A little over six months ago I had the opportunity to cross an item off my bucket list and go to my first truly Farm to Table dinner. This experience was so amazing that it re-ignited a long time dream of mine and spurred me into action. Hence my last post about some changes ahead, so it only seemed appropriate that I tell you about this experience as my first post of the new SavoryGirl.
The dinner was hosted at Bloomfield Farms in Petaluma, CA on a gorgeous summer evening in July. It was the first one they’ve ever done, organized by a farm friend, sommelier and restauranteur David Lynch of St. Vincent Tavern and Wine Merchant here in San Francisco. So a few friends and I met at St. Vincent on a Sunday afternoon, piled into a chartered bus and sipped rose as we rode up to Petaluma with the sun starting to set over the hills of wine country. That gorgeous view out the window of the bus was enough to make me nostalgic for the summer I spent in Napa during my MBA internship and I found myself in an amazing mood as I stepped off the bus 90 minutes later.
As we began to walk around Bloomfield Farms my mood skyrocketed…breathing in the fresh air, taking in the views and playing bocce while sipping wine with the very people who grew the grapes and made the wine from three vineyards all within miles of Bloomfield Farms. This all reminded me of an idea I had for a business years ago but had buried deep while I built my life and career here in San Francisco. As I though about this idea again while enjoying the wine and having fun with my friends I found myself saying over and over again that this experience was making me “happy in my soul”. And this was all before the food!
Soon enough we found ourselves hopping across carefully laid stones that weaved beneath the trees and down into Bloomfield’s amazing, rustic barn for dinner. The country elegance of the dining area and smells, sounds and sights coming from the open bustling kitchen immersed my senses while we all mingled with winemakers, farmers and chefs waiting for dinner to begin. Happy. In. My. Soul. Then, enter the food…happiness becomes elation. Starting off with lamb tartar, stuffed eggplant with fresh tomatoes and a jar of homemade duck liver mousse topped with grilled peaches and edible flowers. Holy yum…and the fact that all of this deliciousness was grown and raised within miles of Bloomfield Farms made it all that much more incredible.
Onto the main course! This course was almost completely focused on a local whole goat that they roasted for this event. Goat sausages, goat chops, goat loin and goat stuffed grape leaves. You might think that’s a bit intense, but it was so good that all of us were fighting to ensure we each got to taste every single preparation of goat. A bit of homemade tzatzitki on the side and some fresh tomatoes and herbs rounded it all out perfectly.
Just as our bellies were getting full and the wine continued to flow, two gorgeous homemade pies arrived at each table…a rustic blackberry tart and a lattice crust peach pie. Oh, and handmade sheep’s milk semifreddo with plum honey. Perfection…even down to the way the dessert spoons were lain out!
As the night winded down and we were almost floating with happiness, a bit of sadness suddenly set in. The bus was back and ready to take us all away from this blissful night and back to our lives in the city. For me, however, the sadness was softened because something was on fire deep within me…my idea was alive again. This night was going to leave a lasting impression for me. If I played my cards right this night would change my life so that “happy in my soul” wouldn’t just be one experience or night but would be my permanent way of life.
Stay tuned everyone…there are going to be some really good times ahead!