A slew of acclaimed chefs, Les Dames D’Escoffier Chicago members, and others came together on Sept. 25th for a special dinner featuring foods from Green City Market vendors at Middlefork Farm hosted by Dame Jeanne Nolan of The Organic Gardener Ltd. and her husband Verd with assistance from Dame Rita Gutekanst, formerly of Limelight Catering. Dame Carrie Nahabedian of Naha and Brindille and a GCM board member served up some hot smoked chicken and a panzanella salad with maple syrup-lacquered bacon featuring products from Bennison’s Bakery, Burton’s Maplewood Farm, Ellis Farms, Green Acres Farm, Nichols Farm & Orchard, Smits Farm and Three Sisters Garden paired with a “Patriot’s Picnic” cocktail made with Old Forester Signature Kentucky Bourbon, watermelon, mint, lime, and 18:21 Watermelon Mint Shrub.
Dame Sarah Stegner of Prairie Grass Cafe and a founding GCM board member served luxury heirloom pumpkins from Ellis Farms glazed with honey butter and topped with local goat cheese from Prairie Fruits Farm and Creamery.
Some of the other chefs and their dishes at the event included Eric Mansavage of Farmhouse Chicago who served a smoked, local Arctic Char with crispy rye, horseradish and dill goat cheese spread paired with house-made Farmhouse Cider; Leonard Hollander of Arbor, who served charred kobacha with roasted Candice grapes, smoked pecans and black garlic; Chef Abra Berens of Local Foods who offered a salad with shaved pork belly and grapes, and Matt Dubois and Michael Carroll of Band of Bohemia, who served grilled and glazed, seasonal butternut squash.
Also at the event, Green City Market’s Executive Director Melissa Flynn made an exciting announcement that the market will be expanding its educational programs into the classroom. With help from local donors, the market plans to build on-site gardens at two Chicago schools to teach children about gardening and cooking with the freshly harvested vegetables. GCM is continuing to seek seed funding to catalyze this innovative project based on Alice Water’s Edible Schoolyard Project.