Saturday, September 20, 2008

Outstanding in the Field

From Out Standing in the Field Event 2008

From Outstanding in the Field Menu

Melissa Kelly is a big name- James Beard Award winning chef, owner of Primo in Rockland, Maine; a 2nd Primo in Orlando; a 3rd in Tucson- she’s a “Celebrity Chef” in every sense of the term.

But in our house, she’s best know for hiring Penny and Samantha – two of my daughter’s favorite baby sitters. Sierra, my daughter, won’t even let me think about hiring sitters who are not aspiring chefs. If you can’t talk about how may covers you did on Saturday night or compare notes for working a wood fired oven, you’re not sitter material. Period. So, Melissa Kelly is a big name in our house because she hires Sierra’s “ Big sisters”.

There’s another important name in our house – Anita Eisenhauer, Chef Instructor at the CIA and the woman Sierra chose to interview for her third grade project on “Influential Women”.

So, when Anita and Melissa teamed up with Jim Denevan and his Outstanding in the Field project to bring a “farm to fork” event to the Hudson Valley, and they invited Sierra and I to help prep and then attend the dinner as guests…well, Sunday was booked.

It was a long day – we got up early to make ginger-peach muffins to bring to the Chefs, helped prep at the CIA, then changed cloths and drove up to Greig Farm in Red Hook, NY to sit at a table for 120 set in a cornfield and enjoy a bountiful feast in a beautiful place under a clear sky with a full harvest moon rising.

And it was a fantastic day- I got to see my students in a full blown display of hard work fueled by passion; I got to watch, help, and hang out with good friends and colleagues; I got to witness the logistics of an unlikely, but hugely successful culinary theater production; I got to make new friends and dine with them in a fairy-tale setting; and best of all – I got to watch my little girl watch her heroes prove that strong women doing hard work can make magic. I’m incredibly grateful to Anita and Melissa for that.


Bob del Grosso said...

Wow, that looks like a hell of a lot of fun. I'm envious.

Do you know if pink salt or some other source of nitrate was used in the rabbit terrine? I don't think so because it looks oxidized a bit on the service plate, but it looked really nice and pink just out of the terrine.

Mike Pardus said...

I don't think so, it didn't have the "hammy" taste associated with nitrates.It was made a few days ahead - I didn't see it being done. I'll check with Anita.

redman said...

any idea where the poussin came from? I worked for Mead Orchards in Tivolo/Redhook and there was a farm next store who raises various poultry, and I can still taste ten years later the small chickens they raised. I've bought what I thought were similar birds from farmers here in Washington but I have yet to taste birds with so much flavor. Perhaps it's my memory inflating their flavor! Don't think so.

Maura said...

What a lovely idea. I'm raging with jealousy.

I got to watch my little girl watch her heroes prove that strong women doing hard work can make magic.

That puts a lot of things in perspective. Seriously, what could be more important? (No feminist rant to follow:) )