From the farm to an elegant table

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By Janell Oliver

The event was sold out. Even though the overcast skies threatened rain earlier that afternoon, Yew Dell Gardens’ marketing director, Siofra Rucker, had planned ahead. The 300 guests attending the farm- to-table dinner in support of Slow Food Bluegrass found themselves seated beneath an elegant white tent in the garden.
As Rucker greeted people upon arrival – many of them by first name – she assured them they would stay dry in the enchanting tent where a fabulous dinner would be served. She needn’t have worried, for the gray sky held off and merely illuminated everyone’s fine evening apparel.
As folks meandered through the gardens, caterers presented them with appetizers created by chef Kathy Cary of Lilly’s restaurant.
Dressed for the occasion was Porter Watkins from Louisville, accompanied by two guests from Chicago.
“Farm-to-table guarantees superb food. This is our little way of impressing big city folk,” Watkins winked at her out-of-town guests. “And I’m also a big fan of the chef tonight. She’s one of the best chefs in Louisville.”
Local farms featured on the evening menu included Ashbourne Farms, Foxhollow Farm, Blue Dog Bakery, and Stone Cross Farm, among others.
Slow Food Bluegrass, made entirely of volunteers, is a local chapter of Slow Food International – a global, grassroots movement with thousands of worldwide members committed to community and the environment.The mission is good, clean and fair food for all in the Bluegrass region.
A band, the Long Run Players, performed Bluegrass tunes.
“We are very happy to be here,” said band member Paul Martin. “We’re artists and we support the Slow Food movement, too.”
Event sponsors attended as well, including Michael Drane of Creation Gardens Produce, which is the largest distributor of Kentucky Proud products.
“It’s obvious that Louisville is on the map when it comes to local foods and organizations that promote local food,” Drane said. “Of course we’re going to be a part of this.”
Sunday’s menu included appetizers  – Capriole Farm goat cheese and kalamata olive bruschetta, Longfield Farm squash and walking onion with pita chips; entrees – Stone Cross Farm pork loin, Foxhollow grilled top sirloin, Marksbury roasted chicken, Ashbourne beets and balsamic with woodland strawberry popcorn, Sapori d’Italia goat cheese with Ashbourne Farm slaw, Ashbourne Farm pickled carrots, Kenny’s Gouda with Foxhollow tomatoes and basil, Foxhollow green onion and red potato salad with woodland fennel bulbs and Yew Dell radish, Blue Dog Bread with Grateful Green’s rosemary and extra virgin olive oil; and desserts – dolce de leche dipped in chocolate with sea salt and caramel, coconut ice-cream dipped in chocolate and rolled in coconut, black raspberry  chambord dipped in dark chocolate drizzled with white chocolate and lemon shortbread and Jackson’s Tomato Sauce.

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