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You Did What In The City?

Any opportunity I get to share the food culture, nature and what we do in The Berkshires with people I jump at it.

City Plate asked if Heirloom Fire would come to Hub Seventeen (An events and community space in the Lululemon Flatiron Location) in New York City and put together a Dinner in honor of Men's Fashion Week. The guests for the dinner would be 30 influencers in mens fashion and to open the floor to discussion.

Well, if you know me at all, you know I love to cook and have a fondessness for men’s fashion, so this was on my calendar before Justine (City Plate, Little Miss Local) could even finish asking.

The theme for the dinner was based around Men’s Fashion - masculine yet sophisticated, with a focus on creativity and innovation…

What comes to mind for a menu with a masculine and sophisticated feel? Let me pour myself a glass of bourbon and brainstorm.

Cigars, game, wilderness, hunting and as I sipped my bourbon I thought, of course, bourbon.

I had a vison in my head of the pinnacle (in my opinion) of mens fashion - English countryside, circa 1930. With a riff on the game theme, I thought, lets envision a fox hunt. Now, what else might we see while in the woods? Moss, leaves, deer, acorns and walnuts - all of these will have to make their way onto the table. I spoke to my dear friend, Magdalena from Magdalena Events about the vision and as always, she got it and made it even better than what I had in my mind.

Keeping with a classic dinner format, we would start with some stationary appetizers and then proceed into a family style courses.

Of course as with all Heirloom Fire weddings and events, charcuterie is a must. Leading up to this event, I was able to acquire some venison that I was happy to get into some salt. I cured the 2 hind legs into Proscuitto and made Venison Chorizo - both come with us. Along with a variety of other cured meats that we make, local cheeses and preserves, the charcuterie table was beautifully set for the welcome hour.

The long communal table was set with our wooden boards, foraged moss, sumac berries, golden acorns, deer antlers and various vintage props.

The first course was a Winter Green Salad with Cured Egg Yolk, Pickled Mustard Seeds, Turnips and Radishes served in rustic wooden bowls and iron bowls.

Immediately after dropping the salads, we followed with a platters of Roasted Winter Vegetables and Spruce Roasted Cornish Game Hens served on a bed of white pine in copper and brass roasting pans.

The conversation flowed as we began plating the final course. Often is the case that cheese is served as the dessert course in Europe. I wanted to offer a play on that but adding a little sweet to it. One of my favorite cheeses, Bayley Hazen Blue, is From Jasper Hill Farm in Greensboro Bend, VT. The cheese lacks the sharp acidity that some blues can have, yet has a flavor of age, is somewhat ashy and mildly sweet. I wanted to dial the mild sweetness forward and maintain the rest of the savory qualities. The thought was transform this cheese into a very soft, almost liquid Panna Cotta.

I paired this dessert with hazelnuts that were preserved in honey, honey poached cranberries, honey comb and a black walnut cake made from nuts that I forged this past autumn in The Berkshires.

How to tie in that Bourbon…?

Well, the dinner was just following a huge snowstorm that hit New York City very hard. Along most sidewalks were 3 feet high mounds of snow and some boroughs haven’t even been plowed. That sounds like just cause for a shot, and thats exactly what we did pairing the Panna Cotta with a shot of Berkshire Mountain Distillers Bourbon.

I love bringing the untamed country to the city.

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