In just two short weeks we will be packing our steel and heading south to Nashville, TN.
As one of our last big dinners of our season, we couldn't be happier to be spending it with Sean Brock and his team at Audrey.
Outside of cooking a wonderful meal together over the open fire, we are happy to be returning to such a beautiful city that is full of history, culture, great food and of course, music. We plan on taking a few days to enjoy it, which I hope the folks that are coming in for this dinner will plan to do the same.
It has been refreshing to create this menu and to understand how each course fits together while featuring components local to each area and ingredients that are the heartbeats of of their regions.
We will welcome diners with our house made, sliced in the moment charcuterie, pickles, hearth baked breads, local TN cheeses and preserved fruits and nuts.
Small offerings will be passed and include items such as smoke roasted oysters, country ham, Jerusalem artichokes, Northern Squashes and Wild Harvested Northern Venison.
Libations (both alcoholic and non alcoholic) will be crafted by the incredible bar at Audrey.
The first course will be a salad of Northern Heirloom Tomatoes preserved by encasing them in melted house made butter with fresh, fragrant herbs; perfectly capturing the essence of summer. Served alongside these jewels is fresh buratta, peppery greens and stinging nettles.
The second course will be our take on "Leather Britches". Traditionally made by weaving together string beans with a thread (similar to popcorn for the Christmas tree) and air drying them or hanging them by the hearth to get a hint of smoke. After the beans are dried, they are simmered with pork fatback and then something magical happens.
We will recreate that magic with southern Rainbow Trout, hung over the fire (like we do). In place of string beans, we will be smoking Anson Mills Sea Island Red Peas and cooking them with rich trout fat and simmer them in a cauldron over fire with northern green crabs.. Lastly, we will be finishing the dish with Kudzu or as some know it as"The Weed That Ate The South."
The main course is a marriage of North and South. Pork from LeAnne from Bear Creek Farm slow cooked over southern hardwood flame and finished with a sauce from northern lilac wood.
From the North (and one of my favorite things to cook over our fires) we will bring beautiful Hudson Valley Ducks that we have aged for a few weeks. As the ducks spin, rendering out their delicious fat and crisping the skin, the thighs will slowly braise in their own fat and will be served confit style along with a sauce of southern persimmons and apples.
The accompanying vegetables will be crisp, twice cooked new potatoes in a earthy ramp aioli, bright black garlic vinaigrette and tossed in loads of fresh herbs,
Alongside our pork and twice cooked potatoes is a true southern staple, slow cooked heirloom grits. Although they may resemble our northern Polenta, grits actually come from a different type of corn. The creamy bowls will be topped with spruce smoked northern wild mushrooms and our garden Sage.
The dessert is a celebration of a little creature, that has immense impact on our lives, that brings not only the north and south together, but the entire world - Honey Bees.
The foundation for this dessert is Baumkuchen, a cake cooked over the fire on a spit. Made from one of our favorite items to cook and smoke over, spruce the cake is drizzled with caramel made from honey and duck fat and served with a honeycomb Panna cotta.
This unique Tuesday dinner is one not to miss in my humble opinion. That all being said, I will leave you with this...
Life is best lived through experiences, and adventure is always worthwhile.
See you by the fires,