For our fifth dinner we partnered with Robert Harris of Season to Taste Catering (winner of Best of Boston 2010), who set up a kitchen in European Country Antiques and served up a delicious fall meal. Below he answers a few questions on the evening's food as well as his ideas on cooking and serving food. We're excited about his plans to continue to cooperate with Didriks and the Dinner Series. For more, read Part 2 and visit the Flickr gallery.
Could you speak on what you were going for with the menu? were they particularly inspired in any way and how do you feel they fit with the setting and the season?
When composing a menu we first look at what is in season, then apply the best technique. After the menu is set, we work hard to source as many ingredients locally. Since we did not get a chance to check out the setting until the event, we did not take it in to consideration. From our viewpoint, the setting should provide a simple canvas that allows the food to shine.
The lamb for the entrée came from Northeast Family Farms. Tell us about your relationship with this particular farm or other local farms in general? How does the meat compare to what most of us find at the supermarket?
Northeast Family Farms is a co-op that we order from through our local butcher, Dole and Baily. They provide outstanding locally raised meat that is much higher in quality and sustainability compared to the typical meat that you will find at a local grocery.
Your menu included bordelaise and hollandaise sauce, which could send some "dressing on the side" or cholesterol counting types running. Where do you stand on current trends in healthy eating and how do you think your food fits in?
We feel that avoiding factory produced processed foods, and instead consuming locally sourced meats, eggs and dairy in moderation, is the best approach to a healthy diet. Hollandaise has a large amount of saturated fat, however when made with with free range organic eggs and Vermont butter and only eaten during a special occasion with a nice glass of red wine. The the bad news is that you consume extra calories that can be worked of with a nice 30 minute walk and the good news is that it makes you happy! Regarding the Bordelaise, it is made with roasted bones, vegetables and finished with bone marrow, so although it tastes very rich, it is very low in cholesterol, high in nutrients and delicious!
We loved how the entrée's 'crispy parnsips' picked up the gold of the Libeco tablerunner, and of course we thought your food looked fantastic on the Match Pewter plates. As someone who's obviously interested in presentation, how are table linens and dinnerware important to you?
Our approach with the setting is that it should be functional and simple yet elegant. Matching our food with a high quality setting very important. The fork should feel solid and comfortable in your hand, the linens, smooth and clean. Glassware is especially important, when considering wine consumption. The shape of the glass really dictates how much of the bouquet that can be perceived. What I really like about Didriks' products is that you each item feels solid to the touch, looks really good and is meticulous in design.
Could you tell us a little about your future plans for collaboration with Didriks and the Dinner Series and how you hope to match different tablescapes with different menus?
We hope to collaborate with Didriks on our upcoming Supper Club. Serving our food on the highest quality items will only add value to the complete experience of a five course meal, paired with wines at our farm table.
We're big fans of your t-shirts. Where do you get them, where can I get one, and how did you come to start wearing them?
The idea for the t-shirts came from one of our cooks. He has actually created a company that sell them and they can be found at vegetablewear.com.