Whim Introduces Students to Field-to-Plate Cooking at Smolak Farms
[July 11, 2012] Smolak Farms in North Andover has began its second season of hosting farm dinners called “Whim.” Michael Smolak, owner, calls it Whim because the guest chefs are able to create the three-course meals based on what produce is available from the farm. The ingredients are picked, cooked, and served to guests the same day. Chefs are able to create a unique field-to-plate experience for diners at Smolak Farms with fresh ingredients picked that morning, cooked on the spot.
Each week Smolak Farms hosts a different chef from New England’s most-praised restaurants. CSCA students accompany the chefs to help prepare the three courses that guests enjoy under the stars. Students assist with prep, cooking with the China box, and plating to ensure a smooth and successfully executed dinner to 100 weekly guests.
Guests are able to interact with chefs and students at a bonfire after dinner. Diners receive an appetizer, entree, and dessert for the cost of the ticket. A portion of the proceeds is donated each week to a charity chosen by the chef.
To date, students have assisted Chef Will Gilson (formerly of Garden on the Cellar), Andy Husbands (Tremont 647), Vittorio Ettore (Bistro 5 and A Tavola), Rich Morin (Lineage), and Mary Dumont (Harvest). Unfortunately, Chef Suzi Maitland’s event was postponed due to the weather. Maitland, a CSCA graduate from 2004, will host her event in the fall.
CSCA volunteers include Neil Segall, Joyce Eliopolous, Robin Swayze, Didem Hosgel, and Betsy Proom, all in the PCP prospective ’13 class; Professional Pastry student Janet Charron; and recent PCP 2012 graduate Brian Ryder. Students helped prepare and serve a variety of different dishes including Gilson’s Duck Sausage with Red Currant Sauce, Wood Roasted Swordfish with early summer Ratatouille, and Lemon Curd with fresh berries, pistachios, and spiced meringue; Husbands’ pit-smoked World Champion Ribs, Slow Smoked Chicken and Pork, and IQue sides cornbread, collard greens, and slaw; Ettore’s Peach Gazpacho, China Box Porchetta, and Blueberry and White Chocolate Mousse with fresh berries; Morin's Maine Lobster Salad, Fennel Pollen-crusted Tuna; and Smolak Farm Summer Fruits with Dolche de Leche; and Dumont's Grilled Peach Gazpacho with Lobster, Summer Herb and Ginger Braised Hertiage Pork Tenderloin, and Cornmeal Cake with blueberries and Butter and Sage Corn Ice Cream.
Smolak Farms plans to reschedule Suzi Maitland of Trina’s Starlight Lounge (On the Rise) during the fall. Check out Smolak Farms for information and ticket sales.
The Whim Dinners are sponsored by The CSCA, Northeast Flavor, Boston Chefs, Yelp, and How2Heroes.
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