On Friday, March 11, John Belisle of BelleWood Acres and Justin Hawkinson of Crave Catering will collaborate on the first of four in a Dynamic Distillery Dinner series. The Mad Hatter, Master of Ceremonies, will mark the seasonal change from winter to spring with poetry, story and song. Attendees will enjoy a 4-course meal paired with BelleWood superior spirits. While John and Justin delight you with their magic, guests will have the opportunity to talk with farmer Michael Dietering of Chubby Bunny Farm about sourcing local alternative meat and our area’s regional abundance of salad greens. Vartanyan Wine will also be in attendance with a variety of regional wines specially selected to complement the meal.
Spring: As the seasons change, we get together to toast new beginnings and look forward to the warmer months to come. Spring on the farm is our chance to showcase the first ingredients of the year. It is a chance to gather your family and friends and enjoy the sun after a long winter.
Taste: Start the night out with our succulent rabbit with a sweet honey glaze. Then to follow is a wonderful salad of bitter rockette, sweet pea shoots, BelleWood cider-infused figs and salty feta cheese, all tossed with a housemade honey shallot vinaigrette, topped with crunchy toasted pecans. Seafood will be featured third, with a bowl of local clams and mussels stewed in peperonata and garlic bread. For the main course, our chef is preparing steak with locally sourced potatoes, parsnips and lacinato kale raab. We suggest that you save room for dessert because we have an unforgettable and delectable molasses cake with ginger and brandy cream that you won’t want to miss.
Sip: All food will be paired with delicious libations featuring brandy, gins and vodkas distilled at BelleWood Acres. Vartanyan wines will be presented to complement the main course.
When: Friday, March 11 | 6:30 p.m.
Where: 6140 Guide Meridian, Lynden, WA 98264 | 360-318-7720
Why: Enjoy an evening of entertainment mixed with education about local food and spirits. Get to know your local farmers and share a delectable meal with your friends and neighbors.
(Above text was published to whatcomtalk.com and other promotional sites prior to this event.)
Our first course began with Rabbit Three Ways- Roasted Drumettes with Honey-Lemon Glaze, Tenderloin Roulade with Carrot Relish and Crispy Rabbit Coronets
with Remoulade and Leaf Lettuce…featuring Chubby Bunny Farms
The first course was paired with BelleWood’s new Trifecta (Vodka, Gin and Bubbly).
Rocket Greens with Green Pea Shoots, Roasted Pecan Pieces, Cider
Infused Figs, Feta Cheese and Honey Shallot Vinaigrette
Penn Cove Mussels and Hood Canal Clams in a Savory Broth with Grilled Garlic Baguette.
This was served with a touch of BelleWood’s Reserve Brandy.
Prime New York Steak with Red Wine Demi Glaze, Root Vegetable Medley and Kale Raab. A complimentary wine from Vartanyan was served – Cabernet Franc Reserve
Molasses Cake with Ginger Brandy Glaze and Pumpkin Spice Whipped Cream. served with
Eau de Vie Elixir with almond, honey & mint
Earl Grey Tea
This was a fun night. We started with a trio of rabbit appetizers. Roasted rabbit drumettes with a lemon-honey glaze on the left, tenderloin roulade (stuffed w/ carmelized onion, roasted garlic, spinach, basil and shredded carrot) was sliced and arrayed as pinwheels on an asian spoon with roasted carrot & chardonnay relish in the middle. On the right was a crispy fried rabbit thigh fritter with spicy pickle remoulade wrapped in a lettuce leaf coronet. The guy who raises and butchers the meat is Michael from Chubby Bunny Farm and he came to share some stories and enjoy the evening. He really liked the food and we’ll be keeping in touch.
Second course was a rocket salad with fresh cut pea shoots, a little cabbage for color, cider infused figs, feta, roasted pecans and honey shallot vinaigrette. John came back and joked that we didn’t need to wash the plates because they licked them clean. I laughed, then made sure we washed the plates anyway. It was a good salad and it used up some light colored figs I had in an unusual way.
Third course was changed at the last minute, but I thought it worked out. Steamer clams & mussels with a little pappardelle mixed with chardonnay, butter and clam juice. When I called it done… it was perfect and for shellfish in March… had a nice flavor. I did get one report that their bowl was overdone, but it may have sat too long. Little bits of mussels and clams tend to end up chewy, and I can only hope that most of them were eaten fresh. Anyway, the others seemed to like them. There was a thick slice of baguette that I treated with garlic oil, s&p and crisped it up on the bbq.
Then while the grill was still hot, I laid out 8oz NY steaks (somehow kept them MR which I wouldn’t have bet on considering I was using a propane bbq in the dark) and they got topped with demi glaze I made from my personal secret stash of real beef stock). The starch was a melange of roasted yams, parsnips, red & gold potatoes, thyme, garlic and oil. Oven baked lacinato kale raab from a local farm made a really nice veg with lemon and toasted garlic. All in all I got a lot of positive responses considering that steak dinners are not what I consider “original.” I had to add a real demi to make it something I could be proud of.
Dessert was a tall molasses cake with pumpkin spice whip filling and ginger brandy glaze. Pretty nice dinner, really and each course was paired with a cocktail from Bellewood Spirits or wine from Vartanyan Winery. There was a guitar player dressed as the Mad Hatter and I think he performed some sort of story while I was working.
I do wish we had more people, but 20 made for a good first pairing dinner. Maybe we can get the word out with our next one. I just need to think of something really exciting to get people lining up for tickets. Feel free to make requests!