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Farm to Fork Dinners

August 31, 2011

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Each summer, we host a series of Farm Dinners with multi-course, chef-designed menus that celebrate the very best seasonal ingredients and local products.  The intimate dinners, for Occasions’ clients and friends, feature meats, seafood, poultry, cheeses, fruits and vegetables purchased by the evening’s lead chef at DC-area farmers’ markets.

The summery centerpieces were created by Jack Lucky with blooms from My Luck Farms, Wollam Gardens and other local growers.

The menu for our July 25th dinner was designed by Occasions’ sous chef, Heather Weaver.  Passed hors d’oeuvres included Sugar Beet Napoleons – tiny disks of Lemon-scented  Beets filled with whipped Goat Cheese and topped with a tiny Basil Leaf; creamy cubes of local Feta and garden Oregano garnished with caramelized Onions and Tomatoes; and a confit of Asian-style Chicken with pickled Watermelon Slaw and Cilantro was presented on crispy Wonton scoops.

At the table, guests tucked into Crab & Spinach Ravioli with a delicate Saffron-scented Mussel Jus.  The intrepid chef caught the crabs herself near her Port Tobacco home! A drizzle of Tomato Oil and frizzle of Sweet Carrot add color and a bit of crunch to the dish.

The Charcuterie plate showed off a great selection of locally-sourced, artisanal cheeses and cured meats.  Our tangy, house-pickled Apricots, Plums, Carrots and Quick Pickles completed the stylish presentation.

The creamy East Coast Seafood Risotto – simmered in rich Crab, Shrimp and Scallop Stock with White Hall Vineyards Viognier – was topped with a pan-seared fillet of Rockfish, a flourish of crisply-fried Salsify and hand-turned Zucchini and Summer Squash.

A refreshing salad of Compressed Watermelon and Fennel was served with peppery Arugula and a slightly sweet Honey Citronette.  A sprinkling of toasted Sunflower Seeds finished the pretty plate. Finally, a dainty, little Cheesecake dotted with melted Blackberries, Peach Compote and a Honey Lace Tuile was the perfect way to end the meal.

Occasions’ Summer Farm Dinners give us one more reason to love the season.  Cheers!

Danielle Sara Photography took all of these pretty pictures!