Next up: Ultra Local at Queens Farm
Getting from Manhattan to Queens with our big trailer was pretty dicey. We all were a bit frayed when we showed up at Queens farm. Energetic farmer Michael Grady Robertson soon greeted us shambling and galomping around the farm pointing out all the ''really cool stuff''. This farm proved to be a favorite for both Outstanding staff and guests. All kinds of farm goodies to see and the city RIGHT THERE.
Pretty much ALL the ingredients came from the farm - including the pig. No need for other producers at the table - there really weren't any other producers to include. The super well put together publication "Diner Journal" was shown around as everyone soaked up the waning light of late summer. We settled in at the table as Chef Caroline Fidanza wowed the crowd with her fresh and tasty menu.
We need it for the plants to grow. Best that it rains on days that we do not have a dinner planned.
Our La Plaza Community Garden dinner adventure quickly went from interesting to much too exciting. Jim has faith in the weather workers at the National Weather Service and this time his faith went unrewarded. Early in the day a 20% chance of showers gave us the confidence to go ahead with an outdoor dinner with no shelter. By noon we were looking at a forty percent chance of rain. By 2pm it was raining steadily. Outstanding emergency shelter crew then sprung into action. Ben hatched a plan, including foraging for shelter materials around Manhattan hardware shops. With no time to spare Ben scaled high into the park tree canopy and with tarps and cables, the gap between two tall trees was spanned.
As all dined beneath our sheltering canopy Jen Small of Flying Pigs Farm regaled guests with stories of pigs and lipstick. Baker Jim Lahey of Sullivan Street Bakery explained the mysterious no knead method. "Ice cream boy" Ben from Van Leeuwen Artisan Ice Cream strolled the table. Guest Chef Alejandro of Brown Cafe smiled all the while and put out the BEST food.
This guest wonderfully captured the atmosphere of the evening with her photographs.