It’s easy to think of the Food Building in terms of ingredients. After all, the food production hub houses separate companies that produce cured meats, cheeses and milled flour.
Then one day a few months ago, hub proprietor Kieran Folliard imagined all those elements together in one delicious, transcendent form: pizza.
Thus Pizza Farm – a summer lawn party that celebrates both tasty pies and the way they came together – was born.
“We’ve got the perfect product here,” Folliard said. “We’ve got the flour to make the dough, we’ve got the cheese and we’ve got the meat.”
In other words: wood-fired fate.
Folliard and the Food Building will host their third monthly pizza party on Thursday, with Northern Fires churning out the ‘zas, Sweet Science scooping ice cream – including one flavor made with Lone Grazer’s ricotta – The Twisted Shrub shaking up cocktails, Able Seedhouse and Brewery pouring beers, local musician Ben Kyle serenading lawn-squatters and other activities – screen printing, anyone? – making for a full four-hour (4-8 p.m.) ode to the end of summer.
Not local enough for you yet? One of Folliard’s employees even plucked the tomatoes from her own garden to make sauce for the last shindig.
It’s Folliard’s hope that guests will primarily enjoy themselves while also letting a little of the Food Building’s mission statement – developing local food fueled by farmer-to-consumer relationships -- sink into their brains.
The Food Building will be open for self-guided tours during the event, with employees staged around the facilities to answer questions about the productions. Guests can see how the flour is milled, the cheese cultured, the meat, cured.
“The craft of food, the importance of that,” Folliard said. “The farmers bring it to life in a very fun, open, non-educational sort of way, so that people can see the value of the work that we’re doing.
“The idea was how do we highlight the great products that are being produced here but do it in a very fun way while also giving people an opportunity to hopefully sit out on the lawn and listen to some great music.”
Pizza Farm may take a pause when – ahem – winter comes, but Folliard and Co. have more event ideas on the brain. Coming soon: a pasta boil. Hm, cheese, noodles and cured meat? I can almost taste the spaghetti carbonara already.
[Above photo: Mike Phillips at Red Table Meat. Photo credit: Renee Jones Schneider.]