Max’s Chef to Farm Dinner

Max’s Chef to Farm Dinner

In late June, I attended the Max’s Chef to Farm Berries & Blossoms dinner at Rosedale Farms & Vineyards in Simsbury, CT.

Max's Chef to Farm Berries & Blossoms dinner at Rosedale Farms & Vineyards in Simsbury, CT.

Max’s Chef to Farm Berries & Blossoms dinner at Rosedale Farms & Vineyards in Simsbury, CT.

Rosedale is a fifth-generation family farm that offers fresh vegetables, fruits, wines and flowers.   The four-acre vineyard is an official stop on the Connecticut Wine Trail. On Saturdays and Sundays in the summer and fall, you can drop by the wine bar for a sampling of the vintages.

Rosedale Farm is a fifth-generation family farm that offers fresh vegetables, fruits, wines and flowers.

Rosedale Farm is a fifth-generation family farm that offers fresh vegetables, fruits, wines and flowers.

In 2009, Scott Miller, Executive Chef & Managing Partner at Max Restaurants, started the Chef to Farm dinner series program. Now in it’s seventh year, the series provides guests with an opportunity to enjoy the freshest foods and produce in the awe-inspiring beauty of Connecticut’s Farms.

The Max's Chef to Farm dinner series program, now in it’s seventh year, provides guests with an opportunity to enjoy the freshest foods and produce in the awe-inspiring beauty of Connecticut’s Farms.

The Max’s Chef to Farm dinner series program, now in it’s seventh year, provides guests with an opportunity to enjoy the freshest foods and produce in the awe-inspiring beauty of Connecticut’s Farms.

Each dinner is cooked from scratch and showcases the day’s best produce, sourced from local farmers, ranchers and fisherman.

Chef Scott Miller and his team prepare the meal onsite.

Chef Scott Miller and his team prepare the meal onsite.

Our evening began with a wine and beer tasting reception featuring Rosedale wine and New Park brewery. This small-batch craft brewery is in the process of opening in West Hartford, CT. We enjoyed both the Rosedale wines (both red and white) and the beer.

Throughout the evening there were plenty of beverage selections, including Rosedale wines, New Park Brewery's beer and an organic coffee sampling from Shearwater Coffee.

Throughout the evening there were plenty of beverage selections, including Rosedale wines, New Park Brewery’s beer and an organic coffee sampling from Shearwater Coffee.

Throughout the evening there were plenty of beverage selections, including an organic coffee sampling from Shearwater Coffee.

While guests settled in, there was live music provided by Glenn Roth.

While guests settled in, there was live music provided by Glenn Roth.

While guests settled in, there was live music provided by Glenn Roth.

Some guests then opted to head out for a farm tour. We chose to skip it because there were several delicious appetizers that we couldn’t bare to break away from!

There was a beautiful self-service appetizer buffet, which showcased Connecticut oysters in the center,

There was a beautiful self-service appetizer buffet, which showcased Connecticut oysters in the center,

In addition to the self-service buffet, which showcased Connecticut oysters in the center, there were several delicious passed appetizers too. They included: squash blossoms fritto, chicken liver mouse, fava bean and English pea tartelettes and Berkshire pork meatballs.

There were several delicious passed appetizers too, including squash blossoms fritto, chicken liver mouse, fava bean and English pea tartelettes and Berkshire pork meatballs.

There were several delicious passed appetizers too, including squash blossoms fritto, chicken liver mouse, fava bean and English pea tartelettes and Berkshire pork meatballs.

Each appetizer was so distinct that it’s tough to pick a favorite, but if forced I would go with the meatball, which had a slight spiciness in the sauce and I loved that they were served in mini-crock style bowls.

Then, our hosts invited us to be seated in the tented area. While the tables were dressed in white linen and candlelight, they retained their rustic ambiance with burlap runners, milk bottle vases and wild flowers.

While the tables were dressed in white linen and candlelight, they retained their rustic ambiance with burlap runners, milk bottle vases and wild flowers.

While the tables were dressed in white linen and candlelight, they retained their rustic ambiance with burlap runners, milk bottle vases and wild flowers.

The dinner’s menu consisted of several courses of the “day’s harvest” food cooked fresh that day by Chef Scott Miller and his team.

The dinner’s menu consisted of several courses of the “day’s harvest” food cooked fresh that day by Chef Scott Miller and his team.

The dinner’s menu consisted of several courses of the “day’s harvest” food cooked fresh that day by Chef Scott Miller and his team.

We started the meal with Foosh Pa, a single, bite-sized hors d’oevre, that was accompanied by a complementary berry cocktail. This item was a fluke crudo with pickled green strawberries, chicharron, and basil flower. This mini bite is often served to prepare the guests for the meal and offer a glimpse into the chef’s approach to cooking.

We started the meal with Foosh Pa.

We started the meal with Foosh Pa.

Fresh berry cocktail

Fresh berry cocktail

As our first course, we were served burrata (a fresh Italian cheese made from mozzarella and cream) with fresh berries, juniper berry cured ham, fennel blossom and a dollop of whole-grain mustard. This plate was “every bite delicious.” They could have served me nothing else and I would have been satisfied. That’s how good it was!

Our first course was  burrata with fresh berries, juniper berry cured ham, fennel blossom and a dollop of whole-grain mustard.

Our first course was burrata with fresh berries, juniper berry cured ham, fennel blossom and a dollop of whole-grain mustard.

But I’m glad we moved forward as the meal’s entrees were also delicious. They included a land and sea course:

  • Black bass with wheat berries, mussles, wild garlic and allium blossoms; and
  • Coffee braised bison short rib with ancho-blackberry syrup and mashed parsnip

To accompany the entrees, there were two side dishes that were served family style:

  • Savannah green beans with anchovy and caper remoulade; and
  • Chilled cucumbers with Spring onion confit
Our main entrees had so many amazing components to it.

Our main entrees had so many amazing components to it.

While I enjoyed every aspect of the entrée portion, I would say that my favorite was the short rib. I loved every bite on that plate and so did all the guests we were seated with! All that was left were plates with bones remaining – ha!

Dessert was a summer berry trifle served in a deconstructed fashion. In addition to the fresh berries, it contained lemon yogurt and toasted sponge cake. I loved the combination of sweet, syrupy berries and the crunchiness of the crusted cake.

Dessert was summer berry trifle.

Dessert was summer berry trifle.

As a final touch to an already amazing meal, each couple was sent home with a take home treat that contained Max’s homemade granola with dried berries. What a great way to extend the memories of this wonderful meal.

Our take home treat contained Max’s homemade granola with dried berries.

Our take home treat contained Max’s homemade granola with dried berries.

Overall the entire event was an incredible dining experience with the most local, fresh and flavorful foods cooked by a local chef rock star and his remarkable team. The ambiance was charming. We were seated with several delightful couples that also share a passion for top-rated food and dining in the state so we had great conversation sharing experiences.

Kudos to the chef - Scott Miller on an all-around wonderful evening!

Kudos to the chef – Scott Miller on an all-around wonderful evening!

I look forward to attending another event lead by the Max Restaurants and Rosedale Farm!

 

Have you ever been to a Max Chef to Farm Dinner?

What’s your favorite Max restaurant?

Do you have a favorite “fresh from the farm” recipe/ dish?

 

Disclaimer:  While I was invited to the Max’s Chef to Farm Dinner at Rosedale Farm, the opinions and views expressed above are my own and describe my personal experience at the event.

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