Wednesday, July 01, 2009
Friends of Foodista Meal
It's been a few weeks since I had one of the most amazing meals of my life. But sometimes you need to let these things sit and marinate before you write about them.
At work, I've been working with a wonderful company called Foodista. For those who don't know, they are an online cooking encyclopedia that encourages joint contribution from their users. Well, these people are just fabulous and not just because they invited me to their "Friends of Foodista" dinner but also due to the work they do. Scott was also lucky enough to be invited along as he used to work with one of the Foodista founders. Yes, Seattle is a small town.
For this meal, Foodista collaborated with Michael Hebb of Onepot.org and Foraged and Found Edibles at the Caffe Vita Loft. The theme of the meal was "Found and Foraged". I heard that none of the food we enjoyed was older than 48 hours old and it tasted so fresh.
The previous weekend, chef and co-founder of Foraged and Found Edibles, Christina Choi, and Chef Donahue met with Hebb and crafted a menu inspired by seasonal and foraged ingredients from the Puget Sound region. Every recipe on the menu was foraged wild or locally harvested.
The meal started out with butter clam fritters, harvested by Foodista co-founders Barnaby and Sheri near Hope Island. They were delicious and double-dip worthy (Never fear, I did not double dip even though I really wanted to!). There were also Lemon balm leaves with raw porcini salad and chive flowers but I'm not sure that I tried those so I can't say how amazing they probably were.
Once we were seated, we were presented with Local scallop crudo with sea beans and shiso, The scallops were dry packed and not chemically treated which lent them a fresh taste. The sea beans were new to me but delicious. Their slightly salted flavor really worked with the scallops and reminded me of a warm day at the ocean.
We then enjoyed Wood violet and miners lettuce salad. The miners lettuce grows wild in the forest and is scrumptious. It's not too lettuce-y which I dislike but is more of a wild greens flavor.
The next course was Octopus with fingerlings and wild onion blossoms. I literally had two huge heapings of this plate and then went back for more when I saw there were leftovers going to waste. The potatoes were a nice compliment and lent a bready taste to the dish.
My favorite course was the Elk shoulder with porcini, farro, and garlic scapes. Maybe it was that Scott and I had just returned from Yellowstone and I had game meat on my mine or maybe it was that the elk was so delicately flavored with a duck braising but either way, it was pure heaven. This is how I know I'll never be a vegetarian. The idea of having elk for dinner makes my tummy very happy, very, very happy.
We rounded out the meal with Local strawberries with elderflower syrup and cream. It was the perfect light finish to an amazing meal.
It was a perfect evening where stranger met each other, old friends re-connected and everyone walked away with a special memory of a night where they had that one perfect meal.