Our Story & Beliefs
Woods Hill Table is the culmination of operating owner Kristin Canty and Chef Charlie Foster's passions: food, family farms, and sustainable sourcing. Working in tandem with The Farm at Woods Hill located in Bath, NH – and other small local purveyors, Kristin and Chef Charlie Foster focus on grass-fed proteins, raw milk cheeses and organic produce in dishes that call upon the best ecologically viable ingredients available. Through careful attention to every element of an ingredient’s journey from farm to plate, Chef Charlie Foster provides Woods Hill Table guests with food that is both flavorful and sustainable. All elements of the restaurant demonstrate the high quality that can only be achieved through complete dedication to both craft and thoughtful sourcing.
Woods Hill Table is also proud to be the first restaurant in the USA to receive three coveted stars from the Sustainable Restaurant Association.
Proprietor & Operator
Charles R. Foster
Executive Chef - Charles r. foster
Charlie's love affair with food began in Spain, working as a personal chef for the Guinness family. Learning to make authentic Spanish ‘tortilla’ from a woman 60 years his senior, and building a relationship with a local farmer who delivered vegetables so fresh they were still warm from the sun, Charlie learned early to focus on where the food he serves is coming from, who is preparing it, and knowing the story of each ingredient he uses.
Upon his return from Spain to Boston he was immediately hired by Chef Ken Oringer to help open the chef’s new tapas restaurant, Toro. Within a year Charlie was promoted to chef de partie in Oringer’s flagship Boston restaurant, Clio, where he worked alongside a gifted chef who has had a major influence on his culinary style.
Seeking to further refine his technique, he traveled to Europe for several months to work at Frantzen/Lindeberg in Stockholm, Sweden and In de Wulf in Dranouter, Belgium. Charlie then found himself at Daniel Boulud’s DBGB, quickly rising to the position of Executive Chef. While there, Charlie focused on the importance of merging French technique with impeccable sourcing, perfectly preparing him for the challenges of opening Woods Hill Table in Concord, Massachusetts.
proprietor & Operator - Kristin canty
is a nationally acclaimed filmmaker; farm owner; avid supporter of small farming, nutrient dense and ancestral foods; and the owner of the Boston area farm-to-table restaurant Woods Hill Table. Known for her documentary, Farmageddon – The Unseen War on American Family Farms and a much sought after speaker on a range of local food and farming issues, Canty’s restaurant, Woods Hill Table is the culmination of her passions: food, family farms, sustainable sourcing and ancestral health.
Working in tandem with Canty’s Bath, NH farm – The Farm at Woods Hill – and other small scale purveyors, Woods Hill Table celebrates the ancestral diet through sustainable sourced local ingredients and utilizing “the whole animal” approach. The menu features grass-fed proteins, sustain-ably caught fish, raw milk cheeses, locally grown and soaked organic grains, raw fermented foods and organic produce to deliver nutrient dense dishes that employ the best ecologically viable ingredients available.
Farmageddon – The Unseen War on American Family Farms has been lauded by The New York Times, Los Angeles Times and the Washington Post. Kristin lives in Concord, MA with her husband, Jim Canty and their four children.
Chef de Cuisine
Chef de Cuisine Benjamin LaBarre Peacock began his career at the renowned Culinary Institute of America Hyde Park. From there Chef Ben worked his way up through the ranks at Menton becoming a Sous-Chef and then later taking on a series of stagieres through the kitchens of Bordeaux. Ben has been working with the Woods Hill Table team since 2016
Beverage Director Andrew Rich began his career in the kitchens of the renowned L'espelier. Soon Andrew would join the ranks at the 4-star Menton restaurant as a expediter where he fell in love with wine under the tutelage of Cat Silirie. Andrew would then move on to Babbo's Seaport expansion where he took on the role as Sommelier before joining the team at Woods Hill Table in 2017
Sous Chef & Butcher
Farm at Woods Hill
Bath New Hampshire
Purchased by Kristin Canty in 2013, The Farm at Woods Hill is one of myriad examples of the Canty family’s commitment to eating sustainable sourced food. Today, it also serves as the source of food and inspiration for Chef Charlie Foster at Woods Hill Table. The Farm at Woods Hill and lead farmer Amber Reed is responsible for raising cows, pigs, broiler chickens, laying hens, lambs, and growing blueberries, garlic, pumpkins, apples and more. The 360 acre property also boasts beehives,and 200 mushroom logs that sprout mushroom varietals including oyster, shiitake, lion’s mane and maitake. Though they are still working towards USDA certification, the farm has been practicing organic since they began planting in 2013.
The Lodge at The Farm at Woods Hill
The Lodge at Woods Hill Farm is a spectacular 3200 sq foot log cabin overlooking a swimming pond in the peaceful hills of western New Hampshire. The mountain getaway was built for the famous 1950's singer, Patti Page, who was known for Tenesse Waltz.
The cabin is surrounded by miles of hiking/skiing/snowshoeing trails, so bring your boots, skis, and snowshoes. The cabin is 28 miles to Loon Mountain and Cannon Mountain Ski Resorts; 39 miles to Mt. Washington and 15 miles to the Appalachian Trail. The cabin is available for a romantic getaway, a ski weekend with friends, a family vacation, or an executive retreat.
Please visit our page on VRBO for cabin availability
Commitment to the
Planet & COmmunity
Woods Hill Table was created for the purpose of social and environmental sustainability with the belief that what we eat can better both our lives and the planet. We believe our actions impact not only our guests but the much larger global community. So it has been our continuous goal reinvest and to improve how we run our business, serve our guests and run an environmentally friendly and organically managed farm. We believe that positive environmental impact and the health and well-being of our guests is not accomplished by preaching but executing a high quality of product for our community. All of our restaurants under the guidance of Kristin Canty, Charlies Foster and Jason Doo strictly practice the following social, health, and environmental initiatives and are continually researching new and better practices:
First, as much from our own farm: We believe that to have the best control over quality and environmental impact, our team must understand the entire process from seed to plant and from birth to slaughter. By raising, butchering, and serving animals that have been pastured raised in such a manner that promotes both animal health and environmental health, we create a product that is healthier, cleaner, and in turn more nourishing for humans.
Healthy fats: The worst type of dietary fat is the kind known as trans fat, a byproduct of a hydrogenation that is used to turn healthy oils into solids to artificially extend their shelf-life, turning healthy vegetable oils into unhealthy saturated fats. Trans fats increase harmful LDL cholesterol in the bloodstream and reduce the amount of beneficial HDL cholesterol. Trans fats also cause inflammation that leads to heart disease, stroke, diabetes, and other chronic conditions. They contribute to insulin resistance, which increases the risk of developing type 2 diabetes. Even the smallest doses of trans fats can be detrimental to health. The Harvard Health Publishing has stated that: “2% of calories from trans fat consumed daily, the risk of heart disease rises by 23%. Trans fats have no known health benefits and that there is no safe level of consumption.”
To counter the ubiquitous use of man-made unhealthy trans fats in the American diet our culinary team led by Chef Charlie Foster only utilizes natural polyunsaturated fats, for all of our cooking. Polyunsaturated fat is found in our organic sunflower seed oil and our California grown organic olive oil Chef Charlie uses throughout his cooking.
Let it be Local: As we own and manage our own organic farm, we also strive to work with local farmers as much as possible during the short and temperamental New England growing season. Not only does working with local farms compliment what we grow and raise on our own farm but we strongly believe in supporting our local communities. By using as much local product as possible there is a dramatic reduction in the energy needed for transportation and periods of refrigeration. We also believe in using local and American made products throughout the restaurant including our cooking ranges, plates, glassware and even our steak knives are made in Massachusetts with 100% recycled paper handles mixed with a non-toxic resin for durability. Below are just some of the awesome Massachusetts farms we support and trust to provide our guests with great organic produce.
Sustainable Seafood: While most seafood may be ‘legal’ to serve, most fish found on restaurant menus are near extinction or the methods for harvest have a negative environmental impact on our oceans. Woods Hill Table has, since 2015, only served species of fish that are Monterey Bay Aquarium’s Seafood Watch Program for ‘Best Choices’. Read more about the science and conservation work by the Monterey Bay Aquarium at: www.seafoodwatch.org. No Trawling, Ever: Considered to be one of the most harmful fishing techniques, bottom trawling is a common industrial method of fishing which utilizes large nets weighted with ballasts that are dragged along the seafloor. This process rakes up and crushes everything on the seabed from fish to corals. This style of fishing is indiscriminate and often species at risk of extinction are caught and discarded (often dead after the trauma of being dragged in the nets).
Marine Stewardship Council Certification: As a restaurant, we cannot be MSC certified without significant economic investment, however all salmon that Chef Charlie Foster originates from the Marine Stewardship Council Certified Saithe Fishery in Iceland. Please read more about the conservation work and science behind the MSC certification at: https://www.msc.org/
Fair Trade and Organic Coffee and Tea: All of our Coffee and Tea are purchased from roasters who are only work with 100% certified organic coffee from FLO registered Cooperatives that purchase directly from the coops, not through middlemen. We require that all of our roasters purchase their raw coffee beans at or above the international Fair Trade price and that they use a portion of their proceeds to fund projects with their coffee cooperative partners. All of our roasters must commit to an independent, 3rd party, public audit of Fair Trade practices.
Fair Trade is a global movement made up of a diverse network of producers, companies, advocates, and organizations putting people and planet first.
We at Fair Trade USA believe that everyone wants to do what’s right – for their families, fellow global citizens, and the planet. That’s why we’re committed to making the right choices the most obvious ones. Based on the simple idea that the products we buy and sell are connected to the livelihoods of others, Fair Trade is a way to make a conscious choice for a better world. A choice for Fair Trade Certified™ goods is a choice to support responsible companies, empower farmers, workers, and fishermen, and protect the environment. In other words, it’s a world-changing way of doing business.
Organic Food: Everything from the oil used to cook our french fries to the semolina in our handmade pasta is certified organic. Kristin Canty, Chef Charlie Foster and Jason Doo choose to use organic not because there was demand from our guests, instead they choose to go organic because they believe deeply in the quality of organic produce and the positive effect it has on the planet and local community. Though some products remain difficult to source organically and some small local farmers may ‘organically manage’ their farms but are unable to afford the certification, we are proud to say that over 75 percent of all the ingredients we source come from organic farms with the goal of 80 percent of all ingredients to be organic certified. For us organic isn’t a marketing tool, it is a deeply held belief by the entire team.
USDA oversees organic farmers and businesses to make sure that organic food is produced with organic methods. Each year, organic farmers update a farm plan and complete an inspection to confirm that their practices match their records. The farmer must correct any issues to continue certification. Organic food processors meet similar requirements.
Organic farms and processors:
1. Preserve natural resources and biodiversity
2. Support animal health and welfare
3. Provide access to the outdoors so that animals can exercise their natural behaviors
4. Only use approved materials
5. Do not use genetically modified ingredients
6. Receive annual onsite inspections
7. Separate organic food from non-organic food
GMO Free certified ingredients: GMO stands for genetically modified organism. This term broadly refers to any product which has been genetically engineered to provide a trait that normally would not occur in nature. This can include a resistance to a invasive pest or a resistance to a pesticide. We acknowledge that most foods we consume have been altered for the better (whether through selective breeding or in a laboratory). However we recognize the controversies and the potential health risks, including: allergies, antibiotic resistance, and unknown effects. So while the benefits of GMOs to agricultural output are unquestioned, the long-term impact of genetically modified organisms on the environment and our bodies has not been adequately studied according to the The Office of Science at the U.S. Department of Energy. As a result we have decided to only use non-GMO ingredients certified by the Non-GMO Free Project, if you would like to learn more about the non-GMO certification process please visit: https://www.nongmoproject.org.
Raw Milk Cheese: For all of our cheese platters we serve only raw milk cheese. Raw milk means that the milk has not been treated with heat in the form of pasteurization. The process of heating the milk is to destroy microorganisms and was developed by Louis Pasteur in 1864. Pasteur worked primarily with fermentation and the spoilage of wine, while it was the German chemist Franz von Soxhlet who applied the concept of heat treatment to milk in order to destroy bacteria. The FDA defines pasteurization of milk at 145 F for 30 minutes or 161 F for 15 minutes. Either method is sufficient to kill the common pathogens that can cause illness. There are many instances of both raw and pasteurized milk cheese causing illness due to improper sanitation, production, storage, or handling. However if the producer takes care of a healthy herd, creates a clean and sterile milk collection, storage, handling, and production environment we find that raw milk makes for a complex product that may be more easily digested, and may reduce a person's risk of developing lactose intolerance. Raw milk products still contain their enzymes that naturally help to break down the fats, sugars and minerals in milk for easier digestion that would have otherwise been removed in the pasteurization process. However we suggest that young children, expecting mothers, and those with weakened immune systems do not consume raw milk products as the benefits may not justify the potential risk of illness. We suggest that guests consult their doctor for advice on this matter. Below are just a few of the awesome New England dairy farms we have the pleasure of working with:
Pasture Raised really means pasture raised: All of our animals don’t just have ‘access’ to pasture, but they are truly pasture raised on 360 acres of farmland at the Farm at Woods Hill. Our farm team led by Amber Reed rotates our mobile chicken coops every day (to prevent the build-up of nitrogen in the soil), our heritage Tamworth, Berkshire Black, and Red Wattle pigs roam the local woods foraging, our sheep freely roam the local pastures and woods protected by our prized Llama, and our Angus cattle feed freely among a old Christmas tree farm. All of our animals freely graze and do not see the inside of a barn except in winter where we provide shelter cushioned with organic and un-sprayed hay.
Composting and Recycling: All of the waste from Woods Hill Table is either composted or recycled. We have worked diligently with our purveyors and partners to ensure that no non-recyclable products are brought into the restaurant(s) or farm facilities. When possible the restaurant and farm provides reusable packaging for purveyor deliveries to further remove waste. Pulpers: We utilize waste pulpers which grind up food scraps with water, then extract most of the liquid to produce a semi-dry, solid mass, reducing the volume 8 to 1. The material then gets transported to a compost facility which, as a result, minimizes the amount of waste that gets sent to the landfills, and also cuts down on transportation and disposal costs.
Composting Disposables: Woods Hill Table only offers environmentally sustainable and compost alternatives, such as containers made entirely from potato starch or sugar cane that are 100% compost friendly. We are also committed to not use single use plastic products such as straws and since opening have only used metal straws.
Supplier Code of Conduct
Kristin Canty, Chef Charlie Foster and Jason Doo understand the importance of transparency to our guests, especially regarding the food they are consuming. So below you will find a PDF copy of our Supplier Code of Conduct that each of our suppliers sign when becoming a purveyors for Woods Hill its subsidiaries and partners.