August is usually prime time for eating out of doors, and last night, at ManoRun Organic Farms, the weather didn’t let our merry band of diners down. All day, I had wondered about rain and it was overcast as I drove towards Copetown. But as soon as I parked the car near the big red barn, the sky cleared up and the late afternoon sun gilded the fields so that all looked as peaceful and pastoral as a Constable painting.
The event, of course, was the “The Oak Savannah — A Story Told in Five Courses”, the moveable feast put on by Chris Krucker and Denise Trigatti at ManoRun Farms, with food by Chef Ken LeFebour of Nellie James Gourmet to Go, wine by Flat Rock Cellars and accompanying artworks by Dave Hind. I would guesstimate that there were about 75 happy and hungry guests who made the pilgrimage to the farm and I thought you might enjoy a picture story of the evening’s events:
The guests were organized into three groups — just for logistical reasons — but that also made it easy to chat and make new friends. Dinners (three separate dinners — yes, we were very full by the end!) were served to us by the charming young interns on the farm and we ate at three different stations. Throughout the evening, everyone trekked around the farm to have a look at where our food came from and to experience the artworks which surprised us at every turn.
Apparently the mushroom spores are put into holes drilled in the oak logs and then sealed with bees wax. There are no visible mushrooms because they had all been harvested for one of the courses of our dinner.
The different types of mushrooms were served with blue corn polenta. Chris Krucker made the point that corn is symbolic of the very best, most authentic, traditional food that we can eat but also the most notorious genetically modified crop.
As the sun went down, we began to wonder if we should have worn ski jackets (or long underwear). The fair trade, organic coffee from Coffeecology definitely hit the spot. And the dessert was exceptional: a black walnut tart made by Chef Ken from real, very scarce, black walnuts. What an interesting combination of flavours: The pungent, earthy taste of the walnuts was a perfect foil for the tart bite of the crême fraiche and the sweetness of the ManoRun maple syrup.
A big thank you to all who worked so hard to create this magical evening. And a reminder, that artist Dave Hind will be having a special event on September 20th at ManoRun. Keep your eye on the website.