Set the mood for autumn with a unique al fresco dinner experience benefiting the Camden Children’s Garden. Guests at Feast in the Fields will dine in the cornfields of Springdale Farms in Cherry Hill while savoring dishes featuring locally sourced produce. Chef Mark Smith, owner of The Tortilla Press, is gearing up to cook this farm-to-fork dinner.
At the Table
This outdoor dinner includes a full menu, with a series of appetizers, artisanal breads, and dishes ranging from grilled chicken to steak to shrimp. The dinner will showcase New Jersey’s fresh fruits and vegetables along with a homemade peach and apple ice cream to wrap up the night.
In deciding what to prepare, Chef Smith emphasizes the importance of using in-season products. “I work with both my staff and my contacts at local farms to see what harvests are coming in,” he says. “Early fall is a great time to continue to spotlight Jersey tomatoes and corn. Also we’ll want to take advantage of the end of peach season so there will be a spotlight on Jersey peaches as well.”
Entrees include steak medallions with a wild mushroom sauce and a grilled chicken breast with peach sauce, paired with sides like rosemary potatoes and rainbow carrots.
In recent years, the Camden Children’s Garden has provided urban farmers with seeds, water barrels, and fertilizer. With a mission to educate people of all age groups through horticulture, the Camden Children’s Garden reached out Chef Smith with the goal of feeding a large group of Amerihealth volunteers at a fair price. Chef Smith explains the connections made during this meal. “After they dined with us I just started asking questions and wanted to know more about the garden and its mission,” he says.
“When I found out that they were helping Camden’s urban farmers grow fresh produce for the people of Camden and providing a safe space for education and fun for Camden’s youth, I was hooked. I began working with them on banquets and fundraisers and never stopped.”
And what is Chef Smith looking most forward to as the event approaches? That’s an easy one for him. “No question, it’s the opportunity to highlight South Jersey farms and farmers and to show people around here that we have a tremendous culinary opportunity to enjoy all of this wonderful produce that’s literally right outside our doors,” he says.
See for yourself what Jersey farms have to offer!
Feast in the Fields Details
When: Sunday, September 16, from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m.
Where: Springdale Farms
1638 South Springdale Road
Cherry Hill, NJ, 08003
Price: $125 per person
Proceeds benefit the Children’s Garden.
by Lessly Delcid