What's involved in a "farm to table" event?
The general concept is: you as an eater go out to the farm and eat the food at its source. In other cities, they'll bring out guest chefs to work with the farmers, but another thing that makes this Riverplains dinner special is the growers, Jennifer Niceley and Anna Niceley Barreiro, are also producing the dinner.
How'd you come up with the idea?
It's a popular concept in other, more obvious places, like Northern California where they are very clearly at the source of a lot of their food. Here, we're also at the source of a lot of our food, but it's not necessarily a dominant conversation. I had read about it, noticed the level of interest, and I approached Jennifer about being the host.
What's looking good on the event menu?
It's not a specific food item per se—I'm just excited about the whole concept of being able to have a dinner that is produced almost entirely on one small family farm. One thing Riverplains has that most of these other farm-to-table dinners don't is they produce grain—spelt—and they produce meat. Our shopping list for 30 people had only about 10 items, and they were all spices and some oils.
Is this mostly a one-time nostalgic event? Or could the idea seize hold and become an every weekend thing?
There are a number of places across the country that have restaurants based on this concept, and it could definitely be viable here. We have a really long growing season, meat producers, cheese producers, bakers.
Since the tickets are virtually sold out, how can those who aren't attending support the farm-to-table concept?
Just by supporting farmers every week who come out to the farmers markets, cooking with those ingredients in the day to day. And my company, Mockingbird Events, we'll have more events like this.
With the same farm, or different ones?
A little bit of both, I hope.
For more information:mockingbird-events.com