Taher, Inc. and Threshing Table Farm hosted the Fall Farm Dinner in Star Prairie, WI on Saturday, September 23rd. The dinner featured dishes prepared by classically trained Taher chefs using produce from Threshing Table Farm’s Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) Program.
The Annual Fall Farm Dinner with Taher, Inc. and Threshing Table Farm took place on Saturday, September 23rd in sweltering Wisconsin heat and humidity. But you wouldn’t know it from talking to the Lenz’s, the Taher chefs, or dinner attendees. All parties were excited to see and try what the chefs from Taher could create using the fresh produce from Threshing Table Farm and other local producers, like Weed’s Greens.
Farm Dinner Prep
Putting on an event of this magnitude takes the coordination of a small army. Many of these dishes take days to prepare, such as selecting the vegetables that need to be pickled or making the fresh ricotta made by Taher Chef Brian Renz. So Chef Eric, Chef Brian, and Trent Taher spent the Friday before the Farm Dinner at the Taher Culinary Center prepping what could be done beforehand.
People began to arrive Saturday afternoon and were greeted by delicious appetizers of goat cheeses and pickled vegetables from Threshing Table and pickled by Taher chefs.
While the open fire chicken cooked, the dinner bell was rung calling all diners to the fire. With a quick explanation of the dishes they were about to eat, a quick thank you to the Lenz’ and the other producers, the diners headed inside the barn.
The first dish served was Chef Brian’s Shaved Brussel Sprout Salad. The dish consisted of shaved Brussel sprouts, smoked bacon, maple syrup, and an apple cider vinaigrette.
Shaved Brussel Sprout Salad
Next came a dish that required some assembly. Chef Eric made a petite vegetable and tomato pistou, selecting only the best small vegetables from Threshing Table Farm and turning them into a delicous two part soup.
Petite Vegetable and Tomato Pistou
The third dish had a noticeably less than Midwestern flair. Chef Brian presented his Peruvian Causa and Smoked Trout using vegetables from Threshing Table Farm and trout from Star Prairie Trout Farm. It also drew on influences from the Chef Council’s trip to Peru with the streaks of Aji Roja and Aji Amarillo sauces. It lent a delicious spiciness and sweetness that cut the rich potato and trout causa.
Peruvian Causa and Smoked Trout
After the first three dishes, time for the main course. Chef Matt Quist and Shawn Taher carried in the beautiful roasted chicken through the barn and began readying the chicken for dinner and assembled the main course. Open fire chicken, drenched in sage butter, and Carnival squash stuffed with braised swiss chard and topped with fresh ricotta and microgreens.
And finally came dessert. With a little bit (ok, a lot) of science, the final dish was assembled. Trent poured liquid nitrogen to make a very smooth ice cream.
Why use liquid nitrogen? Besides looking totally cool, it makes the ice cream much smoother. Liquid nitrogen only exists below -320F and boils higher than that. Ice cream is basically just a milk product/ sugar, water, and air. When you slowly freeze normal ice cream, water has time to set up into larger crystals and it feels rougher. By using liquid nitrogen, you quickly drop the temperature on the mixture and the large ice crystals don’t have time to set up.
The final dish, dessert, was a beautiful fall apple crisp using fresh apples and raspberries from Earth Song Farm, Crystal Ball Farm, and Demulling Farms. It was a sweet bookend to a delicious dinner.
And with that, the Fall 2017 Farm Dinner came to end. It was a night of wonderful food, conversation, and a true experience to get close to the people that provide the food that we eat. That’s why we’re so excited to partner with Threshing Table Farm and others to bring the freshest, local food to our locations, both K-12 and business units.
That’s how we’ve operated since 1981. We were among the first to bring chefs into schools and business units. We continue to use the freshest ingredients and recipes from scratch. Our company is about fresh food, first and last. That’s why our clients love having us as a partner in food service. We hope to see you at our Spring Farm Dinner in 2018!