Farm to Table celebrates summer’s bounty

By Jenn Sheridan  ·

 

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Photos courtesy Squaw Valley  ·

Farm to table dinners have been growing in popularity and for good reason. It’s the perfect opportunity to meet other members of the community, often in a beautiful setting while enjoying some of the region’s best meat and produce sourced from local farms and ranches.

I recently enjoyed a dinner at the newly repurposed garden space near the Olympic Valley Lodge at Squaw Valley. The menu was carefully prepared by Chef Tiffany Swan, the so-called food scientist behind the MTN Roots food truck using ingredients sourced within 100 miles of Tahoe through the Tahoe Food Hub. Swan’s background extends beyond basic pairing of ingredients. Looking at food from its most basic structure, she studies the science behind why certain flavors complement each other so well.

As dinner guests arrived, we were treated to pickles and radishes, roasted nuts and a bruschetta with fresh heirloom tomatoes and creamy cheese while we mingled around the garden and enjoyed the sun setting over the Tram Face. After sampling a few appetizers, we made our way over to the two, long tables in the center of the garden for the main courses. The meal was served in large dishes, which were passed around the table allowing each guest to serve his or herself.

The first course was a watermelon and arugula salad dressed with a tangy vinaigrette. Although I’m usually not a fan of watermelon, I had to admit the sweet, juicy fruit provided the perfect contrast to the tart dressing and savory vegetables. The suggested pairing, a 2012 Chardonnay from Truckee River Winery, is the perfect complement.

The main course was a flank steak and beef ribs served over roasted potatoes and corn on the cob. The juicy meat was so tender one barely needed a knife to cut it, and the vegetables were roasted just enough to maintain a crisp crunch during the first bite. The course paired well with the merlot selected by Swan, also from Truckee River Winery.

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For dessert, we are treated to a Nectarine Pavolva. The light meringue was the perfect finish to the meal. The tart fruit and sweet whipped cream left me wanting to go back for seconds. A glass of Pinot Noir washed the decadent treat.

Over a cup of coffee, we finish conversations with new friends found at the table and watch as the last of the sunlight dips below the horizon.

The final Farm to Table dinner for the season will be on Aug. 30 and features roasted chicken with a summer succotash. Dinner is $35 per person. For reservations, call (530) 584-6081 or e-mail [email protected]