Saturday, June 27, 2009

Dinner-in-the-Vineyard Fundraiser a Splendid Event

Mike Odette of Sycamore
puts the finishing touch on the evening's dessert trio: chocolate tart with crème anglaise, crème caramel and macerated fresh fruits.

Slow Food Katy Trail hosted its first Farm-to-Table "dinner in the vineyard" on June 14 in a century-old tobacco barn set among the beautiful vineyards at Les Bourgeois near Rocheport. The 100 attendees celebrated local food, the farmers and artisans who raise and produce it, and the chefs who cook with it. Proceeds from the dinner help fund Slow Food Katy Trail's "Slow Food-in-Schools" projects with local school children.

Donating their time, creativity and precious day off from the restaurant business was a "dream team" of the area's best chefs. Cooking together for the first time were: Craig Cyr of The Wine Cellar & Bistro, Mike Odette of Sycamore, Ben Clay of Les Bourgeois Blufftop Bistro and Brook Harlan of the Columbia Area Career Center Culinary Arts program.

All the farmers/artisans/chefs took brief turns at the mic to talk about how they raised and produced their food and how the dishes were created.

Les Bourgeois staff conducted a winery tour and a trip through the vineyards via hay wagons before dinner, while the John G. Stewart trio filled the air with jazz favorites.

In attendance and donating food and drink to the dinner were:
Dennis and Merritt Van Landuyt of Troutdale Farm (trout for the trout ceviche)
Susie Everhart of Susie's Grass Fed Meats (lamb for the main dish)
Walker Claridge and Kimberly Griffin of the Root Cellar (salad greens, vegetables and fruits for several dishes)
Alan McClure of Patric Chocolate (chocolate for the chocolate tart)
Cory Bomgaars of Les Bourgeois Vineyards and staff (wine which accompanied each course)
Julie Walker of Greystone Farm (eggs for the salad and desserts)
Jenn and Ken Muno of Goatsbeard Farm (variety of goat cheeses for the cheese course)
Lee Eckel of Lakota Coffee Co. (coffee)

Mark and Rita Newman of Newman Farm in Myrtle couldn't attend, but donated Berkshire pork for the main dish. Ron and Courtney Rottinghaus of Uprise Bakery also couldn't attend, but made special loaves of Epi bread for the occasion.
Flat Branch Pub and Brewing donated beer.

Please see more photos from the event at:

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Dinner in the Vineyard on June 14

The tables are set in the bucolic tobacco barn at Les Bourgeois vineyards for the glorious local feast on Sunday! A more stunning setting in mid-Missouri you would be hard pressed to find. Come hungry for delicious edibles, a glorious view and wonderful music and camaraderie.

Only a tornado would alter our plans now!

See all you lucky ticket holders on Sunday,

The snails at Slow Food Katy Trail

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Omelets at the Farmers Market Saturday

Come hungry to the Columbia Farmers' Market on Saturday morning. Slow Food member Brook Harlan, a chef instructor at Columbia Area Career Center, will be cooking made-to-order omelets with his students from 8:15 until 11:15.

The fresh ingredients will be from the market farmers, of course. All proceeds benefit the Culinary Arts Department students, who are attending a national competition in Kansas City later this month.

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Food Films Hit the Big Screen, Inspire Action

Food is on the minds of many filmmakers these days, and we want to call attention to a few making recent headlines.

Slow Food Katy Trail hopes to host a food film festival sometime this year (when we get some of our other big projects behind us), but if you get a chance to see these meanwhile, please take advantage of the opportunity.

Many of us were enlightened by the sneak preview of "Food Inc." at the True/False Film Festival in February, but it is opening nationwide this month. Don't miss it; it will change forever how you think about food. For more info, visit:

Here's another one that should be of interest to all. Info is from the Epicurious Website:

Are We Running Out of Fish? New Movie Tackles the Issue

by James Oliver Cury
on 06/02/09 at 05:48 PM

The Movie: The End of the Line
The Thesis: We've eaten all the fish. All gone by 2048.
(Officially: "The World's First Documentary About the Devastating Effect of Overfishing"
In Theaters: World Ocean Day, June 8, 2009
The Book: The End of the Line: How Overfishing Is Changing the World and What We Eat by Charles Clover

Finally, we've been hearing some buzz about "Fresh." I haven't seen it, but food writer Lauren Salkeld had this to say last week about it:

Food Film: New Movie Challenges You to Think about What You're Eating

Last night I attended a screening and panel discussion for "Fresh," Ana Sofia Joanes's excellent new film about our food system. "Fresh" examines the many problems caused by the industrialization of the food system (think mad cow, obesity, pollution) and features individuals attempting to re-invent the way we produce and eat food, including Michael Pollan, author of The Omnivore's Dilemma and In Defense of Food; Joel Salatin, founder of Virginia's Polyface Farm and author of several books on sustainable farming; and Will Allen, founder of Growing Power, a Milwaukee-based nonprofit organization working to provide equal access to high-quality, affordable food in urban communities. (Allen is also a 2008 MacArthur fellow.)

At the risk of sounding preachy, I want to encourage everyone to see this film. If you're not familiar with these issues, "Fresh" is a great introduction to the movement. And, even if you've already read The Omnivore's Dilemma and feel like you know everything there is to know about industrial food, I think the individuals and organizations featured in "Fresh" will re-inspire you to take action with your food dollars and maybe even do something more. Check the "Fresh" Web site for a list of additional screenings and panel discussions being held in early June.