Slow Food Dinner Posted by Chef David Maclennan on April 21, 2011
For those that missed out on our March 24th dinner benefitting Slow Food, it was a fantastic time had by all. We ended up raising over $2000 benefitting Slow Food and their cause and we are extremely grateful to all our participants and for the generosity of all our guests. Many thanks to the great folks at OYO, Brother’s Drake Meade, and Rockmill Brewery. As a chef, I feel very fortunate to have partnerships that have the same passion for brewing, distilling, and mead casting that we share for food. Many times the restaurant focus is on local meats, produce, and dairy, so it’s great to be able to highlight the beverage sector of the local movement.
The event started with some fantastic cocktails inspired by mixologist, Chris Delhavi, of Middle West Spirits. As an amuse to start the evening, we paired her “Smoke and Mirrors” cocktail, made of jalapeno infused agave nectar and OYO vodka, lined with a smoked sea salt rim with Brezel’s rosemary pretzel and our very own homemade “cheese whiz” made from Snowville’s milk and Blue Jacket’s cheddar curd. Expect to see that make its way to the menu based on the fantastic feedback we received around it. We then paired our version of an Ohio “nicoise” salad, seared scallops over sunchoke puree and beet tartare, and warm pork terrine over polenta with Rockmill’s Saison, Tripel, and Dubbel respectively. To finish the evening we paired Brother’s Drake Honey Oak meade with a housemade biscuit with macerated strawberries, and a sabayon made with the mead. Sabayon is a version of crème anglaise that is traditionally made with champagne or white wine, in this instance a blend of the Testa Rosa and Honey Oak mead. Between each course, representatives from Slow Food, Middle West Spirits, Rockmill, and Brother’s Drake were given an opportunity to address the attendees and speak a little about what each of them represents. The impact of hearing each of their passion was quite inspiring and powerful.
Immediately following the dinner we hosted a live auction to raise additional donations to Slow Food consisting of goods and services provided by the restaurant and our afore mentioned partners. Most notably was a tasting for 12 people at Rockmill Brewery with food prepared by myself, which went for an amazing $875! This was purchased by a member of the Brother’s Drake Mead team. If that doesn’t show some real passion for what they do and what the event stood for, I don’t know what does. We are so grateful to all that came out and participated. If you missed out on the event, or want to be a part of the next one we do, keep an eye on our event’s page for the next beer dinner in cooperation with Goose Island Brewery, who has been a great partner of ours on several of these great events and who is going through some really dramatic and exciting changes that will help position them to be an even more artful and innovative in their crafting of artisan beers.