Eating Farm to Table

September 27, 2013

Posted By: Bozemama

It’s harvest season in Southwest Montana, where the farm-to-table movement is alive and thriving. We at Montana Parent are celebrating the region’s farmers, ranchers, suppliers, purveyors and nonprofits in our October Farm to School issue, which is being distributed today. As a parent living in this area, there’s a lot to be excited about – and we cover it all in this beautiful new issue of our magazine.

With this is mind, our creative director Shaunescy Willard and I participated in the last farm-to-table “pop-up” dinner of the season at the historic grocery store in Gallatin Gateway. Part of Medicine Hat, Inc. , a collaborative architectural design laboratory, the grocery store has become a rotating venue for community members to explore Gallatin Valley’s authentic culture, including agriculture and food. Last Thursday’s dinner was prepared by Melissa Harrison at Seasonal Bozeman , and it was the perfect way to celebrate the flavors of our local fall bounty.

Now, this was my first pop-up dining experience (if you don’t count the “carpet feasts” that spontaneously pop up in our family room) and it felt like we were dining in a gracious friend’s beautiful home. Our lovely servers introduced themselves and filled our glasses with La Vieille Ferme rose while telling us about the art-filled space and inviting us to take a look around the grounds. We visited with the charming chef, Melissa, as she stirred, sliced and plated the meal. And we sat at a communal table with like-minded strangers who became friends over the many courses of Melissa’s deliciously-prepared menu.

We started with a light salad of striped Chioggia beets, cherry tomatoes and raspberries from Gallatin Valley Botanical, which was so pink and pretty alongside the rose. This was followed by a hearty lamb ragu served over polenta made with Amaltheia goat cheese and a transition to a Chilean red wine. There were roasted veggies served with walnut pesto and an Amaltheia pork roast alongside cauliflower puree. Melissa introduced every course, happily acknowledging each of her suppliers, such as Three Hearts Farm and Montana's Best Meats. It was unexpected, delightful and intimate.

While this was the last dinner of the season, E.J. Engler and the folks at Medicine Hat, Inc. will be hosting another series at the grocery store next season. And there’s still time for anyone interested in supporting the Gallatin Valley Farm to School (GVF2S) nonprofit to get tickets to the Farm to Table Dining and Wine Tasting (catered by Seasonal Bozeman) at Nova Café on October 24th. The tickets are $125 person, which included wine, hors d’ oeuvres, dinner and dessert. All of the proceeds after costs will be donated to the GVF2S, whose mission is to strengthen children’s knowledge about agriculture, food and the environment; improve childhood nutrition, reduce hunger and prevent obesity all while supporting local farmers, ranchers and food manufacturers. Now that’s something to celebrate. 

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