Thursday, September 30, 2010

Farm to Table Dinner, This Summer's Last

Poplar Ridge Farm in Waxhaw, NC had the last of their series of 6 Farm to Table dinners tonight. It was the second one I've attended, and I'm already looking forward to next June.

Tonight it rained heavily. 50+ guests and no one bailed due to the weather.  That says a lot! There was a tent over the dining terrace, and the slightest autumn chill in the air.

I invited my realtor, Kim, who's become a friend. She's a native Charlottean, and had not heard of this event. It's fun to surprise a local!

Bonnie Warford, the co-owner of Carpe Diem restaurant in Charlotte, and her Executive Chef Paul Ketterhagen were at the helm in the kitchen. The veggies were grown at Poplar Ridge, the poultry, eggs, cream and goat cheese were sourced very locally.

We sipped Pimm's with cucumber and strawberries while we met our tablemates, one of whom I'd met at the previous dinner.

The menu

First course: Butternut Squash Bisque with Chipotle Croutons, and Grateful Growers Latin-spiced Bacon.
Wine pairing: Brocel Malbec.

The soup was smooth as silk and the chef cured the bacon himself.

When the second course was being prepared, we gathered in the presentation room. The Guest Speaker was Greg Pillar, Asst. Professor of Environmental Science and Chemistry, Queens University of Charlotte. He's partnered with Poplar Ridge Farm for 4 years, bringing students to learn about farming. He gave an interesting talk about growing and eating local food. It was enlightening to see what "one week of food" looks like when photographed in the U.S. and in Peru. No frozen food, cans or packaging at all in the latter...  It showed the *garbage* that we put into our systems and that we literally put into our environment.

Second course: Goat Cheese Panna Cotta, served with a salad of Arugula, Roasted Beets, Radishes, Walnut Pepper Brittle, and Port Wine Vinaigrette
Wine pairing: Jaboulet Cotes du Rhone Blanc

The panna cotta was light and silky, the beets were perfectly roasted. The salad, along with the radish and 'walnut pepper brittle' were a spicy foil.
 Third course: Braised Rhone Chicken au jus with Carmelized Carrots, Fingerling Potatoes and Turnips.
Wine pairing: Lazaret Cotes du Ventoux

This entree screamed, "Autumn!"

 Fourth Course: Anson Mills Carolina Gold Rice Pudding with Roasted Plums and Pistachio Biscotti
Wine Pairing: Volpi Moscadoro Moscato

Flavors and textures--pure perfection!

Kudos to the chefs and to the farm owners and staff for another wonderful collaboration. For a little town, Waxhaw's got some good stuff happening.


  1. I need to know, What is "spicy foil"?!!!

  2. Ha, it is not aluminum. In literature, a foil is a character who contrasts with another character in order to highlight various features of that other character's personality, throwing these characteristics into sharper focus. It's the same with food ;-)