Feast of the Fields – Thursday, September 20
SARATOGA SPRINGS – Too often I forget to stop and enjoy the simple beauty around me.
The harmony of what has been presented to me.
My family, friends, work, health, and home.
But each year I find that Feast of the Fields reminds me to pause, sit back, eat, and appreciate the setting which transcends to happiness within.
For the second year in a row my youngest daughter McKenzie was my date for this event. McKenzie, photog extraordinaire in the making, and foodie like me always looks forward to this feast.
Saratoga PLAN has their own ideas- Preserving Land And Nature.
For McKenzie and I, being our second year at the Feast of the Fields, we have our own plan.
We arrive right when the doors open, making a beeline for the fire pit on the outskirts of the patio. This space will serve as our home base. A location where we can chat about the flavor of the morsels in our mouths, rest for a moment before we sample the next small plate, and later in the night a spot for snuggles and sweet mother/daughter conversation. Once we have located our perfectly placed Adirondack chairs, we drape our scarfs as a sign to all the other party goers, that these seats are taken.
After our seats are secured we immediately make our way to one end of the perfectly maintained upper stone porch. Forks in hand, already salivating, we slowly and methodically begin to taste, critique, and enjoy.
McKenzie and I always begin by reading the colorful, hand drawn boards. It is here that we can determine who’s the chef, what we are about to eat, and from what farm the produce and meat comes from. My favorite part happens next, as we approach each restaurant’s table, we are given the opportunity to speak to the chef and farmer of the delicious cuisine I am about to enjoy. McKenzie on the other hand loves seeing the food being prepared and plated right in front of her.
Saratoga PLAN has hosted Feast of the Fields for thirteen years. Their motto is, “from the farmers you know, for the land you love.” This farm to table event once again did not disappoint.
All the dishes were unique and mmm-inducing however I must put the spotlight on a few of my favorite dishes.
The Adelphi Hotel/Salt + Char provided my mouth with a smoked, whiskey-glazed mangalitsa pork belly placed gingerly on a bed of fire-roasted corn puree, cider braised collards and dressed with kohlrabi kimchi and 64-degree duck egg. Chief Chris Bonnivier utilized Denison Farm, (which is a permanently conserved farm like many of the farms present tonight, thanks to Saratoga PLAN) and Bowman Orchards to help make this superior bite.
Julia Sanzen of Farmers Hardware partnered with Otrembiak Brothers Farm and Lewis Waite Farm to grace my palate with deconstructed short rib Bahn Mi with cabernet braised short ribs topped with pickled daikon and carrots, cucumber, cilantro and chili aioli. You may not recognize all of these ingredients, and frankly – neither do I. But I can confirm the result is delicious!
For those adventurous individuals (of which McKenzie were not) Matthew Bolton, the students of SUNY Adirondack Culinary Arts Program, Denison Farm, and St. Croix Farm presented cider-braised pheasant, pickled root vegetables, apple pears, currant-infused glace de viande, and sage chips. 9 Miles East Farm and BLG Farm offered duck while the Prime at Saratoga National and Highland Farm and Old World Farm served a smoked venison chili.
The winner for my favorite culinary business name goes to Chef Dan Spitz, owner of, Fat N Happy LLC, which about an hour in to the Feast of the Fields I was!
I would be doing a disservice if I did not mention all the local libations that were present and more than happy to share their concoctions! Adirondack Pub and Brewery, Saratoga Winery and Tasting Room, Upstate Distilling Co., Artisanal Brew Works, and trust me when I say, many, many more!
Pick Six Vodka provided me with my first and favorite drink of the night which was a perfect pour of Pick Six Vodka mixed with lavender infused lemonade. Pick Six vodka is distilled, well six times. The company uses an all natural water supply which is drawn from the well on their property right here in Saratoga County.
So to review, small plates prepared by top local chefs made from fresh ingredients harvested from neighboring farms, locally distilled drinks, one of the best dates a Mother could ask for, all the while sitting in a cozy Adirondack chair looking at the dancing flames of our nearby fire pit.
To Saratoga PLAN: I am beyond grateful for the fact that when the fields feast we all get to feast.
Thank you for allowing me to feast, relax and appreciate all the beauty and flavor Saratoga has to offer.
Till next year!
Make a Cyber PLAN
Posted September 24, 2018