You know when someone invites you to do something and you’re oddly surprised at the fact that the event turns out to be your mission in a nutshell? Well, you guys I recently got to attend the coolest event, that was RIGHT UP MY ALLEY by the lovely ladies over at Caren Joan PR. After finding my Almonds + Asana they reached out to me, knowing that as a blogger/influencer in the healthful/mindful eating space that this would be a good fit and they were right! The background here is that the Marriott Mag Mile in Chicago has had a decades-long relationship with a local certified organic farm called Heritage Praire. This small farm prides itself on its efficient methods of farming vegetables, using minimal space and applying the Eliot Coleman technique to tend to the land. They even have portable greenhouses, which they can easily move from patch to patch depending on what they need to work on.
The whole partnership sounds like its extremely fruitful (pun intended) because not only is Marriott a really dependable client (as a big company they’re able to take on extra produce when the farm has excess) but they’re very w\flexible in working with farmer Nate who owns the farm to determine what they’re going to grow each season.
This particular dinner was a once a year opportunity where they chefs from Harvest at Marriott Mag Mile team up with Heritage Praire Farms to host a whole night of Farm to Table eating and let me tell you it was exceptional. It was both exhilarating and a little disheartening to realize that the “fresh” produce I get at the stores around me are really rather flavorless compared to the stuff plucked right from the ground 10 feet away from the idyllic barn we broke bread in.
Alright, enough of the background, let’s get to the food:
When we arrived they were serving up some fancy but farm inspired cocktails out of the back of this old pickup truck, cute or what?? I had the ginger drink and it was mighty fine.
There was a host of passed hors d’oeuvres throughout the welcome cocktails that included a goat cheese & heirloom tomato galette, ricotta stuffed fried squash blossom and a creamy veggie soup with shrimp. I had both of the second bites but not the galette as I’m actually not so much of a goat cheese girl and since I’ve dramatically reduced my cow/cow product consumption it just wasn’t for me. Oh! They also had these savory macarons which I also didn’t get to try because pate isn’t my thing either but I couldn’t help but ogle at what a novel idea they were! Have you seen these before?
For the Main Event, we started off with some perfect pull apart bread in a cast iron pan served up with butter and honey from their bee’s. Next, we moved t a round of salads that I will literally crave for years to come and I didn’t get any good photos. They included a rainbow chard with more heirloom tomatoes & radishes in a creamy herb dressing along with a super simple greens and fresh crunchy veggies (squash and zucchini) tossed in a light vinaigrette.
Next were some warmer salads such as this sweet potato one, we also had one full of barley and duck confit. YUM.
FInally, we moved on to the proteins which included a beef dish, a stuffed porchetta, and this lovely white fish.
The whole thing was topped off with the most perfect dessert, not too sweet almond upsidedown cake that had some sort of tart fruit baked into the bottom (now the top) and served with a sweet whipped cream. UNREAL.
The farm and barn were beautiful, really Pinterest worthy! For anyone looking to do a lovely wedding that style, definitely check out Heritage Prairie Farm! Also from their site, it looks like they do Farm to Table dinners every other month from June-Nov!