FIVE Goes to a Farm – Dinner at Two Bear Farms
August 10, 2012
It wouldn’t be a proper foodie summer without a farm dinner. (It’s fun to see where you food comes from, and great to meet local farmers.) I perused the local offerings, and was intrigued by one that was to be put on by Five, a group of (five) superstar Denver chefs who put on events in different locations. This particular farm dinner was to be hosted at Two Bear Farms in Wheat Ridge. Two Bear produces organic eggs, so the dinner was to heavily feature eggs. Works for me – I rarely eat eggs at home, so bring them on! I signed us up, and on an evening in July that was providing some pretty menacing looking rain in Boulder, we headed down to Wheat Ridge.
Fortunately, the rain hadn’t yet made an appearance that far south-east, so once we arrived at the farm (which is quite tiny – but you don’t need as much room if you’re not growing a lot of crops), it was nice and dry. We walked over to the enclosure for the chickens, who were all out enjoying the early evening air. Well, honestly, I have no clue if that’s what they were doing – who can really get inside the mind of a chicken? But it sounds nice and poetic. Let’s just say they all seemed pretty relaxed, content, and were just walking around pecking at the ground. I always love to see chickens on a farm that truly has an open area for them to move around in. (Partly because sometimes one or two will just burst into a run for 20 feet, which I find highly amusing to watch (of course I’m sure people could say the same thing about my running style, but I digress)). Contrary to the aroma one might find at over-crowded chicken farms, the three smaller organic farms we’ve gone to which had chickens had pretty much no adverse smell.
The first food served was hand-passed appetizers. My favorite overall was the mini fried-egg sandwiches (made with quail eggs). Seriously – aren’t they adorable? And they were delicious, too. I kind of wanted about five of them. (Five? Get it?)
I think the gorgeous award for the evening probably went to the red beet-pickled Two Bear Farms hen’s eggs with horseradish egg salad and golden beet caviar.
The dining area was three long rows of tables under a tent (fortunately, since it did actually start raining later in the evening!). You’ll notice my currently open and in the process of being enjoyed bottle of Dry Lavender Soda. I normally don’t drink caloric beverages (opting instead for artificially sweetened ones, in brazen contrast to my bent on healthy eating), but this stuff had significantly fewer calories than regular soda, and really was quite good.
One of the things that I really love about going to various dining events is the people you meet. You might find yourself sitting across the table from the chef of a budding new restaurant in Denver, a couple who does design and planning for new restaurants, or a former contestant on Master Chef. It’s fun to talk about food with others who are as into it as you are. Even if your expertise only extends to dining out or being a home cook, you can still talk about foods you’ve tried, different preparations, or the food you are eating at the dinner. It’s also a great opportunity to ask someone who works in the industry questions you’ve always had about restaurants or catering, or what have you.
My favorite main course of the evening was Hosea Rosenberg’s Homemade Cavatelli “Carbonara” with Two Bear Farms Egg Yolk and Pancetta. Most of the courses were served family style, so I didn’t get quite as much pasta on my plate when I passed it down as I would have liked, but it was still very enjoyable. Rich without being overwhelming, it made great use of the farm’s eggs.
There were several other main courses, but unfortunately I didn’t get good photos of any of them. They included Pickled Colorado wild striped bass by Mark DeNittis, Chicken fried beef tongue by Samir Mohammad, and coq au vin blanc by Jenna Johansen.
Oh, but then there was the unbelievably delectable element of the dessert course by Jessica Scott. She made three desserts, but the purple velvet cupcakes with jalapeño cream cheese frosting were hands-down the best. I know that no description I give will do them justice. Yes, jalapeño cream cheese frosting might sound a bit odd, but having eaten and enjoyed quite a bit of gourmet chocolate with chilis, I knew how well that worked together. The cream cheese frosting had just the flavor aspect of the jalapeños without the heat, and for some reason, when mixed with the chocolate cupcake taste it was complete bliss.
I had to include a picture of the red and black brownies, because all lined up on giant serving trays, they just looked too pretty not to share.