Mushroom Foraging


Mushroom Foraging


Tuesday, October 5th – The Oakland Cemetery with Drew VanLeuvan of One Midtown Kitchen and Farmer Don Hardiman of Geezer Gardens

Dining with the Deceased

Yet another successful (and delicious) meal from For Food’s Sake, on Tuesday, October 5th, FFS members and several new guests gathered at Atlanta’s historic Oakland Cemetery for a feast never to forget. Guests followed a trail of luminaries from the gated entrance to the Visitor’s Center, where wine was poured and an Amuse Bouche of handmade sausage and pickled beans was passed around to eager palates. Once the sun set, everyone found their seat along a grand estate table, set with white linens and majestic candelabras—a stark contrast to the mystic monuments surrounding it. The subtle streamlined glow created a perfect autumn ambiance, with just a little October spook, knowing those graves were resting just beyond your line of sight.

The evening was hosted by ONE.midtown kitchen Executive Chef Drew VanLeuvan and Farmer Don Hardimann of Geezer Farms. They started out by serving beef carpaccio, preserved acorn squash, crisp farmstead cheese, all accented with fresh lemon aioli. Across the table were exclamations of “I didn’t even know I liked beef carpaccio” or “are you going to finish yours?” Clearly, Chef Drew knew how to get the appetites running.

The second course came as a warm butternut squash soup, topped with warm brown butter, leaving not a dry bowl on the table. The third course quickly followed, bringing plates heaped with russet potato gnocchi garnished with the biggest, meatiest chanterelle mushrooms you’ve ever seen, and topped with wild arugula and fresh Greek feta.

Our last entrée was a smoked magret duck, more tender and flavorful than you could imagine, topped with marinated ruby beets, oj fennel and charred red onion. The flavor combination brought another round of sound bites from the table, this time asking for chef’s secrets, proving this was certainly not a meal to be ignored.

Chef Drew topped off his performance with a truly southern dessert—a huckleberry and semolina cake (think sweet blueberry cornbread biscuits) with a lemon glaze and chantilly topping. Again, no plate was left unclean and several eyes darted across the table, practicing powerful self-control to resist licking up the crumbs.

Overall, the meal left everyone holding his or her bellies, but left no one with any regret for refusing to simply dabble in each course. Chef Drew and Farmer Don exceeded member expectations, clearly exemplifying that the use of local, fresh fruits and vegetables has perks beyond our hungriest appetites and most sophisticated palates. –Jenni Williams

ONE.midtown kitchen is located in Midtown, Atlanta at 559 Dutch Valley Road. Geezer Farms is in Limestone County, Alabama
October 5, 2010
Chef Drew VanLeuvan & Farmer
Don Hardimann of Geezer Farms

Amuse Bouche
First course
Beef carpaccio, preserved acorn squash,crisp farmstead cheese, lemon aioli
Willm Cremant d’Alsace
Second course
Butternut squash soup, warm brown butter
Willm Cremant d’Alsace
Third course
Russet potato gnocchi, chanterelle mushrooms, wild arugula, feta
Valcome Cotes-du-Rhone Blanc
Fourth course
Smoked magret duck, marinated ruby beets,oj fennel, charred red onion
Becquer Rioja
Dessert course
Huckleberry and semolina cake, lemon glaze, chantilly
Ormella Moscato

Photos provided by Kitty Ray Swain, Amelia Pane Schaffner, Jake Laughlin




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