Farm Dining in the Piedmont
Onsite meals bring new meaning to ‘farm-to-table’ diningBy Tara Verna
What could be more charming than an evening filled with farm-to-table food, gracious hosts, a pastoral setting, and adorable, rambunctious … goats?
At least three Piedmont goat dairies have taken to opening their gates to offer monthly dinners at their farms to not only showcase their cheeses, but also to build awareness of the connection between their animals and the food on your plate.
There’s a farm tour included, where you can learn about cheesemaking and, yes, meet the goats themselves. All farms recommend purchasing tickets in advance.
Goat Lady Dairy
On Friday and Saturday evenings once a month in spring and fall, guests gather for hors d’oeuvres on the porch at Goat Lady Dairy. During a guided tour, hosts Carrie Routh and Bobby Bradds entertain with farm stories and philosophy. Afterwards, guests break bread together in the post and beam, passive solar dining room of the dairy barn with a five-course menu featuring Goat Lady Dairy cheeses and herbs with vegetables, and local pasture-raised meats from Bradds Family Farm. More chitchat follows with coffee or tea and decadent chocolate goat cheese truffles.
Tickets cost $70; The next event is Friday, April 20, at 5:30 p.m.
Source: Laura Hunter Creative
La Mancha, Alpine, Nubian, Toggenburg, Boer — no, these aren’t the exotic menu but the quirky goat breeds you will meet at an Elodie Farms dinner in Rougemont. The evening begins with a goat meet-and-greet (and perhaps a glimpse of JoJo the donkey!), and a tour of the milking parlor and cheese room. Next guests sample Elodie Farms cheese paired with a five-course, locally-sourced menu. Guests are always welcome to wander into the kitchen of the 1914 Victorian Farmhouse to visit with Chef Ted Domville as he prepares the meal. Coffee, tea and Colombian canelazo served with dessert.
Tickets cost $70 per person; The next event is Saturday, April 14, at 6 p.m.
The Inn at Celebrity Dairy
The third Sunday of each month, Celebrity Dairy hosts Brit and Fleming Pfann share their passion for seasonal and local food with 30 people in a three- or four-course, sit-down dinner. Socializing over goat cheese appetizers leads to the main event, featuring more of the dairy’s creamy cheeses along with fresh meat, vegetables and flowers from local farms. Guests quickly become friendly acquaintances as they take their seats together at a long common table. The Pfanns entertain with stories of farm happenings. An after-dinner barn tour allows guests to meet the celebrity goats, perhaps hold a cuddly kid or two (“endlessly amusing,” says co-owner Fleming), and let dinner settle before enjoying dessert and coffee.
Tickets cost $55 per person; The next event is Sunday, April 15, at 1:30 p.m.
Dinner in the Meadow
At this annual event, a 1,000-acre goat farm plays host to a dinner where you can help support small farms while wooing your loved one. “Dinner in The Meadow” benefits the Leonard-Mobley Small Farm Fund, which provides grants to small farms in North Carolina.
Rolling green hills play backdrop to chefs, farms and food artisans who toil all day long to craft local flavors into tempting creations. Pick your palate pleasers, bid on the silent auction, and find a seat to participate in or at least enjoy the live auction of some specialty items.
Tickets cost $100 and sell out quickly; the next event is Sunday, September 9, 2018.
dinnerinthemeadow.org | 919-495-1305
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