Wednesday, July 27, 2011

More Dirt

Last week I wrote a post titled One Night [Farm] Stands about a couple of special fieldside dinners. Turns out there’s a veritable bumper crop of chefs going rural this summer. More meals cooked and served where animals are raised and produce is grown are scheduled for August, so I’m spreading the word.

Jim Denevan, founder of Outstanding in the Field, is the unofficial granddaddy of the forks-in-the-field concept. He started doing it in California in 1999 and later took the events on the road, partnering with acclaimed regional chefs around the country. The bus (there really is one) stops at Thaxton’s Organic Garlic, a picturesque 10-acre spread in Hudson on Friday, Aug. 5, 2011. Fred Thaxton, a science teacher at Cleveland Heights High School, and wife Lisa, in the same profession, started planting as a hobby in 2000. They now harvest a dozen varieties that are prized by local chefs and sold at area farmers markets. The menu is in the more-than-able hands of our own Jonathon Sawyer, of Greenhouse Tavern and Noodlecat fame, so no doubt the food will be extraordinary. garlic harvest at Thaxton family farm

But be prepared for some sticker shock: The price, $180 per person, is set by Denevan’s organization, not Sawyer. If this doesn’t scare you off, best to make your reservations immediately to be sure of getting a seat at the communal table.

Next up is an Emerging Chefs shindig on the evening of Friday, Aug. 19, with Kimberly McCune. She’s the founder/owner, with partner Scott Roitblat who’ll be cooking with her, of Vine and Dine, a company that offers catering and personal chef services with an emphasis on healthy, locally sourced products. They’re calling this casual family-style supper in Geauga County ReHival because McCune is introducing her very own microbrew, ReHive Ale. It will be produced by Buckeye Beer Engine and available to the public in September, which just happens to be national honey month. But guests at this “Return to Earth Dinner” on Meadowlane Farms in Newbury, five minutes from Chardon, will get first sips of these suds along with dishes made from ingredients gathered within a 50 mile radius of where you’ll be eating. Go to the website to purchase tickets ($69.57 each and get information about overnight accommodations.

Plated Landscapes, the on-the-farm dinner series created by Ben Bebenroth of Spice of Life Catering, has been going strong since 2006. These well-planned and perfectly executed multicourse feasts combine the trappings of fine dining with the laid-back beauty of natural settings. He has three scheduled for this month that aren’t sold out … yet: Saturday, Aug. 13, Muddy Fork Farm in Wooster; Friday, Aug. 19, Auburn Twin Oaks Winery in Auburn; and Friday, Aug. 26, Morgan Farm Stay in Ashland. To make reservations, get driving and ask questions about the menus, call 216-432-9090 or email with the subject "Plated Landscapes." Check out the online calendar to see what’s planned for September and October.
Muddy Fork Farm, Plated Landscapes, 2010

1 comment:

Something White said...

We LOVE Spice of Life and their Plated Landscapes are amazingly delicious!