It feels great to be back to (somewhat of) a normal world. This past weekend we shared out Wild Land dinner series. It's hard to express the feeling of gratitude for our guests. The amount of positive feedback, electric energy and willingness to leave their evening in our hands will not be forgotten; this is why we d0 this and we are thankful to have an audience that is here for it.
For the folks that were not able to make it, let us break it down for you.
Our vision for this dinner was to give our guests Heirloom Fire's interpretation of The Berkshires in the exact moment of winter transitioning to spring while incorporating elements that we have preserved throughout the 2021 season.
Guests arrived in the evening, had their coats checked and received a "Sangria" inspired cocktail made from half reduced maple sap, wild grape from (frost last year) and rum.
The ceiling was slightly illuminated with a projection of the night sky and the moon (that would become more clear later in the meal). Surrounding the tables was collection of spruce branches, attached to the ceiling that had beignets (made from pine bark flour and filled with a savory spruce cream) hanging from the branches for guests to pluck off.
One of the stars of the evening was a deer that my neighbor harvested for us. As a little prelude to showcasing the beautiful doe, we made pemmican on hardtack and dehydrated blueberries from the summer.
Once all of the guests were in, We carried out to the table a log that we foraged. The vision for this course was what one might find whilst hiking in the woods in the spring in our beloved Berkshires. On this log was cured oyster mushrooms that were fried at the last minute. Underneath the log was a dip made from immature spruce cones that were cured and slowly cooked and very much resembled artichokes. We dusted the top of the dip with fine ground bread crumbs and bone charcoal to mimic a dried, yet still moist, wetland in which we pressed deer hooves into to look like tracks. Additionally, there were charcoal gougeres (resembling river rocks), hidden, cured venison heart pastrami, laminated herbed potato leaves and "deer droppings" made from black apple, black garlic and rye flour). Once all the logs were down, our servers brought out "bee hives" where the guests had to puncture the nest to released a seasoned honey.
The next course was inspired by the spring thaw of our local lakes and ponds. A pickerel patè rested atop rockweed aioli and pickled rockedweed. At the base of the plate lay an oil of green onion and a clarified water of a potato pureé. On top of the patè lay a "caviar" of black garlic. Finishing the dish was a large shattered, clear potato chip resembling melting ice on a lake.
We have not shortage of fowl here in The Berkshires. This next course celebrated water fowl in the form of duck. We deboned the ducks, cured them and then rolled them into a roulade. The inspiration for this course was the duck and everything that it eats - pebbles (duck fat confit potatoes), acorn pudding, duckweed and trout roe.
Prepared well, it can be transcendent, handled without care it can become shoe leather. Thankfully, we know we we are doing. This doe was harvested in a corn field (meaning the extra starch and carbohydrates she was consuming led to more inter muscular fat). We aged the doe for 4 weeks. We also paired it with other things that she might have been eating during the season. We took flint corn (typically used for popping corn) and pressured cooked it for 8 HOURS! The kernels were cooked with mushrooms and herbs. Slow cooked coins of turnips were seared and apples were cooked down to resemble mebrillo. Lastly, a tuile of wild juniper was fried to resemble lichen that would grow on spruce trees.
A palate refresher came next to prepare our guests for dessert. An ice made made from autumn black raspberry stems and an oil from their leaves.
Lastly, dessert consisted of birch wood ice cream encased in a mushroom infused chocolate, spruce oil cake and chaga chocolate soil.
Natural wines were served as pairings for the evening,
We couldn't be prouder of this dinner series. Based on the response, we will absolutely be revisiting seasonal dinners at our HQ come autumn, post our summer events season.
That being said... We have one last trick up our sleeve before the season kicks off.
April 15th and 16th, we are releasing our Family Table dinner series. Come with your friends and make new ones as we engage your senses and tastebuds. Four courses of the best of The Berkshires in the spring. Very limited seating. Reserve your seats HERE