The farm-to-table movement has been on the rise for some time now. With many restaurants and chefs striving to be mindful of seasonal ingredients, people are becoming more aware of their local farmer’s markets. Beth Nydick of Blue Barn Kitchen recently took the concept one step further. She joined forces with Emily Hennelly, owner of AnyThyme Farm and Wild Honey Catering, to put on the first Field to Fork dinner. Guests were invited to dine on a mostly plant-based meal right in the setting their produce was coming from.
Driving up to AnyThyme Farm, you might wonder if you had found the right place. It feels as if you are pulling up to someone’s home, which is exactly the feeling the Field to Fork dinner evokes. Sharing good food, with (new) friends, in a relaxed setting. It is one thing to have your food sourced from a local farm and another experience to eat in that setting. As you walked up to the white table clothed tables adorned with wild flowers, you were greeted with blueberry and sage ice tea. Guests took turns on the wooden swing that hung from a tree and milled about the idyllic farm setting.
Sylvia Becker and Daniel Stein of Wild Honey Catering were busy at the grill while Beth and Emily greeted guests with smiles. Mounds of fresh produce were covered in what were clearly herbs straight from the ground. Sylvia and Dan explained how they chose their menu in partnership with Beth Nydick and AnyThyme Farm: “At the Field to Fork dinner with AnyThyme Farm and Beth Nydick of Blue Barn Kitchen, we chose to use patty pans squash, they are a form of zucchini that people don’t often know about or at the very least even tasted. We also used mizuna, which has a spicy element and was an added surprise to the creamed kale—our play on creamed spinach.”
Then the dinner began, with one dish as gorgeous and as tasty as the next. Some of my favorite dishes included purple mashed potatoes with caramelized onion, a pasta starring goat cheese, and arugula salad with peaches, fennel, beets and a citrus vinaigrette (pictured at top). And of course I can’t forget the sweet ending that included a perfectly picked peach paired with ricotta with lemon verbena.
Everyone involved in this dinner is committed to aspects of health in wellness in their respective lines of work. They are committed to raising awareness in their communities and helping others on their journeys through food. Sylvia and Dan believe that using Jersey Fresh produce is important because it promotes sustainability. Wild Honey Catering is committed to “supporting our local farmers because it is good for our economy and supports our agriculture.”
AnyThyme Farm also helps shine a light on agriculture with its CSA program, and Beth offers nutritional services along with healthy lifestyle solutions. There are plans in motion to have more culinary experiences like these in the coming months. Make sure to sign up for the newsletter to find out about how you can join the next dinner date!