Here's a delicious recap of our second Women in Food dinner at The New Bridge with Chef Ryan Ross from this past weekend. Since I just interviewed Elizabeth for our Women in Food series last week, I won't re-tell the story of how this event ended up starting (you can read about it in the first dinner recap here). The cool thing about these dinners is they end up having a totally different vibe each time. Because Ryan cooks hyper-seasonally (she seriously builds the menu when she's here from the Pacific North West a few days before!) the food is of amazingly different than the dinner in spring!
Even Martha, the bad ass farmer and former lawyer who brought a lot of the produce and eggs for the dinner, was telling me she's still harvesting tomatoes and melons, right as her fall squash are coming in! You just roll with what Mother Nature gives you. Sometimes Mother Nature is the really nice Aunt with no kids who likes to give you things because it's Tuesday.
For starters we had fleur de chevre (goat cheese rolled in salts and flowers and micro greens) with deconstructed deviled eggs with marigold aioli and these rosehip hibiscus cocktails. One of the mixers in the cocktail is from a new to me woman run company in Virginia called Wild Roots Apothecary. Their product was used in three beverages throughout the course of the night and I clearly have some beverage-product-stalking to do.
Deep breaths here. The first course was oysters. I am not an oyster person. I never grew up eating them. They essentially look like snot in a shell. I had some in June while sitting in a goat barn for a fancy-schmancy-private dinner (long story) and they just did not sit well with me as much as I was willing to try and like them (like anchovies plain). So needless to say, I was a little afraid. But man, how good do these look? So I ate them, and if Chef Ryan makes me oysters, I'm in. I'm not sure about the rest of the population. We'll get there.
These oysters are extra cool because they're from the York River in Virginia. There's a female farmer down there who has been working her ass off to re-establish sustainable oyster populations and bring them front and center to Virginians. And after a little Googling myself, Virginia is actually known as the 'oyster capital of the East coast'. So there you go. Just another reason to explore oysters.
The oysters were followed by a curried pumpkin soup, a many tomato tart (I WILL EAT THIS EVERY DAY) and a skillet fried chicken and waffles. And the waffles were made out of blue corn and kale. The irony of this particular course is that in Elizabeth's women in food interview last week, chicken and waffles was the food trend she was done with. So of course, Ryan was out to put chicken and waffles back in Elizabeth's good graces. Good news: Elizabeth loves these chicken and waffles.
When it comes to food philosophy, I don't think there's a food you hate...I think you just haven't had it made properly yet. Maybe the best example I've had of this is when I told our friend how much I dislike bok-choy and he asked if I would drink it in a bloody mary. Touché.
We finished the night with a blonde zucchini cake topped with miso maple caramel (THIS) and acorn squash ice cream and a nettle orange tonic. Is your mind just swimming in possibilities for end of summer menus now? Every time I see Ryan post on Instagram, I'm inspired to really put in the work to prepare what the season has to offer.
What are you eating in this late summer-early fall window?
Dietitian Nutritionist and cookbook author sharing flavor-forward recipes and simplified science-driven wellness.