My new friends, Ben Hartman and Rachel Hershberger, are passionate about food in the same way that I am. They hold strong conviction about what is in the the food we eat, how it is grown and handled after harvest, and ultimately how it is prepared. Their passion is clear within just minutes of speaking with them.
As a chef, I always enjoy sharing my love of food with others and celebrating this revolution of fresh, seasonal, local, and sustainable food that is transforming our culture. What better way to celebrate this than a "Farm to Table Dinner?" The concept is to use seasonal ingredients, grown locally and create a communal dinner to support local agriculture. I Love It! And I have no problem tranforming these ingredients to present at the "table." But what about the "farm?" Sure I can grow tomatoes and herbs, but that's about it.
Back to my friends Ben and Rachel…they've got the "farm" part covered. That's how we met in fact. They are the owners of Clay Bottom Farm, an artisan farm located just eight miles east of downtown Goshen, IN.
I was buying produce from Ben for a wedding last summer when he asked me if I would consider providing a meal for some of his CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) customers. I loved the idea and started scheming how we could make this happen. Ben sent me a list of produce that would be available the week of the dinner and I set out to craft a menu to showcase the best of our area's farms and artisans. I sourced meats, cheeses, and even coffee, all locally…it was all the best of the best.
The dinner was a success! We had a great time sharing what we do with others and enjoying all this land had to offer. Contact me via my e-mail form under the 'contact viand' tab, and I will add your name to my email list for this year's exclusive Viand dinners, by invitation only. Photo Credit: Cyd Gallery