The evening brings together once a year those who produce food with those who prepare it — and those of us who like to eat it.
Michelle Lerach started the event to give farmers a chance to sit down and enjoy the fruits of their labor, so to speak.
“This is one of the only times farmers get to actually sit down and be pampered,” she said. “They get to relax and be served the stuff they worked so hard to cultivate.”
Held annually at the Lerach’s estate in La Jolla Farms (this year marked the fourth such event), the dinner pairs locally sourced produce and meat — straight from the farm and prepared by a local chef on the premises — with local wine, beer and cocktails for each course. This year, the menu was slightly pared down, from more than 10 courses in past years, to eight.
Before they could eat, guests were guided through the Lerach’s extensive berry patches and encouraged to pick berries, then hit up one of the cocktail stations where bartenders waited to create a unique beverage for each guest using the berries they had gathered.
After touring the berry gardens, guests were led on a tour of the Lerach’s aviary before heading back to the garden, where they could visit the local livestock brought in specially for the event. Some even opted to milk one of the goats on loan from a local farm.
Dinner, emceed by Stone Brewery’s Greg Koch, included, along with each course, a brief description of the dishes by the chefs who created them.
Farmers who enjoyed their products included those from Be Wise Ranch, Seabreeze Organic Farm, Stehly Farms, Suzie’s Farm, Springhill Cheese, Archi’s Acres and many more.