Annual Farm to Table Brings Great Local Flavors to Life

In one of the large rustic barns at County Line Orchard, sweet and savory smells wafted out of the busy kitchens. It was the third annual Farm to Table Festival. And it showcased the region's farmers, chefs, bakers, and artisans.

Ryan Richardson, owner of County Line Orchard, was in the thick of things playing host. He was very pleased about the whole endeavor.

“The purpose is to celebrate and recognize community gardens that have sprouted up in Northwest Indiana and to promote all of the small farmers, small producers and restaurants in the area that are plugged into the movement of sourcing things locally or regionally,” Richardson said. “It's a nice night for people to come in, mingle, make some new connections and see what Northwest Indiana has to offer.”

The format of the event changed from a formal sit-down style dinner to a casual affair. This way, more local establishments could participate and show off their talents and products. Seating was available for those who wished to lounge and relax, and cocktail tables were set up throughout so people could make their way through the room easier. Live music came from the second story of the large barn to entertain all who attended.

Small plates were served from each restaurant. The dishes that were served were: pork belly lettuce wraps, fairytale pumpkin soup, roasted duck breast stuffed with bacon, shiitake, and Brussels sprouts, beef stew with root vegetables, porchetta with Swiss chard and bacon vinaigrette, turkey tacos with cranberry squash salsa and sausage walnut stuffing, bison and Cinderella pumpkin chili, and sunchoke, Brussels sprout and candied walnut salad.

Oh yeah, we know how to entice and eat here in the Midwest.

Drinks were available from local breweries, distilleries, and wineries. On either side of the room were long tables filled with an assortment of breads, cheeses, and apples that guests were able to sample before dinner was served. After dinner, different desserts were set out on those same tables for the guests enjoyment. Fruit, cheese, chocolate, ice cream and all around carb lovers rejoice!

The establishments involved with the nights edibles were:

  • Bistro 157
  • Valley Kitchen & Bar
  • Branya's Bakery
  • Three Floyd's Brewpub
  • The Cottage on Dixie
  • Strongbow Inn
  • Spire Restaurant
  • Hunter's Brewing
  • People's Brewing
  • Journeyman Distillery
  • Anderson Winery
  • Butler Winery
  • McShane's
  • Slow Food South Shore
  • CreativeSoultionz

“This is our first chance to do something here at the [Farm to Table Festival]. This place is gorgeous,”Executive Chef Dave Hemdal of Strongbow Inn said. “The ability to be involved and create some good food is awesome.”

Awesome accurately described the evening. The talents and passions of the local establishments shown through in each edible creation and the guests enjoyed every aspect of the event.

“We always get such a great crowd at this event so it's just fun to see everybody come in and discover these new tastes and things that come out of Northwest Indiana,” Richardson said with a smile.

For those of you that missed this year's Farm to Table Festival, remember: there will be one next year.

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