Farm Week: Chef Steve Eckerd of Le Bec Fin

August 2013

“Farm Week” is a collection of daily posts recapping a summer of Farm Dinners

Farm-Week

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.

Crositini

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!).

Barn Table Setting

Farmer

Wine Pouring

Grass Cocktail

Rose

Farm Reflections

Bitter Chocolate Pumpernickel

Terrine of Silver Fox Rabbit

Terrine of Silver Fox Rabbit
brassicas, compressed Dutch cucumber, melilot whey jam, red haven peaches, bitter chocolate pumpernickel

Terrine Assembled

octopus

Paccheri
alfafa cured guinea hen & octopus Bolognese, fried padron peppers and eggplant, raw milk ricotta, basil bread crumb

Popcorn Platter

Then the menu went rogue…

Popcorn Corn

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.

Steven Eckerd and Severino

Guest Chef Steve Eckerd with host Chef Justin Severino of Cure Restaurant.

Whole Roasted Lamb Barbacoa
radish salsa verde, pickled chicken of the woods, Flint Hill cream cheese, charred torpedo onion, blackberry coffee conserva, purple shiso

Peache Corn Custard

Peaches
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!

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