On Monday night, we got quite a treat. Our friend Annie invited us to be her guests at the "Friends of Food" dinner. Annie does awesome work for WVfarm2u.org and the Collaborative for the 21st Century Appalachia. The Collaborative hosted the dinner. After school we took care of animals, got ourselves cleaned up, and headed over the hills to Bridgeport, WV.
We met up with Annie and her "Farmer Jon" at the Bridgeport Conference Center. Then we got down to business: drinking wine, eating food, and meeting local-food enthusiasts. The dinner consisted of five courses, all paired with wines. Most of the food, and all of the protein was locally-sourced from WV farmers. The courses were prepared by regional chefs and culinary students.
We started with Appalachian Antipasto prepared by Chef Dale Hawkins of Fish Hawk Acres. It included potatoes, beans, olives, squash, beets, cherry tomatoes, and cheeses from Green Glades Creamery. It was hard to resist the urge to eat multiple plates of all these goodies, but we knew there was more to come.
The first course was the most adventurous, at least for me. It was a Local Pork Headcheese Terrine, with greens from Preston County and a mustard vinaigrette. Basically it was little chunks of pork in gelatin which gets made into a loaf and then sliced. Much to my dismay, there is no cheese involved. I ate mine, but told Chef Brian Wallace later on, that I really didn't need his very detailed description of all the ingredients.
Next came my favorite course. Chef Heath Finnell prepared Yucatan Chicken and Lime Soup. Our whole table raved about it, and I'm sure I'm not the only that could have had a second bowl. Chef Finnell's wife, Judy, was so friendly and excited about local foods. Farmer John and I look forward to visiting Cafe Bacchus next time we're in Morgantown.
The chef from Bridgeport Conference Center, Tim Goots, prepared the main course- "Duck Duck Goose". It included Pan Roasted Breast of Duck and Leg Confit, Pumpkin Whipped Potato and Brussels Sprouts. This was the first time I'd ever eaten duck, I enjoyed it, but gave a couple pieces to Farmer John. The veggies were fantastic, especially the potatoes.
Then, although I couldn't believe there was even more food, it was time for dessert. Chef Jay Mahoney and students from the Pierpont Culinary Academy put together a sweet spread! We mingled, ate lots of different desserts, passed out a few of our cards, and of course drank more wine.
Thank you so much Annie and Jon for including us in this deliciously fun night. But, more than that, thank you for all the work you do for the Collaborative and local foods in West Virginia.