Grazing in the Field: Some Enchanted Evening
About 100 food-lovers came hungry and left more than sated at Grazing in the Fields, a seven-course food and wine celebration at the Hueging Family Dairy Farm, near Woodlands, Manitoba.
Luxury isn't always found in between marble floors and crystal chandeliers. Sometimes it's found between the dairy barn and the horse pasture.
That's what 100 food lovers found out during the inaugural Grazing in the Field, a seven-course made-in-Manitoba feast held outdoors on the Hueging Family Dairy Farm in Woodlands, northwest of Winnipeg.
The magical and memorable evening brought together passionate food lovers keen to try the newest event in Manitoba's ever-growing fall feast season. Grazing in the Field, held Saturday September 15, was a celebration of Manitoba food and the province's producers.
Diners travelled by bus and arrived to a lawn-side cocktail party with free-flowing wines and Winnipeg-made Half Pints beer. Servers circulated with smoked turkey with aioli on toasted baguette chips.
A quick tour of the dairy barn by the Hueging family preceded dinner.
Diversity Foods executive chef Ben Kramer with his sous chef Aaron Epp delivered a fantastic meal. And they did it from a makeshift kitchen inside a garage outfitted with prep tables and a grill. A staging tent beside the diner room served as a plating station.
Lucerne chocolate milk, in a large glass bottles, added a bit of cheek to the gourmet evening.
Wine (and a maple Manhattan and apple white ale) was expertly paired with each course.
- Roasted garlic soup with Lucerne cream, Schriemers' cocktail tomato confit, herbed croutons, pickled mushrooms and chives
- Schriemers vegetable gazpacho with Whiteshell Dairy mozzarella cheese, baby greens, bread chips and micro greens
- Pickled carrots, cucumbers and green beans with Bothwell aged cheddar brûlée;
- Milk-poached, smoked northern pike with potato salad, grainy mustard, beets and arugula chimichurri
- Butter-knife tender Manitoba grass-fed beef
- A Bothwell cheese course
- Winnipeg cream cheese cake with crab-apple jelly, strawberry, a smear of caramel and sprinkles of chocolate “soil”
Kramer's innovative and interactive plates included hand-smoking spears of Northern Pike in mason jars just before service. Diners uncapped the smoke-filled jars at the table and dug in. Plates of micro-greens, still in mounds of soil, were shared between diners. Scissors were provided to clip the greens and sprinkle over the gazpacho.
For those who missed the dinner, Kramer's work can be tasted at Elements, The Restaurant.
The event was the work of the Dairy Farmers of Manitoba along with the Manitoba Liquor Commission, Schriemers' farm, Diversity Catering, Lucerne, Bothwell Cheese, and Granny's Poultry. For more information about the event go to grazinginthefield.ca.