The newest trend in fine cuisine is causing a frenzy – one slow-cooked meal at a time.
Guests got a local taste of the nationwide “slow food” movement at the June 24 Farm to Table dinner at Yew Dell Botanical Gardens, where they learned about the idea behind the “slow food” movement – an alternative to fast food that strives to encourage local farming – and how it has been spreading recently throughout Louisville and much of the U.S.
Last Sunday, Yew Dell and Slow Food Bluegrass helped support the cause by hosting its second annual Farm to Table Dinner presented by Brown-Forman Corporation and Foxhollow Farm.
The event included a delicious menu prepared by Lilly’s Restaurant Chef Kathy Cary, who used ingredients from 16 local farmers to craft her exquisite fare. Smith-Berry wines, Brown-Forman bourbon, BBC beer and the Comfy Cow were also featured throughout the evening, providing beverages and dessert before and after the main course.
Never having experienced a full “slow food” dinner, I was happy to visit Yew Dell Gardens and taste the sustainable, locally-grown food while helping support local small businesses.
Before sitting down to dinner, guests mingled with the enormous crowd during the cocktail reception, which featured Old Forrester Bourbon, beer, wine and Chambord liquor. Appetizers such as the bruschetta with pickled beets, radish and goat cheese, as well as chicken liver pate and strawberry popcorn and white truffle oil were passed throughout the venue, while Dozens of Dollars crooned the crowd with bluegrass music.
While waiting for an Old Forrester with diet Coke, I sampled the pork tenderloin with Nasturtium mustard butter on a red cornmeal muffin, which was a fantastic start to the main course about to ensue. The cold pork tenderloin inside the luscious muffin was a small enough bite that I was tempted to indulge in three more. But, I knew it was best to same room for the dinner – and that bourbon I was waiting for so patiently.
Around 7 p.m., hundreds of guests were seated inside a giant white tent, ready to devour the delectable dinner and dessert. The main course featured a generous plate of Thai flank steak with cucumber-cabbage relish, served with pulled chicken a la Provencal, squash and goat cheese gateaux, a fresh heirloom tomato, deviled eggs with cayenne pepper and a black olive-rosemary baguette.
Every item was equally appetizing, and I’m usually one to find at least one side or entree I dislike on my plate. That dinner, however, was perfect throughout.
As a deviled egg fan, I was partial to the version created by Cary. But, my favorite side was the squash and goat cheese gateaux. The small creamy square tasted of sharp cheddar that melted right in your mouth. The spicy Thai flank steak served cold with relish was my second favorite item of the night.
After all of our plates were cleaned – and there were hardly any that weren’t – a trio of desserts were handed out to each diner. The Farmstead cheese was a popular choice amongst my table mates, but the sweet Comfy Cow Sorghum Grit Bon Bon with a rich slab of chocolate cake was the item lingering in my memory the longest.
With a fully belly of slow food, I left Yew Dell satisfied with my first Farm to Table dinner experience. Without a doubt, the meal was one of the best I’ve had in a long time, and much healthier than those you’ll find at a fast food restaurant.
It may take longer to produce, but sustainable food is well worth the wait and the additional support it provides to local farming and small businesses. It’s time you jump in on this delicious craze, too, and see why “slow food” is the fastest growing trend around town.
Contact writer Ashley Anderson at firstname.lastname@example.org, 502.498.2051.