I am excited to have Eric Hildebrand as our guest blogger today. Eric has a great perspective on the events industry and is always spot on in his advice. Read his thoughts on Farm to Table weddings let us know your take on the whole "Farm to Table" Movement.
From Farm To Wedding!
Local and sustainable are two words that you’ve been hearing more and more in the food media. Even though this is an old way of consuming food, this idea of eating “local” and “ sustainable” is a very new idea to American culture. This new idea or way of eating has created increased interest and is changing the way we eat and think about food.
Last fall, I attended a wedding held at the Locust Grove Estate in New York’s Hudson Valley. The couple chose to have a family style reception. Guests were seated along long farm tables surrounded by the estate’s Victorian style gardens. A bordering kitchen garden set the tone for the evening, as guests would indulge in a menu that was locally sourced, with fresh and sustainable ingredients.
Guests sat down to a table filled with large bowls of locally grown apples, freshly baked breads and a selection of condiments. Not only were the apples from a near by orchard, but the bread flour came from a local mill. As the meal progressed, large white bowls and platters kept making their way to the table. Each platter filled with simply prepared foods that celebrated their locality and freshness. The best part was that every dish served made an impression on each and every guest.
As the evening unfolded, I soon found myself sitting amongst a crowd of foodies. Everyone was carefully reading their menus to see where the pork was raised, to learn in which vineyard the wine was produced and to check if they were right in guessing the cheese they just tasted was goat’s milk. Not only were guests enjoying their meal, but also, they loved the value of knowing what they were eating. The neat part is that guests were sitting in the valley, which produced all the food they were eating.
It was clear that this new idea of local and sustainable became the single language that every guest knew and understood. Many new friends were made that night by all. Who knew that two words “local” and “sustainable” could create not only a bond between the couple but also a bond amongst all guests.
Here are a few points to consider when preparing a local and sustainable wedding menu:
-Find a chef or caterer that is willing and comfortable producing a locally sourced and sustainable menu.
-Many caterers offer seasonal menus, but seasonal doesn’t mean the ingredients are locally sourced or sustainable.
-Utilizing locally sourced ingredients can help you save money as all ingredients are in season and at their peak.
-Research and source local farms, vineyards, orchards and mills, etc, and see if your caterer can work in some of your favorite ingredients into your wedding menu.
-Be sure to list on your menu where your locally sourced ingredients originated. List estate names and include a vintage or year for items like wine.
-Make sure your menu reflects your personality and tone of the party. Create dishes that you like and that your guests can enjoy and relate to as well.