Last night was so wonderful I couldn't help but sit down immediately the next morning to show you all this beautiful evening. I've mentioned a few times how I sometimes can't believe the cool people that this blog has brought into my life. Chef Ryan, a Women in Food interview alum (read her interview) came back to Virginia and The New Bridge restaurant to cook a multi-course wine paired dinner all about women in food. So first, I have to say thank you a million times to whoever it was that posted the link to that interview that brought Elizabeth from The New Bridge into my life! Elizabeth flawlessly put together the dinner. Ryan cooked. Martha Boneta from Liberty Farm supplied produce, honey, eggs and more. And we also had Claire, a Warrenton pillar of women in food (really though- the girl across from me at dinner grew up on that food and still raves about it) and an amazing woman in wine, Kasia Tomecka of Nice Legs Distribution.
More than anything these dinners with communities of kind, inspiring and passionate people make me happy (Trust me. I've met some real jack asses that just radiate negativity at events). Pair that with dinner outside, all Virginia everything and views of the mountains. It's made me kind of pause and realize this: (probably because I have a birthday on Friday) As important as it is for me to be involved in DC events and projects, my heart really is in Virginia and the outdoors. Let me roam free and show you Northern Virginia wine country and I'm a happy girl.
As soon as I walked in the door to the dinner (SOLD OUT many times over! Thank you all so much for calling and calling New Bridge to come!), the team at the restaurant was so on point with their hospitality. They were friendly. They gave me prosecco. They gave me a tour despite the craziness of set up. They took me back in the kitchen to say hi to Elizabeth in person before the event (who gave me a big ol hug- because the weird thing about social media is you really don't have to meet someone in person to know them. It's cool). This is such a big difference from other events I've attended or been part of. The New Bridge just killed it. I would recommend them to anyone if you're looking to hold an event out there!
We ate on the roof top (we even had a down pour with the tents and I can't lie- it was wildly entertaining and totally Virginia weather. We stuck it out and wiped off the chairs, because why in the world would you eat inside on a summer evening?). Between courses, Ryan, Martha, two other ladies and I got up to talk about what we do as women in food. You better believe I have some follow up emails to send for interviews to put up on the blog! I am going to BEG Martha to do an interview because you will love her. She is a former lawyer who decided to live out her childhood dream of being a farmer. She's a freaking bad ass. She does a ton of non-partisan work for supporting farmers in Virginia which I can absolutely appreciate because of what we do with our state dietetic association. She supports healthy food sources for Virginians. We support healthy food access and consumption. Martha actually has a Virginia bill named after her (The Boneta Bill) that protects farmers and their farm activities. I'm going to go ahead and shut up because I could talk about her forever.
The cocktail to start was a Green Garden Mary that Ryan created. It had avocado, some spiciness, local gin and other goodies. I'm actually a huge bloody mary fan so the fact that she made a green version (non strained- it had body!) was so right on.
We also had a soup made with pine nut milk and garlic and greens and then the salad above which had a walnut base. I can not get over how good it was! The walnuts were the perfect texture with the greens and balanced with the acidity of pickled radish.
So now let's get to this glorious ravioli below. Inside, Ryan somehow managed to keep the yolk of 30 some dishes PERFECT. And actually, these are eggs from Martha's farm ( I think they were duck).
Dessert was honestly one of my favorite parts. This was a panna cotta topped with Martha's honey which was everything you could hope for because it was also served next to a dark chocolate truffle. It was just the right size and what I absolutely needed at the end of the meal. Creamy, a little savory, floral sweet. I want this right now!
To all of you who have sent me recommendations of who to interview for the women in food column, THANK YOU! It's because of you that these stellar parts of my life happen. Now onto knock out two more big photoshoots this week before a Friday birthday and a well needed Caribbean vacation!
Dietitian Nutritionist. My husband Chris and I create food and beverage photos, videos, stopmotions and recipes. And they're really cool.