We are so excited that the big night is almost here. This event sold out about a month in advance, a sure testimonial to what a great evening it is. I look back over the years and remember when we were lucky to have a few hundred people show up. One year I was the Chair of the event when it was sponsored by Les Dames d’Escoffier, and we were lucky to have around 35 chefs. We were shocked when we heard a rumor that market founder, Abby Mandel, was calling the chefs in advance and telling them what they were serving was not acceptable. We just could not believe that if a chef wanted to serve something as expensive as soft shell crabs, which we thought quite generous, this choice would be criticized. Who would look a gift horse in the mouth? Abby, if they were serving the wrong menu! There were a few irate chefs, let me tell you. In retrospect, we all now see how far ahead of her time Abby was. Abby ALWAYS got it. All we wanted to do was throw a nice party, have some happy participants and chefs, and raise some money. It needed to go so much further than that. Now, we have evolved to what this food community is really all about. If we want a good farmer’s market, with sustainable or organic product, we all have to support it. The farmers are doing their best for us, but they need everyone to be on board, not just home cooks but restaurant chefs, caterers, even politicians are needed to smooth the path. This group of very talented chefs understands how important their role in helping to educate the public has become, this is their chance to show off their skills and they are happy to share their expertise with you. One of the coolest things about this event, is the opportunity to meet the actual chef in person. All the restaurants send their A team.
Here, one of my very favorite photos from an early bbq, NOT on Abby’s list! Below, some more real local dishes being served tomorrow and some snippets of menu items being served. We will really miss Abby at the BBQ, she was with us just last year. Her work is certainly being carried on.
Here are a few menu items being made tomorrow to tantalize your taste buds.
Mini Braised Duck Rillette Tartines with cauliflower spiced Pecans
Arugula, Fennel and Cherry Salad with Grilled Trout and Heirloon Tomato Viaigrette
Braised Elk with a Salad of Young Lettuce, Kohlrabi, Candied Bulb Onions, Peachs and Tarragon
Lamb Merguez Sausage, Pickled Eggplant Relish, Harissa Aioli
Tacos al Pastor
Pork Sausage “Truffled”, Pickled Ramps and Spinach
BBQ “Bourbon Red” Turkey Sandwiches with Housemade Pickles and Soft Roll
Peach “Cobbler” with Pecan Caramel Ice Cream
Sorghum Cured Pork Belly on Crisp Hominy Cake with Chowder Pea Puree and Chow Chow
Cherry Soup, Lemon Sponge Cake, Lemon Verbena Ice Cream
Bellini Napoleon of Golden Beets and Arugula, Goat Cheese and Flamin’ Fury Mich. Peach Vinaigrette
Goat Summer Sausage Crouton with Apricot Butter
Smoked Fingerling Potato Salad with Grilled Peaches and Pickled Mustard Seeds