Epic (Sustainable, Farm-to-Table) Meal Time: The Highlight of AHS 2012
This years Ancestral Health Symposium was one that attendees will not soon forget. The speakers were excellent, the vendor booths awesome and for a venue, Harvard could not have been a better pick. Robb did an excellent podcast highlighting some of what this years conference had to offer; and many of the presentations will be available for online viewing soon. Although the conference itself was great, it is not the piece of the trip that sticks out most prominently in the minds of those of us fortunate enough to have attended the “Sustainable Dish” Farm-to-Table Feast hosted by Diana Rodgers in her barn at Clark Farm.
Not only was every component of the dinner (food and wine) local it was also all sustainably produced. The event was catered by Chive Events a local catering company that strives to provide sustainable, zero waste events. And I have to say, they did an outstanding job! Additionally, a raffle was held with all proceeds benefiting Land For Good, an organization that supports and assists local farmers in the New England region.
This event really drove home all of the concepts that are so heavily emphasized in the paleo/primal communities. We can talk research, facts and figures all day – but actually putting the words into action is key to making progress. Practical application – demonstrating how local, sustainable, real food can be incorporated into our lives and be damn tasty to boot is what it will take to coerce the masses and change the world. Diana and all those that made this event possible serve as shining examples for how to do this and how to do it right!
And now for the part you’ve all been waiting for… The EPIC Meal. I am NOT exaggerating here – this was seriously the BEST meal I have EVER had. Granted, I am from South Dakota and for most of my life meals consisted of a piece of beef and a vegetable – no fancy stuff. Things like clams, pesto, and wild boar bacon didn’t even exist in my sheltered world. (Rocky Mountain oysters on the other hand…) But, I would venture to guess that I am not alone in saying that the meal we were served was at the top of the epic meal list for all of the dinner attendees. Every bite was a ‘party’ in my mouth – taste bud heaven – and believe it or not there was not a cookie or french fry involved (see it is possible to eat ‘real’ food that tastes great!).
Here is a look at the deliciousness we experienced:
Passed Hors d’oeuvres
Curried Lamb Kabobs in blanched greens with spicy coconut cream
Broiled Essex Clams with minty pesto
Wild Boar Belly and Spice Roasted Sweet Potato Wedges
Clark Farm Herb Omelette with house made spicy kimchi
Plated First Course
Icy Cold Clark Farm Heirloom Tomato Gazpacho with roasted chili oil
Plated Second Course
Crispy Baked Zucchini Fritters with greek yogurt and herb sauce
Fresh Smoked Bluefish with garlic aioli and pickled sea vegetables
Hearty Greens Salad with blackberry walnut vinaigrette
Plated Third Course
Grilled Coulotte Steak and Roasted Shady Oaks Organic Mushrooms
Baked Eggplant with mint and Valley View Goat Feta
Homemade Vanilla Coconut Sorbet
Ginger Roasted Stone Fruits
Taza Chocolate Macadamia Nut Bark
Sun Brewed Chamomile Mint Iced Tea
Fizzy Maple Soda-simply maple syrup and soda water
Red and White Wine
Caledonia Elderberry Bellini – elderberry cordial and organic prosecco
Knockabout Cucumber Mint Gin and Tonic-Ryan and Wood donated gin
Spicy Pickle Vodka Martini-Ryan and Wood donated vodka
That’s all folks – and in case you’re wondering; yes, I did ‘lick the bowl’ that held my dessert. It was AWESOME – every last bite of it. There was definitely no food waste on my plate! And I can proudly say that I ate just as much, as John Welbourn (I am roughly the size of his left bicep – this is not an exaggeration…). This was by and far the best meal I have ever had and I am honored to have been a part of this great event. Sustainable, local, healthy and DELICIOUS -Diana and her crew got it done. It is not something any of us will soon forget and I am looking forward to seeing more and more events like this to raise awareness and support the real food movement. It’s not a dream – it is possible. Let’s make it happen!
All photos taken by Paul Cary Goldberg