Last week I was invited to attend an event hosted by the Sustainable Business Network of Massachusetts (SBN) at The Granary Tavern. This nonprofit’s mission is to build a Massachusetts economy that is local, green, and fair. They currently organize several programs but are probably best known for the Boston Local Food Festival held each fall.
Chef Keenan from The Granary Tavern was tasked by the SBN to pull together a tempting 3-course dinner for a crowd of approximately 50+ people using only locally sourced ingredients (down to the flour and salt used). For those who live outside of New England you may not realize how difficult this can be during the height of our winter, but I have to tip my hat to Chef Keenan who did an admirable job. The dinner was both social and educational – driving home the point that even here in the winter, one may buy locally grown foods and prepare nutritionally balanced, delicious meals.
Dinner started with a salad made with assorted lettuce, parsnips, apples, and cheese. The crunchy parsnip strips, cubed apples and tangy vinaigrette contrasted nicely with the soft goat’s cheese and buttery lettuce flavors. And as you can plainly see in the photo below – everything looked fresh.Following the salad, I had high hopes for the main course which I had ordered. The second course was a grilled Angus hanger steak served on a bed of root vegetables with a rich sauce; I believe it was a hollandaise – it was delicious.The final course of the evening was a baked Alaska made with maple syrup ice cream and drizzled with extra maple syrup for additional flavoring. I’d never had a baked Alaska before but this was light and sweet. I love real maple syrup and it was the inclusion of this local ingredient more than any other that tempted me, while I scraped my plate clean, finishing off the baked Alaska. In the past I’ve written about local farmer’s markets and my interest in purchasing food that is locally sourced (for example The Foodery post in January) . Do you purchase food from a farmer’s market? Do you notice a difference in the quality / freshness of that food? How important is this to you?