On Tuesday, February 21st the NW Washington Chefs Collective teamed up with Sustainable Connections and the culinary students at Bellingham Technical College to produce a meal for the people attending the 2017 Farm-To-Table Trade Meeting. Chefs and culinary teams were each assigned a course to prepare banquet style and I (Crave Catering Chef Justin Hawkinson) was in charge of providing a grain/starch for the buffet.
The point of the Farm-to-Table Trade Meeting is for people who produce food to meet and connect with people who purchase food for consumption. Several companies showed their products at booths around the perimeter and there were speeches and classes throughout the day to educate and inspire the local players in the food industry. With this group, we had to make sure the food was something special.
This was the menu:
Riccardo’s Winter Slaw- Richard Balogh of Il Caffe Rifugio
Bluebird Emmer Farro Risotto with Bellewood Apples & Greens- Justin Hawkinson of Crave Catering
Jack Mountain Pork Cheeks Braised in Cloud Mountain Apple Cider with Pickled Apple & Mustard Choucroute- Josh Silverman
Silky Potato Leek Soup- Gabriel Claycamp of Cauldron Broths
Winter Vegetables with Warm Parmesan Vinaigrette & Herbed Breadfarm Crumbs- Andrew Clarke of Acme Farms
Nerka Sea Alder Plank Smoked Salmon- M Mataio Gillis of Ciao Thyme
Grandma’s Carrot Cake: compressed pineapple, candied carrot, brown butter mousse & walnut streusel- Andy Nguyen of Drizzle
Family Meal of Indian Delights- Patrick Durgan of Bellingham Public Schools
The educational aspect of this meal is also important. BTC has a wonderful teaching kitchen with plenty of stations for the teams to work. I took four students (two first year and two second years) and guided them as they made the dish. The students themselves handled all the prep/cutting and each student made their own pot of risotto. The farro for our dish was from Bluebird Farms in Winthrop, WA. Each chef was instructed to design a dish featuring local produce (remember- it was February and there isn’t very many items available locally) and show the students how to prepare that dish using methods they may not be familiar with. The team at Bluebird Farms were very helpful and even donated the grain! Other vegetables came from Da’Vine Aquaponics, Ralph’s Greenhouse and Boldly Grown Farms.
All things considered, it was a very special lunch that I was proud to be a part of. Sustainable Connections throws this party every year so if you missed it… remember us for 2018!