Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Grabishfarm Mulefoot Hog Farm-to-Fork Dinner

October 12, 2014
Dixon, CA

This past weekend, we had an opportunity to attend a farm-to-table event at Grabishfarm, a small working farm just outside Sacramento that specializes in heritage hogs, goats and guinea hens, along with ducks, turkeys and various other fowl.  

The dinner was put on in conjunction with two Oakland restaurants - the chefs from Chop Bar and Lungomare prepared the amazing dishes with food that came from the farm - along with Field Recordings Winery.  As a bonus, a shuttle bus was provided from Oakland to the farm in Dixon! 

Ready to depart for the farm from Jack London Square
Upon our arrival at the farm, we were met with flutes of bubbly and invited to tour around the farm, visiting with the animals and mingling with the other guests.

Here's to Grabishfarm!
Amy, who owns and operates the farm with her husband Larry, was a fantastic hostess!  She poured wine, took guests on tours and happily answered any questions that people had about the farm and the food, all while seeming totally friendly and relaxed in the midst of putting on this event for a large group of strangers.  Amy's parents, who came from Pennsylvania to attend the dinner, were quite hospitable as well, ensuring that no one's glass was ever empty and just being generally friendly, enjoyable and host-like, making everyone feel as welcome and at-home in the farm environs as the animals themselves.

The goat area at Grabishfarm
The tables, placed in a single long row, were elegantly set with down-to-earth organic details such as a single quail feather attached to each menu card, flatware bundled and tied with jute and a sprig of thyme, burlap table runners, and benches created from hay bales covered in burlap sacks in lieu of traditional chairs. So festive and fun!

Putting finishing touches on the table
I had wanted to attend this sort of farm-to-table dinner for quite some time and was thrilled when this opportunity arose.  I wasn't quite sure what to expect but the entire event definitely surpassed my expectations.  The animals were friendly and fun, living in a pleasant, free-range environment amongst the eucalyptus trees.  

Um, Scott?  There's someone nibbling your hair...
The farm's heritage guinea hens and friends
Making friends with Frances the Standard Donkey and her equine pal
The food, from the tomato/watermelon and green salads and goat cheese and pate with homemade bread to the roasted-beet-and-faro salad with duck morsels and Mulefoot Hog porchetta, was all outstanding and the various wines provided a nice accompaniment to the meal.  
Are we in France...or Dixon, CA?  Best. Pate. Ever.
A salad of organic chicories, pears, candied almonds and freshly made goat cheese
Mulefoot Hog porchetta

After dinner, there was a generous selection of dessert wines and we especially enjoyed a bourbony-tasting brandy, while lingering at the table beneath the strands of tiny white lights, as dusk turned to darkness.

More photos:
We received a warm welcome at the farm
Here's to you, my tasty friends!

One of Grabishfarm's heritage Fainting Goats

Scott's always making friends wherever he goes...
The hogs so good they got a farm-to-table dinner named after them!
Tim the goat, taking a break from hangin' with his Mulefoot pal, Boss Hog
Frances, the Standard Donkey
Talking about melons, in the vegetable patch.  I'm not sure I trust these two...
The table, located beyond the vegetable patch beneath the trees

Ready to eat!
Perfectly seasoned chicharrones to start.  Pro-tip: they taste even more amazing with a little dab of the pate spread on top...
Thank you for an amazing evening, Grabishfarm!
The brandy was so good, we decided to take some to-go for the ride home...
Grabishfarm, we love you!

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