Born in Pittsfield, raised in Stockbridge on an old farm, Chef Amy Loveless is a true Berkshire native. Amy’s mother, once a cook for Norman and Molly Rockwell, encouraged Amy’s interest in the kitchen, passing down recipes and methods of traditional, rural American fare. Baking, cooking, canning and pickling were a way of life, and Amy took to it instinctively. Amy’s mother, a Californian of Mennonite heritage, had a bigger world picture of food, cooking Mexican, Eastern European, and European dishes. Thus, from an early age Amy was pushed to explore flavors and techniques from other regions of the world – a trait that would later become the cornerstone of Chef Amy’s style.
Amy’s father also had a tremendous influence. For her 10th birthday her wish was indulged, and she was given two baby pigs. Later, on her 13th birthday, she received a little Jersey cow. It was her father that instilled the idea in her that if you don’t grow it, you could find a nearby farm that does, or gather it from our natural surroundings. He taught her the importance of soil, nutrients, seasonality and harvests. Foraging, tending vegetable and herb gardens, caring for poultry and livestock, and using the bounty were all part of Amy’s daily life growing up. For Amy, ‘Farm to Table’ was a way of life, an ethic, long before it became the catch phrase of today.
By her mid-teens, Amy started to see cooking and baking not just as her life’s passion, but her truest vocation. It was engaging and exciting to her. Her first business venture was sourcing ethnic and gourmet ingredients from the boroughs of New York City, and “importing” them to the food culturally hungry Berkshires. She saw local favorites like Alice’s Restaurant achieve iconic status which helped give her the confidence to take her homegrown skills and passion for fresh, honest food and turn it into her profession. At just 24, Amy purchased Suchele Bakers in Lenox, the first artisan bakery in the Berkshires. For more than a decade she immersed herself in from-scratch pastry, cake, and bread baking, making a name for herself throughout Berkshire County.
In 1994, having sold her bakery, Amy branched out to start her own catering business. For many years she catered special events for a diverse Berkshire clientele, and freelanced, creating and producing menus for places like The Terrace Café at The Mount, Edith Wharton’s home in Lenox. It was during this period of her career that Amy continually refined her rural American style, and expanded it with still more adventurous styles from different parts of the world – from European, to Mexican, South East Asian, North African, Indian and beyond.
Today, Amy’s rich history and eclectic approach to good food is equally matched with the rich history and eclectic setting of the Dream Away Lodge in Becket. Head Chef since 2008, she has made the Dream Away a unique yet homey, honest-to-goodness dining destination that is to be long remembered. On every seasonal menu, in each dish and dessert, patrons can find a part of Amy’s life and history, and a unique slice of the Berkshires.