UPDATED WITH PHOTOS.
It was a heady day for the crew of the Bachelor Farmer restaurant on Friday, as they prepared lunch for President Obama for a fundraiser. The meal was directed by chef Paul Berglund.
"It was a thrill and a tremendous honor to host the President in our restaurant. And we're incredibly proud of our entire team for the terrific job they did today," Eric Dayton and Andrew Dayton noted in a prepared statement. The lovely menu presentation was created by MCAD DesignWorks, the in-house design studio at the Minneapolis College of Art and Design.
Each of the staff was wearing a tie created for the event in a partnership between Askov Finlayson (sister store to the Bachelor Farmer) and Minnesota-based Pierrepont Hicks. The tie was also presented to President Obama as a gift. A handful of extra ties from the limited edition run will be for sale tomorrow (Saturday) at Askov Finlayson, 200 North First Street, Minneapolis (612-206-3925).
The chalkboard at the restaurant offered greetings.
President Obama offered good words about Gov. Mark Dayton, below, and Mayor R.T. Rybak, according to Robert Stephens, a guest at the luncheon.
Here's what the crowd of 100 had to eat:
A cocktail of juices: Sanbitter (a nonalcoholic, bitter orange Italian soda, similar to Campari), pressed OJ, white verju (slightly sour grape juice), seltzer, lemon
House-smoked pork breast, spiced pork rillettes (think pork spread), Dijon mustard, chives from the restaurant's rooftop garden
English pea and creme fraiche pureed soup, radish, Parmesan, mint
Salad of early summer vegetables and flowers, goat's milk cheese, pistachios, cider vinaigrette
Choice of Copper River sockeye salmon, sauce Choron, new potatoes, grilled asparagus, tarragon, or
roasted chicken, arugula-bread salad, chicken confit, pickled shallots (The restaurant can't comment on which entree the president chose.)
Assorted cookies for dessert.
Dayna Burtness of Laughing Loon farm in Northfield, who supplies the Bachelor Farmer, was thrilled that her spring mix of lettuces and spinach was used at the meal. She tweeted "And guess who grew his salad and has two thumbs? This girl!"
Indeed, she did. "Tell the president to stop by for an espresso," Janna said as she handed over the drinks.
Fire hit the Easy Bean Farm in Milan, Minn., on March 19. The farmers -- Malena Handeen and Mike Jacobs -- lost several outbuildings, including two greenhouses, and a tractor. The CSA farm has sold organic vegetable shares in the Twin Cities and southwest Minnesota since 1996.
A fundraiser to help them will be held on Sunday, April 22, from 3 to 8 p.m. at the Nomad World Pub, 501 Cedar Av. S., Minneapolis, 612-338-6424. Tickets are $10 ($30 per family) at the door.
Music will be from The Field of Medicine (Malena's band). Food is being provided by Chowgirls, Muddy Waters, GingerHop/Honey, Drew's Caramel Corn and Brian Crouch, with donations from Moonstone Farm, Thousand Hills Cattle Co. and Pabst.
Photos from the fire are posted on the Easy Bean Farm's Facebook page. Subscriptions to their CSA are still available. An account has been set up for donations at the Co-op Credit Union, 2407 Hwy. 7 East, PO Box 447, Montevideo, Minn. 56265.
Move over Andrew Zimmern. There’s another star in the neighborhood.
The Star Tribune is asking readers which 2011 image is their favorite photograph of the year (you can find the ballot here). The choices are a treasure trove, and I can't pick just one.
Instead, I'll play photo editor and offer my own.
My colleague Tom Wallace snapped it while we were visiting Khaiti and Andrew French's fascinating farm in western Wisconsin, where the couple raises several hundred Khaki Campbell ducks.
That's Khaiti -- note the duck tatoo on her left arm -- and some of the farm's gorgeously pearly, extraordinary-in-every-way eggs.
Find the story here.
And Happy New Year!
This week's Market Watch puts the spotlight on sweet corn, cultivated in Brooklyn Park by farmer Bill Brooks. Here's the promised recipe.
Also, for four fantastic sweet corn recipes -- sweet corn succotash, sweet corn chowder, crepes with corn pudding and sweet corn pancakes with honey-pecan butter -- go here. They were created for Taste by local chefs Steve Vranian (formerly of Nick and Eddie), Phillip Becht (formerly of the Modern Cafe, now at the Birchwood Cafe), Heidi Woodman (Heidi's) and Russell Klein (Meritage) for a 2008 story, and they all belong in your sweet corn repertoire.
BLACK BEAN AND ROASTED CORN SALAD
Serves 4 to 6.
Note: From “The Mitsitam Café Cookbook: Recipes from the Smithsonian National Museum of the American Indian” by Richard Hetzler (Fulcrum Publishing, $22.95).
6 ears corn, husked
2 c. canned black beans, drained and rinsed
½ c. diced red bell pepper
½ c. diced yellow bell pepper
1 tsp. minced garlic
¼ c. freshly chopped cilantro
1 tbsp. seeded and minced jalapeno chile
1 tsp. ground cumin
1 tsp. ground coriander
3 tbsp. freshly squeezed lime juice
3 tbsp. corn or canola oil
Salt to taste
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Place corn directly on oven rack and roast until corn just begins to change color, about 8 to 10 minutes. Remove from oven and transfer to a wire rack and cool. Cut kernels from ears and transfer corn to a large bowl. Add beans, bell peppers, garlic, cilantro, jalapeno, cumin and coriander and toss to coat. Add lime juice and oil and toss again. Season with salt and serve at room temperature, or cover and refrigerate for at least 2 hours, or up to 2 days.
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