by Megan Labrise - Gardiner’s Phillies Bridge Farm hosts “Meal in the Field” July 30
Many of us may never know the aches, pains, strains and stresses of a farmer’s life. But on July 30, the Phillies Bridge Farm Project invites us to discover one of its sweetest rewards: finishing a day’s work before sundown to dine al fresco on hearty homegrown food. An inaugural “Meal in the Field” will be held at Phillies Bridge Farm in Gardiner on Saturday, July 30 from 5:30 to 9 p.m., rain or shine. Six New Paltz-area chefs will prepare four courses of locally sourced food, served to guests in one of the farm’s working fields.
“As a farmer, you have those perfect summer days when you’ve been working long hours in the fields; now it’s evening and most people have gone home. When you then get to sit back and have a well-prepared meal outside, it’s one of those rare and special pleasures of working on a farm – and I thought that would be great to share,” said Jesica Clark, president of the Phillies Bridge Project board.
Michael Bernardo of Café Mio, Seth and Jennifer Branitz of Karma Road, Agnes Devereux of the Village Tea Room, Justine Leger of Bridge Creek Catering and Lagusta Yearwood of Lagusta’s Luscious will use ingredients harvested from Phillies Bridge and other Hudson Valley farms, highlighting the freshest available midsummer vegetables and fruits. “I think it’s really important to us and to our customers that they know where their food is coming from, and I feel Phillies Bridge has been providing a beautiful service to our community,” said Seth Branitz of Karma Road. “They’re an integral part of what we do, and what’s especially wonderful is they allow us to serve our customers a dish that was still in the ground that very morning, coming from just a few miles up the road.”
Branitz and his fellow chefs are donating their resources to the event, which will serve as a fundraiser for Phillies Bridge’s ongoing agricultural education and community outreach efforts. “The event is a fundraiser for the Farm to support our mission to connect people to the land and their food by growing food for the community, educating people of all ages and backgrounds, and sharing part of the harvest with people in need,” said Phillies Bridge executive director Jill Rubin.
The Meal in the Field begins with a cocktail hour featuring beer from the Gilded Otter and Keegan Ales and wine from Robibero Winery. The menu – subject to slight changes based on ingredients’ availability – includes both omnivorous and vegan options. Dinner begins with an appetizer of Heirloom Tomato and Sweet Corn Tart with Goat Cheese and Raspberries by Café Mio. The next course will be Cold Zucchini and Summer Squash Soup from the Village Tea Room & Restaurant, served with Goat Cheese, Feta and Olive Oil Breadsticks, and butter made fresh from Ronnybrook cream by the kitchen staff at the Queens Galley in Kingston. A family-style dinner will feature two main entrées: Karma Road’s gluten-free, vegan Multigrain and Polenta Croquette with Red Pepper and Tomatillo Sauce, over a bed of greens; and Bridge Creek Catering’s Hudson Valley Fresh Yogurt-Marinated and Cumin-Crusted Old Ford Farm Chickens with Succotash of Cayuga Barley, Phillies Bridge Edamame, Cherry Tomato, Basil and Corn. For a sweet finish, Lagusta’s Luscious will serve Rich Chocolate Ganache Tart Infused with Local Herbs and Fruits, with Candied Borage Flowers and Fruit Caviar. Coffee and Harney & Sons teas will accompany dessert.
The cost is $55 per person, $100 per couple. Supervised childcare will be available for a limited number of children ages 4 to 12. The service costs $15 per child and includes a light meal.
To buy tickets or for more information, call (845) 256-9108 or visit philliesbridge.org. Seating is limited. Diners are strongly encouraged to purchase their tickets by Monday, July 25.