That it would be a good evening was apparent as soon as I opened my car door in the parking lot and heard Martini Five-0’s music. From left to right, Tony Kool, Andrew Zeager and Ryann Anderson performed classic jazz and Hawaiian and surf music with a jazz twist.
The theme of the evening was locally grown food.
Everything served was provided by one of these local growers: Secor’s Nursery and Farm Market in Perry, Wayman Farms in Madison, Wests Orchards in Perry, Rainbow Farms in North Perry, Hart Farms in Madison, New Creation Farm in Geauga County, and Sage’s Apples in Chardon.
You can’t get much more local than that!
Bon Appetit’s Chef Manager, Art Ishman, and Executive Chef, David Apthorpe arrange roasted vegetables on plates. Bon Appétit is a company working to provide environmentally and socially sustainable options for on-site cafes and catering.
Executive Chef Jonathan Buchner and Sous Chef Anthony Praskovich ladle out Squash Bisque for a guest. A second course came out later in the evening, a salad of Swiss chard, polenta and beef cheeks, which are exactly what you think they are. Very tasty and tender, too.
Chef Buchner and Chef Benny Padierna collaborated to create their versatile Chimichurri sauce bottled under their company name, En Fuego Baby. As early as the end of next week, it’ll be on the shelves at La Mexicana Grocery Store and El Senor Tacos, 179 East Washington Street in Painesville.
Alex Bevan, musician and bread-maker extraordinaire, explains his offerings of different breads on display for three guests.
Executive Chef Nicholas Kustala steps outside the tent to chat with a friend. Nick runs the kitchen at the newly opened steak house, but is no stranger to the Greater Cleveland restaurant scene.
My Take on the affair: Good food, good music, good speaker and lots of tree-huggers and conservationists made it the most fun I’ve ever had at a Lake County Soil & Water Conservation District Annual Meeting, and it looked to me as though about 174 other people agreed with me. We’re all hoping we can refer to this year’s event as the First Annual FarmAFare.
If we’re lucky and we can have FarmAFare II, for those of you who don’t think an annual meeting could be fun under any circumstances, try it next year.
You’ll like it.
Photos © Carole Clement