Tangletown Gardens farm dinner showcases two California stars
Lisa Gulya A recent Tour de Farm dinner
This Sunday, another fabulous farm dinner takes place--this time Tangletown Gardens Farm brings two of California's best chefs to the Midwest for a farm-to-table dinner of epic proportions. Chez Panisse in Berkeley, California, founded by Chef Alice Walters in 1971, pioneered the farm-to-table movement, serving all local, organic meat, poultry, fish, and produce. Sunday's event brings Chef Ryan Childs from Chez Panisse, as well as Dana Younkin, from San Francisco's Boulevard restaurant--which features French-influenced American regional cooking--to the Tangletown Gardens Farm in Plato, Minnesota, 40 miles west of the Twin Cities, for a glorious feast in the heartland.
Younkin has roots in the Twin Cities--her mother, Sally, is the owner of Swede Hollow Cafe in Dayton's Bluff. Sally is also out at the farm, working as Younkin's sous chef and creating heavenly desserts. She also has plans to open a new bakery called Bars on Selby and Dale in the near future.
We spoke with Scott Endres, co-owner of Tangletown Gardens, who along with co-owner, Dean Engelmann is thrilled to welcome their guests and great local talent.
Not only does Tangletown Garden Farm have acres of fruits and vegetables, it also has cattle, chickens, and several miniature donkeys. This dinner will take all the best the farm has to offer and create seven courses. Endres is elated with the flurry of activity going on this week, working on the menu to make sure it is the absolute best of the season. He was busy butchering ducks this morning when we spoke.
"Both Dean and I grew up on farms, doing things the old-fashioned way. We feel really good about how our plants and vegetables are grown with respect for the land," Endres says.
The menu sounds heavenly--some highlights were shared, although details are still being finalized. Fulton Brewing is doing beer pairings, and La Belle Vie's sommelier, Bill Summerville, and Chuck Kanski from Solo Vino are selecting the wine. "They are both full of energy and passion for wine," Endres says of the pair, "and it has been fun for them to work together outside of their norm, working outside, celebrating the beauty. We are setting tables out in the middle of what I feel is the prettiest part of the world."
The dinner will consist of many small plates, including a duck course that will include duck liver mousse, and a pork course, that will include pork rillette and fennel pork sausage. The farm will also serve a corn course and a haute cuisine take on summer potato salad. "We are using all free range eggs, pork, ducks--all from the farm, and our neighbor Star Thrower Farms, who raise Icelandic sheep, are doing world-quality cheeses," says Endres. He is also very excited about the vodka course, from Parallel 45--a corn-based vodka from western Wisconsin--a take on the bloody Mary call the Verdant Mary, made with tomatillos, cilantro, green tomatoes, with a chaser of Fulton IPA, and signature pickles from the farm. One of the desserts will be a San Francisco take on a Midwestern classic--an ice cream sandwich made with carrot ice cream."It is important to know where the food comes from," Endres says. "It is a pretty picture, and to see it all on a plate in a five-star way is a culinary orgasm--and with the natural surroundings it is just so overwhelming." .
Chez Panisse and Boulevard come to Tangletown Gardens Farm
When: Sunday, August 29, 3 p.m.
Where: Tangletown Gardens Farms, Plato, Minnesota
Tickets are limited.