For food lovers who embrace the local and sustainable eating philosophy, Oustanding in the Field is a rare opportunity to literally experience farm-to-table (or shall we say table-to-farm?) dining. Here, Fresh Tart gives us a look at one such event in Minnesota.
Tickets for Outstanding in the Field 2012 — August 9, at Little Foot Farm in Afton, Minnesota — are on sale. I bought a ticket and then thought, Hey! I should post the pictures I took at the 2011 event, at Riverbend Farm in Delano . . . last July . . .
Yeah. In fact I have several pretty posts in the queue, waiting for me to dust them off and share them. I guess it takes a looming one-year anniversary to kick my butt into gear.
For more pictures — including those of the farm and, of course, the lovely Summer food! — keep reading.
Or a new batch of pics! I tagged along just this week to Little Foot Farm with host chefs Mike Phillips and Scott Pampuch as they scoped the site for this summer's event and chatted through the menu. Stay tuned this coming week for more information, a recipe, and some fun pics, both here and on TC Taste/Minnesota Monthly Magazine.
Until then, here's a mere fraction of my snaps from last year's shindig, taken while eating, drinking, talking, and running around like a sundress-clad lunatic. Damn I had fun, particularly because I was lucky enough to attend with two of my favorite people in the world, Debbie & Stuart Williams. The three of us attempted the 2010 event but were too late to the game. I put myself on the mailing list so we wouldn't miss the next go-round and I swear we were the first to buy tickets.
It turns out that July 26 was one of the prettiest days of the whole of last summer. Riverbend Farm was nothing short of breathtaking in the late afternoon sun, sparkly and lush and golden. Stu did his wine genius thing, handing out glasses of deliciousness mere minutes after arriving.
He's good that way.
While we all enjoyed pretty cocktails in the shade of hosts Mary & Greg Reynolds' front lawn, the crew was putting the finishing touches on the signature Outstanding in the Field table, snaking its way in this case through a wheat field with a lovely view of the river (bend!).
It's the best fun of all for me to see the crew pull the meal together, having a blast while working their asses off, crafting a gorgeous meal out of fire and freshness. It's a sight to behold, truly.
Cucumber Salad with Goat Milk Creme Fraiche, Mint, Basil, Shaved Onion & Tomato
Field Salad of Greens, Soft-Boiled Eggs & Summer Vegetables
Braised Goat with Cornmeal Cake, Chile-Stewed Turtle Beans, Mustard Greens & Pickled Vegetables, my favorite dish of all of 2011. Divine.
Thousand Hills Grass-Fed Skirt Steak, Wood-Roasted Potatoes, Radishes, Green Beans & Chimichurri
I might have spilled my wine. And pissed off the wine gods for my wastefulness . . . look at the angry eyes in that stain! Luckily no one snapped a pic of my dress hung up on the back of my chair. Between that move and posing for pics in the middle of the wheat field, I had a pretty mosquito-bitten arse. Utterly deserved for being such a dork, of course.
And so totally worth it.
This Chanterelle Mushroom Ice Cream (recipe below), with Black Trumpet Caramel Shortbread, Morel Sugar & Toasted Wheatberries, blew my mind with its layers of earthy, creamy sweetness. A collaboration between forager Kathy Yerich and chef Scott Pampuch, I've thought and talked somewhat obsessively about it all year long.
As you'll see in my next two posts, preparations for the August 9 event are already well under way. See you there?
Chanterelle Ice Cream
Chef Scott Pampuch
Makes 1 quart
Note: Start the ice cream the day before you plan to serve it.
1 c. (8 oz.) egg yolks (about 10-12 large yolks)
4 oz. dried chanterelle mushrooms, crushed with a rolling pin
2 1/2 c. heavy cream (like Cedar Summit)
1 1/2 c. whole milk
1 1/4 c. granulated sugar
1 tsp. vanilla
1 tsp. salt
Freeze the bowl of your ice cream maker per manufacturer instructions, at least a full 24 hours before you spin the ice cream.
Add the egg yolks to a small bowl and whisk a bit to break apart the yolks. Leave whisk in the bowl and set aside.
Combine mushrooms, cream, milk, and sugar in a large saucepan. Set pan over medium heat and warm the mixture, stirring constantly, until sugar dissolves (do not simmer).
Temper the egg yolks by slowly whisking one of warm cream into the yolks. Slowly whisk the egg yolk-cream mixture back into the pan of cream. Stir in the vanilla and salt. Cool mixture to room temperature, then cover and chill overnight.
When you're ready to churn the ice cream, working quickly so the cream stays very cold, strain the mixture through a fine-mesh strainer, pressing down on the solids to extract all of the cream and flavor (discard solids). Immediately transfer mixture to the frozen bowl of your ice cream maker and spin according to manufacturer instructions (usually around 30 minutes). Transfer ice cream to an airtight container and freeze until ready to serve.
Topping ideas: Think salty-sweet-crunchy, like granola, toffee, or caramel popcorn . . .