low dining she encountered living in New York City during the 80s and early 90s — first, while working in book publishing on an extremely limited salary (pizza + pierogis), then later as a sales rep in the commercial film industry with an unlimited expense account (truffles + foie gras). Her formal training at The French Culinary Institute (now ICC) in NYC led to an internship at the restaurant Blue Hill at Stone Barns Center for Food and Agriculture. Phoebe sits on the Board of the Fairfield County Farm Bureau, is a member of CT NOFA, Chefs Collaborative, the Backyard Beekeepers Association and is a past member of the Town of Weston CT Select Committee for Sustainability. Her children, Sophie Cole and Walker Cole live and work in the film industry in Los Angeles, California.