by Valerie Schroth
Jun 18, 2013
09:31 AM
Table Hopping

Let Us Now Praise Connecticut Farms

Let Us Now Praise Connecticut Farms

Cummings & Good

Summer is almost upon us, and that means it’s time for Dinners at the Farm, the series of benefit dinners celebrating the farmers, fishermen and others who make up Connecticut’s vibrant agricultural community.

There are 12 dinners this season, four each at Barberry Hill Farm in Madison, Scott’s Farm in Essex and White Gate Farm in East Lyme. Tickets are going fast, and three of the dinners have already sold out.

If you haven’t been before, here’s how it works: Each evening begins at 6; guests are greeted with an orchard fruit cocktail and passed hors d’oeuvres, followed by a tour of the farm from the hosting farmers. After that, guests are seated at long candle-lit tables set with white porcelain in an open-air tent, where they’re treated to course after course of delicious food made with ingredients picked just hours earlier from the fields right outside the tent. (Foods are also sourced from many other local farms and producers as well.)

The multicourse feasts are cooked fresh off the back of a red vintage cook truck (a 1955 Ford F-600) by Jonathan Rapp, chef at River Tavern in Chester and Thomas Peterlik, former culinary director at Yale, and a prep team. Menus from past seasons have included dishes such as Thai squid salad with melon; fresh mozzarella with eggplant, tomato, zucchini and basil; fresh clam and golden tomato risotto; Mexican-style scallop ceviche with hot sauce and corn salad; and caramelized peach stuffed with ricotta and almonds. Wine and beer are included.

Now celebrating its seventh season, Dinners at the Farm was the brainchild of Jonathan Rapp, Drew McLachlan (Feast Gourmet Market in Deep River) and Chip Dahlke (Ashlawn Farm in Lyme). “Over the past six seasons, Dinners at the Farm has fed over 10,000 guests at 88 dinners, donated $105,000, and directly purchased more than $180,000 worth of food and wine from Connecticut producers,” says Rapp.  The 2013 dinners will raise another $20,000 for five beneficiaries: CitySeed, Connecticut Farm Land Trust, Working Lands Alliance, Region 4 Schools and, new this year, The New Connecticut Farmer Alliance.

So . . . what are you waiting for? A wonderful evening awaits you—down on the farm.

Tickets are $150, and must be made online. All the info you need is on the website,

Let Us Now Praise Connecticut Farms

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Table Hopping is your guide to food, restaurants and more across Connecticut, dished up by senior editor Valerie Schroth. If it's a tidbit on a hot new chef, a tip on a cozy little dining spot or the latest on the latest on the state culinary scene, this is the place to get your fill.

For comments or feedback, email Valerie.

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