Remembering Richard Bean


Photo by O.T. Holen.

On November 27, 2013, Charlottesville lost a giant in the local food community.  Richard Bean, founder of Double H Farm, was one of the area’s earliest and most enthusiastic advocates of the local food movement.  A friend of so many, Richard Bean’s loss was felt throughout Charlottesville, triggering moving tributes in C-VILLE and Daily Progress.  To celebrate Bean’s life, top area chefs and purveyors are each creating a dish in Bean’s honor and adding it to their menu for the week of January 18-25.  Below is a list of participants, and their dishes.  Thank you to local author Jenny Gardiner for spearheading this tribute.  For further updates, follow along on Facebook.

As much as Bean will be missed by the food community, nowhere will his loss be more felt than at Double H Farm itself.  His successors at the farm, including his partner Jean, now face the daunting task of operating the farm without Bean’s dynamic presence.  To help sustain the farm through this difficult period, a Richard Bean memorial fund has been established.  To donate and learn more, go here.

Albemarle Baking Company

Ham and Cheese Croissant
“The longest running item we have at the bakery with a Double H Farm ingredient is our Ham and Cheese Croissant.  It features our house made croissant dough, Double H Farm Ham, and imported Gruyere.  I think of Richard every time I make them.”
– Gerry Newman, owner of Albemarle Baking Company


House-smoked Sausage in Brioche
Local mushroom ragout, baby greens and a farm egg sunny side up

Blue Mountain Brewery

Double H Farms Pickled Ham Hock
Wilted kale, shaved Brussels sprouts,pickled grapes, roasted beets, crumbled goat cheese, and pulled roasted ham hock, finished with hot apple cider vinaigrette
“I can remember the last time I got to talk with Richard, but I can’t remember the first; he was just always there in the life of Blue Mountain, one of our very first and most enthusiastic local food partners. He used to pull his cooler of brats into the brewery-side cooler a few times a week when we were still new and small, and spend time talking with co-founder Matt Nucci—another fellow displaced Northerner—about ice hockey. I look to Richard as a reminder of a man who did what he loved and was always happy and patient with everyone he dealt with…even when they weren’t. Our whole community of local food and beverage makers is something very special, and losing Richard reminds me how small this all started and how many individual people add so much.”
– Taylor Smack, Blue Mountain Brewery

Caromont Farm

Farmer’s Cheese
“Made from Silky Cow Grass Fed Milk, and aged less than 60 days. Double H Farm loved this cheese and I made it for them in 20 lb. batches — with only one caveat…PLEASE don’t pasteurize it….lol ….  I will miss my dear spunky friend.”
– Gail Hobbs-Page, owner of Caromont Farm

Dr. Ho’s Humble Pie

Crossroads Cheeseburger Pie with Double H Andouille Sausage
“It was his favorite pizza. He and Jean ordered it almost every time they came in. It has Highland Farms beef, raw onions, Virginia smoked bacon cheddar, mozzarella, and we will top it with his andouille.”
-Michael McCarthy, chef/owner of Dr. Ho’s


Richard Bean Italian Grinder
Double H Farm sweet Italian sausage cooked with onions and chimichurri peppers in tomato sauce. Served in baguette with melted provolone.
“With a tip of the cap to the chief sausage grinder himself.”
– Eric Gertner, co-owner of Feast!

Foods of All Nations

Hog Heaven
A Sandwich Composed of House Smoked Pork with Onions and Monterey Jack Cheese, Layered with Double H Farms Cured Pork Loin, Bacon, Pickles and Creamy Mustard Sauce on Challah Bread


Lamb Carpaccio
With green bean and shallot salad
“I believe it was 2002 when Richard first asked me if I was interested in local lamb.  He was helping a neighboring farmer by doing the butchering for his sheep and had some of the fresh strip loins available.   I seasoned them lightly with salt and a little curry , gave them a quick sear and then thinly sliced  the loins once they cooled.  I then arranged the lamb slices on the plate with some Double H green beans, vinaigrette and finely diced shallot. That evening at Fleurie, we had a surprise visit from Dale Reitzer, chef/owner of Acacia in Richmond.  Dale is known to have extremely high standards and to be fanatical about sourcing products, particularly proteins.  So when he not only complimented the flavor of the lamb but asked me where it was from, it was a memorable validation of everything Richard was doing.”
-Brian Helleberg, Fleurie chef/owner


Scotch Egg
Double H Farm spicy sausage Scotch egg with ale mustard sauce

The Ivy Inn Restaurant

Double H farm Braised Pork Shank
Sweet potato ravioli, crispy leeks, parsnip puree

“Thanks to my relationship with Richard, I was challenged to come up with different ways to use pork shanks every season.  Richard would complain about having to put them in the sausage if he couldn’t get chefs to get creative and work with all the different parts of the pig.  This is one of my favorites, and I think an appropriate tribute to him.”
– Angelo Vangelopoulos, chef/owner of The Ivy Inn


Polish sour rye soup

“I ate a lot of this as kid.  There is beauty in simplicity.  I think that Richard would approve.”
– Mark Gresge, owner of L’etoile

The Local

Double H BLT 
Roast Double H Farm Pork Belly with Tomato Jam and Arugula Salad

MAS Tapas

Shenandoah Rabbit and Duck Liver Terrine
“Richard was the purest form of ‘terroir’ we have in Central Virginia. Sweet and pugnacious, he and Jean brought so much energy to the local food scene as growers, mentors, and friends. It was a unique honor to have met him, worked with him, known him, fed him. He cannot be replaced.”
– Tomas Rahal, chef/owner of MAS Tapas


Crispy Cured Double H Pork Belly
With fried Double H egg, pinto beans and cornbread
“Old school comfort for this time of year.  Fitting in my mind for the tribute to a man who touched so many people with his amazing pork products,eggs and vegetables. Richard reminded me a lot of my step father who raised me on his dairy farm from the time I was 6. They both had this unwavering, stubborn commitment to hard, no-glove, callous-building work. Every day, don’t ever let up. I love that about my dad and immediately saw that in Bean from the high quality of his products and how passionately he spoke of his ideals.

He was a man’s man too. Loved to give shit and bust balls. He loved getting it back equally. I know first hand as he IS a diehard Redsox fan and I’m a diehard Yankees fan. We would go round for round exchanging blows about who was the better team. Laughing as we spit barbs at one another, I always knew we both relished those times. When he would call me on Tuesdays to get my order, we would talk sports, family, the food fight, and how the hell do we make money at this? He was everything, an advisor, a dad, a Sherpa, a farmer, a leader of a revolution, a husband and most importantly to me,a really good friend.

Once at one of Maya’s local food and wine nights, I was standing in front of all the dinner guests preaching to the choir about the importance of local food. When I got to the part about getting to know the farmers and getting to build relationships with people who produce the food, I said the most important thing in my life is my relationships with people. Richard stood up and started clapping. He felt the same way. Relationships make us who we are. It tells the world what we value and who is important to us. He always drove that home for me. Knowing Richard the way I did was really an honor. He made me look good. Like, I have some really great friends mom, look I can make good decisions.

To say that Richard Bean was one of a kind is an understatement. He was one of the most unique individuals I will ever know. He will be missed without question. But in a way, he will always be here. Living in all of us who he touched. We pass along his beliefs, his work ethic, his generous nature to the next group and so on. To me, that’s heaven and reincarnation.  I love that guy.”
– Christian Kelly, chef/owner of Maya

Petit Pois

Poached Eggs with Sausage Bechamel
Herbs de Provence potatoes (Sunday Brunch)
“We will be serving eggs in Richard’s honor this week at Petit Pois for brunch on Sunday.  Because we loved the enthusiasm Richard had for sausage making and because his was the first breakfast sausage we served there, we will pay tribute with our poached eggs with sausage béchamel and herbs de Provence potatoes.”
– Brian Helleberg, owner of Petit Pois

The Shebeen

Traditional Steak & Lamb Kidney Pie
With samp & beans, and pub vegetables
“Richard and I would often talk offal dishes when he would come by the restaurant. He would get me the cuts that most didn’t care for. 
I think he would have truly enjoyed sitting down to this dish.”
– Walter Slawski, chef/owner of The Shebeen


Pork Spiedini
Grilled pork skewers with arugula, shaved fennel, apple salad
“Growing up in Nelson County I had heard wild stories about the ‘maverick’ farmer over in Wingina. I finally met Richard through Gail Hobbs-Page at the Mark Addy and had the good fortune of working with him and his amazing products at almost every restaurant in my career since. His arugula and pork coupled with apples from Nelson perfectly summarize what we try to accomplish here at Tavola. Thanks for everything Richard.”
– Loren Mendosa, chef of Tavola