Sunday, 17 August 2014

"Come Forage" at Glorious Organics Farm: A True Locavore Feast

Every Saturday morning, we head to Trout Lake farmer's market and make a beeline for Glorious Organics to buy the very best salad that money can buy.  Last year, we attended their first-ever "Come Forage" dinner at their farm.  We immediately fell in love with the concept, the farm, the kind farm staff and, of course, the food prepared by Chef Chris Whittaker of Forage restaurant here in Vancouver (see last year's blog post here).

I was ecstatic when I heard that they were holding this wonderful event again this year and, of course, I was going to be there.  I was sceptical that they could recreate the magic of last year's event but somehow, they managed to make this year's farm dinner even more amazing.

This year's event was held on the August long weekend here in BC, and it ended up being a scorcher.  The only complaint I heard all evening was that it was "too hot" and that people wished there were umbrellas over the table to shade us as we ate.  But that is probably just because us Vancouverites are wimps when it comes to these hot temperatures (anything above 25 degrees celcius) that we don't usually get in our neck of the woods!

Other than this very minor point which was outside of anyone's control, the evening went off without a hitch.  The Glorious Organics crew really kicked it up a notch this year when it came to the venue.  The had the table nicely set in white and green linens, with table settings all prepped when we arrived (last year we had to bring our own dishes and cutlery).  They had a nice tent set up in one corner of the field where they had live music done by a very talented trio, two of whom live on the farm.  Their music selection was very original and very catchy (I was humming away the whole way home!).  And then the real focal point of the evening- a brand new outdoor kitchen made of mostly recycled materials where Chef Wittaker prepared our delicious meal.  The event was a fundraiser for the newly-contructed kitchen that they hope to use for other events throughout the year.

And then the real focal point of the evening- a brand new outdoor kitchen made of mostly recycled materials where Chef Wittaker prepared our delicious meal.  The event was a fundraiser for the newly-constructed kitchen that they hope to use for other events throughout the year.

We knew we were in good hands as soon as we arrived.  We were warmly greeted by the familiar faces  who deliver the Glorious Organic's tasty produce to the Trout Lake Market.   We were then offered wine from Backyard Wineries located just down the road from the farm, or a choice of local beers, all served in cute little mason jars.  Still thirsty?  No problem!  We could come back and get unlimited refills throughout the afternoon and evening.  We also got a glimpse of the menu propped up in front of where Chef Whittaker was already busy preparing our meal.  Let the salivating begin!

After listening to some wonderful, eclectic tunes in the shade, we were rounded up and divided into groups for the farm tour.  We were escorted around the farm by one of the knowledgeable staff who showed us greenhouses, roosters, garlic, and many other crops that they grow on their sprawling property.  We even got to pick a few things for dinner, including kale and oh-so fragrant basil.  If it hadn't been so hot, I could have stayed in the basil greenhouse all day!

After the tour, it was back to the farm for the star attraction of the evening- our farm feast!  And a feast it was!  Chef Whittaker really outdid himself, serving dish after dish of deliciousness.  Everything was served family-style along the long table, with way more than enough for everyone to have seconds, thirds and fourths of all the dishes.

The first series of dishes were a variety of salads made from the bounty of the farm.  They were all great, but my favourite (in fact, my favourite dish of the whole night) was the beet and goat cheese salad.   I could have eaten the whole plate!

Next it was onto the main course.  Chef Whittaker who is known for his love of the nose-to-tail philosophy, prepared a whole pig and gave us literally the WHOLE pig.  On the platter, there was your run-of-the-mill pork tenderloin and then a mix of more adventurous offerings including cracklings, blood pudding and head cheese.  Many were brave and moved way outside of their comfort zone, including Hubby who found out that he likes headcheese!  To counter-balance all of that meat was a nice variety of vegetables prepared with honey, and a creamy potato and green bean salad.

For the non-meat eaters like myself, Chef Whittaker was kind enough to provide a beautiful and substantial vegetarian offering of lentils, farm-fresh hazelnuts and a vegetable medley.  Kudos to the chef for not settling with an "afterthought" vegetarian dish and making us feel special too:)

Although everyone was quite stuffed by this point, there were few who were able to turn down the dessert course- an oh-so-summery fruit crisp, made with a veritable orchard full of different fruits buried under an oat topping.  And, as if that wasn't yummy enough, the gang also came around with beer-flavored ice cream for the grand finale!

I absolutely loved our first "Come Forage" last year but somehow, the Glorious Organics crew and Chef Whittaker made it ten times better this year.  They really kicked it up a notch in terms of crossing the T's and dotting the I's, while still maintaining a very relaxed and fun atmosphere.

I can't wait to see what they have up their sleeves for next year's event!  I will be the first in line for tickets:)

No comments:

Post a Comment