2018 Year in Review

At the beginning of 2018, Feast Native wasn’t even on the radar for us. It wasn’t until we were in the car driving away from Peachtree Catering’s  January Sunday Supper, where we had a couple drinks and some delicious Thai inspired food, that we got to thinking we could make this work. 

Ultimately it wasn’t, and still isn’t, exclusively about the food. Food is just the catalyst. But, unlike other food critics and/or blogs that focus exclusively on whether or not they liked the food they were served at any given restaurant, we thought that was too easy. It’s too easy to love something and hate something else. We are all preferential beings and we all like different things. That’s why we turned the lens on the people. 

A squirrel might get lucky planting an oak tree now and then, but a seed isn’t planted, loved, grown, nurtured and harvested without some human interaction. And that harvested product certainly isn’t making its way to your table without some inspired chef cooking, braising, chopping, searing, grilling, mashing, grinding, or simply just displaying it for you before you actually eat it. Unfortunately, we have too often lost the knowledge of where our food comes from, how it got to be in front of us, and who actually planted it, butchered it, or stocked it on the grocery store shelf. 

As we progressed through 2018, our focus changed from telling the stories of the farmers, chefs, bakers and makers to championing their success and achievements. Not just listening to their origin stories, but being passionate about their work as well. 

The people we have featured this year make up our community. We have dreams of taking Feast Native outside of Missouri (which we dipped into with a feature from San Diego) but we realize these are the people we are passionate about. And there are so many more stories to tell in our backyard. New restaurants, new chefs, new farmers, new makers, and new people who are passionate about what they are creating that we haven’t told yet. If this sounds like you, let us know!

In 2019, we want to hear your story and be a champion for you too. Reach out to us so we can be a voice to help you along the path to success, whatever that may look like for you. And thank you to everyone who let us in their doors, onto their farms, and behind the scenes in 2018. We know that takes trust in a small blog just getting started and we hope we continue to earn your trust!

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Enjoy some of our favorite photos from this year and if you missed some of our posts, please make yourself at home and let us know which feature was your favorite this year on social media!

Cassie LeeComment
Butter and Figs' Roast Chicken Dinner
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We have a special treat lined up for you all today. Julia Norregaard, of French Butter and Turkish Figs based in Columbia, Missouri, was generous enough to share her recipe for the perfect cold winter night dinner with us. We truly hope you’ll enjoy making this one from the comfort of your own homes!

Roast Chicken Dinner

Serves 4-5 

Ingredients

For the chicken

1 4lb roasting chicken (Julia uses Altai Meadows pasture-raised chicken)

2 tablespoons butter at room temperature

3 anchovies in olive oil

1 teaspoon of the anchovy oil

4 cloves garlic

1 lemon

1 bunch flat leaf parsley 

salt and pepper

2 slices sourdough bread (Julia loves Sourdough from Uprise Bakery)

For the celery root puree

1 ½ pound peeled and cubed celery root

1 yellow onion, diced

2 tablespoons butter  

¼ cup white wine

1 ¾ cup chicken stock

1 spring thyme

2 garlic cloves

1 cup sour cream, or Greek yogurt.

salt and pepper 

 For the collard greens – adapted from Turkey and the Wolf 

4 tablespoons olive oil

6 garlic cloves, finely chopped

½ cup red wine vinegar

¼ cup sugar

1 tablespoon smoked paprika 

1 teaspoon kosher salt

1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes

10 cups (packed) collard green leaves (from about 4 large bunches) – deveined and torn into small pieces

Directions

For the chicken

  1. Preheat oven to 425 F.

  2. Make compound butter by chopping the anchovies into very small pieces and mixing them into the soft butter with a teaspoon of the anchovy oil.

  3. Rinse the chicken, remove the gizzards, pat dry.

  4. Create a pocket under the skin of the chicken breast by sliding your hand carefully between the skin and the breast meat starting at the neck, being careful not to tear the skin. Using your hand, smear half of the anchovy butter between the skin and the breasts. Add remaining butter to the outside of the chicken, legs, breast and wings. Season the bird generously with black pepper. 

  5. Cut the lemon into quarters. Do a rough chop of the leafy end of the parsley  (resulting in about 1 cup parsley). Cut the garlic cloves in half.

  6. Generously salt and pepper the inside of the chicken, then add the lemon, parsley and garlic. 

    *Julia notes that trussing a chicken can be tricky and suggests this new and improved method, complete with a video

  7. Place two slices of bread (butt to butt) in a roasting pan. Rest the chicken, breast side up, on the bread. The bread will soak up the juice and fat from the bird creating the most delectable caramelized toast. I call it chicken bread candy. 

  8. Roast the chicken for 1 hour. If the chicken is larger than 4lb, you may need to add more time.  You can always rely on a thermometer if you’re unsure of when the bird is done. If you’re using a thermometer, make sure the temperature of the breast has reached 160 degrees F.  Remove the chicken from the oven and let rest for 10 minutes before carving.  

    *Don’t forget about the “chicken bread candy”!  You may need a spatula to pull it from the pan.  Cut each piece in half and share it with your friends while you get ready to plate the meal.  Or if you have self control, you can serve it with the meal.

For the celery root puree: This can be made up to 2 days in advance and then re-heated on the stove.  Celery Root can be found in the produce section, usually next to the kohlrabi, rutabaga, and horseradish. It’s quite ugly, but a little trimming and some butter make a big difference. 

  1. Melt butter in a large saucepan.

  2. Add onion and cook on low for 5 minutes until the onion just starts to caramelize.

  3. Use the white wine to deglaze the pan, cooking for another minute. 

  4. Add the celery root, chicken stock, thyme, garlic, a pinch of salt, and black pepper. Bring to a boil. Place a lid on the pan, reduce heat to medium low, and let cook for about 30 minutes, until the celery root is fork tender.

  5. Remove the stem of thyme and the garlic cloves.

  6. Transfer the contents of the saucepan to a food processor, or you can use an immersion blender if you prefer.  Puree the celery root until smooth. The consistency should be creamy and only slightly thick.

  7. Return the puree to the saucepan. Add the sour cream or yoghurt, stirring over low heat for just a few minutes. Taste for salt and pepper, adding more if needed.

For the collards

  1. Add olive oil to pot large enough to contain the collards.

  2. Cook garlic, stirring, until fragrant, about 1 minute.

  3. Add vinegar, sugar, smoked paprika, salt, black pepper, red pepper flakes, and ¼ cup water.

  4. Bring to a simmer and cook, stirring occasionally, until liquid is slightly reduced, about 10 minutes.

  5. Add collards, tossing in liquid to wilt.

  6. Cover pan, reduce heat to low, and continue to cook, stirring occasionally, until collards are dark green and very soft, 2½–3 hours. There should be very little liquid left—just enough to coat greens. If there is too much, cook uncovered until you have the right amount. 

We got a chance to try Julia’s Roast Chicken Dinner, so trust us when we say you won’t be disappointed. This would be an excellent meal to “wow” your families with this holiday season! Be sure to comment your thoughts on the recipe below and tag us in your photos of the dish on social media.

Cassie LeeComment
Feast for the Senses: Taste & Touch
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We have been to roughly 12 event dinners this year, many of them featured on this blog over the past few months. All of them were, hands down, the best meal in Mid-Missouri on that night. I dare you to challenge that. 

Last week was the final Blue Bell Farm Feast for the Senses dinner and it was the best way to finish off our dinner season. Not only was the food from Meriwether Cafe owners, Brandon and Whitney Vair, fantastic and wholly expected, the non-traditional cocktail hour activities took the whole night up a notch. As part of the “Taste & Touch” theme, guests created their own boutonnière or flower crown, were walked through making the perfect whiskey cocktail, and enjoyed a boozy beet and bourbon marshmallow s'more around the fire. 

Jamie Bryant, co-owner of Blue Bell Farm, began bringing these dinners out to their property in 2011 to help support local farmers markets. In 2014, Blue Bell took reign of the dinners in order to highlight the local chefs and farmers in the region as well as the amazing goods they grow and cook. 

"We saw the dinners as an opportunity to utilize and highlight the food being grown on our farm and other local farms," Bryant said. "The farm dinners are great because they not only bring the community together but also help support and bring awareness to our community of farmers and artists."

Something that we talk a lot about here at Feast Native, and why we keep finding ourselves at these event dinners, is the coming together of the community. From chefs to makers to table-mates to vendors, the best of the community is always on display. 

When asked what can be expected in the future, Bryant said: "In 2019, we plan to partner with local non-profits and the dinner proceeds will go towards funding specific programs in the community." We can't wait.

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Cassie LeeComment