“Farm Week” is a collection of daily posts recapping a summer of Farm Dinners…
Remember the Miracle Berry foodie trend? The New York Times referred to it as the “tiny fruit that tricks the tongue.” After chomping on the berry, its proteins bind with the taste buds and act as a sweetness inducer when in contact with acids. Suddenly super tart lemons taste like sugar-glazed candies, hot sauce is drinkable, and everything your tongue previously held true is topsy turvy.
When Chef Steve Eckerd, formerly of Le Bec Fin in Philadelphia, donned his farm dinner apron, the menu became similarly topsy turvy in an exciting way. Chocolate laced a savory bread. Octopus supplanted typical Bolognese ingredients. Pickled fruits and garden herbs worked their way into dessert. Each course delivered a surprise, both in terms of ingenuity and quantity of food (this farm dinner goes on record as making me the fullest!).
Terrine of Silver Fox Rabbit
brassicas, compressed Dutch cucumber, melilot whey jam, red haven peaches, bitter chocolate pumpernickel
alfafa cured guinea hen & octopus Bolognese, fried padron peppers and eggplant, raw milk ricotta, basil bread crumb
Then the menu went rogue…
The tables were quickly speckled with felled kernels of popped corn. These bowls were like infinite treasure chests, brimming with multiple flavors, colors and textures.
Whole Roasted Lamb Barbacoa
radish salsa verde, pickled chicken of the woods, Flint Hill cream cheese, charred torpedo onion, blackberry coffee conserva, purple shiso
vanilla corn custard, pickled blueberries, tomatillo jam, whipped basil cream, candied almond crumb
The meal concluded with a garden in a bowl, and thankfully, I had saved just enough room to sample the roller coaster of flavors from the sweet to the tart to the herbal. I was later pleasantly surprised to learn Steve Eckerd’s next venture will be located in what I have always had to refer to as “outside Philadelphia.” With the relaunch of The Mainland Inn, he’ll be right around the corner from my hometown, and that makes the prospect of holidays home much more exciting! Maybe my friends from Philly will even venture to the ‘burbs to join me. Eckerd really does have a way of making everything topsy turvy!