Artful Eating

I love food. I love the ceremony of cooking, eating and sharing a meal at a table of good friends. I also love wine. It is a delicious enhancement to food, either as an ingredient or as an accompaniment. Good wine, when paired with certain foods, elevates eating to an artful experience.

Recently, good friends of ours invited to celebrate a special occassion at a wonderful country hotel in Tennessee, Blackberry Farm. {}.
It was the perfect setting for an intimate gathering where we celebrated the birthday of our friend, David, and honored his love of food & wine. He is an amateur chef who puts my culinary training to shame! His passion for wonderful food & wine is a hobby, and he is kind enough to share it with anyone who crosses his path.

The weekend was full of amazing food. Seasonal selections of cool, salted radishes, fresh ricotta with country ham and housemade salumi greeted us with a tall glass of bubbly. The hot, farmstead cheese gougere made with cheese produced right on the property were my favorite. The meal was one of the first served in a new barn they had moved from Pennsylvania and restored to a luxurious farmstead feeling of simple elegance. A roaring fire, the first of the season, kept us warm throughout the night. The menu was a creation of their new chef, the former sous chef from the Modern in New York and a fellow alum from Chez Panisse. Needless to say, he had me at the first sentence, "I grew up on sheep farm....". Our first course was a suprise treat in honor of our friend.
Fresh maine bay scallops, first of the season, swimming in a delicious pool of diced quince with a sweet broth. Roasted rabbit tenderloin with caramelized onions, truffled risotto with a runny, rich egg yolk. The meal went on for ten delicious courses in total. The highlight of the evening was sitting next to the wine maker who produced most of the wine that was served the entire weekend. Larry Turley's wine is in high demand and short supply, so we savored every sip. The Rattlesnake Ridge zinfandel was one of my favorites. The evening ended with a well-deserved tribute to our friend and a thanks in gratitude for the food & wine we shared together.

It will be a memory that will last long beyond the food & wine we enjoyed.

buon appetito!

copyright 2007 Alisa Barry

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