Slow Food’s Feast in the Field is a feast in every sense of the word. Claverach Farm and Vineyard once again showcased a six-course menu from some of the best chefs in the country in their beautiful barn. Many attendees had been to Feast before but the chefs are so creative and the cause so important, guests are more than willing to come back year after year.
The night started with a cocktail and an amuse-bouche in a nearby parking area, after which patrons boarded a shuttle van that drove straight (well, as straight as you can drive through the woods) to Claverach.
select cheeses, Criminal sauce, local veggies
The evening began with a farm tour and hors d’oeuvres. Sam Hilmer showed guests his bounty as stomachs growled and glass after glass of beer and wine flowed.
Speaking of drinks, this year we enjoyed:
- Schlafly AIPA
- Schlafly Kolsch
- Perennial Artisan Ales Belgian Blonde with Gooseberries
- Perennial Artisan Ales Munich Lager
- Claverach Farm and Vineyard dry Chambourcin
- Claverach Farm and Vineyard “green” wine blend of seyval and marsanne
We also enjoyed unique cocktails from Matt Sorrell’s new venture, Cocktails Are Go (libation education)! The beauty below is a combination of strawberry puree, basil/mint/cucumber simple syrup, and Claverach’s “green” wine.
We listened to music, perused the menu (which I’d memorized by then), and munched on bread from Companion Bakery and red raspberry butter made by a Slow Food St. Louis co-leader himself.
The chefs met and discussed the order of events for the night, then introduced hors d’oeuvres for the evening.
- pork liver pate, strawberry mostarda, lavash (Entre)
- goat cheese & zucchini terrine, tomato, eggplant, bacon jam, crispy shallots (Kitchen Kulture)
- smoked chicken liver parfait, toasted pumpernickel, apricot chutney (Kitchen Kulture).
- not pictured: margherita pizza (Mad Tomato)
And just when I thought my stomach couldn’t take the teasing any longer, the six-course adventure began!
king crab terrine, pickled vegetable salad
What beautiful spring vegetables. This was the perfect light and refreshing first course.
chilled ginger and tomato bisque with bunching onion relish and smoked shrimp
I’ve stated before that I don’t care for chilled soups. This soup made me change my mind. I could have swam in it, for goodness sake!
rabbit haggis, oatcake, English peas, heirloom carrot sprouts
Haggis – rabbit mixed with oats and minced onion, then traditionally simmered with stock in the animal’s stomach. I ate it all, even the flower.
sweetly smoked Missouri trout, Amish shelling pea cream, Chicagoland green garlic vinaigrette, herb Yorkshire pudding
My favorite course by far. The entire thing was absurdly delicious. Both Walker and LaCasse are chefs that were featured on Around the World in 80 Plates with Clara Moore herself. I’m so grateful for their green garlic!
Cassy Vires (Home Wine Kitchen)
red wine braised bacon with sorghum, pickled vegetables, Claverach microgreens
Vires knows you can’t go wrong with bacon. Delicious.
shaved lamb heart, smoked carrot, dill pickled turnip, charred leek, miso puree
Have you eaten heart? This was my first time. The texture got to me at first (reminded me of mushrooms) but this dish (especially those charred leeks!) was a success from start to finish.
Kim Bond (Gooseberries, Frazer’s)
honey ice cream, fresh berries, herbs, rice crisps
You can’t make a better ending to a six-course meal than this lighter than air dessert. Love that ice cream.
This meal was surprisingly light. And maybe it was the beautiful breeze flowing through the barn or the many glasses of beer and wine, but I felt more comfortable and at ease than I expected, surrounded by friends that understood the meaning of slow food.