30-day homegrown challenge starts with a pop-up dinner!

We've been planning on starting our month of dining as much as possible from our garden and surroundings on June 15th. What we weren't able to announce was how we were starting! - (to see lots of photos of last nights event, go HERE)

The Cheshire Dinner Society planned a fantastic evening of dining at Linwell Farms - under the stars and under the canopy of plum, nectarine and apple trees! Chef Clark Barlowe of Heirloom Restaurant prepared a fantastic dinner - with most of the veg from our garden including cauliflower, yellow squash, green beans, tomatoes, Mandarin and green bell peppers and a bit of Malabar spinach. Also from the garden in dessert, lemon grass, kaffir lime leaves and stevia leaves. He also made a curry from ingredients at the farm for one of the courses, see below.

What Chef Barlowe didn't get from Linwell he procured from nearby local farmers or through foraging. Check out the Heirloom website for a bit more about this outstanding chef, his restaurant and his philosophy - it's always from-to-fork, local, foraged - and often local from his family farm not far outside Charlotte in the town of Lenoir, NC.

Dinner was tongue-in-cheek, and not in the normal sense - but actually so much so. Braised beef cheek and beef tongue were the main course. The dinner menu was:

*Joey & Scott's Salad - veggies from the garden julienned along with foraged painted Belete vinaigrette, Bosky Acres Goat Cheese, and house made brioche "discs"

*FEBA Farm Heirloom Cucumber Soup - Korean inspired Chilled Cucumber Soup - quick pickled cucumbers & cherries, local yogurt

*NC Wild Caught Bluefish Curry - Kaffir lime leaves and curry tree leaves from Linwell Farms blended into a simmered curry, Linwell Farms sweet potatoe leaves, Triple J Farm Sweet potatoes, house made Naan Bread

*Tongue and Cheek - Salem Hills Farm Grass fed Braised Beef Cheek Roulade and Tongue, Bells Best Roasted garlic crushed new potatoes and Linwell Farms Cauliflower made into a galantine (cooked cauliflower whipped then wrapped in it's own steamed leaves - resembled sushi and was one of my favorites for flavor and presentation)

*Kaffir Lime Rosemary Cake - Heart & Sole Honey and White Wine Consumme, House made cake Kaffir Lime Leaf curd and Honey Rosemary Ice Cream.

I can't think of a better way to kick off a month of dining from the yard - in the yard and with amazing food. I have to admit the task of eating all we can from what we can grow or at least get very locally seemed daunting when we first thought of it a couple of months back, but we really want to move towards this as a lifestyle - getting this kind of food, some of the best I've ever had, in this setting changed my mind and now the month is beyond exciting! Oh...and we are heading to Heirloom for dinner tonight!

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