Friday, November 18, 2016

Supper Time on the Farm

If there’s one thing this November has shown, it’s that a Bon Vivant’s work doesn’t slow down with the falling of leaves and the long-awaited arrival of cool weather. Hot on the heels of the Bluegrass Festival, tonight, November 18, marks the first of three Supper Clubs at Andalusia, in which eight of our most generous friends are invited to dinner and rousing conversation at Flannery’s table. I, once again, get the fun work, in which I get to plate and pour (and sample) the efforts of chefs from all over Georgia and from various culinary backgrounds. In the interest of full disclosure, I also “borrow” recipes without any shame in the slightest and thereby take some of the dinner home, eventually.

The variety of cuisine at these events has been the real treat: Asian fusion, Texas briskets, and back again. The most recent dinners were provided by the good folks at Dovetail and Grow Cafe in Macon, a locally owned establishment specializing in farm-to-table dishes. (That boiled peanut hummus of theirs made an appearance at a gathering of my own friends and has caught on beautifully.) This season, Gregory Thigpen of Southern Creative Catering here in Milledgeville will join us, and already tonight’s pork loin is looking to be worth washing a dish or two.

Nearly all of the ingredients served at any Andalusia Supper Club have been sustainably sourced. These efforts get back to the true “farm” of Andalusia, when homegrown food was a matter of course and sustainability was no mere policy proscription or buzzword. So too, it’s no accident that locally grown food simply tastes better. I think back to all those peaches from my childhood that grew in an orchard across the road from my neighborhood. Even ones from the best grocery store produce section didn’t compare with the peach stand.

I rather like having my own preparations for Thanksgiving begin with a dinner for our donors at Andalusia, for we really cannot thank them enough. Their generosity keeps the farm, a physical sense of Flannery’s legacy, alive. Dinner amongst good company is but a small way of displaying our gratitude for the big help and inspiration they are.

Daniel Wilkinson will host the three Supper Club dinners at Andalusia this season and fondly remembers Chef Vivian Lee's family-style Korean Christmas pictured above. 

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