The lush gardens at the Pepperfield Project are the perfect place to gather ingredients for a seed to table dinner. The gardens are full of heirloom and heritage veggetables, herbs and flowers such as fresh delicious raspberries, flavorful basil, broccoli, and much more. Last week I had the great good fortune to be the sous chef for Chef Mattias at the Seed Savers Exchange board dinner at the Pepperfield Project. Seed Savers Exchange is a national non-profit organization dedicated to helping preserve heirloom seeds and varieties which is based out of Decorah, Iowa. My mom Rowen White sits as the chair of the board of directors for SSE which gave me the wonderful opportunity to help cater a dinner for their board of directors. We had a lovely girls trip to the midwest, which was incredibly inspiring and relaxing.
And I got to see fireflies for the very first time!! Magic!
The Pepperfield Project, a Non-Profit Organization located in Decorah, IA, promotes the health and development of body, mind, and spirit through food and gardening in harmony with nature. Pepperfield Farm serves as a living example of wellness, including an environmentally sensitive lifestyle and its symbiotic relationship with the surrounding community and natural ecosystems. The farm serves as an education and retreat center focused on wellness and the teaching of intelligent choices that support sustainable systems.
Here was the menu:
Fresh baked brioche with a garlic, sage and rosemary butter.
A stunning and colorful mandala salad, made by our dear friend David Cavagnaro the founder of the Pepperfield Project and one of the founders of SSE.
Grilled chicken thigh kabobs marinated in garlic, cream, white onion, basil and mor with orzo pasta in a pesto cream sauce, cherry tomatoes roasted in olive oil and steamed broccoli.
A fruit tart with wild blueberry compote, vanilla bean pastry cream, topped with fresh raspberries from the garden a dark chocolate ganache and a sprig of fresh spearmint.
I loved working with Chef Mattias and David Cavagnaro; they were so welcoming and so generous with their knowledge! It was truly a privilege to work with these amazing mentors and furthering my passion for food and the culinary arts! Partnering with Seed Savers Exchange was really amazing, more chefs should talk with their local seed savers, farmers, and gardeners to find creative and diverse varieties that have stories and cultural connections to people and the land they originate from.
I look forward to future collaborations with Pepperfield and SSE!!