Monday, August 1, 2011

Peaches & Tango..... a Dinner in the Orchard

Peaches & Tango was an event created by the amazing folks at Frog Hollow Farm. This dinner was designed so that guests could dine surrounded by fruit trees while raising money for The Edible Schoolyard.

I was lucky enough to become friends with the farm before this event came to fruition and I happily jumped on board to help.  My role for this farm to table event was to help source ingredients, be one of the Chefs for the evening as well as get the kitchen ready for the guest Chef, Richard Blais.  I snapped this picture earlier in the day while Farmer Al was tasting the pork belly that would be part of the night's dinner. He was extremely pleased.

Here is how the field looked earlier in the day.

The white tent below would turn into an outdoor kitchen set up near the tables so guests could watch the chefs create each dish as the evening went on. And see those large silver tanks off to the left?

Yeah, those are liquid nitrogen.

Late in the afternoon I snuck out to the orchard again to see how the set up was going and was amazed at the transformation.

We did a lot of prep during the day and part of that included creating horseradish pearls that would go on top of the oysters. This meant dropping a horseradish cream into a bucket of liquid nitrogen, which instantly froze it into drops.

We had never worked with liquid nitrogen before but Amy jumped right in and got it going.

As the sun began to set, the guests started to arrive and really brought the dinner to life.  The evening started with passed hors d'oeuvres of Hog Island Oysters, Pimento Cheese Sandwiches and Beet tar tare. 

Then the guests sat down, the Tango started to play and we moved into the heart of the menu.

Here are the courses that were served:
Course One - Chilled Hiramasa with fried chicken skin, smoked aioli and pickled radishes
(image by Carolyn Jung/Food Gal)

Course Two - Cutlet of Petrale with cherry tomato and raisin butter
(image by Carolyn Jung/Food Gal)

Course Three - Grilled Pork Belly with cauliflower and peaches
(image by Carolyn Jung/Food Gal)

And then for dessert, we made a Frog Hollow plum ice cream scooped into cones by Ici in Berkeley.

I heard from so many people about how great the dinner was and how much they enjoyed being at the farm by candlelight. 

And everyone enjoyed meeting Chef Richard Blais.  He was truly gracious with every request for a picture and questions about his time on Top Chef. He was a pleasure to work with. And even at the end of a very long day when we all were so tired, he stopped for a picture with me as well.

I am really looking forward to the next event, who knows, it could be Pears & Salsa or Olives & Mambo. Whatever it is, I want to be there.

1 comment:

Barbara Lopez @Brightfarm said...

Wow, Andrea! It looks like it was a great event! You are one hard worker!